Healthy skin takes more to maintain than a multi-step skincare regimen or routine sunscreen application – it takes a strong, functional skin barrier, too. As the skin’s topline defense, it plays an unparalleled role in protecting your skin from external aggressors like toxins and pollutants while working to keep it hydrated.
A healthy skin barrier keeps dryness, irritations, fine lines, and more at bay, but only if we play our part in protecting it.
What is the Skin Barrier?
The skin barrier is composed of several layers, each performing essential functions to protect your body. The outermost layer, the stratum corneum, Liz Martin, RéVive Product Development, tells us is made up of “tough, brick-like skin cells” known held together by lipids like ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. The ultra-thin, yet powerful wall created is our skin barrier. “Without it, environmental toxins and pathogens could enter the skin and water inside your body would escape and evaporate, leaving you completely dehydrated.” Acting as a protective layer, the skin barrier shields against harsh external aggressors while locking in moisture and water to ensure glowing, hydrated skin.
What Damages the Skin Barrier?
Many factors, internal and external, can threaten the health of our skin barrier. One significant factor is dehydration – this can be from decreased water intake or environmental conditions causing a weakened skin barrier that fails to retain moisture. Additional environmental aggressors like toxins, pathogens, and pollutants can also damage the skin barrier and contribute to skin infection or other skin conditions. Among these environmental aggressors are also harsh UVA/UVB rays that can damage the cells of your skin and speed up signs of aging while preventing skin barrier restoration.
A damaged skin barrier allows environmental aggressors to easily penetrate the skin, while inducing dryness, inflammation, acne, rough patches, and more.
Protecting the Skin Barrier
A healthy skin barrier can lead to healthy skin, but it needs to be protected to function properly. When the skin barrier can do its job, the skincare we apply has a greater chance of working at an optimal rate. Fortunately, there are ways you can ensure your skin barrier stays protected and functions at its best.
Be sure to use topical skincare products with hydrating ingredients to protect and reinforce the moisture barrier. A moisturizer or serum formulated with ingredients like humectants, ceramides, antioxidants, plant oils, or hyaluronic acid are recommended for maximum protection. These ingredients work to leave a thin film on your skin that locks in water and prevents moisture loss, especially effective against dry, irritated skin.
To maintain a protected skin barrier, Martin suggests first gently exfoliating the skin. Removing dead skin cells allows the skin to maintain the best possible barrier and renew itself after exposure to damaging elements all day. Regardless of rain or shine, you should also incorporate an effective sunscreen into your routine to shield against harmful UVA/UVB rays that can damage your skin barrier.
Her last piece of advice: drink water!
Skin Barrier Renewal and Protection Regimen
We created an easy skin barrier protection routine with just moisturizer and serum to help you renew the skin and maintain your skin barrier’s health.
Hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient in skincare, known as a humectant that excels at retaining water and moisture in skin. RéVive’s Moisturizing Renewal Hydrogel Serum contains a 4D Hyaluronic Acid that targets and hydrates different layers of the skin barrier, resulting in plump and moisturized skin, while a Natural Soothing Complex, Moisturizing Oil Beads, and Bio-Renewal Peptides soothe and renew skin.
Follow your serum with our bestselling Moisturizing Renewal Day Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30. This formula contains an antioxidant power blend and red algae that is packed with vitamins and minerals to boost moisturization and promote a healthy, improved skin barrier. Marine adaptogens and Broad Spectrum SPF 30 also protect against stressful environmental aggressors and sun damage.
For your nighttime routine, we recommend instead using our Moisturizing Renewal Lotion Nightly Dual-Acid Retexturizer. A gentle, yet powerful dual-acid blend gently exfoliates to remove dead skin cells and help you maintain barrier health. This moisturizing formula contains oil-free humectants (glycerin) that draw water from the air into the skin and offer deep hydration, while Bio-Renewal Peptides allow for renewal after exposure to damaging elements. Antioxidants like licorice root and green tea help to soothe and calm the skin after defending itself all day.
“In the summer, Moisturizing Renewal Lotion is perfect for super lightweight hydration that protects the barrier at night and keeps it intact,” says Martin.