With summer coming, the days grow warmer and your skin may seem more oily than usual, but for good skin hygiene, resist the urge to scrub your face to a squeaky clean finish at the end of the day. While it might feel refreshing, that super clean skin is really just a mistake that leads your skin down the path to trouble.
One of the most basic and important things you can do for your skin is protect and maintain healthy skin barrier function, Normal skin has a light hydro lipid surface layer made of oil and water that keeps the skin healthy, retains moisture and protects against bacteria. This oil and water film is the skin barrier function that not only protects the skin, but also prevents premature aging. Without healthy skin barrier function, skin can be sensitized to additional products and become irritated when skincare products are layered over it.
A common way to damage the skin barrier function is to over cleanse with products that strip away the protective oils that act as a barrier. Other ways to weaken the barrier include harsh toners and over-exfoliation. Too much hot water can even strip lipids from the skin. With a weakened barrier the skin becomes more prone to dryness and inflammation. As the skin becomes dry, rough and irritated, problems like breakouts or eczema can arise. In addition, the distressed state of skin can create the release of inflammatory cytokines that result in less collagen and more wrinkles. So, protecting the skin barrier really is essential to creating healthy skin.
The solution to this problem is two-fold. First, protect the natural skin barrier function by avoiding bad habits that disrupt it. Second, follow up with a moisturizer to support the skin barrier function in place. A good habit when the cleaning urge strikes is to opt for a gentle cleanser that removes makeup and dirt while leaving healthy skin barrier function intact. My personal favorite is Jan Marini’s Gentle Cleanser After cleaning, skin should still feel soft and hydrated, not tight and dry. Now it’s crucial to feed the skin healthy nutrients and anti-oxidants that can continue to correct and protect your skin. These are some of my favorite skin boosting products that won’t compromise your skin’s barrier.