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Sensitive Skin and your protective barrier

We Need to Look Under Our Skin, Before Creating Sensitive Skin Formulas

Do you suffer from dryness, flakiness, or dehydrated skin?

Or maybe irritation, itchy or chapped, red skin is a concern?

These are all signs your skin’s lipid barrier is undermined.

To treat this imbalance, it is important to understand what is going on under our skin.

As an esthetician with 20 years of experience, I have treated many skin conditions.

The biggest concern is the compromised lipid barrier, which presents itself as dehydrated skin that’s red, inflamed, and sensitive.

Typical skin concerns 

  • my skin is red, inflamed, dry, or dehydrated
  • all products that I apply sting, so I don’t know what to use to help heal my skin
  • I have to keep my skincare routine really, very simple, and it is frustrating
  • I try to use products created for sensitive skin, but my skin still feels irritated
  • my sensitive skin has started to get worse in my 40’s
  • my doctor prescribed me hydrocortisone, but it only made my skin more sensitive

After treating so many clients with these concerns, there is no doubt in my mind that many products and treatments are too aggressive and lead to a damaged protective moisture barrier.

The protective barrier function

Your barrier function comprises lipids, complex fatty components such as ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. This complex layer of materials contains inter-cellular lipids, which prevent foreign bodies and irritants from entering; it also protects against water loss and dehydration; I refer to it as a fort wall – a beautiful protective barrier.

Although we have this barrier, harmful bacteria and viruses can still get under our skin. Imagine that your cells are like bricks in a wall, and there is the cement that holds these bricks together.

Well, in the same way, cement fills spaces between bricks; your skin has oils or lipids that fill the gaps between the skin cells, preventing foreign bodies from slipping through.

If you’ve DROPPED LEMON on a CUT, you’ll know that feeling all too well; this is because the inter-cellular matrix has become impaired, and this is exactly what happens when your skin becomes dry or chapped, lost lipids allow easy penetration of foreign bodies, which in turn releases a cascade of inflammation.

Healthy lipid barrier: When our protective barrier is intact, our skin is healthy, nothing can invade and penetrate this protective barrier. Skin is plump and hydrated because the water stays in the tissues, and skin tone and texture are completely free from redness.

An impaired lipid barrier: When the skin’s barrier function becomes impaired, it allows penetration of ingredients. If you think back to that lemon, you can relate to how the citric acid burns the skin when it hits a nerve ending.

Gaps appear in the dermis allowing moisture to escape from the deeper layers; this can cause a whole host of skin conditions and inflammation, causing once-healthy cells to become sensitised; this is why it can be difficult to treat sensitivity.

To learn more about compromised skin – the article barrier repair, the key to outrageously healthy skin is worth reading.


A lot goes on when your skin barrier is compromised, and the goal is to prevent foreign bodies such as bacteria, allergens, and irritants, including our lemon juice, from getting under our skin. When our lipid barrier is intact, the skin is free from inflammation, dehydration, and dryness.

So if it is truly healthy skin you desire, it is crucial to look after your beautiful barrier; after all, it is the only one you have.
All the skincare products formulated at the Naked Chemist have been created to free your skin from irritation; to fix these problems, let’s dive in and look more closely at what is happening:


6 thoughts on “Sensitive Skin and your protective barrier

  1. shermie tee says:

    “Skin is plump and hydrated because water stays in the tissues, and skin tone and texture is completely free from redness”

    I agree with this, but unfortunately my skin was damaged with strong astringent ingredients. It look dehydrated, redness, open pores,thin skin, burning feel. How can you recommend a solution, thank you.

  2. Paul Howard says:

    I too am in a similar situation as Mr.king. Could you pass on the info you sent to him regarding acid mantle restoration please/
    Thank you in advance!
    Paul Howard

  3. Mr. King says:

    Hi, Please Help!!! I cant bare nor afford to purchase or put my faith in anymore products. Can you recommend something I can do at home or a natural/holistic way to restore my acid mantle? My skin looks horrible. Its tight and dry due to several self administered glycolic peels. Ive completely stripped it unfortunately. Any moisturizers I use seem to just sit on my skin and not absorb. What would you recommend? At this point Ive decided to not use anything and only rinse with water

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