Skin barrier disorders are a widely spread phenomenon today.
Most frequently the symptoms are dry and sensitive skin
We all dream of beautiful, healthy skin.
Of having an outward glow that others perceive as a luminous, radiant complexion.
On the flip side, when our skin is compromised, it can appear dry, flaky, scaly, and irritated.
Those of you who experience dry skin will know – correcting the imbalance is easier said than done.
So, why does skin become so dry?
It was once thought that dry skin was an easy skin type to treat.
But through my own experience of treating thousands of clients in my clinic, I appreciate that dry skin is incredibly complex and tricky to treat.
A growing body of research has found that the key to skin health is in the stratum corneum – our outermost layer of skin – which acts as a barrier between your skin and the outside world.
This stratum corneum is made up of skin cells that are packed closely together.
Occasionally, this barrier fails us, allowing bacteria and viruses to penetrate and letting water evaporate much faster than usual. In return, skin becomes dry, dehydrated, and sensitive.
I write in detail about barrier repair in this article.
What type of dry is your skin?
This is a question you should think about carefully.
Is it lipid (oil) dry, or is your skin water dry (dehydrated)?
This is a common skin concern that is often overlooked by manufacturers of skincare and needs to be taken into careful consideration, especially if you want to get the desired result for your skin.
Dehydration is something I discuss in greater detail in the article, “The Clear Skin Difference: It Begins With Hydration.”
Ingredients you should consider
The Naked Chemist range contains active serums that are encapsulated in liposomes, the vehicles which take the active ingredients past the stratum corneum into the deeper layers.
Due to their ability to mimic the core components of the skin, these liposomes are able to permeate through the skin’s barrier; enabling penetration of active ingredients and providing accurate, responsive delivery. The liposomes also protect the active agents from any possible breakdown before entering the skin cell’s bilayers.
Bio Complex, with its high lipid content, restores the integrity of the barrier whilst promoting ongoing healthy and balanced skin.
Ingredients you need to avoid
One of the major problems for the skin are surface-active substances such as soaps and cleansing agents.
They wash the natural fatty substances and acids out of the skin, forming holes in the structure of the barrier layers; this is one of the reasons I created Miracle Cleanse, a completely clean, green formula that protects as it cleanses.
There are some really drying ingredients that you should steer clear of:
- Preservatives and parabens
- Perfumes can penetrate into the skin and are the number one cause of dryness and irritation
- Silicones initially create a superficial smooth feeling on the skin, but can dry out the skin
- Mineral oils affect the natural activity of the skin, preventing it from producing its own protective substances
Being free of these ingredients allows the beneficial ingredients to have a proactive and positive effect on your skin.
This will give it a chance to regenerate and re-balance, allowing the natural hydration to increase and give the skin what it needs to maintain harmony.
The bottom line for dry skin sufferers
If you maintain your skin’s barrier function, your skin will stay in a healthy state of equilibrium, for now and for many years to come.
Preventative treatments that aim to keep your skin’s barrier in its natural and healthy state are what you should be considering.
So, how do you achieve this? I suggest using a two-pronged approach:
Firstly, treat it from the “outside-in”. The “outside” is the stratum corneum, and the “in” are the therapeutic effects that start in the stratum corneum and work their way into the deeper layers.
Secondly, treat it with products that contain a composition of ingredients that resemble the membrane structure of your natural skin’s barrier. This makes sense, when you think of how the stratum corneum naturally contains ingredients that become compromised over time:
Fatty Acids & NMF Cholesterol
All of these combine to form your skin’s protective barrier.
This is why I have developed a unique and effective range of products that can be customised depending on your skin’s requirements.
They contain ingredients that are similar to the skin barrier layers, such as triglycerides, squalane, phytosterols or cholesterols, ceramides, and moisturising ingredients.
A major prerequisite of the dry skin range is that they mimic the physical properties of the bi-layer structure of the skin’s barrier.
They can also be applied to sensitive skin, which is common with a dry skin type, because they are free of irritating additives, fragrances, mineral oils, silicones, and dyes.
Fortify is a barrier cream with that has been formulated with repair technology aimed at restoring balance to the stratum corneum.