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Why Skin Barrier Health is Key

Okay, so if you know me then you know how obsessed I am with DMK. I can give a million and one reasons why, but the main reason is that I've learned so much about the importance of a healthy skin barrier. Skin issues and conditions cannot be treated unless your skin functions are working optimally. Now keep in mind that I am NOT a doctor, just an esthetician giving you her "to the best of my knowledge" knowledge.

What the heck is your "skin barrier"

In simple terms, your skin barrier is the outer layer of your skin. It's what's exposed to the outside environment. It's composed of cells which are connected and supported by lipids, and its main goal is to keep bad things out of the body, and good things in the body.

Why is a healthy skin barrier important?

Because, again, it keeps the bad stuff out and the good stuff in. So it needs to be functioning at an optimal level in order to do that.

The Science-y Stuff

Our entire body is made of cells that perform essential functions to keep us alive and functioning. Those cells are protected by a cell membrane (kind of like a personal bodyguard) that protects the cell. The cell membrane allows for substances and chemical messages to be transported in and out of the cell.

Acid Mantle & Microbiome

The acid mantle and microbiome work with your skin barrier. Your microbiome consists of bacteria and fungi that live on your skin and take up space so that other "bad" bacteria and fungi can't hang with them. The acid mantle is made up of ceramides, sweat, and sebum. The ceramides act as an emulsifier to your sebum and sweat to help blend them together to help protect your skin. Its acidic nature also helps maintain the microbiome living on the skin and helps maintain moisture.

When the skin barrier is damaged

If a cell membrane is not functioning right, then it's receptor sites won't be able to take in any ingredients from the products that you're applying to your skin. Sure, molecular size and the delivery system of the products that you're placing onto the skin play a role, but it all comes down to whether the cells and lipids are working well enough to allow that to happen. In addition, trans-epidermal water loss (water evaporation from the skin) can occur due to inadequate lipids in the skin and make the skin more susceptible to pathogens and irritants.

Signs of an impaired skin barrier

  • Redness or Dullness

  • High reactivity (also known as sensitivity)

  • Dryness and/or itching

  • Skin infections

  • Inflammation

  • Rough texture

How Can I fix an impaired skin barrier?

Treating an impaired barrier is, unfortunately, not a one size fits all solution. While some individuals with extreme cases may need to see a dermatologist to get their back to optimal health, most can achieve homeostasis within their skin by scheduling a consultation with their esthetician. I offer in-person and virtual consultations and can give you the most accurate assessment for your specific skin care needs. Leave the work to me and let me help you repair your barrier!

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