Do you find your skin to be very sensitive, reactive and temperamental? Are you prone to redness, inflammation, eczema and/ or adult acne flair ups?  These are all signs of an impaired skin barrier.

The skin is the largest organ and acts as the bodies first defense system against external aggressors as well as protects against excessive water loss within the body.  It is therefore important to keep your skin healthy and your skin barrier strong.

What is the skin barrier?

The outer most layer of the skin is called the stratum corneum, this skin surface is made up of skin cells – predominantly that of Keratin and Lipids,  as well as trillions of micro-organisms (healthy bacteria, fungi etc) that work to protect your skin and support your immune system in defending against a variety of pathogens and harmful aggressors. This Microbiome barrier plays a vital part in our overall skin health and contributes to the prevention of certain skin conditions such as: psorisis, eczema, acne and premature signs of ageing.

A key part of a healthy microbiome is a balanced lipid level.

How the pH level impacts the skin barrier

The skin’s ideal pH is between 4.7 and 5.75 making it slightly acidic. This is due to the natural cellular process in the skin’s production of lipids. An imbalanced pH will then disrupt the lipid level, which affects the balance of healthy vs harmful bacteria levels on the skin – leaving skin dry and flakey and/ or red inflamed and prone to acne breakouts.

Lipids play a crucial role in skin barrier function and maintaining a healthy pH level is a key indicator of healthy skin.  Your diet, lifestyle and skin care routine all have a significant impact in the health of your skin.

Finding a balanced skin care regime

With so many skin care products focused on anti-ageing and actives, it’s important to find a skin care routine that is balanced, won’t strip your skin of natural oils nor impede the microbiome.

While active ingredients are essential, it’s important to give your skin a few days rest during the week too. Dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe came up with the ‘skin cycling’ method which focusses on night time routines alternating with Hydroxy acids and retinoids:

Please note is important to start with a lower percentage of actives initially and find the right PHA or AHA for your skin.

A nightly routine example would be as follows:

  • Monday: Cleanse and apply Retinol
  • Tuesday: Cleanse and apply a Hydroxy Acid rich product. (such as glycolic, lactic or salicylic)
  • Wednesday: Cleanse and apply a hydrating/ lipid restoring moisturiser
  • Thursday: Cleanse and apply a hydrating/ lipid restoring moisturiser
  • Friday: Cleanse and apply Retinol
  • Saturday: Cleanse and apply a Hydroxy Acid rich product. (such as glycolic, lactic or salicylic acids)
  • Sunday: Cleanse and apply a hydrating/ lipid restoring moisturiser or face mask

This approach allows your skin to restore it’s natural lipid levels while also improving cellular function.  During the day it is important to use antioxidant rich serums and a good sunblock.

We offer a variety of clinically tested skin care ranges for you to find the perfect products for your skin.

A balanced diet

The food we eat greatly affects our skin. A healthy balanced diet, full of antioxidants and healthy fats is key to a balanced body, mental clarity and healthy glowing skin. There is a link between all 3 known as the:  skin-gut axis and the gut-brain axis.

On going studies are revealing a direct link between the gut microbiome and the skin microbiome.

  • Improving your diet
  • Reducing acidic and highly processed foods
  • Taking health supplements & probiotics
  • Avoiding foods that trigger inflammation and allergic reactions

Will definitely improve your skin health and help strengthen your skin barrier.

Read more info on topics discussed today in our articles below:

If you would like any further information or product recommendations do get in touch or book a skin consultation.