The KSW Blog

women applying cream to her skin to support her skin barrier
June 28, 2024

Repairing the Skin Barrier for Acne Sufferers

Repairing the Skin Barrier for Acne Sufferers

Blog by Ashley Shkodra, Licensed Esthetician in The Clear Skin Solution

Your skin is one of the strongest organs in your body, creating a physical barrier between your internal systems and the environment. It maintains homeostasis, protecting you from external factors like pathogens, bacteria, allergens, and water loss. These life-saving qualities of the skin also impact its aesthetic appeal, contributing to the clear complexion and glowing skin we all strive for. However, your skin has a way of telling you when it’s imbalanced and something isn’t right. All we have to do is listen!

Understanding the Skin Barrier

The buzzword “skin barrier” has been all the rage in the beauty industry recently, and for good reason. The skin barrier is located in the stratum corneum layer of the epidermis and is made up of skin cells and a highly organized lipid matrix. Here are the key components that make up our barrier function:

Skin Cells

The primary cells in the stratum corneum are keratinocytes, which play a critical role in maintaining the barrier function.

Proteins

Proteins like filaggrin, loricrin, and involucrin are essential for the structural integrity and functionality of the skin barrier.

Long-chain Ceramides (Lipids)

Ceramides help keep the skin hydrated and maintain its protective barrier.

Symptoms of an Impaired Skin Barrier

Similar to your gut, the skin barrier is composed of tight junctions—a saturated layer with all those ingredients that do not allow anything to pass through. Think of a leaky gut, where those junctions are loosened, and pathogens can get through. The same happens in the skin barrier when it is impaired. When this occurs, symptoms like acne, rosacea, eczema, and dry or flaky skin can occur/worsen.

How to Maintain a Healthy Skin Barrier

Determine Your Skin Type

Oftentimes, sensitive skin is mistaken for sensitized skin. Barrier compromise is an example of sensitized skin. To tell the difference, read our blog on sensitive vs sensitized skin to help understand the difference.

Skincare Products

Choosing the right skincare products is crucial. Your skin is a self-regulating organ and doesn’t require an elaborate routine to stay healthy. Focus on products that support hydration and maintain the skin’s natural oils.

What to Avoid

Many skincare products can strip the skin of its natural oils and damage the barrier. Be cautious with:

  • Acids and Exfoliants: While beneficial in moderation, overuse can compromise the skin barrier.
  • Benzoyl Peroxide: Common in acne treatments, this ingredient compromises lipid production and breaks down skin ceramides.
  • Fragrances, Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulphates: These ingredients can cause irritation as they are ingredients the skin needs to filter out.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors play a significant role in the health of your skin barrier. Here’s how to protect your skin from common environmental stressors:

  • UV Radiation: Always wear broad-spectrum physical sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect against UV damage.
  • Pollution: Cleanse your skin thoroughly at the end of the day and use antioxidant-rich products to combat pollution-induced oxidative stress.
  • Climate: Adjust your skincare routine according to the weather. Use richer, more hydrating products in cold weather and lighter, textured products in hot weather.

Diet and Hydration

Internal factors such as diet and hydration also impact the skin barrier. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, adequate hydration, and, most importantly, balanced Omega 3-6-9 fatty acids supports skin health.

  • Diet: To promote healthy skin, include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., fish, flaxseeds), vitamins (e.g., vitamin E, vitamin C), and antioxidants.
  • Hydration: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.
  • Optimize Gut Health: Your gut plays a huge role in skin health. Visit our blog or listen to one of our podcasts to dive into the details.
gut guide

How Long Can Barrier Repair Take?

What a loaded question! Your skin is ever-changing, and so are all of its components. Several factors can determine the timeline:

How disrupted is the skin barrier?

For example, your skin can be compromised for years with harsh chemicals, so normally this will take longer, between 6 months to 1 year.

Your internal health

If your body is being provided with sufficient ingredients and support to heal, repair, and maintain homeostasis, working with a nutritionist is an asset!

Skincare routine

Using products consistently. Stick to a routine for at least 3 months at a time to optimize results.

Think of your skin barrier as a crucial component in skin health and resistance. In the long term, a healthy skin barrier ensures a healthy skin aging cycle. Yup, skin barrier health is anti-aging! It’s a simple yet extremely effective strategy.

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Let's finally get your skin cleared up.

Acne is more than skin deep; it's a signal of internal imbalances. This explains why prescriptions, medicated creams, and high-end facials often fall short. Clearing your skin requires an inside-out approach, and we're dedicated to guiding you every step of the way.

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I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

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"

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

next

"

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

next

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