What is the skin barrier function?
… and why is it so important for healthy skin?

Just as we wrap up warm to protect ourselves from the sometimes unforgiving Welsh weather, so our skin is the protective layer between our bodies and the outside world.  We take it for granted most of the time, but did you know, this skin barrier function plays a vital role in keeping us healthy?  And healthy skin not only looks great but feels great too.

What is the skin barrier function?

Our skin has 2 functions – to keep hydration, like water, in and to keep any harmful things like toxins and pollution, out. When the skin barrier function becomes impaired or harmed, that is when we can start to experience things like dry, itchy or sensitive skin as the structure of the skin is weakened.
Our skin is built up of different skin layers, the outer layer is called the Stratum Corneum, which is essentially skin cells (corneocytes) held together by lipids (fats) in a wall type design with the layers of lipids acting like a type of mortar.  If the mortar layer starts to weaken, then the corneocytes (skin cells) won’t stay in formation and thus the barrier is compromised and means that water can be lost from the skin surface and toxins and pollutants can get in. 

The importance of a healthy Skin Barrier function as we age

A healthy skin barrier is incredibly important as we age – dehydrated skin will age faster, the same is also true of skin that is exposed to environmental pollution. So, by looking after this outermost layer, then the subsequent layers will also function better.

How to ensure a healthy skin barrier function

Our skin is slightly acidic, so avoid stripping it with too many regular peels and acids as this will disrupt the Ph.  Don’t over cleanse skin and avoid using products that have too much fragrance or colouring. Protect your skin from the sun, eat a good diet and keep stress levels low, as all this can have an effect on our skin.

A good diet is crucial to a healthy skin barrier – consuming fresh leafy green vegetables, fish and a good intake of omega oils can all be very beneficial to skin.

Protect your skin from the sun with a good SPF of 30 or above.  Look at your skincare ingredients and prioritise moisturisers and serums that will draw in water to the skin, such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin and honey.

Incorporate oils and ceramides into your routine to protect the outer layer of skin cells.

Above all, keep your skin care routine simple, with not too many steps and different products as this can overstimulate the cells and cause disruption, leading to dry, flaky and itchy skin.

Treat your skin with care and you will be rewarded with a glowing complexion!

Rhug Wild Beauty Protecting Facial Oil with Bakuchiol