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October 30, 2020
Did you know your skin has a super power? This super power naturally protects against sagging, dark spots, wrinkles, dullness, and volume loss.
This invisible “shield” is the skin's lipid barrier.
The lipid barrier is special dermal fats that help block the skin-aging effects of detrimental toxins and UV rays while locking in moisture.
Our super power is working at it's finest during our youth. But as we age, it can become weak and break down. But don't despair!
Barrier breakdown is evidenced by wrinkling, uneven pigment, dullness, loss of elasticity, crepey skin and in severe cases rosacea, dermatitis, and other skin disorders.
Who hasn't said, if only I'd realized the importance of taking care of my skin I'd be so much better off now. The good news is, it's not too late. There are ways you can restore your super power by restoring your skin's lipid barrier.
We know our skin barrier is damaged when we notice signs of redness, inflammation, dehydration, itchiness, flakiness or acne flare-ups. A weak or damaged skin barrier is mostly dry or dehydrated so it can't lock in moisture, making it easier for irritants and bacteria to penetrate the skin.
First, I'd be remiss if I did not remind you to evaluate your diet as the first step in this process. Our body practically screams at us when we eat food (or ingest ingredients) that it cannot tolerate. But instead of listening to it and adjusting our eating habits, we pop an antacid and ignore it. Of course, the foods that cause skin and body reactions are not the same for everyone so you must listen to what your body is saying to you in order to achieve a healthy balance. Your food is not just feeding your stomach, it is also feeding your skin - the largest organ of the human body.
You'd have to be living on another planet not to know too much sugar, sodium, caffeine, and alcohol is bad for our skin. Add to that oils that become toxic at high temperatures, gluten, steroids used in dairy, and high glycemic diets to name a few that contribute to stressing the immune function which can result in unhealthy skin.
And, of course, it's crucial to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Water is your skin's best friend.
The next important part of the process to restoring your lipid barrier is to simplify your skin care regime. Use products with a suitable pH (pH values below 5.0 are healthier, more hydrated, and have a stronger barrier function than those above 5.0.), and use a moisturizer that contains ceramides or a humectant like hyaluronic acid.
Here's the beauty of it all! Give skin what it needs and it can heal itself - no matter what our age! Take back your skin's super power!
And finally, be patient! It can take 2 weeks and up to a month to repair the barrier function. Once your skin barrier is back in full force, you'll notice a decrease in redness, skin-sensitivity, inflammation, and dehydration!
Products I love for improved barrier function:
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