In This Article:
Flip through a beauty magazine or check out your favorite skincare website, and you’ll probably see at least a couple mentions of your skin’s barrier. The term’s been getting a lot of attention lately, with a slew of new products claiming to repair it. But why has this become such a big deal? Well, because it IS a big deal: How your skin barrier functions can play a huge role in your skin’s health!
You might be wondering what the heck your skin’s barrier is in the first place. Simply put, it includes the outermost layers of skin; essentially what you see on the surface. When that surface skin is healthy, it appears and feels smooth, soft, and plump (like a baby’s skin). In contrast, a damaged surface skin looks dry, rough, dull, and dehydrated.
This isn’t just an aesthetic issue. How your barrier functions is crucial because if it’s damaged, then it’s difficult, if not impossible, to repair issues like wrinkles, post-acne red marks, dry skin, extra-sensitive skin, and breakouts – no matter how hard you’re trying to get rid of them!
According to the National Rosacea Society, there’s growing research suggesting that an impaired barrier function could play a role in the heightened sensitivity rosacea sufferers experience when they’re exposed to irritants. That’s just one example of how important it is to have a barrier that’s healthy and functioning at its best.
The old saying, "prevention is the best cure" applies to your skin’s barrier. Avoiding damage can go a long way to making sure your barrier remains healthy. Here are some ways to do that:
If your skin’s barrier is already damaged – or you just want to make sure it doesn’t become that way – a using skincare products that will give your skin what it needs to heal is critical. The best way to do that is to pay close attention to the ingredients in every step of your skincare routine. Healthy skin contains an abundance of what the Paula’s Choice Research Team calls skin-identical or skin-repairing ingredients. We’re talking about fatty acids, cholesterol, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin (just to name a few). If you’re not sure exactly what’s in your skincare products, you can consult our Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary for much more information on skin-identical ingredients.
Avoid fragranced skincare, as fragrance is a problem for everyone’s skin. Gentle is the way to go when trying to repair your skin’s barrier, so avoid potentially damaging fragrant oils (like lavender and all types of mint and citrus).
Protect your skin from UV light every day. Sun exposure is one of the leading causes of impaired barrier function, so make certain you wear an antioxidant-rich sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater every day. If you need some pointers on the right way to use sunscreen (and yes, there is a right way!), see this article on how to apply sunscreen to make sure you’re getting the most out of your SPF.
You might also want to consider applying active products like AHA or BHA exfoliants and retinol treatments at different times of the day if applying them at the same time results in redness or flaking. For example, you can apply your exfoliant in the morning, and retinol product at night.
By following these steps, you can see smoother, softer, and yes, even younger-looking skin. If you’ve been doing all you can to improve your skin without the kind of results you’re hoping for, a few simple but effective changes can finally get the skin you’ve been wanting!
Get exclusive beauty advice delivered twice a month. Unsubscribe at any time.
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:
View Media Highlights
The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice-so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.
We respect your privacy and the information you provide will NOT be sold, shared, or disseminated in any way.
Read More →
Call us Mon–Fri 6am-6pm PT, Sat–Sun 8am-4:30pm PT
Connect with us:
© Copyright 2015 Paula's Choice. All rights reserved. Paula's Choice and Cosmetics Cop are registered trademarks of Paula's Choice, LLC.
NEVER RUN OUT AGAIN
Paula’s Choice Auto Delivery is a quick and convenient way to make sure you never run out of your favorite products again. Just select the products you can’t live without, choose how often you’d like them delivered and we’ll take care of the rest.
*Promotion expires 8:59pm PT October 13, 2015. No promo code required; discount automatically applied to the highest-priced single item in cart. Cannot be applied to previous purchases or combined with other offers. Promotion applies to in-stock products only; no rain checks.
**Promotion expires 8:59pm PT, October 13, 2015. No cash value. Applies to US and Canada only.
***Promotion expires 8:59pm PT, October 13, 2015. Choose any 3 from 28 available FREE samples on orders of $5 or more.
Please sign in and access your saved member information.
Are you new to our site?Create an account and enjoy benefits that offer faster checkout, easy order tracking and quick reorders.
Are you new to our site? Checkout as a guest. You will have the option to create an account later in checkout.