The Hyrdo-Lipid Barrier: the key to healthy skin!
When this Barrier is depleted, it opens the skin up to all types of issues; they can range from dryness to some types of dermatitis, and even increased sensitivity and redness due to the over-exposed raw skin.
In this posting we will cover the very basics of this wonderful little part of our skin we were so blessed with. First up, we will talk about the overall function of the Barrier; second we will go over some of the most common reasons skincare therapists see it compromised; and lastly, we will discuss the ways that it can be replaced (they are much easier than you are probably thinking).
Topic One: FUNCTION
The overall function of the Barrier is to protect and fight off the invasion of harmful bacteria that may come in contact with the skin. It does by keeping a nice pH level of around 5 at all times. Most bacteria find it hard to survive in such an acidic environment. If this Barrier is compromised, it can increase the chance of irritation over time, creation of blemishes (due to the skin’s permeability being increased), dryness and the overall health of the skin being decreased. Now, please be aware that this is the very condensed explanation of the functions of this very important Barrier. But I don’t want to lose you within the first paragraph of this very important post!
Topic Two: CAUSE
Commonly seen is the cleanser factor. Quite a few people believe that foaming means clean and therefore better. IT is NOT always better. Yes, it does produce a clean feeling; but it runs the risk of much harm over time. There is a place for foaming cleansers in some people’s skincare regiment. It is ideal for a person with excessively oily skin, or a person who tends to wear heavy makeup. The reason for this is the foaming agent that is producing the foam is going to do its job. Meaning, it will take something off; whether that is makeup, excessive oil or the natural oils that make up the Barrier. Obviously, the foaming agent knows no difference between the normal amount of oil and the excessive. Another culprit can be acne skincare products. They can sometimes feature salicylic acid. Now, don’t get me wrong, this particular naturally occurring acid is AMAZING when used in the appropriate place in a skincare regiment. Unfortunately, a lot of times, what happens is a person will use it to control a bout of acne. Which is a wonderful time to use it, but what happens is they keep using it even after the acne has cleared up. This creates a vicious cycle that leaves the skin compromised and can result in other types of issues, and for the sake of time, not covered in this post. The final reason I will cover in this post has to do with the pH scale again. It is very common for people to use bar soap on the facial skin (now, I will admit, I LOVE my lavender soap. but I only use it on my body). The problem with bar soap is the pH is alkaline. When used on the delicate facial skin, it tends to be to harsh and can result in irritation.
I will cover the ways a compromised Barrier can be replenished. This can be as simple as replacing the culprit…whatever that may be, with a more appropriately suited product for the particular skin type. This is where professional skincare therapists comes in to play. The ability to recognize and treat depleted Barriers is a tricky practice due to the many facets that come into place. The types of skin are as vast as the type of people there are in the world. Every person has individual needs and a professional can assess and recommend the appropriate regiment from the very beginning. They are also experts at assessing the skin as time goes on and changing anything that may be needing to be added or taken away from the regiment. Depending on the ongoing needs of the client.
In conclusion, I will leave you with this one thought: the skin is a complicated organ (that’s right its an organ!). Give it the attention it needs and it will give you many years of protection and beauty. It only needs the basics. Once you find them, stick with them, change only when necessary and for the sake of all us skincare therapists spread the word about the importance of the Hydro-Lipid Barrier.