We often hear words and don’t know exactly what they mean. Skin barrier is a term being thrown around left and right. But what is it actually? With the world of skincare becoming more and more high tech, it can be confusing. Learning how to properly care for your skin should be simple.
We all want to improve our existing skin conditions. Sometimes we innocently do things that negatively impact the skin, not knowing that the root cause of the problem is linked to our skin barrier. Learning the importance of the skin barrier and how to nurture it can prevent a whole bunch of dermological dilemmas.
WHAT IS THE SKIN BARRIER?
Contrary to popular belief, our skin wasn’t given to us for purely aesthetic reasons. The skin is the largest organ of the body, and has many functions. The skin barrier (otherwise known as the epidermis) is the outermost layer of the skin. It is also known or referred to as the “acid mantle” or “moisture barrier”. The skin barrier’s main function is to act as your body’s first line of defense against microorganisms and environmental aggressors.
DAMAGED SKIN BARRIER SYMPTOMS
Sometimes our skin barrier can become compromised, creating a host of issues at the cutaneous level. There are many things that contribute to throwing our skin barrier off balance. A damaged skin barrier can manifest itself in several ways, ranging from acne to fine lines.
Your skin barrier can become impaired over time: stress, aging, the use of harsh skincare products, and exposure to UV rays and other environmental stressors can damage its structure.
The symptoms of a compromised skin barrier are often mistaken for other skin concerns such as acne, rosacea, sun damage, and premature aging. It’s important to watch out for symptoms, and nip the problem in the bud before it becomes a major issue.
Here are the top signs of a damaged skin barrier:
WHAT CAUSES DAMAGE TO THE SKIN BARRIER?
Unbeknownst to the average person, damaging the skin barrier is quite easy to do. All too often skin barrier damage goes misdiagnosed, mistaking it for other skin concerns. The skin is a delicate organ, and knowing what causes skin barrier damage will help you maintain a healthy moisture barrier.
HOW TO REPAIR THE SKIN BARRIER
There’s no time frame for repairing a damaged skin barrier or remedy that gives instantaneous results. Remember that things take time. Once you have a compromised skin barrier, choose products with ingredients that will add moisture, reinforce the skin, provide a protective layer, and are soothing. Introducing gentle cleansers and products into your skincare routine will definitely speed up the healing process. Refrain from using AHAs, BHAs, Retinoids, and all types of manual exfoliants. Also steer away from all alcohol based products and products containing synthetic fragrances, as they increase dryness and will further irritation. Skincare products that contain high doses of pure Vitamin C should also be avoided, as they can increase irritation.
Look for products that contain these ingredients to protect the skin barrier:
Be gentle with your skin. Over manipulation will increase damage to the skin.
7 INGREDIENTS THAT WILL BOOST YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
I’ve never had an issue with the way that I dress. In fact I’ve always been conscious of choosing the right clothing for my body type, as its important to portray your physique in a flattering light. When I entered my forties I didn’t think it was necessary to change my style of dress, because everything I’d worn thus this far had looked good on me.
In the summer of 2015 my friend had come to Paris to visit me, along with her eleven year old daughter in tow. One afternoon on one of our many shopping expeditions, her daughter turned to me and said, “Aunty, you look like your eighteen!”
I was floored. An eleven year old just told me (a then forty year old) that I looked eighteen. I knew straight away that she was referring to the way I was dressed. I immediately looked at my friend who was dressed in drab colors like somebody’s grandmother, and thought to myself “this could never be me.”
When I think about it, every fashion ad (or any ad period) that markets to women over forty, always shows an older women conservatively and badly dressed. If I walk into a shop and see women in my age group I immediately turn around and leave, because the fashion they’re gravitating towards isn’t in my league. I have always shopped in stores that market a “youthful image”.
So is “age appropriate” fashion a thing of the past? Is there a certain dress code that women over forty must prescribe to?
I definitely think that in today’s world women do not only look younger, but they are thinking and acting younger. Gone are the days that being forty was a death sentence! Now you hear people say, “forties are the new thirties.”
But does it really matter what you wear? I personally believe that as long as the clothing looks good on you, and you have the physique to carry it then by all means go ahead. Youth is a feeling, and fashion is an expression of that feeling. So if you’re forty nine and still want to wear that leopard coat, then wear it!
There have been so many societal limitations put on women in midlife. I think that fashion shouldn’t be one of them. Fashion is the freedom to creatively express your inner self. And as women, if we can no longer express our inner selves then we die.
Wearing whatever you want is a freedom of expression. I encourage all women over forty to live their best lives. Continue to create, express, grow…and be 100% fashionably you!
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