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Embrace Your Beauty

We all know that protecting our skin from the sun is a very important part of skin health, but did you know that we also have to protect the “barrier” of our skin as well? Whenever I think of skin barrier, I think of a time in my life that I was completely addicted to Carmex for my lips. The entire purpose of Carmex is to exfoliate the barrier of our lips and offer a little bit of hydration. With continued use you are constantly stripping the barrier of your lips by over-exfoliating, leaving you feeling that you cannot go a day or a minute without your Carmex, which is the culprit not the answer.

More recently I look to my hands. Going back into work at the Medspa this week means constant hand washing and use of hand sanitizer. The top of my hands feel like alligator skin because I have stripped the barrier. They need more than moisture to recover from this.

Many clients come in with a compromised skin barrier. The common things that they tell me are that their skin is super dry and sensitive and they can't find anything that will soothe and make it feel hydrated. They have tried endless thick heavy products and nothing seems to sink in. Well, when you have a compromised skin barrier, nothing will quench the dryness without gently removing the dull dead layer of skin that lives on top. So really, the thought behind the Carmex is spot on... in moderation.

Our skin's barrier is made up of keratinocytes, which are the little bricks that form the protective wall on the surface of our skin. Each little brick holds the skin together and prevents our skin from losing water (transepidermal water loss), which plays a huge role in our skin’s hydration and healthy function. The bricks also prevent “bad” things or aggressors from entering our skin. When our “brick wall” is healthy, our skin appears supple, healthy and youthful. Over time the keratinocytes can become unhealthy; sun, chemicals, pollution, aging and so many other reasons contribute to the build up of keratin. Picture your brick wall cracking, and you keep adding more bricks and mortar but never fixing the underlying issue. This causes your skin to feel rough, red and unhealthy, showing more lines and wrinkles.

The fine line or balance that comes with getting a healthy skin barrier is that some mild exfoliation is needed. One of the best gentle options for exfoliation comes from acids. Alpha hydroxy acids, like lactic or glycolic, gently “eat” away the buildup of keratin while hydrating and soothing. Beta hydroxy acids, like salicylic acid, will encourage the sloughing off of the keratin buildup. This in combination with a gentle physical exfoliation, like a granular scrub, allows your skin to accept hydration and to rebuild its natural barrier function.

For the face, the SkinMedica AHA/BHA cleanser and cream are the perfect combo to remove that layer of dead dry skin.

After you have prepared your skin and removed some of the keratin buildup, it is very important to look for products with ingredients like niacinamides and antioxidants. These will encourage the stimulation of healthy cells as well as restoring the protective barrier.

Pep Up is my absolute favorite for antioxidant protection and its ability to recharge and repair the skin and its barrier.

Redness Relief is my go-to for anyone with redness in their skin along with a compromised barrier. It has an ingredient called niacinamide, or vitamin B3, that keeps your lipid barrier healthy, in turn helping your skin to retain its own moisture while reducing inflammation and redness.

For very compromised or post-procedure skin, TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream is an absolute must for restoring the skin's lipid barrier.

All of Colorescience’s Total Protection products will assist in protecting from the sun and the environment, and maintaining the skin's natural barrier. Even Up and All Calm are the final step in your complete barrier protection for your face. They are actually corrective treatment products that also serve as makeup primers and SPF. The entire line of Colorescience is made to correct, protect, and make the skin instantly beautiful.

We have so many options for helping you keep or repair your skin's healthy barrier functions. Call us at 573-761-2601 to set up a virtual consult to walk you through your best options!

Products to exfoliate and repair your skin's barrier:

Categories: Beauty Talk with Brandi