If you want healthy, beautiful skin it’s really important to understand some of the science behind your skin’s barrier function and how to maintain and protect it.
The Skin Barrier
I like to describe the stratum corneum (the skin’s outer layer) as a brick wall of defense. The study of this barrier is called corneobiology and according to researchers there are 16 separate types of barrier functions operating within this skin layer. They are all interconnected, so if one system is compromised others will also be effected.
The Acid Mantle
This is part of what forms the skin’s barrier. It protects the skin’s “underneath” from germs, pollution, toxins, and bacteria while at the same time keeping lipids and moisture in. The acid/alkaline spectrum is o-14. Water is neutral at 7 and healthy skin is slightly acidic at 5.5.
This valuable mechanism is driven by a sensitive pH balance. We can easily disrupt it but often don’t pay enough attention to restoring it. Those of you who have been to Star Brows have probably heard me use the analogy of the skin to a child you’re caring for – too much discipline and not enough skin care TLC or vice versa will create trouble! We unwittingly strip and disrupt the pH system during the all-important cleansing and exfoliating phase of our routine, and as a result it can takes hours to restore.
Too acidic when:
- Your skin feels oily and not thoroughly clean after cleansing
- You rarely need or apply moisturizer
- Your skin is reactive and sensitive to products
- Your skin is oily and prone to breakouts
- Your skin often looks red and feels irritated
- You have a greasy look
- Your skin feels tight and dry after cleansing
- You need to apply moisturizer more than once a day
- You sometimes experience dry, rough patches
- Your skin usually looks dull with more lines first thing in the morning
- Your skin may sting or feel irritated after applying products
- Your skin rarely appears plump or dewy
- Use products that contain unwanted chemicals like Sodium Laureth Sulfate (a known skin irritant and cheap foaming agent which strips natural skin lipids also found in the ever popular “Dermatologist – recommended” cleanser Cetaphil [yikes!] as well as Scrubbing Bubbles)
- Use products that contain parabens which have been linked to breast cancer
- Do too much exfoliation on your own
- Forget to wash, moisturize, and protect your skin in the AM and PM
- Get regular facials
- Use a soap-free cleanser like my current favorite Ocean Cleanser
- Look at the ingredient deck on your products and choose more nourishing, gentle cleansers that maintain PH acidity
- Control transepideral water loss (TEWL) with a “water-binder” like HydrateXS 1000
- Feed your skin with serums like C-Power and essential oil blends formulated for your skin type like Essential Corrective Complex to build its strength
To raise hydration levels in the stratum corneum increase the structure and function of the skin barrier. Essential fatty acids, ceramides, emollients and humectants will reverse the negative effects of water-dry skin by restoring elasticity, leaving the skin smooth and velvety soft.
To support you in your journey toward perfect skin, all of our products at Star Brows have been specially chosen to optimize and encourage skin health. We carry and professionally recommend two complete product lines: OSEA and Tu’el to address every skin type and condition.
See you at the spa!