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The Votarist Blog

All about the barrier function

Posted 10/03/2020

Looking after your skin isn’t just about keeping the good stuff in; it’s also about keeping the bad stuff out, which is where your skin’s barrier function comes in. Like the acid mantle – which is a physical and chemical layer on the surface of the skin – the skin’s barrier function helps to protect your skin and keep it safe.

Dermatologists refer to the barrier function as being constructed like a brick wall. The surface skin cells are the bricks. The mortar which holds it all together are the lipids (natural oils) that your skin produces. The skin’s barrier is designed to prevent the loss of water from the skin and to prevent the entrance of harmful microorganisms or irritants.

Lipids are super-heroes. They work to maintain skin hydration, softness and firmness.  They are essential for strong, healthy, hydrated skin. As we age, the amount of lipids our skin naturally produces decreases, which is why dryness can be a problem for mature skin. The barrier function can begin to work less well.

It can also be damaged. If this happens, dry, flaky, irritated or sensitive skin can be the result.  The skin begins to leach moisture and becomes more vulnerable to irritants and allergens. Once these break through the skin’s barrier function, they can trigger inflammation as an immune response. Once the skin is unsettled, it can be tricky to calm everything down.

To have happy, healthy skin, you need to maintain a smooth, strong barrier function. There are some simple ways to try and achieve this. A pure plant oil based skincare routine is bio-compatible with your skin’s structure, which is why it’s so good at giving your resilient, healthy skin.

Here are my top tips:

  • Use a pure plant oil based cleansing oil and a soft, fluffy face cloth to gently and properly deep-clean your skin. Read here and here for why it works so well.
  • Protect your skin from environmental conditions that cause sensitivity like strong sun, dry air, freezing temperatures, strong wind. Always wear an SPF. 
  • Feed your skin with a calming, soothing serum like our Super Seed Serum. Read here for how it tackles all the issues sensitive skin faces.
  • Protect your skin with a layer of our nourishing Super Seed Nutrient Cream so that your face is wrapped up against any kind of weather. Read here for why it’s so effective.
  • Repair and boost the lipid barrier with our Super Boost Night Drops which contains CBD and strawberry seed oil to reboot lipid levels. Read here for how it re-sets your skin.
  • Take a daily spoonful of our Super Seed Nutritional Supplement to nourish your skin from the inside out. Read here for how vegan omega oils help keep the epidermis strong and supple.

Looking after your skin’s barrier function helps to keep your skin smooth, soft and healthy. Pure natural plant oils and botanical actives are brilliant at working with it to give you your best possible skin.

Love, Arabella x

Read more about the skin’s barrier function here.

 

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