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Ingredient Hall of Fame: Barrier Repair

Ingredient Hall of Fame: Barrier Repair

Wondering why your skin is dry, chapped, or irritated? The cause may be a weakened skin barrier. While all skin types can experience a compromised barrier (and year-round, too), sensitive skin types are most likely to see its visible effects, as they can be more reactive and susceptible to inflammation.

What is the skin barrier?

The skin barrier, which consists of water, sebum, and sweat, covers the entire skin surface. Its job is to act like a bouncer for your skin - keeping the good stuff in (hydration + lipids) and the bad stuff out (damaging free radcials). But over time, chronic exposure to UV rays, harsh weather, pollution and poor skin care habits can threaten its health and weaken the barrier function. Once this barrier is compromised, it cannot maintain it's protective abilities. As a result, skin can display visible signs of:

  • Redness
  • Rosacea
  • Environmental stress
  • Dryness
  • Discomfort, stinging, and itching
  • Flakiness
  • Irritation
  • Visible and broken capillaries
  • Skin flaking
  • UV damage
  • Eczema

How to repair the skin barrier

The best skin barrier products rely on specific ingredients to help strengthen the barrier and prevent damage. It's crucial to use the right skin barrier products with barrier repairing ingredients that will protect it against irritants, inflammation, and reactions that can otherwise wreak havoc on the skin.

The best skin barrier reparative ingredients

Skin barrier repairing ingredients are in a league all of their own. These ingredients physically restore and protect the barrier to preserve the good nutrients in the skin and keep out anything that damages it.

Barrier + lipid repairative ingredients

  • Silver ear mushroom aids in comforting the skin while reducing visible redness. It also works wonders to calm reactive skin, and its hydrating effect, which holds up to 500 times its weight of water, is cumulative. In addition, it also forms a barrier-protective hydration film to keep skin nourished over extended periods.
  • Ceramides and lipids prevent moisture loss, restore barrier function, enhance moisturization, and act as a mild desquamation agent to rejuvenate dull and rough skin.

Look for these barrier + lipid reparative ingredients in a redness reducing facial moistuizer.

Skin strengthening ingredients

  • Hemp seed oil is packed with an optimal balance of anti-inflammatory omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids, which allows it to restore elasticity, boost hydration, regulate oil production, and soften skin. Also, omega-6 fatty acids are powerful anti-inflammatory agents that encourage both new skin and new cell growth.

Look for this skin strengthening ingredient in a soothing cleansing oil for sensitive skin

Free radical fighting ingredients

  • Rhodiola extract helps increase cellular respiration. It delivers more energy and blood flow to the cells, which reduces puffiness and dark circles while firming and brightening. In addition, rhodiola is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that stimulates lipolysis (fat burning) to reduce puffiness. It also maintains the water balance in cells for an intense moisturizing effect.

Look for this free radical fighting ingredient in a smoothing cream for delicate eyes

Inflammation reducer ingredients

  • Chamomile is anti-inflammatory and chock-full of antioxidants, which help protect against inflammatory agents. Plus, the plant-based ingredient feels calming and soothing on sensitive and irritated skin.

Look for this inflammtion reducer in a soothing mist for sensitive skin

Redness control ingredients

  • Plant glucosides are an antioxidant blend of three plant glucosides (rosmarinyl, caffeyl, and gallyl) that soothe, protect, brighten, and target inflammation. The combination helps prevent skin redness by controlling neovascularization and targeting the major inflammation factors in the skin.  
  • Beta glucan (derived from baker’s yeast) helps to soothe irritation and redness by rebalancing the skin while protecting the delicate skin barrier by reducing transepidermal water loss. Acting as an ‘immune trainer’ to suppress reactivity and rebalance the skin’s immune system, it rebalances the skin and protects the skin surface from pathogens and allergens. Clinical tests also show that beta glucan helps decrease itching, irritation, tension, dryness, redness, and roughness in those with eczema.

Look for these redness-controlling ingredients in a barrier reparative facial moistuizer.

Moisturizing ingredients

  • Saccharide isomerate is a skin-identical, plant-derived carbohydrate complex that provides a 72 hour, deep discernable moisture reservoir. It strengthens the skin’s barrier function by reducing transepidermal water loss for more and better-hydrated epidermal cells.
  • Aloe is one of nature’s most moisturizing, soothing, and reparative ingredients because it provides instant comfort to reddened and inflamed skin.
  • Hyaluronic acid is a powerful moisturizing ingredient that hydrates the skin and binds water to the skin allowing for higher transdermal absorption. It also has profound moisturizing effects, reparative effects on cells damaged by UV, and free radical scavenging ability.

Look for these moisturizing ingredients in a full line for sensitive skin.

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