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: