"Skin damage occurs in a multitude of different ways, especially in today's world," says Alina Houtz, licensed esthetician at Jordan Thomas Salon & Spa. Specifically, your hydrolipidic barrier becomes damaged for many reasons, both internally and externally.
Internally: Certain skin conditions can easily lead to an impaired barrier. For example, those with rosacea have skin layers that contain less moisture and a circulatory system that has an impaired ability to transfer oxygen, nutrients and eliminate metabolic waste. This leads to dehydration, which then throws the hydrolipidic barrier out of whack as the skin becomes drier and flakier over time.
Someone with acne may have a skin that produces too much sebum, which affects the hydrolipidic barrier's balance as well. Even natural, chronological aging can cause the barrier to become weaker.
Externally: Improper product and/or cosmetic use, over-cleansing, over-exfoliation, pollution, stress, unprotected UV exposure, poor diet, etc. can have a dramatic effect on the skin's surface, which in turn obliterates the barrier.
"The harmful effects of UV rays and atmospheric pollution critically damage your barrier and are often the top two culprits, along with not taking care of your body and skin properly," shares Houtz.
Surprisingly, many people with oily skin damage their barrier function the worst.
"While you may be tempted to strip your skin of all oil using harsh scrubs, oil blotting papers and more, you're actually depleting skin of its natural hydrolipidic barrier too," explains Rhonda Robb, licensed Bioelements esthetician. "This thin film helps keep skin supple, healthy, protected and balanced, so it's crucial to coax your skin into shape – not assault it."