As beauty enthusiasts, we have all gone through at least one point in our lives where we struggle with damaged skin barriers either from over-exfoliating or introducing a new product too quickly into our skincare routine. Damaged skin barrier can present in the skin in a variety of different ways, the most common being dehydration, inflammation, skin sensitivity, acne breakouts, uneven skin tone and premature skin aging. The struggle to restore the skin barrier may seem like an uphill battle when living in that moment, but with patience and the right chosen ingredient in your skincare routine, the skin can be restored to its former glory in no time! Here’s our ultimate guide for the top four essential ingredients that will help repair and reinforce your skin barrier.
Ceramides are a type of lipid or fat found naturally in the outermost layer of our skin known as stratum corneum. They make up more than 50% of the outer layer of the skin, making it an essential component in determining how the skin looks.
When the skin barrier is compromised from environmental factors such as overexposure to UV radiation and pollutants, or the overuse of harsh skincare products, the level of ceramide decreases. This is partly due to the fact that the particles that penetrate into the skin layer cause oxidative stress, which in turn trigger an inflammatory reaction within the skin that interferes with the normal production and function of ceramides. In addition, inflammation can also increase the breakdown of ceramides in the skin through the activation of an enzyme called sphingomyelinase that converts sphingosine to fatty acids. This further depletes the level of ceramides in the skin and compromises the skin barrier function.
Using skincare products that contain ceramides like the RNW Der. Concentrate Ceramide Plus Serum can help to restore the skin barrier by replenishing the levels of these essential lipids in the skin. When applied topically, ceramides can penetrate the skin and integrate into the stratum corneum, where they form a protective barrier that helps to prevent moisture loss and shield the skin against external stressors.
This is an oldie, but definitely a goodie for the skin! Hyaluronic acid is a compound that is naturally produced by the body and found in abundance in the skin, connective tissues located in areas like the joints, and our eyes. Hyaluronic acid plays an important role in maintaining skin hydration and elasticity by binding to water molecules and creating a gel-like substance that helps cushion and lubricate the skin. However, as we age, our bodies go through a variety of changes including changes in the levels of hormone estrogen and testosterone, the decrease in specialized cells known as fibroblast that are responsible for the production of hyaluronic acid and exposure to free radical damage. These changes also cause the skin to be more vulnerable, making it more susceptible to skin barrier damage.
When applied topically, hyaluronic acid can help moisturize the skin and enhance its natural skin barrier function. While hyaluronic acid does not directly build the skin barrier, it provides secondary support by holding in moisture to maintain the optimal hydration level in the skin and preventing transepidermal water loss as seen in dry and flaky skin.
Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin that is an amazing multitasking ingredient that can be found in many skincare products. It is an ingredient that is not naturally produced by the body but is obtained from food sources like brewer’s yeast and cereal or applied topically to the skin via skincare products.
When the skin barrier is damaged, the level of niacinamide depletes due to factors such as increased inflammation, increased transepidermal loss and impaired barrier function. The combination of an inflammatory response, water loss through evaporation and damage from oxidative stress in the skin lead to the increased breakdown and reduced uptake of niacinamide.
The skin barrier is made up of a brick and mortar system when the keratinocytes are the bricks and the mortar consists of lipids and other essential elements that function like the glue to hold the epidermal skin cells together. When the skin barrier is broken, the “glue” that holds that skin barrier together is weakened and therefore allows types of particles to enter into the skin layer. When niacinamide is introduced to the skin, it helps stimulate the collagen and elastic fibers within the matrix of the skin barrier, which in turn allows the “glue” to restore its strength and elasticity, improving the resilience of the skin barrier.
Similar to ceramides and hyaluronic acid, peptides are also found naturally within the skin. Peptides are short chain amino acids that are the building blocks of protein. Peptides can affect the skin in several ways, including stimulating collagen production that provide structural support of the skin barrier. It also helps support the renewal of skin cells by replacing damaged and old skin cells with new ones to ensure that the skin cells are functioning optimally. Peptides are also important to enhance the skin’s ability to retain moisture by acting as “molecular sponges” to attract water molecules and locking them in.
When peptides-containing products such as the Arztin Regenerative Schild Cream is applied to the skin, the peptides can stimulate the production of collagen to improve skin elasticity, firmness, texture while maintaining the skin’s natural moisture barrier. The antioxidant properties of peptides also help protect the skin from further damage caused by environmental stressors such as UV radiation, pollution and free radicals to promote healthy, glowing skin.
Which of these ingredients would you consider adding to your skincare routine to restore your damaged skin barrier? Let us know in the comments below!
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