A properly functioning skin barrier is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Why? Because it is responsible for protecting the inside of your body from damaging UV rays and harmful air pollutants, it helps to keep your body’s internal temperature steady at about 98 degrees and prevents water from prematurely evaporating from the surface of your skin. In this blog post, we will be discussing the importance of maintaining a healthy skin barrier, how to know if it’s damaged, and how to protect it. We will cover the benefits of moisturizers, sun protection, and antioxidants for your skin barrier. By the end of this post, you should have a better understanding of the importance of the skin barrier and how to keep it happy and healthy.
What is the skin barrier?
The skin barrier is like a protective wall that covers your skin and helps it stay healthy. It’s made up of layers of dead skin cells, proteins (not the kind you eat), and fats (the good kind) that work together to keep your skin hydrated and protected from external factors like UV rays, air pollution and bacteria. 
Think of your skin as a house, and the skin barrier as the walls of the house. Just like how walls keep out the weather and intruders, the skin barrier keeps out harmful substances and helps your skin retain moisture. It’s an essential part of your skin’s defense system, and without it, your skin would be exposed to all kinds of problems. 
How can you tell if your skin barrier is damaged?
There are a few signs to look out for:
- Dryness: If your skin feels dry and tight, it’s a sign that your skin is not retaining moisture and your skin barrier may be damaged.
- Redness and irritation: A weakened skin barrier can make your skin more sensitive to external irritants which can lead to redness, itching, and irritation.
- Acne and breakouts: When your skin barrier is compromised bacteria and other harmful substances can penetrate the skin and trigger inflammation and acne.
- Premature aging: A damaged skin barrier can speed up the aging process causing fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of premature aging.
What can you do to protect your skin barrier and keep your skin healthy?
Here are a few tips:
- Use a gentle cleanser: Over-cleansing can strip your skin of its natural oils and damage the skin barrier. Look for cleansers like the ANTU® REFRESHING GEL CLEANSER with moisture-locking ingredients like Quillay and Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate that protect your skin from drying out.
- Moisturize regularly: Moisturizers help to keep your skin hydrated and prevent moisture loss. Look for skin barrier strengthening moisturizers that contain powerful hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid found in the ANTU® SKIN BARRIER MOISTURIZER which, lucky for you, also contains the potent ingredient entadine that helps reduce photo-aging caused by sun exposure.
- Wear sunscreen: UV rays can damage the skin barrier and lead to premature aging. Make sure to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Limit exfoliation: Exfoliating can help remove pore-clogging dead skin cells associated with acne formation and promote cell turnover, but too much of a good thing can damage the skin barrier. Limit your exfoliation to once or twice a week.
- Use antioxidant-containing products: Environmental aggressors such as UV rays and pollutants generate free radicals which cause chronic inflammation that ends up damaging the skin barrier. Be sure to regularly use products with powerful antioxidants like M3 found in our ANTU® COLLECTION to proactively neutralize any free radicals present in your skin.
- Use fewer products: The daily use of numerous products can stress out and damage the skin barrier. Simplify your skincare routine by limiting the number of products you regularly apply on your skin.
- Protect your skin microbiome: The communities of good and bad microorganisms living on the surface of our skin play an important role in keeping it healthy. Look for products that are MyMicrobiomeTM-certified to ensure that what you are applying on your skin is not damaging to your skin’s microbiome.
The skin barrier is an essential part of your skin’s defense system. It protects your skin from external irritants and helps it retain moisture. If you notice signs of a damaged skin barrier like dryness, redness, and acne it’s important to take steps to repair, strengthen, and protect your skin barrier. With the right skincare routine, you can keep your skin healthy, hydrated, and glowing.