July 15, 2023

Skin Barrier Health – Why Is It Important, and What Skincare Ingredients to Use?

A healthy skin barrier is one of the key pillars to unlocking a radiant and youthful complexion. The outermost layer, also called the stratum corneum, acts like a protective layer to shield your skin from external aggressors and retain moisture, and the key to bolstering this protective barrier lies in a few powerhouse skincare ingredients. This guide will help you better understand how they work to enhance the integrity of your skin barrier, which is essential in helping you pick out the right skincare products to optimize your skin health.

All About Skin Barrier & Boosting Skin Barrier Health

The skin barrier plays a crucial role in ensuring your overall skin health, as it is responsible for preventing both the loss of skin moisture and the penetration of harmful environmental toxins and microorganisms into your skin. The skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin’s surface and consists of lipids, such as ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids, that form a protective layer on your skin. 

A compromised skin barrier becomes susceptible to environmental stressors, which could lead to chronic dryness and skin sensitivity – which can cause skin irritation and inflammation. As such, maintaining a strong skin barrier is the first step to ensuring healthy skin and a radiant complexion. 

While the skin barrier is a naturally occurring function in our bodies, there are key skincare ingredients that can help to strengthen and improve our skin barrier function.

Skincare Ingredients That Support Skin Barrier Health – Unveiling the Powerhouses

1. Ceramides

Ceramides are natural lipids found in the skin that help maintain its integrity, playing a vital role in retaining moisture, preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL, or the loss of skin moisture), and promoting skin repair. By replenishing ceramides through specially formulated skincare products, you can help fortify your skin barrier and improve its function. 

A great skincare product in Singapore is Zoe Nissi’s ZO® Skin Health Recovery Crème, which contains ceramides, antioxidants, and advanced lipids that work to nourish and repair the skin barrier. It hydrates and smoothens the skin surface, which can help achieve a youthful glow from the inside out. 

Another skincare recommendation is the Colorescience Tint Du Soleil™ SPF 30, which works as both a foundation and nourishing skincare product. Containing ceramides, peptides and other key skincare ingredients, this three-in-one SPF skin tint is the perfect product for repairing your skin barrier on the go.

2. Niacinamide

Also known as Vitamin B3, niacinamide is a versatile ingredient that offers multiple skin benefits – it strengthens the skin barrier, reduces skin inflammation, regulates sebum production and enhances skin texture. The PCA Skin B3 Eye Brightening Serum contains 5% niacinamide and targets the delicate skin barrier in the under-eye area to help brighten dark circles, correct uneven skin tone and reduce fine lines by boosting hydration. 

3. Hyaluronic Acid

A key skincare ingredient for boosting skin moisture, hyaluronic acid is a humectant that helps to attract and retain moisture in the skin. This helps to fortify your skin barrier, as well as increase hydration levels to achieve plump and elastic skin. 

The PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum not only includes an advanced hyaluronic acid formulation for increased skin hydration benefits, but it also contains the proprietary HA-Pro Complex™, which goes a step further to encourage the skin to create its own hyaluronic acid. This builds up the skin barrier and allows for long-term anti-aging effects, as well as sustained skin hydration.

4. Plant-Derived Extracts

Plant-derived extracts are natural skincare ingredients that work to support skin barrier health and can include two key ingredients – plant-derived growth factors, and plant-derived polysaccharides. 

Plant-derived growth factors, such as those found in Zoe Nissi’s PCA Skin Rejuvenating Serum, help to reduce early signs of visible aging, enhance skin renewal and improve overall skin texture by protecting the skin barrier. 

Plant-derived polysaccharides have several benefits to improving skin barrier health – polysaccharides have excellent water-holding properties, which allow them to attract and retain moisture in the skin. This helps to improve skin hydration levels, preventing skin dryness and promoting a supple complexion. Some polysaccharides like hyaluronic acid demonstrate excellent adhesion to the skin’s keratin, resulting in the formation of a highly flexible film on the skin’s surface, providing plumping and smoothing effects. Plant-derived polysaccharides can also have soothing, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, all of which work together to promote overall skin health through strengthening skin barrier function. 

ZO Skin Health’s exclusive  ZPOLY™ technology is a plant-derived polysaccharide complex that minimizes signs of premature aging while infusing extended hydration to strengthen the skin’s barrier. Premium skincare products like the ZO Skin Health Daily Power Defense and the ZO Skin Health Illuminating AOX Serum harness the power of POLY™ technology to support your skin barrier and promote a youthful complexion.

Skincare Routine to Boost Skin Barrier Health

When using the above-recommended skincare products that contain the key ingredients to improve skin barrier health, be sure to consider these tips to maximize their effectiveness when incorporating them into your skincare routine:

  1. Cleansing: Start your skincare regimen with a gentle cleanser that does not disrupt the skin barrier. Look for products that are free of harsh sulfates and fragrances, like the ZO Skin Health Gentle Cleanser for all skin types.
  2. Targeted treatment: Be sure to use skincare products that are specially formulated with ceramides, niacinamide, or plant-derived extracts to achieve maximum effect in nourishing and fortifying your skin barrier.
  3. Hydration: Following the previous two steps with a hyaluronic acid-based moisturizer will allow moisture to be locked in, and optimize their benefits on overall skin hydration levels.
  4. Protection: As with all skincare routines, broad-spectrum sun protection is the key finishing touch to shield your skin from harmful UV rays, which can compromise the skin barrier.

Maintaining a healthy skin barrier is crucial for achieving optimal skin health. By incorporating powerful skincare ingredients in targeted skincare products, you can fortify your skin barrier to promote a healthier and more resilient complexion, taking the first step to flawless skin!