Nothing is more frustrating or annoying than a skin that has frequent breakouts, rashes or redness, dryness or burning sensation. While we often write these symptoms off to environmental stressors, eating badly, or not being hydrated enough, the usual suspect is the health of your skin barrier. Knowing the importance and purpose of your skin barrier is the key element in maintaining good skin health.
What is the skin barrier?
The skin barrier, also known as the permeability barrier, moisture barrier or lipid barrier, is the outermost layer of your skin’s surface; consisting of cells and lipids or fats. This barrier ensures that essential water and electrolytes don’t evaporate from the skin and furthermore acts as a protective shield against harmful micro-organisms by producing antimicrobial peptides and proteins. Other purposes include helping to sustain the skin’s immunity and regulating inflammation. It is, therefore, clear why maintaining a healthy skin barrier impacts so significantly on the health and appearance of your skin as a whole.
Skin barrier damage
There are many factors that affect your skin barrier, and while some are unavoidable, others can be eliminated from your lifestyle to improve your skin’s appearance and health. Some factors that cause damage to your skin barrier include ageing, sun damage and emotional or physical stress. Others, over which we have more control, include smoking, alcohol and caffeine consumption and poor nutrition. The latter triggers usually dehydrate the skin tissue and even dilate capillaries which result in redness on the skin. Other causes of skin barrier damage include pollution, over-washing and over-exfoliation, as well as using products that contain ingredients which increase skin sensitivity.
Getting Skin Ready with ZO® Skin Health Products
A brand that is synonymous with healthy skin is ZO® Skin Health. How to care for and restore the skin barrier naturally forms part of their skin health philosophy. Key amongst these skin care products, and most specifically to enhance your skin barrier, is the ZO® GSR™ (Getting Skin Ready) concept. This basic consists of three steps in your daily skincare regime namely cleansing, exfoliating and toning. With each step, ZO® Skin Health offers a variety of options, depending on your individual skin type. The cleansers remove surface debris and normalize the skin, while the exfoliators facilitate epidermal renewal and circulation while also brightening the skin and enhancing product penetration. Finally, the toners control surface oils and restores the pH in your skin.
The Exfoliating Cleanser is probably one of the most popular cleansers in GSR™ and should be used twice a day; in the mornings and evenings. Similarly, the Exfoliating Polish, which removes buildup and brightens skin should be used two to three times per week for effective results. Finally, the Complexion Renewal Pads work effectively in controlling oil and can be used on all skin types, not only blemish prone skin.
If you’re serious about enhancing the health of your skin barrier, then ZO® GSR™ is the first step in your skincare protocol. By effectively improving the health of your skin, it paves the way for all other ZO® protocols for healthier and more beautiful looking skin.