As skin experts we need our Cryostar® customers to understand how the skin works so they can, in turn, protect it from the outside – in.

Did you know that skin is your largest organ? Skin makes up around 15-16% of your body mass and would cover around 22 Sq ft if you spread it out flat. That sounds a bit horrible to imagine I know, but it highlights how big (and important!) your skin is.

What is the Skin Barrier?

The skin barrier, also called stratum corneum, is the outer layer of your skin’s epidermis, which protects the layers underneath. Made up of dead skin cells called Corneocytes, mainly composed of keratin (Keratinocytes).

Mixed in between the skin cell and layers of skin cells there are lipids – the skin’s natural fats – which help bind the skin cell layers together and provide added protection.

According to PubMed “The Lipid bilayers are formed mainly from ceramides, free fatty acids and cholesterol, constitute the only continuous pathway across the stratum corneum and are responsible for the barrier function of the skin”.

DAMAGED Skin Barrier

Sadly, as with most other areas of our skin, the skin barrier naturally weakens with age. However, it can be prematurely damaged by means of too much sun exposure, free radicals, such as pollution and cigarette smoke, over exfoliation or using too strong skincare products for your skin type.

A damaged skin barrier can present as many different symptoms, ones that can be mistaken for other skin issues, such as:

  • Flaking
  • Peeling
  • Tight & Itchy
  • Sensitive/Rough to the touch
  • Eczema
  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Acne breakouts

Rather than treating these individual issues with different harsher targeted products, which can cause further damage to the skin barrier. These symptoms are often actually a result of a skin barrier that has broken down and will reduce if the skin barrier itself is healed. **We always recommend seeing a doctor or dermatologist if you experience any of the above symptoms for more than a week or so.

REPAIR your compromised Skin Barrier

Treat it kindly. Stop using lots of different products, particularly ones with drying alcohols, essential oils and ascorbic acids, and definitely stop with exfoliation!

Strip your daily skincare back to something simple and soft.

Here are 5 things you can do to show your Skin Barrier some love and begin repairing:

  • Stop exfoliating your skin! If your skin barrier is damaged, exfoliating is the last thing it needs!
  • Simplify your skincare routine. Use a gentle cleanser such as The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm, a rich cleansing balm that melts away makeup and impurities without drying the skin. Formulated with Oat Kernel Oil, a rich, natural Oat Oil which hydrates and moisturises the skin and effectively removes SPF- perfect as a first cleanser in your double cleanse routine. Also contains Colloidal Oatmeal which contains a high level of skin beneficial natural actives, making it a must have cleanser to soothe irritated skin and reduce redness. This product works wonders at helping to restore the correct moisture balance.
  • Use lukewarm water when washing your face and turn down the temperature in the shower if you can – cold showers are all the rage these days didn’t you know!?
  • Wear sunscreen every day – even on cloudy days. This light sunscreen from Heliocare 360 Oil Free Gel as recommended by Skin + Me it is supercharged with antioxidants to protect skin health, DNA repairs Enzymes and Vitamin C & E plus green tea extract.
  • Introduce a Hyaluronic Acid to your every day or night skincare routine – we love Glossier Super Bounce for day time wear and Estee Lauder’s Advanced night repair at night.

Remember the skin around your eye area is thinner and needs to be treated differently to the rest of your face. A great product with Hyaluronic Acid for the eye area is the Beauty Pie Elastic Lifting Eye Serum, voted Bazaar Beauty Best of the Best 2021. This also tackles puffiness and dark circles – added bonus!

Within a couple of weeks to a month or longer, depending on the severity of the damage that has been caused you should start to heal the skin barrier.

It can take up to at least a month because new skin cells are produced at the bottom of the epidermis layer, they work their way up to the top to regenerate the stratum corneum (skin barrier) and this process can take one month. Which means if you start to make some changes to how you look after your skin now, within 4/5 weeks you will see an improvement in your skin’s quality.

The production of new skin cells starts in the Basal layer (also called stratum basale), this layer sits at the bottom of the epidermis, right above the dermis layer of skin, where the production of collagen and elastin happens.

The CryoFacial™ is a one of a kind facial that supports the production of collagen and elastin. Through warm and cold temperatures, the CryoFacial™ boosts blood flow and circulation, this increases in oxygen in the epidermis, which improves the structure via higher levels of collagen and elastin. Lumen Learning confirms “The cells in the stratum basale (basal layer) bond to the dermis via intertwining collagen fibers, referred to as the basement membrane.” Strengthening and improving the quality of your dermis layer in turn will in turn support the skin cell turnover.

If you’re interested in trying a CryoFacial™ treatment you can read a Q&A all about it with our Head of Training & Development here.

Karen | Marketing Manager UK

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