Inflammation and dehydration are two skin concerns that often go hand-in-hand. The underlying cause for this and many other skin concerns can be traced back to the skin’s acid mantle or better known as the skin barrier. Our skin barrier is an invisible layer made up of skin cells and a lipid matrix which protects the dermis from moisture loss, pollutants, chemicals and even infection. It regulates what gets absorbed into the skin and what needs to stay out. Put – when our skin barrier is compromised our skin is unhappy and the way it shows it is by being red, inflamed, flaky and dehydrated.
What causes a compromised skin barrier?
A weakened skin barrier can be the result of many things. Generally, it is a combination and/or the accumulation of factors that cause the problem. Sensitising skincare products that contain harsh or high percentages of strong ingredients, sensitivity to fragrances or chemicals and sunburns are often the culprits of a compromised skin barrier. If the problem is not addressed immediately the sensitivity can worsen, spread and it may become difficult to treat.
Once the skin barrier is weakened itis vulnerable and the skin battles to regulate normal actions such as oil control, water retention, exfoliation and regeneration. The result is dehydrated and flaky skin that constantly looks and feels inflamed.
How do we repair a compromised skin barrier?
The first thing you have to do is to stay calm as stress hormones can worsen the condition and, in an attempt to right the wrong, you might apply something that will only further sensitise your skin.
Step 1 – Back to basics
For the time being eliminate any skincare products that contain harsh or active ingredients such as vitamin A and C, acids or abrasive exfoliating particles. Rather opt for soothing and hydrating skincare products that protect and heals your skin barrier. The ZO® Skin Health Hydrating Repair Crème contains a combination of ingredients that promotes faster healing, stimulates healthy cell repair, hydrates and calms. The Hydrating Repair Crème is tested and proven to correct the overall appearance of the skin by increasing hydration, reducing redness and by smoothing out the skin’s texture.
Use morning and evening after cleansing with the ZO® Skin Health Hydrating Cleanser. Find your nearest ZO® Skin Health stockist here.
Step 2 – Protect
Don’t let sensitive skin stop you from enjoying your life – go for that hike, say yes to that pool party and go on that date! Just be sure to protect your skin using broad-spectrum sun care. The Colorescience® Tint du Soleil SPF 30 UV Protection Foundation covers up redness while still protecting your skin from UV rays that can further sensitise your skin and weaken your skin barrier. The nutrient-infused formulation is water-resistant and hydrating to help keep your skin barrier stay intact.
The Tint du Soleil SPF 30 UV Protection Foundation offers sheer to medium coverage but can also be layered for more coverage. Apply before going out and reapply as necessary.
Step 3 – Treat
When our skin is red and inflamed, it needs all the love it can get, but once the inflammation has calmed down it’s time to get serious about rebuilding your skin barrier. Building and maintaining a healthy skin barrier starts with religiously following a soothing skincare routine and incorporating targeted treatments. Platelet Rich Plasma treatments use your blood to regenerate and heal the skin from deep within. Our blood is made up of many cells, including platelets, that keep us healthy. During PRP treatments the platelets are separated from the red and white blood cells. The platelet-rich plasma contains high levels of growth factors that are responsible for repairing or regenerating healthy and strong cells. When used in the skin the growth factors stimulate healthy collagen and elastin fibres and encourages healing. The result is smoother, calmer and more hydrated skin.
To ensure your doctor uses the highest concentration of platelet-rich plasma, request the Arthrex® Personal Cell Therapy system. The Arthrex PCT system uses a unique double syringe to safely deliver quality PRP for superior results.
Find more information, find your Arthrex physician here.