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  • Restoring the Barrier Layer with Skin-Repairing Ingredients

    Barrier function. It’s one of the most important aspects of healthy skin and the strength of it needs to be assessed before any product recommendation. A lack of barrier function can lead to breakouts, dehydration, sensitization, pigmentation and aging. Common disruptors of the epidermal barrier integrity can range from hydroxy acids and soaps to stress. In order to repair the damage, skin therapists need to conduct not only a thorough skin analysis, but also ask key questions to determine how the skin became irritated or how the barrier was compromised. Once this has been done, skin repairing ingredients can be incorporated to restore optimal skin health.

    Years ago, consumers and skin therapists alike may have used barrier creams with occlusive ingredients to cover the skin and allow it to heal, however more modern ingredients can provide many more benefits than simply being occlusive.

    Healing the skin is the first step to improving the barrier layer, and an essential component is replacing depleted lipids. Tomato Seed, Argan Oil and Rose Oil are all rich in antioxidants and lipids that restore protective barrier lipids. Carrot Root Extract is a good source of Vitamin A, which battles oxidation and rejuvenates dry, stressed skin. Panthenol heals and hydrates the skin.

    The next step to improve the barrier function is to ensure optimal hydration within the skin since dehydration can be one of the leading causes of most skin conditions. Cross-linked Hyaluronic Acid provides increased hydration and improved elasticity, and it holds more moisture than a traditional Hyaluronic Acid. Salicornia Extract, or, Glasswort, helps reinforce the skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF) and increases water content in the skin. Green and brown algae help regulate moisture content and water levels to provide in-depth moisturization.

    In addition to healing and hydrating, inflammation needs to be reduced and controlled. Acetyl-Hexapeptide-15, a neurocosmeceutical soother, can minimize the pain associated with inflammation. Red Hogweed targets neurogenic inflammation by limiting the production of prostaglandins, as well as promoting the production of natural anti-inflammatory agents in the skin. Avena Sativa, or, Oatmeal, has been proven to have natural anti-irritant and anti-redness properties and is considered a favorite for conditions like chicken pox, psoriasis and eczema.

    One last and very important note is to reduce stress levels. Stress is one of the biggest trigger factors for all forms of skin conditions. Encourage clients to take time out by receiving regular massages, trying meditation and thinking positively. Your support with their skin care recommendations has the potential to alleviate stress levels!