sensitive skin tips

Skin Perfection Series: The Lipid Barrier

Skin Perfection Series:                                                            The Lipid Barrier

Did you know that healthy barrier function is perhaps one of the most important aspects of skin health and aging?

According to medical skin experts, optimal skin health reflects the following key elements:

  • Healthy Barrier Function

  • Flexibility and Strength

  • Even Color 

  • Good Circulation

  • Hydration

  • “Bounceback”

As our skin's first line of defense to the outside world, the outer layer of skin, the Stratum Corneum (CF), is a protective, waterproof shield consisting of dead, protein-rich skin cells containing Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF) which help bind water to the cells. Surrounding these cells are lipids such as ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acid. Together this protective matrix of protein, water, and oil function to prevent water evaporating from the skin and from external threats and irritants entering our skin. If our barrier has been impaired by over washing, exfoliating, harsh ingredients, excessively hot showers or neglect, we are vulnerable to invasion of pathogens, environmental pollutants including chemicals, heavy metals, EMF's and other sources of damaging particles.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic Reactions

I love trying new products, exploring new foods and am always searching for the most advanced ways to reduce the effects of aging.   I’ve learned the hard way that while being adventurous is a positive trait, there are some things to consider before diving in.   It may not seem like a big deal to introduce something new, but adverse reactions can be scary and embarrassing.  

I always start with research.  I want to know it’s purpose, how it interacts in my skin or body,  and understand possible side effects or contra-indications.   And of course any qualified reviews or referrals will help me decide whether I feel confident in trying it personally. 

In a perfect world, the best way to get accurate feedback on a new product is to introduce it while all keeping all other variables the same.  If you have a handful of new factors to consider,  dealing with adverse reactions can be frustrating and misleading.   In a controlled study, ingredients or products are isolated to provide accurate correlations of cause and effect.  Rarely in life do we have such a sterile environment.  Thank goodness!  Rather, our worlds routinely consist of fluctuating stress levels, diet quality, water intake and other variables.  Unless the cause and effect are without question,  I always test a product 2-3 times if I am suspicious of it to ensure no other factors are involved.   If I do experience a skin flare-up, I allow my skin to recover (approximately 3-7 days) then I reintroduce the product while keeping all other variables relatively consistent, while eating clean and drinking lots and lots of water.   The best time to check for reactions is first thing in the morning or after wearing all day. 

So how do you know if a product doesn’t agree with you?   Signs of an Adverse Reaction