Blog Header

Journal / Special series

Skin Barrier 101

Skin Barrier 101

If you’re looking to achieve your healthiest skin, you’ll want to start with a strong skin barrier. While you really only get to see what’s happening on the surface, your barrier is made up of so many more layers than that — 3 to be exact. So in order to support a strong and healthy barrier you’ll need to know how to care for all of them. 

And to help you reach your healthiest barrier our 3 Superkind products are here to do just that. First, dissolve buildup with our non-stripping Softening Cleanser, then delicately refine your skin with our Radiance Mask, and then finish off with our Fortifying Moisturizer to ward off daily aggressors and restore balance to your barrier.

What is the skin barrier?

Simply put, your skin barrier is the outer surface of your skin. However, it contains its own 3-part ecosystem made up of the Microbiome, Acid Mantle, and Lipid Layer. When all those parts are at their healthiest, the skin barrier is able to function properly in order to keep irritants and environmental stressors out and seal healthy nutrients and moisture in. To understand how they work so harmoniously together, let’s take a look at each of them and the roles they play in supporting a strong barrier and healthy skin.

MICROBIOME

This layer essentially acts as the skin’s immune system, helping to protect it against bad bacteria and maintain homeostasis. It contains its very own ecosystem made up of billions of microorganisms that work together to support your skin’s very own microbiological defense system.

ACID MANTLE

Like an invisible shield, this thin film lives on the skin’s surface to help protect it from contaminants and irritants. At its healthiest state, your skin actually has a slightly acidic pH level which results from the mantle’s composition of natural oils, amino acids, and sweat — all necessary for a strong barrier.

LIPID LAYER

Natural lipids, like fatty acids, ceramides, and triglycerides, make up this layer and it contributes to helping the skin repair itself and promote cell turnover to maintain proper permeable barrier function. Think of it as a strong brick wall composed of skin cells, lipids, and essential nutrients that are all meant to support healthy skin that is hydrated, smooth, and soft.

STRONG BARRIER VS. WEAK BARRIER

A strong barrier is a healthy barrier. When all parts are working together in harmony, the barrier is able to keep irritants and stressors out and seal nutrients and moisture in. This happens when the microbiome is balanced, the acid mantle is slightly acidic, and there’s enough lipids to hold everything up nice and strong. Skin is then more plump, firm, smooth, and more likely to look as radiant as ever.

A weak barrier is an unhealthy barrier. It means your skin is essentially defenseless, allowing aggressors to get in while the nutrients and moisture gets out. This happens when the microbiome is unbalanced, the acid mantle is alkaline, and those lipids that are meant to be built up are depleted — leaving your skin vulnerable. So instead of skin that looks and feels healthy, you’re left with a complexion that looks dull, uneven, tight, and prone to reactivity, redness, dryness, and blemishes.

What weakens the skin barrier?

There are a variety of environmental and lifestyle stressors that you encounter in day to day life that can compromise the skin barrier and wreak havoc on your skin. Unfortunately for us, our modern environment isn’t doing us any favors when it comes to supporting a strong skin barrier. External sources like UV rays, pollution, free radicals, blue light, airborne allergens, weather, and seasonal temperature changes all contribute to weakening your barrier. Then there are lifestyle factors, like stripping cleansers, over-exfoliating, products with harsh chemicals like fragrances and alcohols, diet, and lack of sleep that can also deplete your barrier.

Strong Barrier, Healthy Skin

Knowing how complex and fragile the skin barrier is, we can finally understand how important it is to take better care of it. Because when you properly care for it, you can achieve what we’re all looking for — skin that looks as good and as healthy as it feels.

  1. Superkind Softening Cleanser
    Superkind Softening Cleanser

    For reactive skin

    See details
    $86.00
    125mL
  1. Superkind Radiance Mask
    Superkind Radiance Mask

    For reactive skin

    See details
    $65.00
  1. Superkind Fortifying Moisturizer
    Superkind Fortifying Moisturizer

    For Reactive Skin

    See details
    $120.00