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What the f*ck is happening with my skin?

Skin Barrier 101

What the f*ck is happening with my skin?

If your skin is dry, flaky, scaly, itchy, inflamed and red, has increased or new acne, or has bacterial or fungal infections, you likely are experiencing a damaged skin barrier.

Your skin barrier is the top layer of your skin, your strateum corneum, also referred to as your moisture barrier or acid mantle. [Fun fact: your skin is mildly acidic on the pH scale.] This skin barrier is also your armor: keep the good sh*t in like your natural oils, moisture, and hydration, while also keeping the bad sh*t out, like UV damage, pollutants, dirt, bacteria, and more.

So wtf do I do about it?

First, be kind to your skin:
  • Cleanse your face in lukewarm water. If it's too cold, you may not get all the grime and dirt off your face, but if it's too hot, you may throw off your skin’s balance of natural oils.
  • While we love an exfoliated queen, keep that to a minimum, no more than 2-3 times per week. Over exfoliating can lead to irritation, can make skin issues worse, or create new skin issues.
  • You do not need 10 products on your skin or several different actives on a daily basis. AHAs, strong retinols, and acne creams/medications can create irritation if you're overdoing it. Try reducing how often you apply them, alternating them, or spreading them out during the week. However, simplicity is key: a good cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF are staples.
  • SPF is your superhero and best protector – without it, you are literally wasting your money on skincare products. UV damage is the #1 cause of skin issues and damage. Any SPF that you enjoy using and will use daily is the best kind, whether it's a mineral or chemical sunscreen. If you don't like how it feels on your skin or it leaves a white cast, you likely won't end up using it, leaving your skin vulnerable to UV rays. 
  • Catch those zzz’s, baby, because your skin needs rest too.
Next, give your skin what it needs: restoration, hydration, and protection.
  • Add antioxidants to your skincare ritual, as these help your depleted skin lipids: think vitamin C, resveratrol, niacinimide, panthenol, vitamin E, and Coenzyme Q10.
  • Look for serums and moisturizers chock full of humectants: glycerin, propanediol, and hyaluronic acid are now your besties.
  • Occlusives and emollients protect and seal moisture into your skin where it belongs, so look for plant oils, squalane, and fatty alcohols like cetyl alcohol. 
  • Ditch or reduce products aggravating your skin.
  • Let’s say it again, SPF SPF SPF.

If you're dealing with viral, bacterial, or fungal skin infections, please go seek medical advice! No amount of skin care will cure an infection. A call to your doctor or dermatologist never hurts.

Check out Lather + Soul skincare here. 

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1 comment

This was so so so so HELPFUL! Thank you!


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