How Harsh Skincare Products Can Damage the Skin Barrier

How Harsh Skincare Products Can Damage the Skin Barrier

Our skin barrier is an important part of our skin health, and as with all of our tissues it is one that can be easily damaged. At Nakin we often hear from customers that have experienced skin issues due to using products that are too harsh for the delicate skin on the face. In recent decades there has been a high rise in the amount of skincare products available, and skincare products that offer intensive anti-ageing. The problem is that these skincare products often contain pretty harsh synthetic ingredients, such a retinol and glycolic acid. Many of us have skin that cannot tolerate these ingredients, so it does not matter how much cleansing and renewing that they do, as our skin can suffer in a different way from the irritation that they can cause.

This is why at Nakin we prefer to use natural plant actives and extracts as these are really kind and nourishing to skin, and help to heal, support and strength the skin barrier, especially through the plant oils that are packed with micronutrients and omega oils. Our natural anti-ageing face products work for all skin types and are even made with sensitive skin in mind.

How Harsh Skincare Products Can Damage the Skin Barrier

The skin is the largest organ of the body and serves as a protective barrier against external threats such as UV radiation, pollution, and bacteria. It also helps regulate temperature and prevents dehydration by retaining moisture. The outermost layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum, plays a crucial role in maintaining the skin barrier function.

Harsh skincare products, such as those containing high levels of synthetic chemical exfoliants, can damage this delicate stratum corneum and compromise the skin's protective barrier. This can lead to a variety of unwanted side effects and potentially cause more harm than good in the long run.

The Importance of the Skin Barrier

Before delving into how harsh skincare products can damage the skin barrier, it's essential to understand its importance. The stratum corneum is made up of layers of dead skin cells held together by natural oils and proteins. This structure forms a protective shield that keeps harmful substances out and prevents moisture loss.

A healthy skin barrier is crucial for maintaining smooth, hydrated, and radiant skin. It also helps prevent skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and irritation by keeping irritants and allergens at bay. Additionally, a strong skin barrier can help slow down the ageing process by retaining moisture and elasticity.

Which Skincare Products Can Damage the Skin Barrier?

While skincare products are designed to improve the health and appearance of the skin, some ingredients can do more harm than good. Harsh products, particularly those with high levels of chemical exfoliants like retinol as well as synthetic alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), can disrupt the delicate balance of the skin barrier. This is why we use natural alternatives at Nakin.

These ingredients work by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, causing them to slough off and reveal smoother skin underneath. However, when used in high concentrations or too frequently, AHAs and BHAs can also strip away the natural oils and proteins that hold the skin cells together. 

This damage weakens the skin barrier, leaving it vulnerable to external irritants and moisture loss. This can lead to dryness, sensitivity, inflammation, and even breakouts. 

Signs of a Damaged Skin Barrier

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it's likely that your skin barrier has been compromised:

  • Dryness or flakiness
  • Redness or irritation
  • Tightness or discomfort
  • Breakouts or acne flare-ups
  • Rough texture or uneven tone

You may also notice that your skin feels more sensitive than usual, reacting to products or environmental factors that never used to bother you before. This is because a damaged skin barrier can no longer effectively protect against irritants and allergens.

How to Repair a Damaged Skin Barrier

The good news is that with the right approach, it is possible to repair a damaged skin barrier and restore its natural health. If you suspect your face care is causing the problem, then stop using harsh synthetic skincare and switch to a natural range like ours instead. We particularly recommend our Revitalising Face Oil to quickly comfort, calm and strengthen the skin barrier.

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