Keeping your skin barrier healthy and intact is an important part of any skincare regimen – whether you have dry skin, or you are one of 36 million North Americans who suffer from eczema.
The outer skin layer is like brick wall, with skin cells being the bricks, and natural lipids the mortar. A weak skin barrier is missing some natural lipids – letting internal moisture out, and irritants in. Finding a way to replenish skin’s natural lipids and lock that moisture in is key to healthy skin. Here are my skin barrier strength training tips:
1. Rethink Your Shower Temperature: Warm is the new hot. If your shower is too hot, you can potentially irritate skin and loosen the natural lipids – basically, washing your skin’s natural protection down the drain. Hot water also causes skin inflammation and can increase the skin’s susceptibility to harsh soaps and fragranced body washes.
2. Toss Fragranced Body Washes & Soaps: Soaps and fragranced body washes may smell divine, but they can irritate the heck out of your skin. Most body washes are far too harsh, stripping the skin of its natural lipids. Coconut-based cleaners are a gentler, natural alternative – effectively cleansing the skin without stripping it dry. Skinfix Soothing Wash is a fragrance and sulfate-free, oil-based body wash that won the Allure Best of Beauty 2016 Award for Sensitive Skin.3. Lock In Moisture Post Shower: The best time of the day to moisturize effectively is fresh out of the shower. The key is not dry yourself off completely, so skin is still damp when applying a lotion or cream. When it comes to picking the right cream or lotion, look for a formula that uses a mix of humectants (aloe); emollient oils (sweet almond oil) and occlusive (beeswax) – to help moisturize and soothe itchy skin simultaneously. And you need to apply religiously, morning and night!
4. Target Eczema Flare-Ups Steroids have been the tried and true treatment for eczema, but there are new natural targeted therapies backed with scientific data. Skinfix Eczema Balm is a natural, 0% water balm, clinically proven to be as effective as 1% hydrocortisone for mild to moderate cases of eczema. This balm uses natural active medicinal ingredients approved by the FDA for treating eczema, including; colloidal oatmeal, sweet almond oil, zinc oxide and allantoin. Another benefit is with continued use, Skinfix Eczema Balm helps strengthen the skin barrier, which, in turn helps lengthen the time between skin flare ups.
Dr. Kavita, MD, NY Dermatologist