All about your skin barrier

All about your skin barrier

The skin barrier is a hot topic in the skincare world right now. With social media buzzing with information, particularly around an “impaired skin barrier”, the team at Biologi decided it was time for a deep dive. We turned to our in-house skin professional for expert advice on this crucial skin function.


So, what is your skin barrier and why is it important? 

Your skin barrier is made up of a lipid barrier, acid mantle and microbiome. This barrier function is vital for healthy skin as it keeps our skin protected from pathogens. An impaired skin barrier has “small cracks” in the bricks and mortar foundation of the epidermis which can allow microorganisms to penetrate, causing an inflammatory response.

Acid Mantle

Made of sebum and sweat, the pH of the skin sits at 4.5-6. It is slightly acidic and not only protects the skin against pathogens, but has an important role in healthy skin processes.

Barrier Lipids

Lipids, free fatty acids, ceramides and triglycerides make up the “mortar” in the bricks and mortar foundation of the skin. They help protect against TEWL (trans epidermal water loss) and assist with skin processes like desquamation (cell shedding). 

Skin Microbiome

Your skin has its very own little ecosystem and is covered with microorganisms that help to keep your skin balanced and healthy. Skin microbiomes help in two ways; firstly, they help our immune cells to recognise the difference between good and bad microorganisms, and secondly, they keep the bad microorganisms out. Skin microbiome is different in every person, however, can become imbalanced when there are too few beneficial bacteria. If there is more bad bacteria, it may have a knock-on effect for the health of our skin barrier.


What does a healthy skin barrier look/feel like?

A healthy skin barrier looks hydrated, smooth and strong. It doesn’t ‘play up’ so to speak, and doesn’t feel tight or taut, or look red, flaky and irritated.


What does an impaired skin barrier look/feel like?

 When the skin barrier is impaired or sensitised, it may exhibit the following signs:

  • Irritation
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Flakiness
  • Itchiness
  • Dryness/dehydration


What causes a healthy skin barrier to become impaired? 

Several factors can disrupt a healthy skin barrier, including:

  • Lifestyle choices, like smoking or frequent travel, can take a toll.
  • Certain medications, such as Roaccutane, may compromise the barrier.
  • Overuse or incorrect application of skincare products can disrupt the delicate balance, especially when using strong actives. 
  • Environmental factors like harsh climates or increased pollen exposure during spring can trigger issues.
  • Genetics play a role, especially for those with a history of sensitive skin.
  • Conditions like eczema, linked to filaggrin deficiency, can exacerbate barrier problems.
  • Those with asthma, hay fever, or sinus issues are more prone to sensitivity.
  • Stress can heighten cortisol levels and contribute to inflammation.
  • Immune dysfunction or disorders can impact skin health.
  • Exposure to irritants or allergens can trigger reactions.
  • Dietary choices and internal gut health also influence skin barrier function.

Tips for maintaining a healthy skin barrier:

Identify Triggers

Understanding what might be disrupting your skin barrier is the first step. As mentioned above, common triggers can include environmental factors, certain lifestyle habits, and specific skincare products. 

Support your skin barrier

Improving your skin barrier can involve making thoughtful choices in your skincare routine, such as:

  • Simplifying your regime to help reduce the risk of irritation from using multiple products
  • Cleanse without stripping your skin of its natural oils
  • Incorporate nourishing and soothing skincare that will protect and hydrate the skin.
  • Avoid any ingredients/products that are irritating like harsh scrubs, exfoliants, AHA’s, retinols or fragrance that may potentially impair an already sensitised skin
  • Switch to a physical SPF

Consider Internal Factors

Your overall health also plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy skin barrier. Research has shown a strong link between gut health and skin health. Pay attention to your diet and gut health, as they can influence your skin condition. If you experience persistent issues, it may be beneficial to seek advice from a nutritionist or health coach to address potential internal causes.


Your Biologi simplified skin regime for healthy skin:

Cleanse: We recommend Bc Refresh Cleanser.

This serum type cleanser contains natural saponins that are effective in removing dirt, debris and make up without drying the skin. It has a natural super light foam that turns into a soft silky feel to the skin when used, so it’s an effective cleanser choice that leaves the skin soft, supple and hydrated.  

Directions: Apply 1-2 pumps onto damp hands and lightly massage over face and remove with our gentle Biologi microfibre cloths. Repeat if wearing makeup and/ or SPF.

Hydrate and soothe: Try Bf Restore Serum.

This hero serum promotes hydration while soothing and calming the skin. The advantage of using a single Biologi serum is that there's no need to layer additional products, preventing your skin from being overwhelmed by too many ingredients—an ideal solution for sensitised skin.

Directions: Apply 1-2 pumps onto a clean dry skin and lightly massage over skin. Use AM & PM.

Nourish and protect: Add Br Rosehip Oil to your lineup.

Rich in vitamin A and E, this oil assists with locking in moisture and more importantly, aids in rebuilding your barrier due to the skin loving essential fatty acids of Linoleic and Alpha Linoleic fatty acids.

Directions: Use as required either AM or PM on its own or over a Biologi serum.

Option: Try the Hydra Calm Bio Cellulose Sheet Mask.

This super hydrating and soothing sheet mask can be used to further strengthen and calm an irritated skin. Use as required, approximately once a week.

Need some customised skin advice? Our skin experts are here to help. Contact us here. 


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