When it comes to proper skincare, many people thing that buying the most powerful cleanser or the most potent wash is the solution. However, this is not the case. Often, skincare products with harsh chemicals or excessive potency can harm the skin rather than help it.

The best skincare products treat your skin gently yet effectively, addressing your skincare concerns while also protecting or fortifying the skin barrier. The skin barrier is one of the most important parts of your skin and keeping it healthy and nourished is key to preventing unwanted issues like inflammation, breakouts, acne, and signs of aging.

What is the Skin Barrier?

The skin barrier, also known as the permeability barrier, is the outermost layer of your skin and its first line of defense from environmental aggressors. Consisting of mostly lipids and cells, the skin barrier ensures that crucial electrolytes and moisture stay in while damaging elements such as UV rays and free radicals stay out. In addition to helping to regulate inflammation and irritation, the skin barrier also protects you from harmful bacteria by producing certain antimicrobial proteins, helping your skin maintain its immunity.

A damaged skin carrier can result in irritation, breakouts, redness, and other unwanted effects. Continued damage can even make your skin hypersensitive, making it much harder to care for overall, which is why keeping this outermost layer healthy is vital to smoother and clearer skin.

What can you do to care for Your Skin Barrier?

The best way to care for your skin is through a combination of lifestyle practices and a proper skincare regiment specific to your unique skincare needs. An active lifestyle that involves exercise, a healthy diet, and regular hydration can do wonders for the skin in general, including its barrier. Exercise helps your body flush out toxins, and a diet that incorporates foods rich in essential fatty acids (such as salmon, avocado, and flaxseed) work to replenish the skin's barrier's supply of lipids.

A proper natural skincare regimen requires not only the use of the right products for your skin type but also using them in the right amounts. For instance, while regular exfoliating is recommended to remove dead skin cells, over exfoliation can lead to irritation. Always use a gentle exfoliant that contains natural ingredients and use it just a few times a week, working up to making it a habit. Lukewarm water is recommended for face washing, as cold or hot water can sometimes irritate the skin.

When it comes to ingredients, look for products that contain glycerin and hyaluronic acid, as these compounds have been known to restore moisture to the skin barrier. Anti-acne products such as those with AHAs and BHAs should be used in moderation and followed with moisturizer, as too much of these acids can irritate the skin and actually contribute to breakouts rather then subdue them.

And, of course, never forego sunscreen, as this is easily the best way to prevent unwanted long-term damage from UV rays.

Start restoring and protecting your skin barrier today with these simple tips and the right natural skincare regimen for your skin to keep your complexion looking and functioning its nest.