Did you know that chronically dry or inflammation-prone skin can be signs of a compromised skin barrier? Here, we’ll be exploring what the skin barrier is, the importance of skin barrier function and ways to support your skin barrier - both internally and externally.
What is the Skin Barrier and Why Is It Important?
The skin barrier can be defined as the outermost layer of your skin. The skin barrier defends your body against a constant onslaught of environmental threats while simultaneously protecting your body’s critical water balance.
Your skin barrier is essential for good health and needs to be protected in order to function properly. According to board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D., "a healthy barrier is critical to normal skin function." She states, "it protects us from mechanical injury, low humidity, cold, heat, sun, wind, chemical exposure, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other pathogens."
If the skin barrier is compromised, it can cause imbalance in the skin microbiome, which not only leaves you susceptible to potential invasion of harmful organisms, but can result in skin conditions such as breakouts, rosacea or psoriasis.
What Causes Skin Barrier Damage?
Some of the external and internal conditions that can affect your skin barrier include:
- An environment that’s either too humid or too dry
- Allergens, irritants and pollutants
- Too much sun exposure
- Alkaline detergents and soaps
- Exposure to harsh chemicals
- Over-exfoliation or over-washing
- Psychological distress
- Genetic factors
Signs That Your Skin Barrier is Compromised
When your skin barrier isn’t functioning properly, you may be more prone to developing certain skin symptoms and conditions. According to Lavanya Krishnan, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology, excessive dryness or skin that is irritated, dull and inflamed are usually tell-tale signs that you skin barrie has been compromised.
Some other signs to look out for include:
- Dry, scaly skin
- Rough or discolored patches
- Sensitive or inflamed areas
- Bacterial, viral or fungal skin infections
Ways To Repair Skin Barrier Damage
Given the importance of skin barrier function, it's important to know the right strategies to maintain optimal skin barrier health. Probiotics and good-for-skin ingredients like squalane and fatty acids are all great options for supporting skin barrier function.
Simplifying your skin care routine is another great way of maintain skin barrier health, in addition to avoiding harsh scrubs and brushes or products that contain harmful chemicals and ingredients.
pH level is another important factor to consider. Your skin’s acid mantle (which is extremely delicate) hovers around a pH of 5.7 - but the pH of some skin products can range from 3.7, all the way up to 8.2. Researchers recommend cleansing with a product that’s close to your skin’s natural pH. According to Healthline, keeping your skin’s pH at a healthy level may help protect you from a variety of skin conditions, including dermatitis, ichthyosis, acne, and Candida albicans infections.
Mother Dirt's Active Probiotic System
If you believe that your skin barrier may be compromised, Mother Dirt's restorative skin probiotics line is a great option. Made with plant-based ingredients and a science-first approach, our face, body and hair care products use the power of probiotics to help maintain the health of your skin microbiome.
To help you get started, here is a roundup of the products included in our Active Probiotic System:
AO+ Restorative Mist
The patented ingredient in Mother Dirt’s AO+ Restorative Mist, live Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria (also known as AOB), interacts with elements naturally found in your sweat to produce two powerful byproducts - Nitrite and Nitric Oxide - that are essential to a balanced skin microbiome.
By restoring this essential component to your skin, the Mist helps to protect and maintain healthy skin in addition to improving skin clarity, tone and smoothness.
The PeaceKeeper: Our Active Probiotics System Starter Kit
The PeaceKeeper features the foundations of our Active Probiotic System to repair the damage caused by traditional skincare and restore the skin microbiome, for your most biologically balanced and radiant skin.
This kit is a great option for all skin types (including dry, oil, normal, or combination skin) and includes our Probiotic Foaming Cleanser, Probiotic Moisturizing Serum and patented AO+ Restorative Mist. Together, these three products work together to help restore and maintain your skin’s natural ecosystem.
The Difference: Our Active Probiotics System Acne Treatment Kit
The Difference offers a new and revolutionary way of treating acne. It has been formulated to work together as an Active Probiotic System to restore the skin microbiome for improved clarity and smoother, healthier-looking skin.
This kit is ideal for those with acne-prone skin and uses powerful probiotics and FDA-approved salicylic acid to clarify, clear and smooth problem skin. A complete skin care system that helps treat acne in three easy steps, it includes our Probiotic Foaming Cleanser, Daily Acne Treatment Lotion and patented AO+ Restorative Mist.
Probiotic Foaming Cleanser
Mother Dirt Probiotic Foaming Cleanser doesn't just clean skin. It uses a powerful blend of probiotic extracts to help balance your skin microbiome. Formulated with prebiotics from chicory root and rose water, it removes impurities and maintains an optimal pH level without stripping your skin of its essential balance, leaving it balanced and refreshed. Our Cleanser is also oil-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and has been dermatologically and clinically tested.
Probiotic Moisturizing Serum
Mother Dirt Probiotic Moisturizing Serum is specially formulated to nourish your skin and rebalance your skin microbiome. It contains ingredients like squalane and essential fatty acids to nourish and moisturize while our powerful blend of probiotic extracts help balance your skin microbiome. Your skin will feel smooth and nourished, revealing a glowing, healthier-looking complexion. Our Serum is non-comedogenic, has been dermatologically approved and helps soothe dry skin without feeling greasy.
Probiotic Hydrating Hair Wash
Mother Dirt Probiotic Hydrating Hair Wash deeply cleanses hair while restoring balance to your scalp microbiome. It is specially formulated with a powerful blend of probiotic extracts to clean dirt, debris and impurities from hair without stripping - leaving hair feeling strong, full and soft.
Probiotic Hydrating Conditioner
For best results, we recommend following the Probiotic Hydrating Hair Wash with Mother Dirt Probiotic Hydrating Conditioner. This Conditioner has been specially formulated with a powerful blend of probiotic extracts to moisturize hair without weighing it down. Only a small amount is needed for smoother and healthier-looking hair.
Both our Probiotic Hydrating Hair Wash and Probiotic Hydrating Conditioner are oil-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and safe for color-treated hair. Plus, they are dermatologically and clinically tested.
Probiotic Body Wash
Mother Dirt Probiotic Body Wash gently cleanses dirt and oil from skin without stripping or damaging the skin barrier. It contains ingredients like rose water, almond and coconut extracts to refresh and nourish, while our powerful blend of probiotic extracts help maintain a balanced microbiome. Our Body Wash has been dermatologically tested and is formulated without sulfates, parabens, dyes, and synthetic fragrance.
Probiotic Moisturizing Body Oil
For best results, we recommend following the Probiotic Body Wash with Mother Dirt Probiotic Moisturizing Body Oil. This lightweight Body Oil soothes dry skin without feeling greasy or heavy. It contains ingredients like squalane, almond oil and apricot kernel oil to nourish and replenish dry skin, while our powerful blend of probiotic extracts to help maintain your microbiome.
Our Probiotic Moisturizing Body Oil has been dermatologically tested and formulated without sulfates, parabens, dyes, and synthetic fragrance.