Though we love to invest in cutting-edge treatments, we still need to give our skin the nourishment it deserves. Strengthening your skin’s natural barrier is the first step to having beautiful skin and by far, one of the most important in all aspects of your skin’s health.
Not sure where to start?
Let’s cut through the hype and get straight to the business of identifying, repairing and restoring your skin’s protective barriers. Here’s what you need to know.
Our skin’s protective barrier in the outer layer is made of thicker skin cells [called the epidermis], which not only acts like a catchment that stores the moisture but also determines the texture and clarity of our skin. If the barrier has been compromised, our skin will become rough and dry, and aged in appearance.
WHAT IS THE PRIMARY CAUSE FOR A COMPROMISED SKIN BARRIER?
The first reason is that the protective moisture barrier in the skin has become completely depleted. Often it is caused by natural ageing, prescription medication, UV rays, hot water [when washing the face], dry climates, smoking, excessive alcohol, not drinking enough water and two of the biggest culprits we commonly address; excessive exfoliation and not having the right skin-care regime in place.
When we spoke to our patients about their skin concerns, we discovered that many had been using a high concentration of intensive active ingredients — outcomes that triggered an array of skin conditions including allergies and inflammation. And the second thing we noticed was that each did not focus on maintaining the hydration in the skin nor understood the function of their physical skin barriers.
HOW IS OUR SKIN’S MOISTURE RETAINED?
Through a series of compounds found in lipids – oils that bind the skin cells together.
All cell membranes incorporate lipids and they play a vital function in your skin’s natural barriers [of the stratum corneum layer]. So vital are they, that any kind of damage to their natural function will have a significant impact on our skin’s health.
Of the most dominant found in the epidermis layer are fatty acids, sterols and ceramides which collectively aid the natural rejuvenation process and play a significant role in how your skin looks and behaves. ]
The lipids are also organised into particular membrane structures comprising:
- 50% Ceramides
- 25% Fatty Acids
- 25% Sterols [Cholesterol * not to be confused with the cholesterol found in the blood stream]
HOW DO LIPIDS WORK TOGETHER?
To put lipids under the spotlight, they act as a physical barrier in the way mortar holds bricks together.
The brick wall is made up of protein complexes called corneocytes which holds tiny threads of keratin in an organised matrix. Their potency is determined by the strength of intercellular bonding — the health of your skin barrier. When they are dried out, the dead skin cells begin to shed.
The mortar that holds the bricks together is called the stratum corneum [the outer-most layer]. The ‘mortar’ comprises the intercellular matrix of lipids that surround each corneocyte.
By becoming a hydrating catchment, lipids then bind the skin cells together to:
- lock in the moisture and protect our skin from environmental elements
- help the natural process of skin cell turnover [the shedding and the regeneration of new cells].
In turn, new epidermal cells form keratin, an essential protein that helps anchor the cells together with the dermis layer.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE SKIN BARRIER BREAKS DOWN?
When there’s a deficiency in the protective barriers, any damage to the lipids intercellular function will break down the skin’s volume and texture, along with the health function including your natural hydration.
Our lipids also make up approximately 50% of cell membranes and when the lipid barrier is compromised, the transportation of our skin’s nutrients and water will not effectively link across the cell membranes. A good example of this is when we over-expose our skin to free radicals and destructive environmental elements. Your compromised skin barrier will then leave the skin dry, itchy and sensitive, and prone to bacterial outbreaks and inflammation.
Without intervention, the breakdown will go deeper into the epidermal and dermal layers, leaving you with myriad skin conditions including atopic dermatitis, allergies, ageing and inflammation [including rosacea and acne].
HOW DO I RESTORE AND NOURISH MY SKIN BARRIER?
To repair the effects of lipid loss, you can start by restoring the compromised skin barrier with regular hydration —drink plenty of water and apply a series of non-active and soothing medical-grade cosmeceuticals to reduce the inflammation and moisturise the skin.
The lipid layer surrounding the corneocyte will then help anchor it and prevent further loss of hydration [our water-soluble compounds that are found in the stratum corneum – the outer layer of our skin].
WHAT RECOVERY CARE CREAM WORKS ON COMPROMISED SKIN?
Start with KCeutic post-recovery cream, our ‘go to’ product we use after any laser, IPL or Microneedling treatment. Not only do its ingredients help to replenish and rebuild your skin’s natural barrier, but the luxurious cream also leaves your skin looking calm, smooth and radiant.
This smart cream is also ideal for women who suffer from rosacea as its properties help to reduce the redness and inflammation that’s associated with this debilitating skin condition. If used as a daily home care product, KCeutic will speed up the healing and restore the skin back to health.
Combined with Medik8 B5 liquid rejuvenation serum, you will notice an immediate and pronounced difference in appearance.
WHAT ARE THE POWERHOUSE INGREDIENTS IN KCEUTIC?
With the essential K Complex to soothe the skin and counter inflammation and combination of glycoprotein and hyaluronic acid [to help regenerate the skin], shea butter [to help moisturise the skin], and vitamins C and E [to help protect the skin with its antioxidant properties], the cream is equally effective and luxurious in feel.
The KCeutic also provides complete sun protection (SPF 50 – UVA/UVB barriers) and is available at our MediSpa.
GET SKIN READY
Optimise your anti-ageing treatments. Start the year with the best skin-care regime for home.
Please remember that for some patients, the repair process may take several months, but don’t despair. With patience and commitment is possible to restore your skin barrier formation and return its functions to optimum health.
Ask us about Medik8’s B5 liquid rejuvenation serum when you’re next at our MediSpa. We invite you to come in and explore the beautiful range of medical-grade Medik8, Dermaceutic and Biopelle Tensage products.
Book in consultation for $65 [30 minutes] with our senior dermal therapist, Michele Hetherington and receive 10% off your first Medik8 purchase. Michele will discuss and tailor the best and most affordable skin care solution for you. After your consultation, enjoy a complimentary Red Light Therapy, which uses low-level red wavelengths of light to calm and restore your skin’s health.
K Ceutic SPF 50
Category: Post-treatment care | home-care skin regime
Skin Types: All skin types; in particular patients with sensitive skin or with compromised protection barriers
Size: 30 mls
Available at our MediSpa. $79.00