Check out our limited edition beauty boxes here

5 Ways To Repair Your Skin Barrier



5 Ways To Repair Your Skin Barrier 
So, what is a skin barrier exactly? 
Your skin barrier is the outermost layer of your skin which works to defend your body from germs and toxins, whilst helping keep your skin nice and hydrated.  
It contains nourishing substances such as amino acids and ceramides which help to prevent moisture loss and protect against pollution and sun damage. 
Damage to our skin barrier can be caused by stress, lack of sleep and environmental factors, such as dry air and allergens. Whilst some of these things can be difficult to control, we have a few tips which can help combat signs of skin distress! 
Did you know that over washing, overusing exfoliants (chemical or physical) and not moisturising enough can disrupt your skin barrier? 
Some telling signs that you have a distressed skin barrier are: 
Itchy skin  
Skin infections (viral, bacterial, or fungal) 
Dry skin 
Flaking skin 
Discolouration and red patches 
If you suffer from any of the above, chances are you might need to make some easy adjustments to your skincare routine.  
If you have any skin complaints and use a physical exfoliant, you may want to try something a little gentler. Abrasive scrubs and other harsh physical exfoliants can cause micro tears in the skin. Try using a chemical exfoliant such as mandelic acid or a low percentage lactic acid serum. If you have any redness or stinging, try skipping exfoliating for a couple of weeks - your skin will thank you!  
These days it seems like everyone is a product junkie, and whilst here at bellabox we also LOVE a lengthy skincare ritual, it is important to take note of which products work and which ones can strip our skin of its natural oils.  
Try focusing on the fundamentals of skincare such as cleansing and moisturising.  
When your skin is crying out for a little TLC, moisturising is your best weapon against barrier repair dysfunction. Dry skin is sad skin, so ensure you always use a moisturising cream or oil (even if you are acne prone!). Keep an eye out for hydrators which contain ceramides and hyaluronic acid and do not fall into the trap that expensive is better - sometimes the simplest moisturisers are the most effective. We love Avene and CeraVe for their no-nonsense approach to skin supporting moisturisers. 
If you are remotely interested in beauty and skincare, chances are you have seen an article or two about the benefits of slugging. It might sound a bit weird; it has nothing to do with slimy critters and everything to do with maximising your moisture retention! 
An effortless way to do this is to use a product which contains petroleum such as Vaseline. Simply add a thin layer of Vaseline over the top of your moisturisers and oils before you jump into bed, this will help prevent moisture loss overnight. If this idea does not float your boat, try a very thick moisturiser as your top layer - sweet dreams and happy slugging! 
If your skin is especially troubled, avoiding make up can be a huge help! Minimising your use of products can be a miracle for sore skin, so dare to bare your face and embrace your natural beauty, we think you look fantastic (just remember your SPF!).  
If discomfort persists or your skin feels sore, contact your doctor or a dermatologist for specialist skin advice.