How to Protect Your Skin's Natural Barrier Function

07 05 2016

Studies have shown that oils, specifically those high in linoleic acid, are easily absorbed into the top layers of skin and help to improve and boost barrier function.
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When your skin acts up, it can be easy to turn to exfoliating tools, chemical peels or other harsh tactics in the fight to banish blemishes. But, did you know that all that ruthless offense against your skin can break down its natural defensive barriers, making it even more susceptible to breakouts, dryness, dermatitis, rosacea and other problems?

As our founder described in a recent article for The Huffington Post, the skin’s natural barrier (or “outer layer”) is essentially made up of dead skin cells and a lipid bilayer that holds those cells together. These work to keep water and nutrients in the skin and to keep bacteria and irritants (think dust, pollen, car exhaust) out. However, over time we tend to break down this natural barrier with a few bad habits: washing with hot water, cleansing with harsh face washes or products containing irritants (alcohol or sodium lauryl sulfate, for example), over-exfoliating (we’re looking at you, Clarisonic), excess sun exposure and more. Luckily, there is an easy way to repair your barrier function and maintain it for the future: high-quality natural oils. Studies have shown that oils, specifically those high in linoleic acid, are easily absorbed into the top layers of skin and help to improve and boost barrier function.

So, next time you’ve got dry skin or a pesky breakout, put down the harsh spot treatments and abrasive exfoliants and try on one of these nourishing oils instead.

Chia Seed Oil is one of the best natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help to strengthen the barriers of cell membranes. In fact, a study found that topical chia seed oil significantly improves skin hydration and reduces trans-epidermal water loss, improving overall barrier function. Find it in our Face Oil and Soothing Face Oil.

Kiwi Seed Oil is similar to chia seed oil, in its high omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid content. It can be incredibly healing and soothing for damaged skin cells. Find it in our Face Oil.

Hemp Seed Oil is a natural humectant, helping to replenish essential fatty acids and hold water in the skin. Find it in our Face Oil and Balancing Face Oil.

Pumpkin Seed Oil is high in both fatty acids and Vitamin E, making it another great regulator to help promote healthy barrier function. Find it in our Balancing Face Oil.

Grape Seed Oil has high antioxidant content and is naturally anti-inflammatory. It not only delivers essential fatty acids that help the skin to retain moisture but also soothes and heals damaged skin and prevents further damage from free radicals. Find it in our Face Oil, Balancing Face Oil and Soothing Face Oil.

Sunflower Seed Oil has antioxidants like sesamol and vitamin E to help minimize sun damage and essential fatty acids and phytosterols to plump the skin. It is a great healing and protective moisturizer. Find it in our Balancing Face Oil and Soothing Face Oil.

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