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restore a broken pores and skin barrier? Why does it matter?

A wholesome pores and skin barrier is essential for problem-free pores and skin. An amazing physique of analysis exhibits that pores and skin circumstances like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and zits are related to some stage of impaired pores and skin barrier perform. 

The pores and skin barrier is sort of a protect on the floor of our pores and skin. It’s the outermost layer of the pores and skin, additionally referred to as stratum corneum). It consists of useless pores and skin cells (corneocytes) and “glue” – a matrix of varied lipids (oily substances). 

Don’t let the ‘useless’ pores and skin cells idiot you, the pores and skin barrier is extremely purposeful!

The pores and skin barrier blocks irritants and lots of dangerous substances from coming into the pores and skin (and bloodstream) and prevents infections. A sturdy pores and skin barrier additionally maintains correct ranges of hydration inside the pores and skin. 

Adequate hydration ranges within the stratum corneum, in flip, ensures the pure exfoliation course of (desquamation) is operating easily.

This retains our pores naturally clear and our pores and skin glowing!

When the pores and skin barrier is impaired, the pores and skin turns into extra vulnerable to varied pores and skin issues (together with zits) as a result of the irritation within the pores and skin rises.

Dr. Albert Kligman (the co-inventor of Retin A) acknowledged early on the importance of a sturdy pores and skin barrier for wholesome pores and skin. It additionally turned obvious that the stratum corneum communicates with the residing dermis beneath. This influences the regenerative processes within the deeper layers of the pores and skin.

This was the start of corneotherapy: A skincare methodology that goals to keep up a sturdy pores and skin barrier and increase the pores and skin’s innate immunity. 

What does the pores and skin barrier have to perform optimally?

Two essential elements that have to be plentiful for the barrier to perform correctly are skin-identical elements and Pure Moisturizing Issue (NMF):

  1. Pores and skin barrier lipids – primarily ceramides, fatty acids, and ldl cholesterol
  2. Pure moisturizing issue (NMF), a fluid naturally discovered inside keratinocytes (dermis cells) that binds water effectively, protecting correct hydration ranges

Ceramides, free fatty acids (primarily linoleic acid), and ldl cholesterol are the principle structural lipids of the human stratum corneum. All of them get washed off our pores and skin to a level after we cleanse with a stripping cleanser.

Ceramides are probably the most plentiful of those lipids (round 50%) and are answerable for quite a few necessary features within the pores and skin. 


  • Present an efficient barrier in opposition to the lack of water and electrolytes sustaining correct pores and skin hydration
  • Are important for pores and skin barrier perform and the pores and skin’s means to guard itself from pathogens, oxidative stress, and UV radiation
  • Are highly effective anti-aging brokers, sustaining pores and skin elasticity and firmness 

Sadly, many environmental elements, harsh skincare, age, food plan and life-style can lower the extent of ceramides in our pores and skin. This could manifest as dryness, seen irritation, redness, and breakouts. 

Lowering merchandise and skincare practices that contribute to extreme washing off of ceramides is a should!

Additionally, making use of ceramides topically may also help to revive the pores and skin barrier perform, improve pores and skin hydration, and cut back redness and irritation.

Free fatty acids like linoleic acid and linolenic acid are additionally essential for pores and skin barrier perform. They:

  • Assist regulate Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL)
  • Act as anti-inflammatory brokers (additionally serving to infected zits)
  • Are emollients offering softening and pores and skin moisturizing advantages
  • Present pores and skin safety and nourishment
  • Shield the pores and skin from photo-aging
  • Reverse pores and skin sensitivity and assist within the pores and skin wound therapeutic 

Ldl cholesterol is the third necessary aspect making up the pores and skin’s lipid matrix, supporting the pores and skin barrier perform when utilized topically.

What about Pure Moisturizing Issue (NMF)?

The Pure Moisturizing Issue (NMF) is an important a part of protecting our pores and skin wholesome and naturally effectively moisturized.

NMF elements are extremely environment friendly humectants that entice and bind water from the environment, drawing it into the corneocytes.

This course of can happen even at a relative air humidity as little as 40 p.c!

The NMF is positioned inside corneocytes and is principally composed of free amino acids and their derivatives. They embody sodium PCA, sodium lactate, urocanic acid (a pure absorber of UV gentle), inorganic salts, lactic acid and urea. Inorganic salts embody the chlorides, phosphates, and citrates of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. 

Having enough NMF ranges is extraordinarily necessary for the biochemical and mechanical properties of our pores and skin. The NMF retains the pores and skin hydrated, promotes pores and skin elasticity and it helps preserve the pores and skin barrier’s properties.

Hydrolytic enzymes allow the method of desquamation (pores and skin’s personal steady exfoliation course of) and may solely work underneath enough hydration ranges (which regulate pH) within the stratum corneum.

Your pure exfoliation course of is essentially responsile for naturally clear pores and skin!

Inadequate ranges of NMF can manifest as dry and even flaking pores and skin.

Day by day washing with cleaning soap or typical face cleansers has been proven to take away the NMF (and pores and skin lipids) from the superficial layers of the stratum corneum. Therefore, it is rather necessary to have mild cleaning practices!

Moreover, over-exfoliating might be much more damaging, and never simply because of pores and skin barrier disruption. It additionally would not enable sufficient time for corneocytes to mature and accumulate enough quantities of NMF.

As well as, getting old seems to dramatically cut back the amino acid content material within the stratum corneum. 

Making use of NMF elements topically can improve pores and skin’s hydration and forestall pores and skin tightness and dryness.

Is your pores and skin barrier in a chronically dysfunctional state?

When you’ve got been coping with pores and skin issues for years and nothing appears to work completely, chances are high your pores and skin barrier shouldn’t be functioning correctly.

The indicators of barrier dysfunction can embody:

  • Dry, tight, uncomfortable pores and skin
  • Dermatitis and rosacea
  • Speedy pores and skin getting old
  • Persistent, offended zits
  • Zits scars are very sluggish to heal
  • Pores and skin feels dehydrated (even flaking), but oily and acne-prone 
  • You react to most skincare merchandise you strive (in rashes, extra breakouts, and so on)

For zits victims, disruption of pores and skin barrier is commonly brought on by:

  • Overuse of anti-acne topicals and exfoliants
  • Stripping face washes
  • Irritating pure elements
  • A skincare routine that makes use of too many actives and merchandise (greater than your pores and skin barrier can tolerate)

There’s a variety of proof that surfactants (emulsifiers) broadly utilized in face washes and face lotions contribute to disturbing the pores and skin’s barrier perform.  

Regardless of the research-based proof, nonetheless, most skincare merchandise really helpful for zits fail to handle the pores and skin barrier.

Not simply that, they’re typically very disruptive to the pores and skin barrier!

The mission of the Different Skincare Firm is to fill that hole. 

The Different Skincare Firm – mild, plant-based skincare that delivers skin-identical elements again to your pores and skin

The corporate focuses on pure merchandise for drawback pores and skin adopting the ideas of Corneotherapy. They formulate pores and skin barrier boosting merchandise utilizing skin-identical elements, particularly ceramides in excessive concentrations alongside high-performance plant actives and nutritional vitamins. 

As talked about, skin-identical elements are compounds which are part of what our pores and skin barrier consists of. When used topically, these elements are clinically proven to dramatically increase and restore the pores and skin barrier leading to restored pores and skin integrity and well being.

Additionally, to additional keep away from stripping the pores and skin from important lipids they don’t formulate conventional face washes and moisturizers that use excessive percentages of surfactants and emulsifiers. 

That is tremendous necessary!

As a substitute, they use an progressive, self-emulsification course of that permits them to create efficient merchandise utilizing a really small % of ultra-mild, plant-based, biodegradable emulsifiers. 

A better look into the merchandise I examined

The stunning formulator and mind behind the Different Skincare Firm, Elitsa, reached out to me in again 2019. We quickly realized our strategy to pores and skin and skincare could be very comparable and I made a decision to check out her stunning merchandise! I share my thougths on every beneath, after testing them for over half a yr.

Their hydrating, barrier boosting spray moisturizer referred to as Phantom is a stupendous product that helps dehydrated pores and skin. I really like to make use of it underneath a skinny layer of my uncooked shea butter throughout winter months or throughout low humidity days. The combo helps quite a bit in protecting my pores and skin moisturized, however is nice to make use of by itself, too! It’s gentle but moisturizing.

Hold Calm oil cleanser is a really wonderful product! It deeply cleanses the pores, eradicating make-up and mineral sunscreen, and washes clear with water with out leaving a greasy after-feel. Simply apply on dry pores and skin, therapeutic massage for 30-60 seconds, then begin including water and rinsing.

That is when it turns right into a milky resolution and it’s tremendous mild, but cleanses effectively!

One other solution to gently cleanse the pores and skin is by utilizing the best micellar water. Micellar water is principally a toner with a really small quantity of surfactant (cleaning agent) added to it. The share is normally round 1% of surfactant (versus as much as 30% in a daily face wash!) which is definitely sufficient to cleanse the pores and skin with out irritating the pores and skin barrier and messing up with the pores and skin pH. 

This mild micellar water with NMF molecules could be very mild, however cleanses rather well! In case your pores and skin would not like the standard cleansers, or your faucet water is closely chlorinated (and therefore drying to your pores and skin), you should use such mild micellar water like so:

  1. Take a (reusable, ideally) cotton spherical and soak it with the micellar water, then gently swipe over your face
  2. Take totally different cotton spherical and soak it a bit with bottled or filtered water, and gently take away any residues of micellar water out of your pores and skin. This is not strictly needed because the quantity of surfactants is minimal, however I at all times wish to rinse out any micellar water to be on the secure aspect

How about battling zits whereas caring for the pores and skin barrier?

Light, however efficient cleanse? Examine.

However what about these persistent breakouts or downright painful cystic zits?

We will nonetheless use some highly effective zits actives if we select the best formulation that additionally take care of our pores and skin barrier and assist to softly cut back irritation.

Really, my FAVE product from this line was, unexpectedly, PLANT VOODOO – Clarifying Focus.

I used to be over 8 months into breastfeeding and getting my interval again, which might typically imply extra breakouts as my very own cycle was returning and hormones balancing once more. This serum actually helped to maintain these cussed chin comedones and zits in test!

I might use it practically every day when wanted (regardless of containing 1% salicylic acid, it was NOT drying for the pores and skin, solely drying up pimples!).

Not solely is there zits calming and barrier strengthening linoleic acid, but additionally salicylic acid (which might be very useful for zits when in a non-drying components like this one) and a pure various to retinoid, bakuchiol.

Linoleic acid is golden for acne-prone pores and skin!

By utilizing this product, you don’t have to resort to pure oils (which some individuals simply don’t tolerate) to stability the sebum fatty acid content material and cut back irritation.

Right here is the breakdown of the elements to provide you a greater image:

Watermelon Seed Oil – Very excessive in important fatty acids comparable to linoleic acid, which could be very anti-inflammatory and therapeutic for zits inclined pores and skin. Watermelon seed oil could be very gentle, nutritious and penetrates the pores and skin quickly with out leaving a greasy after really feel. Watermelon oil can also be very excessive in vitamin B (particularly niacin), magnesium and zinc which makes it invaluable for any troubled pores and skin.    

Black Cumin Seed CO 2 Extract – The seeds are loaded with over 100 vitamins, together with linoleic and alpha-Linolenic acids, zinc, calcium, folacin, iron, copper, phosphorus, riboflavin, thiamin, carotenes, proteins and extra. Thymoquinone has been scientifically confirmed to supply anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. As a result of supercritical CO2 extraction used, cumin oil on this product has 3 occasions larger % of Thymoquinone than a chilly pressed oil!

Blackberry Seed Oil – Naturally loaded with a steady type of Vitamin C this oil can sluggish pores and skin getting old, assist the manufacturing of collagen and brighten the pores and skin. Blackberry oil can also be excessive in quite a few phyto-nutrients and important fatty acids, vitamin E, beta sitosterol, carotenoids and lutein all deeply nourishing, anti-inflammatory, soothing and free radical scavenging compounds

Pomegranate Seed Oil – This oil accommodates as much as 75% Punicic acid (Omega 5) which is almost unique to pomegranate. Punicic acid is extremely nutritious and capable of stability the pH and situation the pores and skin. Additionally it is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and cell regenerating. Additionally, very wealthy in sterols it really works with conjunction with ceramides and important fatty acids to assist the pores and skin barrier’s perform, which is essential for environment friendly barrier restore.

Ceramide NP + Soybean Seed Extract – Main “skin-identical” elements, ceramides are lipids discovered within the pores and skin that promote pores and skin barrier boosting properties, cut back trans-epidermal water loss, and provide safety from environmental stress. Topical utility of ceramides has been proven to dramatically improve pores and skin’s hydration and enhance barrier perform. The soybean extract acts as a supply system offering important fatty acids and sterols for a greater abstention of the Ceramides. 

Salicylic Acid – Often known as BHA, salicylic acid is of course occurring in numerous crops like White Willow and Meadowsweet herb. Used for over 2000 years for numerous well being points it is among the most typical elements in anti-blemish formulation. Salicylic acid exfoliates the pores and skin and since it’s an oil soluble compound, it is ready to deeply penetrate the pores and dissolve extra sebum construct up. Salicylic acid is the one anti-acne agent accepted for pure skincare formulations and is a good asset for calming zits when used correctly!

Mangosteen Peel Extract – Mangosteen is completely saturated with vitamins and it has quite a few well being advantages. Most useful for the pores and skin are the compounds Beta Mangostin, Gamma Mangostin and particularly Alpha Mangostin. Mangosteen extracts on this components comprise 40% alpha-mangostin, clinically demonstrated to have anti-acne, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.  

Bakuchiol – Bakuchiol is the primary 100% pure various to Retinol with none recognized unwanted side effects (no irritation, solar sensitivity and is being pregnant secure). Considerably improves a number of dermal features, stimulates collagen manufacturing, and supplies hydration, clinically confirmed to scale back a number of indicators of getting old, important discount in roughness, dryness, advantageous traces, wrinkles and enchancment in pores and skin tone, elasticity, firmness and brightness. Bakuchiol additionally helps preserve the integrity of pores and skin lipids and has broad-spectrum antibacterial and antifungal properties. Based mostly on the outcomes of a current research, formulations containing 1% Bakuchiol + 2% Salicylic acid confirmed an almost 70% discount in zits lesions.

Blue Chamomile CO2 Extract – This can be a very calming extract that brings aid to an infected and irritated pores and skin. The three essential lively constituents are chamazulene, matricin and α-bisabolol. Quick appearing, non-toxic and non-irritating, this important oil is obtained by means of Supercritical CO2 extraction and it resembles a lot nearer the traits of the plant itself than a conventional steam extraction methodology.   

Thyme extract – A medical herb used for hundreds of years in opposition to micro organism, viruses, fungus and infections, thyme has only recently been scientifically evaluated for its anti-acne properties. In a research 10 important oils have been investigated and among the many 10 thyme oil exhibited the strongest anti-bacterial actions in the direction of P. acnes. In one other research thyme extract exhibited stronger anti-bacterial actions than Benzoyl Peroxide and no unwanted side effects making it quite a bit gentler various. Thyme’s essential constituent in opposition to the zits inflicting micro organism is Thymol and we supply the extract with the very best focus of Thymol we will discover in an effort to ship potent anti-bacterial properties.  

Rosemary Extract – A potent antioxidant, but mild on the pores and skin microbiome! It acts as a pure preservative and helps the product keep recent and potent

use Plant Voodoo Clarifying Focus?

I discover the Clarifying Focus acts fairly rapidly on pimples which are already current or forming. Due to this fact, you might use it simply when wanted after you cleanse within the night. It ought to be advantageous generally to make use of it every day when used often like this.

You could possibly additionally use it extra persistently to work on stopping extra zits from coming, and in that case, it might be a good suggestion to maintain the long-term utilization at about 2-3x per week (improve if wanted when you do not observe any dryness, and reduce in case your pores and skin dries out a bit).

I actually hope you discover this information useful! Let me know when you have any questions within the feedback part!

A lot love,


P.S. A few of the above hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks. Thanks to your assist!

Questioning the best way to carry your pores and skin again to its stability? Which skincare practices to implement for clear pores and skin with a stupendous glow? Join HERE for my FREE on-line course “Therapeutic Grownup Zits – Skincare Secrets and techniques”, the place you’ll be able to consider your skincare routine, get ideas for selecting the correct cleanser, therapeutic grownup zits and extra!

- A word from our sposor -


Pores and skin-identical elements for pores and skin barrier restore and therapeutic zits