Your skin barrier is complex and multifunctional. It’s made up of the acid mantle (which refers to the slightly acidic nature of the skin1), moisture barrier, skin microbiome, and even has its own immune system.
These all work together to keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. When working properly, it can neutralize radical damage, reduce inflammation in the body, and retain moisture.
The skin is resilient but can, unfortunately, be influenced by a lot of external stressors, such as irritating skin care products.
One of the worst things you can do is to use harsh cleansers, such as sulfates. These dissolve your skin’s natural lipids, potentially alter the microbiome, and throw off the skin’s pH.
These changes can lead to dryness, flakes, fine lines, dark spots, crepey skin, and other signs of aging.