Why You Should Be Using A Skin Barrier Cream, According To Derms

As the seasons change, it’s the perfect time to invest in one.

Why You Should Be Using A Skin Barrier Cream, According To Derms

As the weather gets warmer and we enter spring, it can be hard to understand how your skin will react to the change of seasons. As we look to create transitional wardrobes, we should also apply the same to our skincare routines. According to dermatologists, the best way to look after your skin around this time is by using a skin barrier cream. Not only do they support your skin’s health and help it stay level when the weather is changing, they will also protect it from environmental and external stressors, including sun radiation, air pollution, and tobacco smoke, which can all age your skin and cause loss of moisture.

“The skin barrier refers to the skin’s ability to protect us from and interact with the external environment,” says NHS dermatologist Dr Cristina Psomadakis. “This ability usually depends on the condition of the epidermis, the outmost layer of our skin.”

Dr Psomadakis says that if your skin is compromised, either through injury, inflammation or specific skin disease, then the skin’s barrier function is impaired. “It can no longer protect us or interact with the external environment as it should. This can lead you to vulnerable infection, dryness, irritation, and the development of allergies.”

Skin barrier creams are meant to fill in the gaps when your skin is compromised and provide a protective layer. “They help seal in the skin to prevent loss of moisture and also act as a physical barrier to the external environment to prevent further damage and sensitivity.”

Depending on the ingredients, a skin barrier cream can come in the form of something like Vaseline, which Dr Psomadakis recommends. “Something as simple as Vaseline jelly is a tremendous skin barrier cream. Many dermatologists, including myself, recommend it for new surgical scars or severe skin conditions. Other formulas are less greasy and therefore more suitable to milder skin conditions or dry skin, and can include added ingredients. For example, Vaseline’s Dry Skin Rescue has glycerin and hyaluronic acid to help hydrate and reinforce the skin barrier.”

Unlike moisturisers, a skin barrier cream is generally richer and thicker than so for those looking for a stronger product should look for skin barrier creams that contain ingredients such as glycerin and ceramides. “Superstar ingredients for the skin barrier are vaseline jelly, its protective qualities on the skin barrier are unmatched.”

A skin barrier cream should also be the last step in your skincare routine, adds Dr Psomadakis. “The idea is that a skin barrier cream is a protective layer against the external environment, therefore anything you put on top of it in theory should be at least partially blocked from entering the skin.”

Below, we’ve rounded up our favourite skin barrier creams so your complexion doesn’t have to suffer as the seasons turn.

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