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The skins barrier (acid mantle) is made up of an exact combination of oils, lipids, sweat and microbes that work synergistically to provide protection to the epidermis, as well as the prevention of water loss to avoid the skin becoming dehydrated. The early signs of an impaired barrier skin can be easily missed or misdiagnosed as something else, then generally treated in ways that are not in alignment with the root cause. A very common, external, early cause of impaired barrier function is the use of incorrect products and over exfoliation while early causes may be a deficiency in essential fatty acids (Omegas 3 & 6), an imbalanced gut lining and high cortisol levels in the body due to prolonged stress.
Skins that have impaired barrier function must be treated gently as they will generally display signs of sensitivity such as: redness, inflammation and regular irritation that increases the longer it is left as they have become a breeding ground for environmental toxins, free radicals, bacteria and viruses that send the skin into a downward spiral of an overburdened skin immune system (inflammaging). If left untreated this can lead to the entire spectrum of skin conditions from acne, hyperpigmentation, eczema, rosacea, and premature aging.