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What is the skin barrier and why is it so important?

Topic: Skin health

Tags: better skin protective barrier skin care recommendations skin health

A note from the editor

Recently, we have seen an influx in enquiries from our patients asking us for advice when it comes to looking after their skin barrier.

We wanted to give you as much information as possible to help you understand firstly what a skin barrier is, how it works and why it is so important for your overall skin health. We also asked Dr Dev Patel for his top CellDerma picks for supporting your skin barrier too.

Do get in touch with us if you have any skin-related questions – we would love to hear from you at

Close-up photo of caucasian face skin, cropped to show the nose and cheek
A soft focus photo of a queue of 3 lanes of traffic down a busy road
A 3D render of skin cells
A close up photo of a smiling woman with healthy and clear skin
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A bright red, sore nose
A smiling, mature brunette woman with face cream on her cheek
A mature woman's cheek

Ingredients to help heal the skin barrier


These lipids can make up to 50% of the skin’s barrier and are naturally found in the skin. Choosing products with ingredients that are naturally found in the skin is worthwhile, as your skin will recognise them and put them to good use. Ceramides hold our cells firmly in place, making sure that no bacteria can get in, and they help to retain moisture.


Squalene is naturally found in the skin, (did you know, 13% of our sebum is made up of squalene), and even the most sensitive, acne-prone skin types will be able to use the naturally derived, vegan form called ‘squalane’. This wonderful ingredient will help strengthen the skin barrier as well as increase hydration.


Niacinamide is a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient that has seen popularity in the skincare world recently and with good reason. Niacinamide helps to reduce inflammation, making it an effective ingredient for eczema or acne-prone sensitive skin types. Niacinamide can also help to build keratin proteins in the skin, which keeps our skin’s outer layer (epidermis) healthy.


UV rays are one of the leading causes of an impaired skin barrier. Sunscreen will help to protect and shield the skin from these harmful rays.

Unlike chemical sunscreens that convert UV rays into heat via a chemical reaction, mineral-based sunscreens create a barrier so that UV rays cannot penetrate the skin. Mineral sunscreens do not break down in the skin at the rate in which chemical sunscreens do. This means you have superior protection for even longer.

Sunscreen will help prevent any further damage from being caused, thus your skin barrier will be protected.


  • In conclusion, the skin barrier must be protected to ensure it is working at maximum efficiency.
  • A functioning and healthy skin barrier is vital for the prolonged health of the skin.
  • Our skin barrier protects us from many external aggressors and irritants.
  • A strong skin barrier is key to having beautiful glowing skin, and this all starts with a clean, clinically-effective skincare regime.

Dr Dev Patel’s top recommendations for skin barrier support

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