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The Basics

5 Signs You've Damaged Your Skin Barrier

5 Signs You've Damaged Your Skin Barrier



You hear A LOT about your skin barrier online these days. It's a wildly buzzy word. But even before it went #viral, dermatologists were shouting from the rooftops about its importance. Why didn't anyone listen then? lol

If you're at all curious about what it does, how to maintain it, and spot any harm to it - keep reading.

We're about to dive into how you can identify a compromised skin barrier and get it back in shape for that healthy, glowing look we all crave.


A Quick Refresher on Your Skin Barrier

Think of your skin barrier, or stratum corneum, as your body’s personal bouncer. Standing at the door, keeping the good stuff in (like moisture) and the bad stuff out (like pollution and UV rays).

When it’s in top form, it repels harm and locks in health, making your skin soft, hydrated, and beautifully radiant.


How Do You Damage Your Skin Barrier?

Believe it or not, you can hurt your skin barrier by being too eager with your skincare routine. Harsh soaps and abrasive scrubs? They’re often the culprits behind dry, irritated skin. Over-washing can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness.

And while exfoliation and retinoids can be helpful, too much can disrupt your skin barrier and cause irritation. So, limit exfoliation to a 1-2 times/week even if your barrier is healthy. Better safe than sorry, right?

And it’s not just products that can mess things up. The environment plays a huge role too. UV exposure, pollution, dry and cold weather, lack of sleep, smoking, poor diet, and even skin picking can weaken your protective layer.

When your skin’s lipids get damaged, it’s like your skin’s bodyguard taking a day off, leading to tiny cracks that let moisture escape and irritants sneak in. This makes your skin more permeable to irritants, triggering chronic inflammation.

One way to think about it that's sure to get your attention: A compromised barrier leads to short term problems of dehydration, cracking and inflammation. Dehydration, cracking and inflammation leads to long term problems like fine. lines, wrinkles and dark spots.

Sounds like something worth keeping in shape, doesn't it?


Signs Your Skin Barrier is Compromised

When your skin barrier is compromised, it shows. Your skin won’t look or feel as healthy and glowing as it should. Here are the telltale signs:

  1. Redness, Breakouts, and Rashes: Your skin becomes prone to breakouts, redness, and even rashes. It can also lead to conditions like contact dermatitis and rosacea. The skin’s pH should be slightly acidic, but when it’s off-balance, you get inflammation and acne if it’s too acidic, and redness and flaking if it’s too alkaline.

  2. Extreme Dryness and Dehydration: When your skin loses too much water, it becomes very dry, flaky, and cracked. This makes it easier for irritants to penetrate and cause further damage to deeper layers by breaking down collagen and elastin.

  3. Uneven Texture: A compromised skin barrier often results in rough, uneven texture and discoloration. Dull skin is a sign because light doesn’t reflect properly.

  4. Sensitive, Itchy Skin: This goes hand in hand with flaking. It happens with short-term barrier issues but improves once your skin barrier is back to normal. During this time, your skin is extremely sensitive.

  5. Prolonged Wound Healing: If cuts or scratches take longer to heal, it’s a sign your skin barrier is compromised. With less moisture and weakened regenerative abilities, your skin heals slower and less effectively.


How to Restore Your Skin Barrier

The key to fixing a compromised skin barrier is simplicity and gentleness. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Less is More: Ditch the harsh scrubs and stripping cleansers. Anything too strong can strip away your skin’s natural oils.
  2. Nourish and Repair: Use a nourishing moisturizer with ingredients like ceramides, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid to help rebuild your skin barrier.
  3. Avoid Stressors: Steer clear of UV light, harsh products, and other stressors while your skin heals. Overusing products, lasers, and devices can make things worse by not giving your skin time to recover.


How We Can Help

We understand the importance of a healthy skin barrier and the frustration that comes with trying to repair it. That’s why we created Formula 01: The Face Lotion – a powerhouse blend of ingredients specifically designed to restore and strengthen your skin barrier.


Key Ingredients Of "The Face Lotion" and Why They Matter

  • Ceramides: Age, sun damage, and over-cleansing degrade ceramides. Replenishing them keeps your skin hydrated, protects against environmental damage, reduces signs of aging, and calms inflammation.  You’ll see visibly smoother, hydrated, and plump skin, feeling more confident in your appearance.

  • Hyaluronic Acid: It regulates collagen production, aids in wound healing, and combats aging by maintaining skin hydration and elasticity. You can expect deeply hydrated, firm, and youthful-looking skin, with a reduction in fine lines.

  • Polyglutamic Acid: Works synergistically with hyaluronic acid to maintain skin hydration and boost the production of natural moisturizing factors. Say hello to unparalleled hydration, leaving your skin soft and supple.

  • Urea: Gently exfoliates dead skin, improves skin-cell turnover, enhances moisture penetration, and has mild anti-fungal properties.  Notice smoother, clearer skin with reduced flakiness and irritation.

  • Squalane: Supports the skin’s lipid barrier, balances oil production, and is suitable for all skin types.  Enjoy balanced, hydrated skin with a natural glow, free from excessive oiliness or dryness.

  • Hydrolyzed Collagen: Moisturizes skin, smooths fine lines and wrinkles, and binds moisture for lasting hydration. You'll witness visibly smoother, more youthful skin with fewer wrinkles.

  • Glycerin: Mimics natural moisturizing factors, improves skin barrier function, protects against irritants, and accelerates wound healing. You'll feel and see well-hydrated, resilient skin that heals quickly from minor irritations.

  • Allantoin: Soothes irritated skin, promotes healthy skin turnover, improves dullness and brightness, and facilitates collagen synthesis. You'll experience soft, calm, and radiant skin, free from irritation and dullness.

  • Tocopherol (Vitamin E): Supports cell function, combats free radicals, aids in cellular restoration, reduces symptoms of atopic dermatitis, and helps maintain the skin’s lipid barrier. You'll notice healthier, smoother skin with reduced signs of damage and irritation.


Why so much firepower
? Because around here, we target the root cause of skin decay, and it all starts with your skin barrier. 

Whether you're looking for an immediate cure, or a long-term and preventative measure to keep your skin vibrant, firm and functioning optimally - it starts with the foundation. And thats exactly what this formula does.


Why Choose Formula 01: The Face Lotion?

Formula 01: The Face Lotion is your go-to solution for repairing and strengthening your skin barrier. Here’s why:

  • Balanced Formulation: With ceramides, cholesterol, and olive-derived fatty acids in a 1:2:1 ratio, it ensures optimal effectiveness and permeability.
  • Comprehensive Care: From hydrating and exfoliating to protecting and healing, this lotion addresses all aspects of skin barrier health.
  • Tailored for You: Suitable for all skin types, it’s lightweight, non-comedogenic, and designed to restore your skin’s natural balance.

  • When your skin barrier is compromised, Formula 01: The Face Lotion offers the care and nourishment your skin needs to bounce back to health.

    With regular use, you’ll notice your skin becoming more hydrated, less inflamed, and beautifully radiant.

    Give your skin the TLC it deserves with Formula 01: The Face Lotion. Your journey to a healthier, glowing complexion starts here.



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    Hair Basics: What It Is And What It Does

    Hair Basics: What It Is And What It Does

    The role of your hair — or even your lack thereof — extends beyond your scalp, beyond how it looks and beyond how it feels. It, like every other part of your body, has a unique purpose. 

    It protects your skin. It helps to regulate your body temperature. It facilitates the evaporation of sweat. It contributes to your sensory experience.

    How you care for it involves more than simply washing it, treating yourself to a new cut, or throwing your hands in the air and chalking up it’s shortcomings to genetics.

    Diet, exercise, weather, pollution and your overall approach to traditional hair care all affect the health of your hair.

    The importance of taking care of what hair you have — ensuring its health — wherever it may be, however voluminous, doesn’t change.

    Here at Basic Maintenance, we’ll comb through the information for you. Trim off anything unnecessary, and style it in a way that gives you confidence. Confidence in knowing you’re doing everything you can to ensure a healthy, functional body full of hair.

     

    You have different types of hair.

    Other than a select few places, like your palms or the soles of your feet, the entire surface of your body is covered in hair.  

    There are two main types. The shorter and thinner hairs are called vellus hairs (aka peach fuzz) and the longer and thicker hairs are called "terminal hairs”. Terminal hairs are the ones on your head, face, eyelashes, eyebrows, pubic hair, chest hair and belly hair. Those very noticeable hairs.

    How much of each you have differs from person to person and depends on your age and sex. Children’s bodies mostly have vellus hair. Only 30% of women’s bodies consist of terminal hair, compared to around 90% for men.

    The lower layers of your epidermis is where the new cells get made. It takes about 4 weeks, but eventually they make their way up to the top and replace the dead cells as they shed. 

     

    Hair Structure.

    Hair consists of a shaft and a root. The shaft is the visible part that sticks out of the skin. Once the hair grows beyond the skin's surface, the cells aren't alive anymore. It's made up of three layers of keratin, a hardening protein.

    The inner layer is called the medulla. Depending on the type of hair, the medulla isn't always present. The middle layer is called the cortex, which makes up the majority of the hair shaft. The outer layer is called the cuticle, which is formed by tightly packed scales in an overlapping structure that kind of look like roof shingles.

    The root of the hair is in the skin and extends down to its deeper layers. This is surrounded by the follicle - the shaft through which hair grows - and is connected to a sebaceous (oil producing) gland of the skin.

    Every follicle is connected to a muscle called the arrector pili which contracts to make the hair stand up. Most nerves end at the hair follicle - these nerves sense hair movement and can pick up even the slightest draft.

    At the base of the hair, the root widens to a round bulb. Within this bulb is the papilla - which supplies the root with blood. It’s here where new hairs are made.

     

    How does hair grow? 

    New cells are constantly forming in the bulb. Eventually these stick together and harden, and a full strand develops from that group of hardened cells. As new hardened cells keep on attaching to the hair from below, it starts to push up out of the skin.

    A single hair on your head grows at a rate of about 1 cm per month. Facial hair, and especially eyelashes, eyebrows and body hair grows at a slower pace.

    Whether it is straight or curly depends on the cross-sectional shape of hair. Round hair grows straight out of the skin. If that cross-section is more oval shaped, the hair will be curlier.

    The cross-sectional shape of a hair also determines the amount of shine that the hair has. Straighter hair is shinier because sebum from the sebaceous gland can travel down the hair more easily. With curly hair, the sebum has trouble traveling down the hair, making it look more dry and dull.

    Hair color is determined by the amount of melanin in those hardened cells. This varies from person to person. It changes over the course of a lifetime and decreases with age.  As we age, more air gets trapped inside the hair and starts to lose color, eventually turning gray then white.

     

    Hair Growth Cycle 

    As long as new cells are being produced in the bulb, the hair grows longer. This growth phase is called the anagen phase. At any given time, nearly 90%  of a person’s total hair is in its growth phase. The length of the growth phase depends on where on the body the hair is growing. For example, on your head it can last years. If you wanted meter long hair, technically you could have it, but we don’t recommend it. For eyelashes, eyebrows, nasal hair and ear hair, the growth phase is much shorter - typically only 100 to 150 days, so they never really outgrow their purpose.

    When the growth phase is done, the hair root separates from the papilla. Then a transitional phase called the catagen phase begins. It’s a transitional stage, and 3% of all hairs are in this phase at any given time. It lasts for two to three weeks. During this time, growth slows down and the outer root sheath shrinks and attaches to the root of the hair. This becomes a club hair, which is a hair that has stopped growing.

    The final stage in the cycle, knows as the resting phase of the telogen phase, is when the hair has completely separated from the papilla. It accounts for 10% to 15% of all hair. The supply of blood is cut off and the hair is gradually pushed out of the skin and it falls out. This can last a few months.

    Eventually, new hair cells start to multiply at the base of the empty hair follicle to form a new hair, and the entire hair growth cycle starts all over again.

     

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    What are "skin types"?

    What are "skin types"?

     

    While “skin types” are largely a marketing term, understanding what the market is referring to certainly helps when identifying the right products for you. There are four types of skin: dry, normal, oily and combination. As you can see, “perfect” isn’t one of them. Your skin type is determined by genetics. So blame your parents for that pimple in your grad photo.

    Skin Types Explained

    Dry Skin

    Skin that doesn’t produce enough oil. This does not have to do with hydration - water retention. That’s dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin is not a skin type, it’s a condition.  But, it’s that oil production that helps prevent water loss. So underproducing it leaves you more dehydrated. Tricky, but you’re smart enough to take your skin health seriously, so we’re confident you figured that out too.

    So, we know that the oil helps your skin retain water. But how does it lose it? Sweat. Obviously. The active water loss from increased body temperature. Trans-Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL for the kewl kids). This is just the passive, natural way your body perspires. Think of it like evaporation.

    What causes dry skin? A lack of Natural Moisturizing Factors. These are amino acids, derivatives of those amino acids, salts, sugars, lactic acid and urea - the end product of all broken down proteins. A lack of Epidermal Lipids. These are ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids. All crucial to proper skin function.

    Dry skin can feel tight, look brittle, and feel a little rough to touch. It lacks elasticity and is prone to cracking.

     

    "Normal" Skin

    Skin that produces a balanced amount of oil (sebum). It has fine pores, good circulation, a soft and smooth texture, virtually no blemishes and is not particularly prone to sensitivity.  Normal skin is obviously the best case scenario, but the lucky winners aren’t out of the woods just yet. Normal skin tends to turn into dry skin as we age. All skin changes with time, with the weather, and with the environment.  All skin requires keeping healthy.

     

    Oily Skin

    You guessed it, skin that overproduces oil. Imagine that. Oily skin has larger, more visible pores. Oily skin looks oily - it’s got a nice shine to it. Oily skin is generally thicker as well. Unfortunately, it’s more prone to oil related reactions - breakouts. Blackheads, whiteheads, all that fun stuff. We’ll get into those a bit more later. Remember, genetics. Not much you can do about it. Other causes? Stress, hormones, medications, skincare products.  You know what doesn’t cause oily skin? Greasy foods. Old wives tale.

    Now for a mind-blowing, universe altering tidbit of info: oily skin can be dry. Sorry, dehydrated. Yeah. You’ll recall that dry skin, the type, actually has nothing to do with hydration. It’s all about oil production - or a lack thereof - and the water loss associated with it. So, just as dry skin is dehydrated, so too can be oily skin. In fact, it often is. And that’s why your skin overcompensates for its lack of hydration by producing extra oil. It needs something to keep it elastic, stop it from losing even more water, and help maintain its function as a protective barrier. Oil to the rescue.

     

    Combination Skin 

    You’re never going to believe this, but combination skin is skin that is both oily and dry. But not oily-dehydrated like the above scenario. Still with us? Great. This one has more to do with the different parts of your face. It’ll be oily in one place, and dry in the other. Simple. Usually, people with combination skin experience the oily part on their forehead and nose, while their cheeks are dry. We call that part the “T” zone. Mind. Blown.

     

    A note on "sensitive" skin.

    Sensitive skin is technically not a skin type. It’s simply an underlying condition related to one of the 4 types above. For example, if you have dry skin and use an especially drying cleanser - your skin will react poorly. Similarly, if you have oily skin and slather it with oil, the results won’t be good. Sensitive skin is more of a common issue across skin types rather than being a category in itself. And it’s by no means a medical diagnosis.

    It’s just skin that is more prone to adverse reaction. Inflammation, redness, breakouts, rashes and the like are far more common for people with sensitive skin. These are usually caused by chemicals, fragrances, and dyes that the skin comes in contact with. Irritation can also be caused by clothing and friction.

    How to determine your skin type.

    The Full Day Test.  One you’ll ace with ease. All you have to do is shower and wash your face in the morning, and look at it again at night. No further action required. Is it shiny? Oily skin for you. Is it tight? Flaky? Maybe even a bit itchy? Must be dry. Virtually no oil, no flakes, no tightness, no redness? Normal! Forehead and nose (T-Zone) shiny? Combination.

     

    Sources

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    Skin Basics: Unlock the Secrets of Your Skin: Your Ultimate Shield

    Skin Basics: Unlock the Secrets of Your Skin: Your Ultimate Shield
    Ever wonder about the champion defender of your body's universe? Yes, we're talking about your skin. It's not just any organ; it's the largest, heaviest, and most visible one you've got. Imagine it as the guardian of your castle, protecting the treasure that is you.

    Understanding the Game: What Your Skin Does

    At its core, your skin's mission is simple yet vital: safeguarding your insides from the outside world. This marvel covers over 20 square feet and constitutes about 1/7 of your body weight, wrapping you in a protective embrace that supports life's every moment.

    Why Your Skin Deserves VIP Treatment

    Its job list is extensive: regulating your inner thermostat, shielding you from unwelcome invaders, managing moisture, and connecting you to the sensory experiences of life. It's a complex player, but don't worry, we'll keep the science light and engaging.

    The Layers That Make You, You
    • Epidermis: Your skin's frontline warrior. It battles UV rays, bacteria, and other would-be invaders while keeping you waterproof. This layer is a regenerative powerhouse, constantly refreshing itself with new cells in a four-week cycle. For the trivia buffs, it's made of five sub-layers, each as formidable as a gladiator in the arena.
    • Dermis: The strategic middle layer, where the magic of oil and sweat production happens. It's where your skin feels, regulates temperature, and nourishes itself with blood flow. It's also where your hair begins its journey, playing a key role in protection and temperature management.
    • Subcutaneous Tissue: The unsung hero, providing a cushy connection between skin and the muscles and bones beneath. It's the ultimate insulator and protector, ensuring you stay warm and cushioned.
    Your Skin, Your Story

    Your skin does so much, tirelessly working behind the scenes. Isn't it time we give it the care and recognition it deserves? Join us on a journey to nurture and celebrate this remarkable organ. Because when your skin thrives, you do too.  

     
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