What are the causes of problematic skin?

Dry skin, sometimes excessively dry and itchy, redness, loss of elasticity, acne, injection-related skin inflammation, seborrheic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and so on—all these causes of problematic skin have something in common. The reason is that the skin barrier has been compromised.

Modern medicine has not yet clearly explained why the skin barrier breaks down. It is believed that genetics play a role, along with incorrect home care routines, stress, and even diet. The important thing is how we deal with it when the skin barrier is compromised, especially from a home care perspective.

Do you know what the skin barrier is? It's the stratum corneum, also known as the epidermis. These terms have the same meaning; different terms are used by different people.

The skin barrier acts like a shield, protecting our skin (specifically the dermis) from external bacteria and pollutants. When this skin barrier breaks down, various bacteria can enter the dermis, causing inflammation and resulting in various skin issues.

In such cases, the first thing we should focus on is home care. Incorrect home care can worsen skin problems. Since the skin barrier is composed of the stratum corneum, actions that excessively exfoliate the skin should be avoided.

Washing the skin excessively with strong alkaline cleansers, rubbing the skin with toner-soaked cotton pads or tissues, aggressively exfoliating with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), or physical scrubs, using products containing retinol, excessive facial brushing causing friction on the skin, and frequent use of exfoliating masks can all contribute to removing the stratum corneum.

Gently cleanse with a mildly acidic cleanser, apply serums or essences immediately after, and finish with moisturizer and sunscreen. Applying sunscreen diligently during the day is also important.

Furthermore, using too many products or relying heavily on functional products is not recommended. When the skin barrier is compromised, such products can be detrimental rather than beneficial.