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What is a skin barrier?

Everyone is talking about the skin barrier right now, but it's more than just a TikTok trend. The skin barrier has always been at the heart of Pamoja because caring for the seal that keeps water in and irritants out is key to having great-looking skin!

In this blog, you'll get a super simple explanation of what a skin barrier is, and why you need to care for it whatever your age.  Being armed with facts helps you to take ownership of your skin.  

What is a skin barrier?

Your skin barrier is the outer layer of your skin, also known as your epidermis or stratum corneum, to be precise!

It acts like a shield holding everything together, sealing water in (the good) and keeping irritants out (the bad). Unfortunately, over-using high-strength skincare like exfoliating acids, vitamin C and retinol and not protecting your skin from the elements can damage your skin barrier, meaning it'll struggle to hold onto the water and the healthy fats that make your skin feel soft, hydrated and radiant.  It's much better to protect and strengthen your skin while it's healthy than try to repair it once it's damaged.

Let's take a closer look

The skin comprises three main layers. The upper layer (the skin barrier) contains healthy fats or lipids (including fatty acids, ceramides and cholesterol). 




Think of your skin barrier as a wall, where the bricks are your skin cells, and the mortar is a mix of fats or lipids, including essential fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramides. This wall is the barrier that keeps water in by preventing trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) and prevents allergens, harmful bacteria, chemicals and irritants from getting into the skin.




Your skin microbiome

Your skin barrier is also host to an array of microbes which are your first line of defence against external aggressors. There is a mind-boggling 1 million microbes per cm² of skin! This living ecosystem is known as your microbiome, and it's constantly in motion, with thousands of chemical reactions taking place at any one time.  


How do I know if my skin barrier is damaged?

Some common signs of skin barrier damage are dry, itchy, dull, irritated skin, pigmentation or conditions like acne, rosacea and eczema. Some skin types are more resilient than others. For example, if your skin is sensitive, your barrier is typically weaker, thinner, and more easily damaged, making it easier for irritants to penetrate the skin and cause inflammation.  If you're an oily skin type, your skin produces more oil and may be more prone to breakouts. If you are a dry skin type, you may be more likely to become rough or flaky. 



Need a skin barrier strengthening routine?

Pamoja's 4-step skincare is a skin barrier routine that helps to prevent damage to your skin, strengthening your skin barrier and making it more resilient in the longer term and prone to fewer flare-ups.  The routine is simple to use and easy to love, it's a soothing ritual of calm with silky textures and aromatherapy to lift your mood.

You'll find plumping, hydrating hyaluronic acid, skin-softening plant oils like marula and sea buckthorn rich in fatty acids, antioxidant vitamin E and barrier-strengthening Niacinamide.   Your skin will also love barrier-strengthening natural actives like Ectoin and Glycoin, derived from the resurrection plant designed for sensitive skin yet backed by science.   

Pamoja skincare is suited to normal, dry, dehydrated and sensitive skin and helps balance reactive, hormonal skin.  All you need to do is use the four nourishing essentials twice daily to give your skin barrier some TLC and bring back your radiance. 


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Look out for a future blog on 'How to repair a damaged skin barrier'.  Until then if you'd like a one to one chat about your skin needs and personal product recommendations then email me on hello at, I'd love to hear from you!


Copyright: Sarah Taylor, certified skincare formulator and founder of Pamoja.

26 February 2023


Pamoja is a high-performing natural skincare brand designed to help you nourish your skin and nurture yourself. Now with over 380+ five-star reviews. As seen in Vogue, Stylist, Woman's Health, Health and Wellbeing Magazine, Natural Health Magazine, Top Sante and more.


** Disclaimer - The content of this blog is for your general information only and is not designed to diagnose or cure health issues. The recommendations in this blog are based on my research and experience as a trained skincare formulator and 40+ woman. Ongoing skin problems can indicate an underlying condition, e.g. allergic eczema, dermatitis, urticaria, or psoriasis. However, trying to resolve persistent problems can be complex, so it's always best to consult a doctor if you are concerned about ongoing skin problems to identify and treat the underlying causes.   


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