Barrier therapy — treatments that address the vital barrier function of the skin — is a hot topic in dermatology. This therapy either improves or restores barrier permeability function, or provides a barrier when there is lack of it. Usually discussed in the context of wound healing, barrier therapy is important in sun care, too.
Physical (more properly called “inorganic”) sunscreens are, as the common name suggests, physical blocks against the sun. They have large-sized molecules that sit on top of the skin’s surface (almost like a layer of clothing) to better reflect and scatter light rays. But there is more. The barrier function of the epidermis is relatively easily compromised due to hereditary reasons or from atopic dermatitis, sunburn, psoriasis, certain skin or medical conditions, or previous skin trauma like rashes or acne. When this happens, a physical layer on the skin’s surface can create a temporary barrier against microbes and water loss — making “physical” sunscreens able to provide other skin-enhancing benefits beyond sun protection. Simply put, inorganic sunscreens can help skin stay softer, more pliable, freer of infection, and possibly help it heal faster — in addition to providing excellent protection from sun and light damage.
Looking to get physical? Check out Armada Baby 50+ or Post-Procedure Barrier Cream 50+, now in handy tubes with an even smoother spreading application.