The answer is yes. The skin barrier helps maintain the right amount of water in the skin cells, ensuring proper hydration of the skin. Adequate skin barrier prevents Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL).

We used to think this TEWL in acne was all due to the treatments we used to combat acne. But new evidence suggests TEWL is partly to blame for the acne itself. In fact some studies suggest that the worse the TEWL, the more severe the acne. So ironically, treating TEWL can help improve acne.

Does improving skin barrier function improve acne?

By Daniel, ESK Co-founder


If you want to learn more about the causes of acne, read more about it here.


So how do you improve skin barrier function in acne?

Many acne treatments containing benzoyl peroxide and some forms of vitamin A like tretinoin, tazarotene and isotretinoin actually increase TEWL and yet play a huge role in treating acne. So if you are using them, restoring skin barrier function becomes even more important.

Studies of emollient and moisturising skincare products for acne show they improve skin irritation, redness and skin dryness. And most experts recommend non comedogenic moisturizers as part of your anti-acne regime.

ESK’s Ultimate A and A+ night-time moisturisers are our Hero product for treating acne effectively. It helps regulate skin turnover (reducing pore blockages) and reduces inflammation. The key ingredient Retinal is, according to the evidence, the most effective and is the least irritating form of Vitamin A.


Avoid things that can make skin barrier function worse!

Avoid soap which irritates skin and impairs skin barrier function. Cleansing is really important to remove excess sebum but go for a soap free cleanser like ESK’s Calming Cleanse or Hydroxy Cleanser to gently remove the excess keratin.

Avoid UV damage. UVB and UVA rays both can cause inflammation and reduced skin barrier function. So opt for a broad spectrum non-comedogenic sunscreen with low irritation risk.

Zinc oxide based sunscreens are ideal and tick all the boxes. You can find this in ESK’s Zinc Shade which gives you a matt finish and can be used under make up.


So there you have it:

Maintaining the best skin barrier function you possibly can will help with your acne. Avoid soap, protect yourself from the sun and use a good comedogenic moisturizer.


Other articles you might be interested in:


I have dry skin, why do I still get acne?
Game-changing skincare super ingredient: Vitamin B3