The Healthy Skin Show 001: How to Protect & Strengthen Your Skin Barrier w/ Dr. Peter Lio

Programming Director: Divania Timmal-Jones

Many people don’t realize that our skin acts as a barrier to help protect us from the outside world. When that barrier fails, it can lead to a whole host of conditions from eczema to food allergies. I am so excited to have an expert on the skin barrier, Dr. Peter A. Lio, on this episode to talk about this important topic.

Or, listen on your favorite app: iTunes (Apple Podcasts) | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn


Dr. Lio is a Harvard trained integrative dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He’s published over 100 papers in addition to a textbook on integrative dermatology. He specializes in using moisturizers to protect and support the skin and its function as your body’s outer barrier.

Today we discuss how skin is the first line of defense for your body. It keeps out the elements of the environment that would cause a lot of damage if they made their way in. When there is a breakdown in this barrier there can be a whole host of issues.

As Dr. Lio tells us, the proper use of moisturizers can play a big role in maintaining your skin barrier’s functions. (Don’t forget… coconut oil is not a great option for rashed skin!)

Do you use moisturizer to treat chronic skin conditions? Tell me about it in the comments!


In this episode

  • What the skin barrier is and why it is important
  • Filaggrin and its connection to eczema
  • What you can do to protect your skin barrier if you have a deficiency in filaggrin
  • The connection between leaky skin and food allergies and what the research says about preventing the development of these allergies in the first place
  • What you should keep in mind when looking for a moisturizer
  • The role the skin barrier plays in conditions like psoriasis, rosacea, acne, and seborrheic dermatitis



“Our skin barrier is really critical to keeping our skin healthy and keeping the immune system and our other allergies in check. It’s our barrier to the outside world.” [2:38]

“If you have eczema, you know that you’re deficient [in filaggrin], either genetically or functionally.” [6:44]

“Wherever there is inflammation in the skin, the barrier is in trouble.”  [15:01]



Find Dr. Lio Online

Follow Dr. Lio on Twitter | Facebook

Handbook of Integrative Dermatology

The National Eczema Association’s recommended moisturizers

Why To NOT Use Coconut Oil As A Moisturizer