How to Repair a Damaged Skin Barrier?
The skin barrier is what protects us and our skin against environmental stressors and external factors that can be damaging to the skin. Any damage to the skin barrier can cause the skin to feel more sensitive and drier than before. Skin repair is important to make up for any damage the skin barrier might have sustained to keep the skin healthy and nourished.
What is the skin barrier?
The skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin and is also called the stratum corneum. An easier way to explain it would be to compare it to bricks and mortar. The skin cells act as the bricks while the fat acts as the mortar, holding all the cells together to form a protective wall.
This wall of skin cells keeps any foreign organisms from entering the body or the skin. They also work to prevent a loss of moisture from the body, protecting the skin from environmental toxins and ultraviolet rays from the sun.
How can the skin barrier be damaged?
There are a number of factors that can have a detrimental effect on your skin and can injure the skin barrier, such as over- exfoliation, the use of harsh chemicals or physical exfoliants, allergens, or irritants.
Improper use of skincare actives can also damage the barrier. This can include chemical exfoliants or acne treatments, especially if they’re overused. Irritants can often lead to rough and bumpy skin which is a sign of the skin barrier being compromised. While these skincare actives are meant to nourish and improve the skin, they can have the opposite effect if not practiced correctly.
How to repair skin barrier?
1. Cut out the irritants
If you notice your skin getting rough or facing frequent breakouts, considering stopping the use of all skincare actives such as retinoids, AHAs, and BHAs. Even gentler ingredients such as vitamin C can be irritative for the skin when it is sensitive.
Moisturizers and hydrating serums should be used abundantly as the skin heals best when it has appropriate moisturization. Try to avoid wearing makeup if possible and if you must, be sure to wash it off and cleanse at the end of the day.
2. Cleanse regularly
To maximize the skin barrier repair, it is essential to cleanse but the cleansing should be done in the appropriate manner. Exfoliating face washes and any face wash that strips oils from the skin should not be used. Repairing the skin barrier can only be done with the help of oils.
Avoid using hot water to wash your face as it can also lead to excessive dryness. Use gentle cleansers combined with lukewarm water to wash your face.
3. Promote the regeneration with hydrating moisturizers.
Nourishment and hydration are essential for the repair of a damaged skin barrier. A face lotion can provide hydration while simultaneously reducing irritation and restoring the integrity of the skin barrier.
Moisturizers with ceramides are suitable but homemade moisturizers can also be used that are include essential oils such as the best lavender essential oil offered by Beverything Body.