Our skin barrier plays a very important role to prevent dust, dirt, and other environmental stressors which are responsible for many skin concerns. But, when the skin barrier gets weaker or damaged, we start to lose our skin glow, luster, and flexibility. But, how we can repair our damaged skin barrier. Let’s discuss it.
What is Your Skin Barrier?
Our skin is made up of different layers, and the outermost one is our skin barrier. Our skin barrier keeps the essential stuff like skin’s natural oils, hydration, and moisture sealed in and the unwanted things out from the skin. When our skin barrier is strongest, our skin feels hydrated, soft, and lusciously plump and when it gets damaged, it appears dull, dry, and flaky.
How Our Skin Barrier Get Damaged?
Our skin barriers get damaged when our skin’s natural fats are broken down. There are many reasons behind it like our genes, aging, and environmental factors. Here are some important factors that are responsible for damaging the skin barrier are:
- The temperature of Water: whenever you’re applying water to your skin, go for lukewarm water. If it’s too cold, it may not remove the dirt and grime. If it’s too hot, your skin’s natural oils could be harmed.
- Over Exfoliation: Exfoliation is an important part of our skincare routine but when you over-exfoliate, it can show adverse effects. So try to follow the exfoliating regimen of your skin 2-3 times per week and take a break if your skin becomes red, dry, or flaky.
- Applying too many active ingredients: using too many active ingredients at one time causes irritation and other skin problems. Active ingredients are very concentrated. If they are causing you irritation, try reducing how often you apply them. If you are using more than one or two products, try them alternatively. If you have confusion, consider scheduling a trip to your dermatologist.
- Sun damage- Sun damage also harms our skin barrier. We always follow sunscreen to protect us from harmful sun rays, but we can’t say it enough to protect against UV rays and their skin-damaging effects.
- Sleeping schedule- Have you ever noticed, if you’ve woken up after a night of disturbance and turned to puffy, tired-looking skin. Night’s sleep is best for strengthening the skin’s barrier.
Signs of Damaged Skin Barrier
Here are some of the most common signs of a damaged skin barrier:
- Dry and flaky skin
- Discolored Patches
- Tightness and Irritation
- Sensitive or Inflamed areas
- Bacterial, Viral, or fungal infections
How To Maintain and Heal Damaged Skin’s Barrier and Prevent Further Damage
If you are experiencing a breakdown in your skin’s barrier, what you apply to your skin is a major concern. Here, we will discuss some tips for taking a methodical approach to restore, nourish, and strengthen your skin barrier.
Damaged skin barriers need restoration, for this, you should apply oils that are rich in antioxidants, such as sunflower and safflower oils. They keep your skin hydrated. Avoid fragranced varieties and also citrus oils, they can irritate sensitive skin. Products containing panthenol – a vitamin B-5 derivative- also work as healing lubricators, as do products with niacinamide, an ingredient that increases ceramide production and improves skin barrier function.
Keep Your Skin Hydrated
Damaged skin requires instant moisture, so keeping your face and body well hydrated, is a very important step to restoring and maintaining a healthy skin barrier. Include creams, lotions, and serums in your skincare routine that contain moisture-binding humectants like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and sorbitol. The latter is also a powerful anti-aging ingredient that locks in moisture and improves elasticity to help you retain plump, youthful-looking skin.
When you use harsh chemical-based skin care products, over-exfoliate your skin, and use a retinoid, all are responsible for skin conditions like eczema and rosacea. To keep redness and dry, flaky skin, stop using such aggravating products until your skin heals. Don’t use cleansers and toners that contain astringents, opting for those with calming ingredients like colloidal oatmeal- a natural anti-irritant- to help soothe redness.
Use Sunscreen and Supplements
Sun exposure is also one of the major causes of a damaged skin barrier, too much exposure to UVA and UVB rays disrupts skin-barrier restoration. To avoid sun exposure, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, and be sure to select one that’s full of antioxidants for anti-aging benefits in addition to protection. You can also work from the inside out. A diet rich in essential fatty acids or an omega-3 supplement can also help nourish and soothe the skin.