How Can The Skin Barrier Be Repaired
Repairing your skin barrier involves a two pronged approach- stopping or slowing the deterioration of barrier function and strengthening the barrier.
Although exfoliation is necessary for healthy and clean skin, over-exfoliation can stress the skin barrier. If youre a fan of chemical exfoliation with acid or physical exfoliation with some form of a brush or scrub- doing it too frequently can physically damage the skin. Use gentle acids like polyhydroxy acids or sonic cleansers if you prefer. These are gentler on the skin for exfoliation as compared to strong acids, scrubs and loofahs. Im a fan of the FOREO LUNA 3, a sonic cleanser that gives my skin a thorough cleanse using high tech sonic technology. You can read about this technology in Sonic Facial Cleansing Brushes: Are They Worth It? Washing your face with hot water can also strip the face of its essential oils. Use warm water instead to rinse.
Some active ingredients can also transiently weaken the skin barrier. If youre using active ingredients like retinoids, your skin needs to adapt before you increase the potency or frequency of your active ingredients. Otherwise, effects of a weakened barrier and irritationcan occur. Similarly, using multiple active ingredients in combination can potentially intensify the damage to the skin barrier. If in doubt, play it safe. Start with lower strengths and potencies of your actives and talk to your doctor about what your skin really needs and can tolerate.
Damaged Your Skin Barrier Time To Step Away From The Skincare Products
Repairing a damaged skin barrier requires less work than you think.
Have you ever noticed that no matter how complex your skincare routine is, you simply cant fix that oily skin that feels really tight at the same time? Or how your breakouts and inflammation simply wont calm down despite trying out the best chemical exfoliators and creams on the market? Or perhaps one day you found that some of your tried and true skincare products are now suddenly causing your skin to react negatively.
If youve tried pretty much everything under the sun and your skin is still freaking out, chances are you have a damaged skin barrier. Thankfully, all hope is not lost, and you can easily nurse your damaged skin back to health. All it takes is some willpower, a bit of knowledge, and a whole lot of patience.
How To Repair Damaged Skin Naturally: 5 Simple Steps
Nature provides us with numerous ingredients that help to support skin repair and help us take control of a damaged skin barrier in the comfort of our home. When skin is damaged, what we apply to it topically and feed our body internally can play a vital role in determining how quickly and effectively we restore and repair the skin barrier.
Recommended Reading: How Quickly Does Squamous Cell Carcinoma Spread
How Do I Keep It Healthy Long
Once your skin is back to normal , make sure to keep exfoliation and harsh, active ingredients at arm’s length.
While they may be crucial for achieving your skin goals, they are best used sparingly. When using products with retinol or strong acids, consider using each once a week, and always on different days to avoid flare-ups.
Then, lean on hydrating, gentle skin care products that prioritize barrier health with ceramides, healthy oils, squalane and more. See below for some of our favorites.
La Roche-Posay, Cicaplast Balm B5 For Dry Skin, $14.99, laroche-posay.us
Rich and Creamy
Glossier, After Baume $28, glossier.com
Skinfix, Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream, $52,
All Over Care
What Is Skin Barrier And How Does It Get Damaged
The skin barrier is the outermost part of the outermost layer of the skin .
This shield is the first protection against harsh elements from the environment. And it also plays an important role in keeping moisture in your skin. Preventing it from dehydration.
To be even more specific, the skin barrier itself consists of several organizations. Its quite complex but to make it simple, you can see it as three departments.
Don’t Miss: Does Retinol Make Your Skin Peel
How Long Does It Take To Heal Skin Barrier Until Full Recovery
How long does it take to heal skin barrier? It is determined by the severity of the damage. It takes time for the lipid barrier to heal. It will take about 2-4 weeks to repair minor damage. Dryness, tightness, flakiness, and tingling sensations are signs of minor skin barrier damage, even when using a hydrating/moisturizing product that does not contain potential irritants. Most people are unaware that these are the early signs of a damaged skin barrier.
If you use the proper method, it will take 3 to 6 months to repair moderate damage. Oily but dehydrated skin, sensitivity, a burning sensation, and a rough texture on the face are all signs of moderate skin damage. The symptoms are obvious to see and feel, and this is when most people became aware of their skin problems.
If your skin barrier is severely damaged, it will take a very long time to heal. After your skin barrier has been repaired, you must maintain it gently to prevent further damage.
The healing process varies according to skin type. When you have dry and mature skin, it takes longer to heal your skin barrier. Combination or oily skin types, on the other hand, have a better ability to heal themselves.
How Can I Prevent That From Happening When Using Retinoids
I have a blog post on how to introduce Retin-A with minimal irritation here, but even experienced users will wreck their skin barrier from time to time. There are just too many things influencing skins resilience, like hormones, stress, the weather and the other products you are using.The best thing you can do, after following all the tips I gave you in the blog post mentioned above, is keep notes on how you react to potential triggers. I for one know that when it gets cold here in Germany, I need to make some adjustments or my skin will freak out.
I also know that exfoliating more than twice a week will inadvertently cause problems, and I have learned to watch out for early warning signs like sunscreen stinging around the mouth area and immediately react with things to help my skin barrier heal again.
Read Also: What Is The Skin Cancer Survival Rate
Dont Overdo The Exfoliation
Most people with healthy skin dont need to exfoliate. If you have oily and acne-prone skin, you can get away with exfoliating once or twice a week. However, those with sensitive skin are advised to avoid exfoliating altogether.
If you really want to exfoliate, choose a gentle exfoliant. Papaya and pumpkin enzymes are deep-acting yet gentle and non-abrasive. Meanwhile, lactic acid exfoliates and moisturizes at the same time.
Avoid products containing glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and retinol. Cleansers with exfoliating beads are also a no-go.
How Long To Repair Damaged Skin Barrier
It can take anywhere between 2 weeks to an entire month or more to repair your skins natural barrier function. Youll be able to tell when your skin is healed inflammation will be decreased, therell be a reduction in skin sensitivity, oiliness, dryness, dehydration, and reactivity.
Recommended Reading: What Can Be Done To Prevent Melanoma
So How Do You Repair The Skin Barrier
First step is always elimination or removal of factors that may be contributing to the problem in the first place. This sounds obvious but youd be surprised how many clients come to me willing to invest hundred if not thousands in skin treatments, yet they resist investing in a decent cleanser. The skin barrier wont repair itself if its repeatedly being corroded away with the wrong products. Below are some common mistakes I see in clinic all the time.
Mistake No1 thinking that just because something is a wash-off product then its not harming your skin and / or doesnt matter as much as the rest of your regime such as fancy serums etc.
Mistake No2 over-exfoliation chasing that unicorn and trying to obtain photoshop filtered skin that is smooth like glass. Or the misconception that somehow underneath that layer of cornified cells will be the skin of your dreams.
Mistake No3 sensitising your skin, then convincing yourself you have sensitive skin and settling for products that dont make you flare up, but dont actually do anything in the long term either.
How Do You Fix Skin Barriers Naturally
How to repair a damaged skin barrier?Find the root cause Limit frequency and time for face washing Stop exfoliating for a while Moisturize your skin Dont test out new skincare products Keep your skincare routine simple.
Healing the Moisture BarrierHyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1000 times its weight in waterGlycerin, which is very sticky, but works great if you add a few drops into your favorite moisturizerSqualane, which is derived from olives or sharks has barrier-replenishing propertiesMore items.
Also Check: Skin Cancer And Dermatology Center
Can Your Skin Barrier Repair Itself
Theres no one-size-fits-all answer.
In some cases, the damage is mild. You might just experience some dryness and flakiness.
And so, you might be off with just cutting down on products, like scrubs or peels. Also, stop using any harsh ingredients like salicylic acid or SLS. And when youre washing your face, use cool water. And limit washing your face to twice a day or less.
Less is more. By doing less, you give your skin the time it needs to heal itself naturally.
Should I Exfoliate If My Skin Barrier Is Damaged
You should avoid exfoliating with chemical and physical exfoliants for two to three weeks once you notice that your skin barrier is damaged, says Dr. Tomassian. After the inflammation, flakes, and irritation have subsided for at least one full week, you can add back one gentle chemical exfoliant one day a week for another two or three weeks.
Recommended Reading: Is Squamous Skin Cancer Deadly
What Can Cause A Damaged Skin Barrier
“While there are unavoidable daily contributions There are ways you personally can be contributing to the damage of your skin barrier,” Viscusi says. And a lot of that starts with cutting out some bad skincare routine habits and taking care of your skin. Here’s what to avoid or be mindful of when it comes to your skin barrier.
1. Over-washing:“This can strip the barrier and leave the skin vulnerable and dry,” says SkinSpirit lead aesthetician Karen Fernandez. And you’ll also want to choose face washes and cleansers that are gentler on the skin, like this one below from CeraVe.
3. Hot water: Cleansing with really hot water can play a role in damage, Riyaz says. Instead, try water which is best for the skin.
4. An unbalanced diet: Viscusi says this can compromise the skin barrier. And you should also get enough water, since a lack of adequate hydration is another factor, according to board-certified dermatologist Lian Mack, MD. She suggests drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day.
5. Harsh products: Riyaz says using harsh surfactants can cause harm. Also, products with pH levels that aren’t compatible with your skin are also a factor.
6. Doubling up on active ingredients: This is another issue that Riyaz sees each week with Docent patients.
7. Lack of adequate moisturization: Mack recommends using hydrating moisturizers.
10. Lack of Sleep: Viscusi says this is another factor.
11. Smoking: Yet another reason to quit.
Factors That Can Affect Your Skin Barrier
Your skin is strong and adaptable, but it can only take so much. Here are factors that can prove to be detrimental.
Aging. As you age, your cells slowly lose the ability to reproduce and rebuild. With this comes a decline in your cells ability to produce natural oils.
Cold, dry winters. Harsh and cold weather draws out moisture from your skin. Failing to replace lost moisture can cause your skin barrier to crack and let irritants in.
Over-exfoliation. Overly frequent exfoliation with high-concentration products is among the most common causes of barrier damage.
Exfoliation can be useful when done in moderation. It increases cell turnover. This means that it speeds up the skin shedding process, replacing dull, dry cells with fresh, vibrant ones faster.
But overdoing it can impair skin cell maturation. Over time, the skin barrier becomes weak and prone to injury. Over-exfoliation can also break the mortar that holds the skin cells together, leaving it vulnerable to irritants and dehydration.
Other factors include:
How To Repair Your Skin Barrier
22 June 2022
What is the skin barrier and why does it matter?
The barrier function is the most important function of the largest organ of the body- the skin. Functionally, it exists to protect the skin from infections, toxins and dryness. The skin barrier is also responsible for skin health and how your skin looks. When your skin barrier gets compromised, youre going to get atopic dermatitis and symptoms such as dryness and hypersensitivity.
You may have seen the term skin barrier pop up a lot more on social media and the internet lately all thanks to mask wearing, home DIY acid peels and over exfoliation. This blogpost is an ode to the most important function of our skin and how you can repair your barrier for healthier and younger looking skin.
The brick and mortar structure of the skin.
Cosmedix Humidify Deep Moisture Cream
Why Yads loves it:
“This is a thicker moisturising cream for anyone who needs that little extra oomph.”
“It deeply hydrates the skin while helping to restore your skins barrier. Anyone with dry, irritated skin that likes a thick cream will love this one.”
“Yes, the price tag seems a bit much, but trust me, you only need to use the tiniest amount. One tube of this will last such a long time.”
Also Check: What Is Renal Cell Carcinoma Cancer
Can I Use Vitamin C With Snail Mucin
Can I use snail mucin together with active ingredients like Vitamin C, Retinol, AHA or BHA in a routine? Yes, you definitely can! Snail mucin is a gentle humectant and has healing properties, so it’s especially great to layer or mix with strong or drying ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, AHAs and BHAs.
When Things Go Wrong
However when the skin barrier is compromised, the skin is left vulnerable and open to attack. The skins microbiome not only protects from harmful bacteria, as the skin beneficial bacteria help to keep population of the not-so beneficial bacteria down. It also signals / communicates to the cells below and therefore responsible for instructing the skin when something is wrong using chemical messages initiated by anti-microbial peptides . Pretty cool huh?
When the chemical barrier is corroded, usually through the chronic usage of antibacterial ingredients or products formulated with the wrong pH . Sure, the skin is able to recover well after small insults to the epidermis, but repeated insults, twice daily, over extended periods of time will make it harder and take longer for the acid mantle to repair itself.
The second and third line of defence can be discussed together, as they go hand in hand to form the physical barrier.
Corneocytes which are flatten, hardened, keratinised cells, that have lost their nucleus and their lipid membrane. Essentially laying down and packing themselves in tightly to form tiles, as in the tiles on a roof.
Bi-layer or Multi-lamellar lipid structure this is the glue that holds the corneocytes together. It comprises are ceramides , cholesterols and free fatty acids .
You May Like: Best Drugstore Face Wash For Dry Skin
How Long Does It Take To Heal Skin Barrier
The skin barrier protects the body from bacteria, viruses, and other external threats. It is also in charge of keeping moisture and allergens out.
When the skin barrier is healthy, the body is better able to heal wounds and resist infection. When the skin barrier is damaged, it can cause a variety of problems, including dry skin, eczema, and acne. So, how long does it take to heal skin barrier?
Does Your Skin Barrier Heal Itself
A damaged skin barrier can usually heal itself within two weeks, depending on the damage, but only if you stop all exfoliators and switch to gentle, soothing products instead, says Dr. Tomassian. If you keep up the same routine that led to a damaged barrier in the first place, youre not going to see results . But with time and a simpler routine, your skin barrier will begin to function like normal again, fending off irritants and potential stressors to keep your skin moisturized and healthy.
Recommended Reading: Itchy Bumps On Skin Spreading
And What To Do About It
After years of pushing exfoliating acids and retinols, the newest beauty trend is undoubtedly products that nourish the skin barrier, which leads us to one very important question: What is the skin barrier?
I sat down with my dear friend and fellow New York City board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein to discuss everything you need to know about the skin barrier.
Meet the Expert
- Shari Marchbein, MD, FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist. Marchbeins academic and clinical interests include the treatment of acne, in particular adult female acne, acne scarring, and rosacea.
Read Also: How To Fix Sticky Door
Heres How Your Moisture Barrier Gets Damaged In The First Place:
An enormously common way to upset your moisture barrier is with incorrect use of chemical retinoids or exfoliating acids. But thats not the only way to do it.
Most barrier damage comes from stripping your skin of its natural oils, notes Yadira, explaining that a few different ways this can happen is with acne medication, harsh cleansers, overusing exfoliating acids/retinoids, and scrubbing too hard is also common as is using homemade DIY recipes like baking soda, lemon on your skin.
Additionally, internal factors can impact and ultimately weaken your moisture barrier.
Also Check: Is Melanoma Skin Cancer Deadly