How to repair a damaged skin barrier
In today’s blog post, we’ll be diving into how to repair a damaged skin barrier. We will break down the skin barrier, how it gets damaged, the symptoms of a damaged skin barrier, and how to repair your skin barrier so that it’s healthy and you can have beautiful-looking skin. But, first, we’ll dive into what exactly is the skin barrier?
What is the skin barrier?
Everyone these days talks about how important it is to maintain a healthy skin barrier. But what exactly is the skin barrier? Our skin has many different layers; however, the skin barrier is the outermost layer of your skin, and this layer’s primary function is to keep hydration in your skin and keep irritants out. Therefore, if your skin barrier is damaged, you will go through discomfort as your skin will be more sensitive than usual.
How does the skin barrier get damaged?
There are many ways that your skin barrier can get damaged. However, some of the main ways the skin barrier can get damaged are by over-exfoliation or over-washing, which can strip the skin’s natural oils and lead to sensitivity and irritation. Another cause could be increased sun exposure, which can harm the skin and lead to inflamed skin and irritation. In addition, using skincare products that have harsh chemicals can irritate your skin and potentially lead to scaly skin due to the loss of your skin’s natural oils. The last common way to damage your skin barrier might be surprising, but it is extreme weather conditions. Weather conditions that are too humid or too dry can affect your skin more than you know and make your skin feel rough to the touch.
How can you tell if your skin barrier is damaged?
If your skin feels different than usual and is more sensitive to the touch, dry, itchy, rough, or inflamed, you might have a damaged skin barrier. For example, if you have been using actives or exfoliating more than usual, this might be why your skin is acting up.
How to repair a damaged skin barrier?
If you have a damaged skin barrier, don’t worry too much. There are a couple of ways to repair your damaged skin barrier and maintain a healthy skin barrier for the future.
Implementing a simple skincare routine
Using active products in your skincare routine can get addicting with relatively quick results. However, if you are experiencing a damaged skin barrier, the first thing to do is keep your routine super simple. By eliminating all of the unnecessary products, you will give your skin a break, giving your skin the time needed to heal.
We suggest that you use gentle cleansers with non-irritating ingredients, good eye cream and moisturizer, and sunscreen during the day. And at night, switch out your sunscreen with a petroleum jelly-based moisturizer (slugging) to seal in the hydration. You need to stop using all active ingredients for 2-3 weeks, including retinol, vitamin C, and exfoliants. An additional step that you can incorporate to speed up your healing is to stop wearing makeup during this time.
Using products with the correct pH levels
To maintain our overall skin pH levels, the best thing to do is to use skincare products with a pH level of 5.7. These days many products have high pH levels that go up to 9. Using pH levels that are too high can dry our skin and can lead to irritation.
Using products with good ingredients
Using products with good hydrating ingredients will ensure that you maintain a healthy skin barrier. Some great ingredients to incorporate into your skin regime are niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, squalene, centella asiatica, and glycerin. These ingredients help seal moisture in your skin which can improve your overall skin barrier.
Slugging at the end of your nighttime skincare routine
You probably have heard of the term slugging. It’s been a popular way for people to repair their damaged skin barriers and, just in general, to make sure that their skin doesn’t lose hydration from your skincare products. Slugging is when you use petroleum jelly as the last step of your skincare routine at night. What petroleum jelly does is that it seals hydration into your skin and makes sure that your skin will reap all the benefits from your skincare products.
Protecting your skin and being cautious with new products
Whenever you introduce new products into your skincare routine, you should always proceed with caution and conduct a patch test to ensure that you don’t get a reaction. If you do a patch test first and your skin feels okay, it’s an excellent sign to incorporate it into your skincare routine. But when doing so, you should introduce any new products slowly and do it one at a time. Don’t introduce several new products into your routine; you might overwhelm your skin, and it can be challenging to find the culprit if you use several new products at once.
Another essential thing to keep in mind is to go easy when using active products and when exfoliating. Ensure that you know your skin type and what your skin can handle. Everyone’s skin is different, and for some, exfoliating three times a week is fine, but it can lead to irritation for others. So make sure that you conduct your research and know your skin to curate the best skincare routine for your specific skin type.
Have you ever experienced a damaged skin barrier? What did you do to heal your skin? Have you tried slugging?
Comment below and let us know your best tips for healing a damaged skin barrier!