Did you know that a ton of skin problems like acne or eczema can be because of the hit your skin may have taken due to free radicals or harsh habits? So, how to repair damaged skin barrier? Basically, the topmost layer of your skin, also known as the moisture barrier, protects the skin from environmental aggressors such as UV rays, dirt, pollution and so on. When this barrier is damaged or becomes weak, it’s unable to retain moisture or keep the toxins out of your skin. This makes your skin extra sensitive and dull, and causes premature ageing.
How to Repair and Strengthen Your Skin Barrier: The Basics
A damaged skin barrier makes it difficult for your skin to retain essential vitamins and nutrients delivered by your skincare routine. A compromised lipid barrier also increases the chances of premature signs of ageing. If you notice any of these signs and suspect that your skin barrier may have been damaged, then don’t panic just yet. We are here to help you change your lifestyle habits and look for skincare products that repair and maintain your skin barrier for a soft, supple and youthful face.
What Is Skin Barrier and How to Protect It, According to Dermatologists
Even though it's one of the most important aspects of healthy skin, the skin barrier is not spoken about too often. For those who don’t know, a skin barrier is part of our skin’s top layers that form the first line of defence against external aggressors. When this skin barrier is compromised, your skin starts to look dull and dry and is more prone to irritation and breakouts. To help deal with it, you need additional help in the form of moisture-retaining products, fatty food and hydration. And we are here to help you get started.
The Top 5 Best Skincare Tips for a Damaged Skin Barrier
- Simplify your skincare routine
- Avoid products with fragrance
- The Top Ingredients for Damaged Skin Barrier
Simplify your skincare routine
If it feels like your skin’s barrier has been compromised then try going back to the basics, which means simplifying your routine by using just a cleanser and moisturiser. Avoid exfoliating and don’t use products that contain concentrated skincare ingredients. To strengthen the skin’s barrier, use products that contain something like the nourishing vitamin E and hyaluronic acid which have the ability to retain moisture in the skin. And what better way to get it all than to try out the Pond’s Super Light Gel? As the name suggests, this lightweight gel is perfect for even those with combination or greasy skin. It keeps your face hydrated all day long to give you that natural glow you yearn for while recovering the lipid barrier.
Avoid products with fragrance
Many products are formulated using artificial fragrances simply because we like it when our skincare products smell nice. However, such fragrances can weaken or damage the skin’s barrier in the long run. Hence, it’s best to avoid products that contain fragrances. But can’t find one? Try out the Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser as it is free from over 2000 chemicals such as parabens, artificial perfume and dyes. Instead, it uses pro-vitamin B5, glycerin and borage seed oil to keep your face hydrated and replenish your skin’s barrier. It also happens to be non-comedogenic and hypo-allergenic, so whether you have acne or sensitive skin, you can use it without worry.
Always apply an SPF
One of the easiest ways to protect your skin’s barrier is by wearing sunscreen every day and reapplying it every few hours. Look for a broad-spectrum formula that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Choose something that gives a matte finish because those that leave a greasy film behind trap more dirt and dust onto the skin.
Apart from following all the tips above and using products to repair and protect the barrier, here’s another thing you need to do – avoid taking too much stress. It slows down the skin’s natural healing process and weakens the barrier. Indulge in activities that take your mind off things that are stressing you.
Nothing hydrates your body and skin better than water. During the winter months, you tend to drink less water as you don’t get as thirsty and during summer you may be sweating it all out. This makes your body dehydrated and your skin dry. Avoid this by drinking your regular eight to 10 glasses of water each day to keep your skin well-nourished from within.
The Top Ingredients for Damaged Skin Barrier
Humectants work like little magnets that help draw water to the topmost layer of your skin, either from the environment or the deeper layers of the skin. It keeps your skin amply moisturised by retaining moisture and preventing epidermal water loss. The most common humectants found in skincare products are glycerine, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and shea butter. We absolutely love the Lakmé Absolute Hydra Pro Gel Creme as it has hyaluronic acid which speeds up the recovery of the barrier and keeps your skin soft and healthy. Dull or dry skin? Then this skin-plumping cream is for you. Get up to 72 hours of hydrated and supple skin with a dewy finish thanks to this supercharged cream.
Emollients are those ingredients that improve the functioning of humectants and are usually used together for best results. Emollients are nothing but occlusives that form a layer on your skin and seal the moisture drawn by humectant into your skin. This further prevents water loss and is great to soothe dry, damaged and rough skin. The best emollient ingredients are argan oil, beeswax and Vaseline, to name a few.
Antioxidants such as vitamin C, zinc oxide, glycolic acid and niacinamide are some of the best ingredients to include in your skincare routine to heal a compromised skin barrier. Antioxidants protect your skin against UV damage and other environmental aggressors. Using antioxidant-rich items not only protects your skin against free radicals in the environment but also soothes your skin to repair the damaged barrier.
4. Food items
You can also strengthen the lipid barrier by eating the right food. Foods rich in omega-3 regulate the oil production in your skin and keeps it hydrated. Salmon and flaxseed work extremely well at improving your skin’s barrier. To plump up your skin, include collagen-rich foods like bone broth, citrus foods, eggs and garlic. Consuming healthy fats is another way to strengthen the protective barrier. It can be obtained from sunflower seeds, almonds, chia, seeds, walnuts, avocado and olive oil. Vitamin A also improves skin elasticity and prevents free radical damage making your skin supple and younger-looking. Just include foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli and squash.
FAQs about How to Repair and Strengthen Your Skin Barrier
Q1. How do you know if you have damaged skin barrier?
If your skin barrier is damaged, it will be susceptible to several problems like eczema, redness, itchiness, dryness, constant breakouts and skin infections. If you also end up getting a wound or scar, it will take longer to heal.
Q2. How do I improve my skin barrier?
Along with switching up your skincare routine, you can also make some lifestyle changes. Drink enough water, exercise and get face massages to improve blood circulation in the face. Also eat well-balanced meals with naturally fatty food, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants.
Q3. How long till the skin barrier is repaired?
Studies suggest that it can take anywhere from two to six weeks to start improving. The average person can see results in three to four weeks which can further be hastened if you work towards repairing the skin barrier.
And there you have it. From keeping an eye out on the ingredients of your skincare products to some lifestyle changes, here’s how to repair damaged skin barrier.
Written by Lopa K on Feb 23, 2023