How To Repair A Compromised Skin Barrier
It seems as if every “skinfluencer” these days is talking about the skin barrier and how important that is for a healthy complexion. In case you are still confused and aren’t really sure what all of that talk is about, know that I was there too. However, after doing my own research and finding products and ingredients that work for me, I can definitely see that the hype is real. So let me fill you in on it too.
Our skin is made up of many layers, and the skin barrier is the last one on the outside. Its main jobs are to keep the good things in and to keep the bad things out. When your skin barrier is working at its best, it will do just that. Your skin will feel hydrated, soft, and plump. On the other hand, when your skin barrier has been broken, it may start to look dull, dry, red, or flaky.
How do you damage your skin barrier?
There are many different ways in which you could damage your skin barrier. Some you have no control over, like the environment, your age, and your genes. But others are totally in your control, like using too many actives at once, over-exfoliating, or over-cleansing. But there are also other things that you may not even think of that could also hurt your skin barrier. Like using too cold or too hot water, or not protecting your skin from the sun.
What are the symptoms of a broken skin barrier?
Now that you know how the skin barrier can be damaged, let’s talk about the symptoms. If you noticed that your skin is unusually sensitive, red, itchy, inflamed, and tight, chances are that you did some damage. While these symptoms can also be seen in other skin conditions like eczema or rosacea, if they appeared after you just started using strong actives, chances are that your skin barrier is to blame. Some will even notice flakiness, breakouts, or pain in the affected area.
Repairing a compromised skin barrier
The first thing that you have to do if you want to repair a compromised skin barrier is to stop using any of your active ingredients. No exfoliating, no retinol, and no harsh cleansers. You have to give your skin a break. Keep your skincare routine as basic as possible and use only gentle products. Now it’s the time to focus on hydration and restoration. And in order to achieve that you need to have the right products, with the right ingredients.
You have to look for skincare that contains soothing ingredients such as ceramides, niacinamide, panthenol, Centella Asiatica, natural moisturizing factors, aloe extract, and glycerin. They will deeply hydrate your skin while accelerating the repair process in your stratum corneum. Use a gentle cleanser, followed by a hydrating essence or toner. Lock it all in with a thick moisturizer that is packed with ceramides. I know, this isn’t the usual 10-step-luxe-skincare-routine that I too am a fan of. However, sometimes less really is more. Especially when it comes to repairing our skin.
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