What Is Skin Barrier And How To Repair It
Skin barrier is perhaps the least-talked topic amongst popular beauty brands and beauty enthusiasts. We wake up to understand the function of the skin barrier when we've totally ruined it and then the dermatologist explains to us the importance of a healthy skin barrier. Below, there are details on skin barrier and how to fix the damaged skin barrier so you wakeup to healthy skin every morning.
What Is Skin Barrier?
Skin barrier is simply the epidermis or the outermost layer of your skin, which is also sometimes referred to as a brick wall. It is the first layer of your skin that comes across environmental threats while simultaneously keeping your body's water balance protected. We mostly apply most of our skincare products on this outer layer of the skin which then penetrate to reach the skin cells beneath.
Skin cells contain the goodness of keratin (a natural protein) and natural moisturisers that help maintain the hydration content of the skin. The skin barrier also contains fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramides which help in keeping the skin appear lively and plump.
So, if you wish to look young wand have a radiant skin, you need to ensure that your skin barrier is performing well and is not damaged. Scroll down to know how you can check if your skin barrier is damaged.
Damaged Skin Barrier: Symptoms And Skin Conditions
If your skin barrier is in good health, then your skin will retain water, maintain good hydration content and will appear more radiant and bright, which will get you tons of compliments; now let's talk about the other way round.
If your skin appears dull, dry, itchy or scaly then you need to prep-up yourself to fix the skin barrier disturbance. Your skin will also easily get irritated, cause inflammation, breakout and cause discolouration on using beauty products and you might end up with stinging or redness which obviously you don't want to enjoy.
What Can Damage The Skin Barrier?
Skin barrier weakens with age, environmental stress, reaction from beauty products, and it can be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle too. We've listed some conditions that can damage your skin barrier, take a look!
- Extreme environmental conditions, too humid or too dry
- Build up and exposure towards allergens, irritants, and pollutants
- Too much sun exposure
- Cheap beauty products
- Usage of harsh chemicals, too many actives
- Over-exfoliation and cleansing
- Changing skin care products often
- Cleansing with hot water
- Medical conditions
- Genetic factors
How To Repair Damaged Skin Barrier?
Now that you've done all the damage, we're sure you are struggling to find the regime which will help you restore and protect the skin barrier. Firstly, you need to understand your skin type and then we've divided the repair stages into two stages so that you can regain the lost radiance and brightness by keeping it all simple.
How To Understand Skin Type?
We often go on to splurge onto the popular beauty products without even considering the skin type, and the actual damage starts here. You need to understand your skin type and then head on to splurge on skincare products. Follow the below step to understand which skin type you own.
Firstly, cleanse all the impurities from the face and neck using micellar water or cleansing balm.
Then wash off using the mild face cleanser.
Pat dry with a soft towel or just let it air dry.
Leave the skin bare for about 1 hour:
- If your skin turns oily, then your skin type is oily/acne-prone.
- If your skin feels stretched and dehydrated, then you have dry skin type.
- If your skin does not turn oily or feel dehydrated, then you're blessed with normal skin type.
- If your T-zone turns greasy and other parts remain normal, then you've combination skin type.
- If your skin feels irritated or inflamed, then sensitive is your skin type.
Identifying your skin type becomes important as it helps you pick the right products that contain the ingredients your skin is craving. Now let's head on to the skin barrier repair stages.
Repair Damaged Skin Barrier- 1st Stage (2-4 Weeks)
- Cleanse: Immediately stop your elaborative skincare routine; instead start with the basics. Wash your face with an extremely gentle cleanser at least once a day (ideally PM).
- Moisturiser: Apply a fragrance-free moisturiser on your skin.
- Sunscreen: Then top your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen (do this in the AM). It will help protect the skin from UV rays and harmful radiation which will also inhibit further damage and keep the skin barrier protected.
- Facial Oil: Incorporate a facial oil as the last product for your PM routine. Facial oils can help improve fatty acids that can contribute to the strengthening of the skin barrier.
- Improve Diet: Include omega-rich and fibrous foods in your diet.
- Hydrate Your Body: Drink lots of water and eat lots of fruits and veggies. A well-balanced diet is key to fix all the internal issues.
Once your skin has started to recover and the skin barrier has begun to strengthen you can slip into stage two.
Repair Damaged Skin Barrier- 2nd Stage (5-10 Weeks)
- Cleanser: Indulge your skin in double cleansing that includes cleaning oil/balm and water-based cleaners.
- Toner: Apply hydrating toner, mist or essence that contain hyaluronic acid or glycerine on the damp skin. Avoid toners that contain fragrance or alcohol.
- Serum: Slip the concentrated formula into your skincare regime that contains niacinamide, ceramides, panthenol, cica or peptides. This will help boost skin cell regeneration and contribute to a healthy skin barrier.
- Moisturiser: Pick a suitable moisturise that contains cholesterol, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, panthenol, cica, peptides or fatty acids. This will help rebuild the strength of the skin barrier and restore the natural sheen of the skin.
- Sunscreen: Do not forget to apply broad-spectrum sunscreen that suits your skin type the best. This will shield the skin barrier and prevent damages.
How To Protect Your Skin Barrier From Damage
- Remember these two words: Gentle and Patience. Chant these two words daily and practice the same if you want your skin barrier to be perfect.
- Start with a lower percentage of acids/actives in your regime and then gradually build up as your skin gets used to it as it will help perform better and prevent breakouts.
- CTM shouldn't be compromised, especially the night skincare regime.
- Don't take sunscreen for granted and make it a regular practice so your skin remains protected from harmful rays and other environmental damages.
- Do not over-exfoliate. Regulate your exfoliation process with the skin type you have.
- Don't go overboard with beauty products and invest in the right ingredients that are required for your skin type.
- Look for anti-oxidants in your beauty products this will minimise any incoming stressors.
- Keep stress at bay.
- Practice a healthy lifestyle that includes a well-balanced diet and optimum hydration.
Time To Shop The Essentials
Mild Face Cleanser
Mild cleaners are made of gentle ingredients that do not strip off the natural oil of the skin. Below, we've listed some mild cleansers that you can incorporate in your skincare regime.
The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing foam, 150 ml₹ 599₹ 690 (13% off)
POND'S Bright Beauty Spot-less Glow Face Wash With Vitamins, Removes Dead Skin Cells & Dark Spots, Double Brightness Action, All Skin Types, 200g₹ 244₹ 325 (25% off)
The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser, 150ml₹ 803₹ 945 (15% off)
Nature-le Arabica Coffee Face Wash - 100 ml | Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, Tea Tree & Jojoba oil | Deep Cleanser | All skin types | Paraben & SLS Free₹ 199₹ 349 (43% off)
Moisturiser For All Skin Types
These moisturisers contain hydrating ingredients that can fill up the lost moisture content of the skin and make it appear more plump and nourished. Below, we've provided some best face moisturising creams that can help you maintain the hydration level of the skin.
Pond's Super Light Gel Moisturiser, 147 g₹ 233₹ 299 (22% off)
Himalayan Organics Hyaluronic Acid Anti Aging Cream, Anti Wrinkle, Skin Brightening - 50ml₹ 598₹ 1,055 (43% off)
Dr. Sheth's Haldi And Hyaluronic Acid Sleeping Mask Cream With Ceramides & Vitamin E For Even Tone, Acne, Dullness & hydration₹ 850
Dot & Key Time Reverse Sleep Mask, Youth Restore Overnight Rescue Mask, Anti Ageing Night Gel 60ml, with Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid, Paraben Free₹ 1,036₹ 1,295 (20% off)
Sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection that helps in keeping skin protected from harmful sun rays. Here we bring you some best broad-spectrum sunscreens that you can shop right away.
Lotus Herbals Safe Sun 3-In-1 Matte Look Daily Sunblock, SPF 40, 100g₹ 298₹ 395 (25% off)
RE' EQUIL Ultra Matte Dry Touch Sunscreen Gel SPF 50 PA++++, Water resistant with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide₹ 626₹ 695 (10% off)
Brinton Healthcare UvDoux Face & Body Sunscreen gel with SPF 50 PA+++ in Matte Finish and Oil Free Formula| Water Resistant Sunscreen| Protection against UVA/UVB Rays (50 GM)₹ 643₹ 699 (8% off)
The Derma Co Pure Zinc Matte Sunscreen Gel with SPF 30 - 50 gm(dermaco)₹ 699
Frequently Asked Questions About Skin Barrier
How long does it take to repair the skin barrier?
It can take two weeks and up to a month to repair the skin barrier as you'll notice the appearance of skin-sensitivity, inflammation, and dehydration have gradually reduced.
What ingredients repair skin barrier?
Ingredients such as niacinamide, ceramides, free fatty acids and natural moisturiser boosting factors help with skin barrier restoration. You can also invest in beauty products that contain water-retaining ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, panthenol and glycerin, so your skin can retain moisture and provide you plump and healthy-looking skin.
Does vitamin C help repair the skin barrier?
Yes, vitamin C improves the skin's barrier process and helps in keeping the moisture levels regulated to give you soft and supple skin.
What is the fastest way to heal the skin barrier?
A simplified skincare regime can help repair and restore your skin's barrier. Also, your skincare routine must contain a mild cleanser, a moisturiser that contains ceramides or hyaluronic acid. Remember, there is not a fast route to healthy skin; you need to stay calm and give your skin some time to repair.
Skin Barrier: What Is Skin Barrier, How To Repair Damaged Skin Barrier
|Product||Price in India|
|POND'S Bright Beauty Spot-less Glow Face Wash With Vitamins, Removes Dead Skin Cells & Dark Spots, Double Brightness Action, All Skin Types, 200g||₹ 244|
|The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser, 150ml||₹ 803|
|Nature-le Arabica Coffee Face Wash - 100 ml | Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, Tea Tree & Jojoba oil | Deep Cleanser | All skin types | Paraben & SLS Free||₹ 199|
|Himalayan Organics Hyaluronic Acid Anti Aging Cream, Anti Wrinkle, Skin Brightening - 50ml||₹ 598|
|Dr. Sheth's Haldi And Hyaluronic Acid Sleeping Mask Cream With Ceramides & Vitamin E For Even Tone, Acne, Dullness & hydration||₹ 850|
|Dot & Key Time Reverse Sleep Mask, Youth Restore Overnight Rescue Mask, Anti Ageing Night Gel 60ml, with Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid, Paraben Free||₹ 1,036|
|RE' EQUIL Ultra Matte Dry Touch Sunscreen Gel SPF 50 PA++++, Water resistant with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide||₹ 626|
|Brinton Healthcare UvDoux Face & Body Sunscreen gel with SPF 50 PA+++ in Matte Finish and Oil Free Formula| Water Resistant Sunscreen| Protection against UVA/UVB Rays (50 GM)||₹ 643|
|The Derma Co Pure Zinc Matte Sunscreen Gel with SPF 30 - 50 gm(dermaco)||₹ 699|
|The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing foam, 150 ml||₹ 599|
Viveka is known to her friends as a movie junkie who is also a creative fashion enthusiast in red lipstick. She's passionate about writing! Be it fashion, beauty or movies she is pro. In her free time, she loves to play badminton, cook and binge watch movies. She's also a great observer who has a quirky take on various things, well only close ones know this. Nothing stops her from personifying the creative game.