How To Tell If You Have Damaged Skin Barrier And Ways To Fix It
4 minutes read
A damaged skin barrier is easy to spot. It’s the polar opposite of healthy, hydrated glowy skin. So, if your face erupts and breakouts, flakes, itch, and is painful to touch. These can all be clues you have a damaged skin barrier.
If you have a damaged skin barrier, don’t panic, it can be fixed.
We uncovered the signs and symptoms of a damaged skin barrier and listed proactive steps for strengthening it so you can get your glorious skin glow back.
What causes a damaged skin barrier?
The skin barrier, also called the “moisture barrier,” is the skin’s outermost layer (epidermis). As the name suggests, it acts as a barrier and shields the skin from external and internal threats, preventing the skin from suffering moisture loss.
Moisture loss, you ask? Every day, our skin loses moisture through transepidermal water, where moisture seeps through the epidermis and evaporates.
Things we unconsciously do daily contribute to ‘moisture loss’. One of them is constantly being stressed or leading an unhealthy lifestyle. You also have the inevitable exposure to pollution, harsh UVs and blue light.
Beware of blasting heating this winter as it zaps moisture from the air – so don’t sit too close to that open fire or make prolonged visits to the sauna and steam. Misuse of skincare products like over-washing and exfoliating, long, hot showers, and using a lot of actives like retinol and salicylic acid are also culprits. Along with shaving and hair removal or some aesthetic treatments.
All this can lead to a damaged skin barrier, which can take in various unwanted skin conditions, including a more pronounced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and flare-ups of skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis or rosacea.
Read next: 8 Common Culprits Of Skin Damage
Is damaged skin barrier reversible?
Yes, absolutely! A damaged skin barrier can be restored.
1. Stop playing chemist
We are guilty of overdoing our skincare routines by layering actives upon actives and harming our skin. When it comes to the damaged skin barrier, less is more. Let your skin heal. But make sure you keep on with your daily skincare routine, as not cleansing properly leads to clogged pores – hence the breakouts. Avoid actives, harsh stripping ingredients, over-exfoliating and experimenting with new products.
Lastly, make sure to apply daytime SPF. Get ultimate sun, pollution and blue light protection by using UV PLUS [5P] Anti-Pollution Translucent, £34.
2. Keep moisture trapped
Using an occlusive on top of your other skincare is meant to ‘seal everything in’ and keep moisture trapped. A great ingredient to look for is ceramides. They are skincare heroes as they prevent the skin from dullness, dryness, and dehydration. Add these ceramide-loaded Multi-Active Day Cream – All Skin Types, £45 and Multi-Active Night Cream – Normal to Dry Skin, £47 into your skincare regimen. Both are also powered by an antioxidant called organic teasel extract working hard to protect and preserve your skin’s youthfulness day and night.
Another skincare superstar worth checking out is hyaluronic acid, which can absorb 1,000 times its weight in water, helping to plump and moisturise the skin.
Beauty Daily recommends Hydra-Essentiel Rich Cream – Very Dry Skin, £26. This feather-weight texture moisturiser glides like butter on the skin, absorbs quickly, and instantly comforts compromised skin.
When out and about, keep a hydrating facial mist handy to spritz on the go generously. We swear by the Hydra-Essentiel Hydrating Multi-Protection Mist, £26.
Shea butter is also proven to have efficient anti-inflammatory properties and helps quell any redness or blotchiness. Read next: The 6 Shea Butter Benefits You Need To Know
3. Bank on your beauty sleep
Research also shows that lack of sleep or rest can damage your skin barrier and increase transepidermal water loss. So make sure you get 7-9 quality hours of Zzz’s. If you need some science-backed tips, read Sleep Experts Share Adult Night Routine Tips For A Good Slumber
4. Calm the cortisol
De-stress and calm the cortisol. Got thirty minutes to spare? Then, pop up at your nearest Clarins’ Beauty Bar for a DeStress Express, £26.
This deep-pressure massage, turbocharged with soothing essential oils, will relax the most tensed and stressed muscles, such as hands, scalp, neck, shoulders, face, and eyes. In addition, exercise reduces stress hormones and stimulates the production of endorphins, which together help foster relaxation.
Calm-Essentiel Restoring Treatment Oil, £45 is also a great product to add into your beauty arsenal. It has the ability to calm and soothe your frazzled skin. It is specially formulated with sclareolide, a purified molecule from clary sage that instantly comforts weakened skin and promotes a sense of well-being.
Simply warm up the oil in your hands, make sure to apply it at the same temperature of your skin to have better product penetration.
With your palms open in front of your face, take a deep, long breath in through the nose, then exhale fully through the mouth. Relax.
Explore the Calm-Essential Range here.
Doing a bi-weekly mask is also hugely beneficial for your damaged skin barrier. An ingredient you need to look for is squalane. Try this squalane-loaded SOS Comfort Face Mask, £31.50. Even the driest of skin will be soothed by this ultra-rich balm mask.
Suffering from winter skin? Read how to combat it with this Ultimate Winter Skincare Routine Guide