How to Repair Your Damaged Skin Barrier

While it might not seem like it, your skin is constantly at work, especially the outer layer. It’s the barrier that keeps the moisture in bacteria out and gives your skin its healthy glow. Unfortunately, as you get older or in a really dry climate, your skin’s barrier can become damaged. This leaves it vulnerable to bacteria and other contaminants, which cause breakouts and sometimes even rosacea.

What is the skin barrier, and how does it work?

Your stratum corneum, or just your SC if you’re cool, is made up of dead skin cells and a kind of oily liquid. It’s this liquid that keeps moisture in your skin and stops it from drying out. This layer of skin keeps bacteria, dust, and other irritants out, which prevents your skin from becoming red or irritated.
Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that, but this is a basic explanation of the skin barrier and how it works.

Your skin barrier is a lot better at repairing itself than it used to be in your teen years. For example, the dry patches that you had on your face have most likely disappeared, but if you find yourself with a particularly bad breakout or red patches on your skin, the barrier can become damaged and inflamed.

You can do several things to help it recover and to maintain the health of your skin barrier:

  •  Use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser. There are some lovely gentle products out there that don’t strip the skin of its natural oils. Just keep an eye out for anything with perfumes or alcohol in it.
  •  Use moisturizer. Moisturizing your skin will keep it from getting dry and irritated.
  •  Exfoliate every once in a while. This will eliminate flaky skin cells, leaving your skin barrier nice and smooth.
  • If you have bad acne, talk to your dermatologist about getting a prescription for cream to help keep the skin barrier hydrated.
  • If your skin is dry, try to stay in air-conditioned or heated rooms (depending on the season) and use a humidifier when you can.
  •  Make sure to drink plenty of water. Keeping hydrated is crucial for the skin barrier, as it loses moisture if you don’t drink enough.
  • Wear sunscreen every day. If your skin barrier is thin, it’s more likely to be damaged by UV light.
  • Try to minimize stress, which can also hurt your skin barrier.

Following these steps will help you repair your skin barrier and keep your skin healthy and happy.