How to Tell If Your Skin Barrier Is Damaged

Skin barrier repair is trending in the skincare industry right now, so you’ve probably heard the term before. But do you actually know what the skin barrier is? Today, we’re exploring why the skincare barrier is so important, what are the signs of a damaged skin barrier, and what is the fastest way to repair your skin barrier.

What Is The Skin Barrier?

The skin barrier is the outermost layer of skin. The skin barrier’s main job is to your natural oils, hydration, and moisture sealed inside your skin. Your skin barrier also keeps out irritants in the environment and other things that could potentially irritate your body. When your skin barrier is healthy, your skin will be hydrated, plump, and glowy. It will be neither too dry nor too oily, and it won’t have flakes or scaly patches.

Signs Of A Damaged Skin Barrier

There are many signs of a damaged skin barrier. Irritation is one of the main symptoms and may look like red patches, swelling, itchiness, or all of the above. Your skin may also be dry, dull, and/or dehydrated more than usual if your skin barrier is compromised. Skin barrier damage can also cause skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea to flare up. It may also result in hyperpigmentation, skin infections, and/or delayed wound healing, especially if it goes untreated for a long time.

Causes Of Skin Barrier Damage

There are many possible causes of skin barrier damage. In some cases, only one factor may have caused your skin barrier problems, but for many people, their skin barrier was damaged by multiple factors working in conjunction with each other. Here are some causes of skin barrier damage to watch out for:

  • Over exfoliating
  • Using too many strong actives at once
  • Harsh cleansers that strip natural oils from the skin
  • Irritating ingredients such as fragrance
  • Water that is too hot or too cold
  • Sun exposure or UV radiation
  • Wind exposure
  • Lack of sleep
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Lack of nutrients in diet
  • Frequent handwashing

How To Repair Skin Barrier

If you suspect that your skin barrier is damaged, cut back your skincare routine to only the essentials. Temporarily stop using all active ingredients — including retinols, exfoliants, and vitamin C — until your skin is looking and feeling better. Also, avoid potential irritants such as fragrance, even if they aren’t technically active ingredients, since they can aggravate skin that is already compromised. Instead, focus on soothing, gentle skincare ingredients that will promote barrier repair.

Use a gentle yet effective face wash that cleanses your skin without stripping it or leaving it dry and tight. Then follow it up with a soothing serum that will calm down your skin, reduce redness, and encourage healing. Finally, wrap up your skincare routine by applying a multi-purpose face moisturizer that will both soothe and hydrate at the same time.

In the morning, you should cap off your skincare routine with a mineral sunscreen with a protection of at least SPF 30. The reason we recommend mineral sunscreens specifically is because chemical sunscreens contain filters that can be irritating to the skin, especially if your skin barrier is already damaged. Also, be sure to reapply it every two hours if you are outside, and wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to further protect your skin from the sun.

Do a skincare and lifestyle “audit” to see if you can identify any of the factors above that might have caused your skin barrier to become damaged. If you find any potential causes, try removing those from your life to see if your skin barrier gets better. If your skin is very slow to heal or you are continually battling infections, you might need to see a dermatologist for professional treatment to get your skin back on track.

If you’re looking to promote a stronger, healthier skin barrier with your skincare routine, then check out what Fieldtrip has to offer! Our products feature natural ingredients spruced from around the world, and we offer a personalized skincare quiz to help you find the perfect products for your unique skin.

Protect your skin from the elements with Fieldtrip! Try it today for healthier, stronger skin!

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