If you love to scroll through Tik Tok as much as we do, you’ve heard all about the skin barrier. There is a ton of misinformation surrounding your skin’s moisture barrier and how best to support it.
Before we dive into damaged skin barriers and how to heal it, we need to understand what a healthy skin barrier looks like. A healthy barrier, or Epidermis, is comprised of 50% Ceramides, 35% Cholesterol, and 15% Fatty Acids. The three cells that make up the Epidermis are Keratinocytes, AKA Keratin, the glue that binds the natural oils, ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids together, Melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing Melanin, and Langerhan, whose job is to protect the skin against bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
So what compromises your skin barrier’s ability to do its jobs? One of the most common and easy ways to damage your skin barrier is to over-exfoliate your skin. When you’re treating existing skin issues like acne, your first thought is to use ingredients like Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, or Glycolic Acid to treat those breakouts. Sometimes, however, using too many harsh active ingredients on your skin can lead to a dried out, inflamed, and damaged barrier which ultimately leads to more acne. Environmental pollutants, not moisturizing enough, and skin conditions like Eczema can also cause a damaged skin barrier.
Healing a damaged skin barrier takes time and patience, but it is very possible. First step, stay away from all harsh actives, from exfoliating acids to Retinoids. Give your skin the break it needs to repair itself, and focus on hydrating your skin. A ten-step skincare routine is simply unnecessary; stick to a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF, and you can add a simple hydrating serum if your skin is dry or dehydrated. Speaking to a professional like a Dermatologist and Esthetician can also help you get to the root of your skin issues, especially if the cause is a skin condition like Eczema, Rosacea, or Acne.
Your skin knows what it’s doing, and if you give it a chance to properly do its job, the results will follow. A damaged skin barrier is a sign that you need to be gentler and kinder to your skin.