The epidermis, also known as the skin barrier, is the outermost layer of your skin and is made up of strong skin cells that are joined by lipids (oils). This robust layer of skin, despite its fragility, keeps you safe, healthy, and, well, alive by preventing environmental poisons and pathogens from entering your skin and body. Your skin barrier also aids in preserving inside body fluids, which would otherwise evaporate and cause dehydration.
If the term "skin barrier" is unfamiliar to you, you may be more familiar with the term "acid mantle," which describes the pH balance and mild acidity of your skin. When in balance, this serves as a buffer against harmful bacteria and viruses that might infect you and injure your skin.
Purpose of the Skin Barrier
Each of the layers that make up your skin plays a critical role in protecting your body.
The stratum corneum, the topmost layer, is frequently compared to a brick wall. It is made up of strong skin cells called corneocytes that are joined by lipids that resemble mortar. Your skin acts as a barrier.
Keratin and organic moisturizers can be found inside the skin cells, or "bricks." Ceramides, fatty acids, and cholesterol are all found in the lipid layer.
You are basically alive due to this “wall” within your body because, without it, a variety of dangerous diseases and toxins from the environment could pierce your skin and cause havoc within your body.
In addition, if your skin barrier fails to do its role, your body's water content would escape your body and evaporate, leaving you wholly dry.
In order to operate effectively, your skin barrier must be protected, which is crucial for optimum health.
How to Identify a Compromised Skin Barrier
It is very likely that your skin barrier is damaged or compromised if you've noticed dry, scaly patches (the kind that sticks to your foundation and never seems to go away), itchiness or irritation that feels sensitive and/or looks inflamed, persistent breakouts outside of your hormonal cycle, or have been diagnosed with a bacterial, viral, or fungal skin infection.
Signs of a Compromised Skin Barrier
Sensitive and sensitized skin is quite similar, but sensitive skin is hereditary and is passed down through families. You are born with it, in essence.
The symptoms of these skin disorders are extremely similar. Redness, stinging, burning, and uneven textures are a few typical symptoms. Watch cautiously if your skin begins to exhibit the following signs.
- Itching and redness
- Your skin suddenly becomes irritated by your usual skincare products, and dull and dry skin
- Whiteheads and pimples
Sadly, if you notice that your skin exhibits these characteristics, your skin barrier may already be compromised. You will first notice that your skin turns extremely dry and flaky on the inside while looking greasy and oily on the outside.
Your skin won't absorb all of the skincare products you use as it used to. Your skin barrier's damage is causing it to function in the opposite direction, allowing what is on the outside to enter while conveying what is inside.
Because of this, your skin is unable to lock in moisture and hydration. Allergens and irritants quickly permeate your skin. When irritants and allergens enter your skin, they may cause inflammations that result in itchy, red skin. A burning feeling could also be experienced.
Your skin's response to the common skin care products you use is one of the first symptoms. When your regular skincare products cause you sudden irritation, it's a major warning sign. This is regarded as one of the initial signs that the skin barrier is deteriorating. As a result of the product's ingredients, your skin barrier becomes sensitive and readily triggered. alcohol and scent, for instance.
Causes of a Damaged Skin Barrier
There is a vast number of environmental and situational factors that could make someone more vulnerable to skin barrier issues.
Your skin barrier may be impacted by both internal and environmental factors, including:
- Allergens, irritants, and pollutants in an environment that is either too humid or too dry
- Excessive sun exposure to alkaline soaps and detergents
- Exposure to harmful substances
- Steroids or excessive washing or exfoliating
- Emotional distress
- Genetic factors that may increase your risk of developing skin diseases including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis
Climate may be a factor; you may reside in an extremely dry environment, be exposed to excessive sun exposure (without a proper SPF), or seasonal allergens, irritants, and pollutants may cause serious damage to your skin. It could even be the dry-yet-humid microenvironment within your face mask.
It can be related to your skincare regimen; excessive cleaning and exfoliating can both deplete your skin's natural oils and nutrients (think AHAs, BHAs, and retinoids too often or at too high a strength, regular chemical peels, and harsh scrubbing). Additionally, misuse or excessive use of household tools like derma rollers, sensitivity to alcohol or smell, and a lack of moisturizer and SPF can harm the skin.
The causes might even be physiological or psychological, with the former being stress, heredity, aging, and drug side effects (likely steroids, prescription retinoids for acne, and acne medicine).
Steps to Follow in Healing a Compromised Skin Barrier Important
Given the significance of keeping your skin barrier healthy and undamaged, we are here to help you. If you’re unsure about what you can do to heal your compromised skin barrier, then here are a few methods you should do to maintain and preserve it further:
1. Focus on Having a Simplified Skin care Routine
You could unintentionally compromise your skin barrier if you follow a complex daily skin regimen that involves a variety of products. The most important thing to do to fully protect your skin barrier is to consult with a dermatologist or skin care specialist about the most appropriate and effective products suitable for your skin type.
2. Gently cleanse.
Only splash with water in the mornings, and at night, wash away the day with a nourishing oil or balm. Also, avoid using scrubs or brushes because there are various types of it that may damage your skin further, especially if you have sensitive skin.
3. Deeply hydrate.
Your second step back to recovery is to replenish that moisture with lightweight essences, serums, and gels boosted by humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin because a compromised barrier frequently results in dehydration from the skin's deeper layers.
4. Focus on your skin’s pH.
The pH of your skin's sensitive acid layer typically hovers around 5.7. However, the pH of various skin care solutions can vary from 3.7 to 8.2. Cleaning with a product that is near to the pH of your skin is highly advised. Maintaining a good pH balance for your skin may help shield you from skin issues like dermatitis, ichthyosis, acne, and Candida albicans infections. Some items do identify their pH, although not all do.
5. Use ceramides to strengthen.
Ceramides, waxy lipids essential for a healthy skin barrier, will support the skin's structural integrity.
The stratum corneum contains particularly high amounts of waxy lipids called ceramides. They are essential for the skin barrier's healthy operation.
Treatments containing pseudo-ceramides may help reduce the dryness, itching, and scaling brought on by a compromised barrier. Ceramide-rich moisturizers may help your skin barrier's structural integrity.
If you have acne, ceramide moisturizers may be very beneficial. The barrier is frequently damaged in acne-prone skin, and acne treatments can cause the skin to become dry and irritated. Ceramide-containing products may also help safeguard darker skin.
6. Use plant oils to seal in moisture.
There are various plant oils that may aid in skin barrier restoration and stop moisture loss. Numerous of these oils also contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.
The following list includes some of the most efficient plant oils for skin:
- Almond oil
- Argan oil
- Borage oil
- Coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Rosehip oil
- Soybean oil
- Sunflower oil
Use plant oils on your skin in a variety of ways. Creams and lotions that include one or more of these oils as an ingredient can be applied. Alternately, you can dispense a tiny amount of the oil onto your hand's palm and gently massage it into your skin until it is absorbed.
7. Try hyaluronic acid, petrolatum, or glycerin-based moisturizers.
Moisturizers are frequently advised as a treatment for the widespread issue of dry skin.
Reduced water loss from your skin thanks to an occlusive moisturizer helps the skin barrier. On your skin, these products leave a thin film that aids in retaining moisture. Petrolatum is one of the most commonly suggested occlusive moisturizers, where it can block up to 99 percent of water loss from your skin.
Humectants can enhance barrier function just as occlusive moisturizers. In order to work, humectants pull water from the environment or your body and bind it to the skin barrier. Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, honey, and urea are ingredients that are strongly recommended by skin care specialists.
Additionally, every skin care product is not entirely effective or suitable for everyone. Because of this, you might want to experiment with a few different products to see which one keeps your skin healthy and well-moisturized.
8. Eat the Right Food
You truly are what you eat. Your skin's state shows how well your body is doing. Consume foods high in omega-3s including walnuts, fish oil, and chia seeds. Omega-3-rich diets support collagen production and maintain supple, healthy skin. Reducing your intake of dairy and sugar will do wonders for your skin. Collagen is broken down by sugar, which harms the gut lining. Bad bacteria grow and healthy bacteria are displaced by sugar. Acne and skin rashes were brought on by an abundance of harmful microorganisms. Dairy products, on the other hand, boost sebum production. Additionally, it might make skin conditions like eczema and acne worse.
How Long Does It Take for A Skin Barrier Damage to Heal?
- Skin barrier recovery time after minor damage: 2–4 weeks
- Skin barrier recovery after mild damage: 3–6 months
- skin barrier damage that is severe: unknown
The lipid barrier needs some time to recover. The skin barrier will need to heal for two to four weeks after a minor injury. Dryness, stiffness, flakiness, and tingling sensations can occur even when using hydrating/moisturizing products that don't contain possible irritants as signs of minor skin barrier damage. Most individuals are unaware that these are the first indications of a compromised skin barrier.
If you are following the proper technique, significant damage can be repaired in 3 to 6 months. Oily but dry skin, sensitivity, a burning feeling, and a rough texture on the face are indications of moderate skin damage. The symptoms are obvious to see and feel, and this is when many people first became aware of their skin issues.
It will take a very long time for your skin barrier to heal if the damage is significant. You must continue to treat your skin barrier gently after it has been restored to stop further damage.
Various skin types of experience different healing processes. When your skin barrier is damaged, it takes longer to recover if you have dry, mature skin. On the other hand, skin types with mixed or oily skin are better at self-healing.
On the other hand, the time it takes to heal a damaged skin barrier can vary depending on the circumstance, but it can be healed with the right treatment.
Recommended Goodieco Products for your Skin Barrier Work
Here at Goodieco, all of our products contain natural ingredients that will truly help in maintaining and protecting your skin barrier. Additionally, we have several simplified kits that will make your skincare routine easier.
1. Nourishing Trio - 3 Step Routine
If you have dry, sensitive or mature skin, and you want to achieve a softer and more radiant look to yourself, then this product if for you. This Nourishing Trio - 3 Step Routine, available in starter and core pack, is the best replenishing package for your skin, designed to restore, replace, and regenerate moisture-depleted skin.
This package includes:
2. Supercharged Trio - 3 Step Routine
- 1 pc. Next Level, Cleansing Oil
- 1 pc. Layer Once, Nourishing Oil
- 1 pc. Dream Serum Rose, Balancing Serum
- Starter Pack contains 1/2oz bottles for a 4-week minimum usage
- Core Pack contains 1oz bottles for an 8-week minimum usage