OCT 19, 2022

How To Restore a Damaged Skin Barrier

A damaged skin barrier can lead to dryness, redness, and irritation. Here's how to restore it to keep your glow.

The skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin that acts as a barrier between the inside of the body and the outside environment. This layer is made up of lipids (fats) that help to lock in moisture and keep irritants and allergens out. When this barrier is functioning properly, it helps to keep the skin hydrated, soft, and smooth.

However, sometimes this barrier can become damaged due to factors like harsh cleansers, excessive exfoliation, sun damage, or pollution. When this happens, the skin can become dry, irritated, and inflamed. If you're dealing with any of these issues, it might be time to restore your skin barrier.

Luckily, there are a few easy things you can do to restore your skin’s barrier and get your glow back.


One of the best ways to restore your skin’s barrier is to moisturize regularly. Moisturizers help to replenish the lipids in your skin that are responsible for keeping it hydrated.

Look for a moisturizer that contains ceramides, cholesterol, or fatty acids, which are all important components of healthy skin.

Exfoliate gently.

Excessive exfoliation can also damage the skin barrier by removing too many lipids from the surface of the skin. If you're using an exfoliating product more than once per week, try cutting back to once every 10 days or so.

You should also look for products labeled "gentle" or "for sensitive skin." And be sure to moisturize afterwards!

Avoid irritants.

Another way to restore your skin’s barrier is to avoid products or ingredients that can irritate your skin. Common irritants include alcohol, fragrances and retinoids. If you’re not sure whether a product will irritate your skin, patch test it on a small area before using it on your entire face.

Protect your skin from sunlight.

Sunlight can cause damage to the lipid layer of the skin, making it more susceptible to dehydration and inflammation. Be sure to apply sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days.

And if you'll be spending extended periods of time in direct sunlight (like at the beach), be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours or so for maximum protection.

Avoid pollution when possible.

Pollution can cause oxidative stress and inflammation in the skin, leading to damage of the lipid layer. If you live in an area with high levels of pollution, be sure to wash your face as soon as possible after being outdoors. You might also want to consider investing in a air purifier for your home or office.

Use gentle cleansing products.

It’s also important to use gentle cleansing products when you have a damaged skin barrier. Harsh cleansers can strip away the natural oils in your skin, leaving it dry and irritated. Instead, look for cleansers that are formulated for sensitive skin or that contain ingredients like coconut charcoal, aloe or reishi, which can help to replenish your skin’s moisture levels.

If you have a damaged skin barrier, don’t despair—there are things you can do to restore it! Moisturizing regularly and avoiding irritants are two of the best ways to heal your skin. You should also be mindful of the products you use on your face and opt for gentle cleansing products instead of harsh ones.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to having healthy, happy skin in no time!

Written by Morgan Blaylock