Is My Skin Barrier Damaged?

skin health Sep 12, 2022

Do you ever experience a stinging and burning  feeling after using you skincare products? This is not a sign that your products are working, it’s a sign that your skin barrier is damaged.

Damaging your skin barrier easily happen by simply over exfoliating. Now don’t get me wrong, there are products out there that are full of ingredients that can cause irritation to the skin and yes eventually causing damage to your skin barrier also. However over exfoliating with even a gentle oat base powder can cause irritation.

What exactly is the Skin Barrier and why is a healthy one important?

In simple terms the skin is made up of three main layers:

  1. Epidermis(top layer)
  2. Dermis(middle layer)
  3. Hypodermis(bottom layer)

Our stratum coneum (skin barrier) found in the epidermis is chalked full of natural moisturizing nutrients that are essential to the health of your skin barrier. Nutrients such as:

  1. Fatty acids
  2. Ceramides
  3. Cholesterol

These nutrients are essential to the health and of your skin and the strength of your skin barrier. When your skin barrier is preforming properly its main role is retain moisture and protect the skin from the environment.

What are the symptoms of a damaged skin barrier?

Besides general skin irritation, other signs that your skin barrier may be compromised are:

  1. Dry and flaky
  2. Dull
  3. Itchy and rough
  4. Red and inflamed

Can I restore my skin barrier?

Yes, without a doubt you can repair it but you need to take it back to the basics.

  1. Morning:
    • Cleanse with an oil based cleanser
    • Incorporate hyaluronic acid
    • Moisturize with products that have high concentrations of ceramides and glycerin.
  2. Evening:
    • Double cleanse if you are wearing make up.
    • Cleanse with an oil based cleanser
    • Incorporate hyaluronic acid
    • Moisturize with products that have high concentrations of ceramides and glycerin.
  3. No exfoliating – Just for now until your skin barrier has been repaired, no exfoliating. Even a rough face cloth will cause irritation. You want to be as gentle as possible with your skin.
  4. Avoid AHA and BHA’s any acids at all
  5. Removed active ingredients like retinol, sulfates, Benzoyl Peroxide, Alcohol (or Ethanol)

How long will it take to restore and repair my skin barrier?

It’s not a quick process and will more than likely take up to 28-30 days, a full skin cycle.

Remember to keep your skin routine simple and use clean, natural products.

And keep these steps in mind:

  1. SUNSCREEN every day, all day, even in the winter!
  2. Avoid hot water on your face. Luke warm is best.
  3. Oil based cleansers are your best friends.
  4. Be cautious when reintroducing AHA’s and BHA’s. No more than 2 times a week.
  5. Opt for a gentle oat based exfoliator, no coffee scrubs!
  6. Swap out your retinoid products for a natural, safe, non irritating option like Bakuchiol
  7. If you are still struggling with irritation or acne book in with our Medical Aesthetician for a skin consult.

Take this opportunity to have a professional natural skin rejuvenation treatment with our medical aesthetician at EASTND.


MONCTON at 1.506.830.8333 or email at [email protected] 

Karen, Medical Aesthetician

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