How to Repair Your Skin’s Barrier

Tori Douglas

Global Digital

4 min read

Skincare Education

Discover how to restore your skin barrier in four simple steps.

close up of three groups of yellow liquid on white background

Maintaining a sound skin barrier is crucial for preserving clear, supple, and comfortable skin. Regrettably, our skin barrier can become impaired due to external elements like excessive sun exposure, urban pollution, and harsh skincare products. Thankfully, with the correct measures and products, it is possible to safeguard and mend the skin barrier. Today, we're sharing four uncomplicated steps you can adopt to help rejuvenate your skin barrier for healthy, glowing skin.

What is the skin barrier, and why is it important?

The skin barrier, also referred to as the epidermis, is a thin protective layer of skin serving as the initial line of defence against foreign invaders like bacteria, pollution, and UV radiation. It's made up of a combination of natural oils, fatty acids, and skin cells that collectively maintain your skin's health, hydration, and protection.

This barrier also regulates moisture levels within the skin by inhibiting water loss and preserving essential hydration. When the skin barrier is jeopardised, it can result in a variety of skin issues, including dryness, redness, sensitivity, and even breakouts.

What damages your skin barrier?

A number of factors can have damaging effects on your skin barrier, including:

  1. Harsh skincare products: Using harsh soaps, exfoliators, and skincare products with high concentrations of active constituents – such as retinol and AHA – can harm your protective barrier. These products can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness, flakiness, and irritation.
  2. Environmental stressors: Pollution, UV rays, and extreme weather, like the oftentimes damp and windy conditions in the UK, can harm your skin barrier by depleting its natural antioxidants and breaking down collagen. This may lead to visible signs of premature ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles.
  3. Over-exfoliation: Over-exfoliating and over-washing can remove the natural lipid barrier and harm your skin barrier. This can also cause micro-tears in the skin, leading to irritation and inflammation.
  4. Poor diet: Consuming processed foods and sugar in abundance can incite inflammation and lead to skin conditions like acne and eczema.
  5. Lack of sleep: Sleep is a crucial period for your skin to repair and regenerate. Insufficient or disturbed sleep can weaken the skin barrier and result in dryness, irritation, and inflammation.

By understanding the root cause of the harm, you can take the necessary steps to prevent further damage and begin the skin barrier repair process to address your skincare concerns.

How to restore and protect your skin barrier

When it comes to rejuvenating and safeguarding your skin barrier, you must contemplate your routine practices and incorporate skin barrier restoration products as a treatment for a damaged skin barrier.

1. Simplify your skincare routine

When your skin's natural defence is compromised, it's likely you're experiencing increased sensitivity and irritation. This signals the need to simplify your skincare routine to avoid further irritation and inflammation. A typical skincare routine comprises three main stages: cleansing, hydrating, and protecting.

Start by concentrating on these three stages, opting for a gentle cleanser and toner, a moisturising serum or emulsion, as well as a nutrient-rich hydrator and light SPF. Eliminate skin exfoliators and products with active ingredients from your skincare routine or incorporate a skin cycling routine to give your skin a restorative pause between uses. A damaged skin barrier might take several weeks to half a year to repair with the appropriate routine, so it's essential to stick to products that your skin responds well to and keep consistency during this period.

Our skincare recommendation: Crème Ancienne – This remedial face cream offers a luxuriously rich texture to intensively nourish, visibly rejuvenate, and enhance the skin's stability. Composed of skin-softening meadowfoam seed oil, protective vitamin E, moisture-retaining beeswax, and calming chamomile wax, it's perfect for those with delicate or fragile skin. For those with oily or acne-prone skin, Crème Ancienne Soft Cream provides similar skin-nourishing benefits in a softer, whipped texture.

2.Revitalise your skin with antioxidants

Assist your skin in regaining lost lipids by adopting a daily skincare routine rich in antioxidants. Ceramides and niacinamide are essential for reinforcing the skin barrier, while hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and panthenol support your skin's ability to retain moisture. Aloe, calendula, and chamomile extracts are renowned for their soothing properties, so always keep an eye out for skincare products containing these ingredients.

Our skincare suggestion: Tea Elixir Skin Resilience Activating Serum – This robust facial serum is not only charged with antioxidant-rich oils, but it also features our unique Adaptive Phytocompound Tea (APT) Technology™, niacinamide, 5kDA hyaluronic acid, and ceramide III. The serum doesn't merely boost the skin barrier, it also enhances resilience. A couple of drops massaged into clean skin, both morning and evening, will leave your skin looking smoother and plumper, optimising its performance.

3. Make hydration a priority

A compromised skin barrier can lead to rapid moisture loss, making hydration an integral part of skin health and comfort. Appropriate hydration can significantly improve dryness, redness, and irritation. Therefore, it's important to choose products with skin-friendly ingredients. Serums may contain moisturising components, and moisturisers are essential, but a frequently undervalued product in the regimen of restoring and protecting your skin barrier comes in the form of emulsions. These feather-light, silky formulas are swiftly absorbed by the skin, delivering in-depth, enduring hydration.

Our skincare recommendation: Rose & Hyaluronic Acid Deep Hydration Emulsion – This replenishing formula leaves an almost imperceptible finish, harmonising the skin's natural oil-water hydration balance. Perfect for all skin types, it can be used independently or coupled with moisturiser to provide gentle ingredients such as soothing rose flower oil, smoothening yarrow extract, and fortifying damask rose extract. With daily use, it effectively plumps, rejuvenates, and softens skin.

4. Support your skin with healthy habits

Your day-to-day skin regime plays a significant role in aiding your skin's recovery process. However, if the practices that led to the damage persist, you're fighting an uphill battle. It's crucial to combat lifestyle stressors if you wish to triumph in the quest for brilliant skin. Adopting minor changes every day – such as enhancing your sleep quality, reducing dietary provocations, and donning SPF (and reapplying every two hours throughout daylight hours!) – will maintain your skin's top condition throughout the seasons.

Enjoy fresh skin every day

Choose skincare products you can trust to keep your skin healthy, radiant, and fresh! When you select skincare, body care, or fragrances from fresh, you're guaranteed safety, efficacy, and sensoriality. Our products are formulated with the best ingredients and backed by science to create experiences that transform. Shop fresh.

Author Profile
blog author tori

Tori Douglas

Global Digital

Written by Tori Douglas for Fresh. Tori is a NYC-based digital and brand strategist. Tori has worked for various publications and brands such as Kiehl's, The Body Shop, Deux Hommes Magazine, and Elite Daily with her expertise lying in the fashion & beauty space.