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How do I know if I have damaged my skin barrier?

How do I know if I have damaged my skin barrier?

A damaged skin barrier, also referred to as “compromised skin” can happen because of many intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Being in the skincare industry, we see a lot of barrier damage being done by an overuse of exfoliants and harsh products. It could also be interpreted that since “skinimalism” and “slugging” have become current trends that barrier damage is a relatively frequent occurrence for many consumers right now. However, if you’re reading this with flaky, red, tight, and/or burning skin, we want you to know that barrier damage can be short term and there are things you can do to help relieve the discomfort and get your skin back to optimal function. 

Before we figure out how to fix the problem, let’s talk about what causes it first. A damaged skin barrier is caused by an increase in Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL). TEWL is the function in which water is evaporated off of the skin. TEWL is an incredibly normal function in the skin, but when the epidermal layer is compromised due to too much water loss, it can lead to retention of dead skin cells and premature aging. These effects can become obvious to us by creating dryness/flakiness from skin dehydration, rough texture from dead skin cells, and sensitization due to changes in skin pH.

Now that we know what causes barrier dysfunction, let’s talk about what we can do to heal our skin.

The following will be your best friends in this process:
pH balanced cleanser:

When our skin barrier is under stress the pH level our skin can increase leading to a more alkaline pH which causes irritation. The Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser is a great option because it uses gentle coconut surfactants, has Vitamin E to help condition the skin, and vitamin B5 which has shown to speed up the skin's natural healing process and reduce inflammation.


Soothing serum

Rehydration and antioxidant support are two things to really focus on when working on healing the skin barrier. That’s why we love Circadia’s Chrono-Calm serum because it has Sodium Hyaluronate to deeply hydrate. It also has Acetyl Tetrapeptide-33, Guarana Extract, and Kola Extract to help with redness and inflammation.

Ceramide based moisturizer

Ceramides are really great for restoring the lipid barrier and aiding in lasting skin hydration. With a mix of ceramides, Vitamin E, and Safflower Seed Oil the Control Corrective Ceramide Daily Cream thoroughly hydrates the skin without clogging pores. 

Barrier repair can definitely be a bit of a trial and error process, so we recommend meeting with one of our licensed Estheticians to go over what approach for repairing your skin could be best for you.