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5 Skincare Tips to Combat Skin Barrier Damage

skin barrier damage

Skin barrier or epidermis is our skin’s saviour, protecting it from harmful external elements. However, when this barrier is irritated or damaged, it might lead to acne, fine lines or even sagging skin. So how do you identify if there is something wrong with your skin barrier? In this article, we will explore how skin barrier damage occurs and how to repair it with the best skincare products.

Healing damaged skin is a complicated process that many may be unaware of. But before we understand how to repair damaged skin, we must learn more about our skin barrier, the factors that cause it damage and how to identify the signs of a damaged skin barrier.

What is the Skin Barrier?

Our skin barrier, or stratum corneum, comprises millions of tiny skin cells glued together by cholesterol, fatty acids and ceramides for the skin. Our skin contains three main layers: the epidermis, the outermost layer; the dermis, the middle layer; and the hypodermis, the bottom or fatty layer. Each layer has its significance but the skin barrier refers to the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis.

The main role of the skin barrier, as its name suggests, is to offer protection against environmental elements while also keeping the vital parts of the skin and body inside. This means that while your skin barrier works to block pollution, irritants, toxins and UV radiation from the sun, it also helps the skin hold back moisture to keep it healthy. In fact, this key ability of the skin barrier to prevent transepidermal water loss helps the skin to remain plump, elastic, smooth and less immune to damage by environmental factors!

How Does the Skin Barrier Get Damaged?

Our skin is always in contact with foreign surfaces and environmental factors. These can have a negative impact and cause damage. Some of the most common reasons for skin barrier damage are:

  • Weather changes (hot, cold)
  • Dry and humid surroundings
  • Allergens and irritants
  • Toxins from pollution
  • Excessive use of exfoliating products like acids and scrubs
  • Sun exposure
  • Stress
  • Diet changes
  • Ageing
  • Soaps and detergents
  • Steroids
  • Genetic skin conditions like psoriasis

Signs of Skin Barrier Damage

  • Itchy skin
  • Flaky skin
  • Irritated skin
  • Dehydrated and dull skin
  • Rosacea
  • Eczema
  • Slower healing of wounds
  • Pigmentation
  • Lack of skin elasticity or looser skin
  • Thinner skin or epidermal layer
  • Bacterial or other skin infections
  • Sensitive skin

How To Repair Damaged Skin Barriers?

If you have a damaged skin barrier, worry not, because all is not lost! There are several ways you can still repair damaged skin and bring back its original glory. Here are some of the main pointers to remember while trying to restore damaged skin:

1. Declutter your skincare routine

You may think that following a 12-step skincare routine is the way to keep your skin youthful, plump and glowing, and it can be, but unnecessarily adding multiple products to your skincare routine can also have negative effects if they are not well-thought-out, tried and tested. This is why when it comes to a damaged skin barrier, it is best to boil down your roster of skincare ingredients and prioritise only the best and the most important ones. And by the best, we mean moisturising products that are made from skin-loving ingredients and free of chemicals like sulphates.

2. Prioritise pH

Varying skincare products feature varying pH levels. And not every pH level can be right for your skin. In fact, using products with a very high pH can also cause more irritation and damage to the skin barrier. This is why research suggests the usage of products in the pH range of 4.0-6.0 to address skin concerns like a damaged skin barrier. So, the next time you add a product to your skincare routine, make sure it falls under the safe pH level!

3. Ceramides are your best friend

Ceramides for skin are one of the most popular skincare ingredients today. They are especially known for their skin barrier protection and moisture retention qualities which results in happy, plump and soft skin. Adding a ceramide-based moisturiser for your AM and PM routines can greatly help in repairing damaged skin. In addition, you can also look for sheet masks with ceramides for skin to give your skin an additional touch of healing!

We recommend makeO skin(formely skinnsi) Happy Hydrate Ceramide Face Moisturiser which contains the nourishing goodness of squalene, petrolatum and shea butter to repair skin barrier. Along with this moisturiser, you can also use our Enrich Expert Aloe Vera sheet Mask as it contains the power of aloe vera and hyaluronic acid which can fight dry and dull skin to give a hydrated look.

4. Explore natural oils for healing

Apart from the regular skincare products that you may use in your routines, try including natural healing oils too. Plant oils like jojoba oil, coconut oil, rosehip oil, and argan oil are known for their nourishing and moisturising qualities, which can also heal and repair dull and damaged skin. Most of these oils also contain anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities which provide quicker healing, anti-ageing effects and the prevention of moisture loss too.

You can use these oils directly on your skin as a facial oil by slowly massaging a few drops of it all over your face regularly or you can add a few drops of a moisturising plant oil in your moisturiser or lotion too.

5. Focus on hydrating and moisturising products

We’ve talked about ceramides for skin and we’ve talked about natural oils for the skin. Are there other ingredients that can help prevent moisture loss and skin barrier damage? Yes! Hydrating and moisturising ingredients like Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe vera, and petrolatum are also great at preventing moisture loss, increasing hydration in the skin and repairing damaged skin.

Our recommendation: makeO skin(formely skinnsi) Happy Hydrate Gentle Cream Cleanser is a gentle and hydrating cleanser that contains glycerin which helps repair skin barrier and boosts hydration in the skin. Adding such a product to your routine will help you keep your face soft and nourished even during cleansing.

Restore Your Smooth and Soft Skin with makeO skin(formely skinnsi)

We at makeO not only offer the hydrating and healing skincare products mentioned above, but we also offer at-home professional skin treatments for several issues like skin barrier repair, hydration, acne, ageing and more. If you have dull and damaged skin, our excellent treatments like Hydrafacial can help boost your skin’s hydration and nourishment and improve the skin barrier too. Visit makeO website today to book an appointment today!


In conclusion, a damaged skin barrier can occur due to several reasons; however, it is possible to heal the skin through intervention and regular usage of the right products. In the journey of restoring the skin barrier, ceramides are always the most important, followed by hydrating ingredients and humectants which can prevent further moisture loss and increase the hydration in the skin. And with the additional help of makeO skin(formely skinnsi) products and services, you can rest assured that your skin will bounce back in no time!


What is the fastest way to repair skin barrier?

To repair skin barrier damage quickly, it is best to avoid drying products, reduce the number of times you wash your face with a cleanser, increase your usage of hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, etc, use a ceramide moisturiser daily and avoiding exfoliation for a while.

How long does it take to repair skin barrier?

Your skin barrier cannot be repaired overnight, however, it is not an impossible task to achieve either. With the products and precautions, you can heal damaged skin within a few months time.

How to repair damaged skin barrier naturally?

You can consume foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, avoid stripping cleansers and choose to moisturise with plant oils like jojoba, coconut, argan and others to keep your barrier moisturised and protected.

How do I know my skin barrier is damaged?

Some of the main signs of a damaged skin barrier are:

  • Rosacea
  • Eczema
  • Dry, flaky, dull, dehydrated skin
  • Irritated or inflamed skin
  • Hyperpigmentation
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