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Do You Have a Compromised Skin Barrier? Here’s How to Help

Our skin barrier is the frontline defence against environmental aggressors, pollutants, and irritants. When it’s healthy, it keeps moisture in and harmful elements out. However, if compromised, it can lead to sensitive, reactive skin. But how can you tell if your skin barrier is compromised, and what can you do to restore it?

Six Signs of a Compromised Skin Barrier

Sensitive skin is often the first sign of a compromised barrier. Here are some indicators:

  1. Persistent redness or blotchiness can signal a weakened skin barrier.
  2. When the barrier is compromised, the skin struggles to retain moisture, leading to dry, flaky patches.
  3. If your skin feels itchy or irritated, especially after using new products, your barrier might be damaged.
  4. A compromised barrier can make skin more susceptible to bacteria and inflammation, resulting in breakouts.
  5. Suddenly reacting to skincare products you’ve used for years? This could be due to a compromised barrier.

Causes of a Compromised Skin Barrier

Understanding the causes can help in prevention and treatment:

Over-Exfoliation: Using exfoliants too frequently can strip away essential oils and damage your skin. We recommend a gentle AHA/BHA combination with anti-inflammatory properties such as our Exfoliant Serum. One of the great strengths of this exfoliant is that it uses a chemical action to gently turn over the cells instead of harsh scrubbing. Perfect for sensitive skin.

Harsh Skincare Products: Ingredients like alcohol, strong acids, and synthetic fragrances can weaken the barrier. According to dermatologists, one of the major factors contributing to sensitive skin has been over-the-top skincare routines like the 10-Step Korean skincare routine. This has caused dermatitis and impaired skincare barrier due to the excessive exposure of skin to inappropriate products.

Choose products with minimal fragrance, those that are packed with ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties, and that address skin concerns on multiple levels. Our Soothe + Calm System has been designed especially for sensitive skin with these principles in mind.

Environmental Factors: Pollution, UV exposure, and extreme weather conditions can all take a toll on your skin. One way to protect it, while also calming the skin with ingredients like zinc, is our Hydra Protect Moisturiser which acts like a mask against environmental stress.

Stress and Lack of Sleep: Both can affect your skin’s ability to repair and regenerate. These ones take real consideration and work and you sometimes need some professional help. The Calm App can be a great place to start. Whilst some of the content is locked to subscribers, there is a significant amount of free resources that are helpful.

Poor Diet: A lack of essential nutrients can impair skin health. If you’re busy and stressed out and refined foods are your go to for convenience, it’s time to plan your meals in advance and ensure they are rich in nutrients. For personalised nutrition advice, look for an AARPN certified nutritionist.

How to Restore Your Skin Barrier

The good news is that a compromised skin barrier can be repaired with the right approach:

  1. Simplify your routine and scale back to gentle, non-irritating products. Look for systems specifically designed for sensitive skin. Our Soothe + Calm System has three steps in the morning and three at night. How simple is that?
  2. Cleanse once. Use a gentle Gel Cleanser to remove impurities and gently turn over the cells using a natural AHA contained in Caviar Lime.
  3. Promote your own protective skin oils and harness the anti-inflammatory power of panthenol by using Vitamin B3/B5 Serum (niacinamide) in the morning.
  4. Use hydrating products that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, cucumber and watermelon like our Nurture and Repair Lotion. These help to replenish moisture and strengthen the skin barrier.
  5. Avoid Harsh Ingredients and steer clear of products with alcohol, synthetic fragrances, and strong acids. Opt for formulations with natural, soothing ingredients.
  6. Always apply sunscreen with a high SPF to protect against UV damage, those with zinc and titanium work well as do CC creams like our Suntint Protect SPF 25 range. Wear protective clothing and avoid extreme weather conditions when possible.
  7. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Eat a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, get adequate sleep, and manage stress to support overall skin health. Easier to say than do!

A compromised skin barrier can lead to a variety of skin issues, but with a scientific approach, it’s possible to restore and maintain its health. By simplifying your skincare routine, using gentle and hydrating products, and incorporating natural ingredients, you can strengthen your skin’s defences and achieve a radiant, healthy complexion.