5 Helpful Tips to Repair Damaged Skin Barrier

Last updated on 14 October, 2022

Some skin-care products moisturize the skin, improve its texture, and plump it while others exfoliate your skin, unclog pores, prevent breakouts, or treat discoloration. Using products that don’t suit your skin type in addition to certain factors can damage the skin barrier. A damaged skin barrier will make your skin appear dry, rough, and patchy as it’s unable to maintain its natural moisture or protect against pollution and harmful chemicals.

In this article, I will help know what the skin barrier is, what causes damage to it, how to protect it and repair the damage, and some of the recommended ingredients that can help fix the problem.

So let’s jump straight into it…

What Is The Skin Barrier?

The human skin is made up of layers, each layer plays a major role in keeping the body healthy and protected. The skin barrier, also known as the moisture barrier, refers to the outermost layer of the skin. It has strong skin cells that many scientists describe as a brick wall, it’s what protects the body against environmental toxins, ultraviolet radiation, germs, and other pathogens that weaken the body.

Plus, the skin barrier holds onto natural oils, ceramides, and the water inside your body that help maintain hydration and moisture. In other words, without the skin barrier, you won’t be alive! This makes the skin barrier the key to maintaining your overall health, keeping the body functioning well, and leaving the skin looking glowing and even.

damaged skin barrier

What Causes Damaged Skin Barrier?

Many factors can be responsible for causing damage to the skin barrier this is because our skin comes into contact with many aggressors every day that can compromise your skin barrier.

Those factors include:

  • Over-exfoliating
  • Using products that contain harsh ingredients
  • Trying out DIYs
  • Over-washing your skin
  • Allergen exposure
  • Frequent use of physical exfoliants
  • Environmental factors such as pollution UV rays

How To Repair Damaged Skin Barrier?

Be Gentle with your skin

If the skin is irritated too much all you will have to do is stop experimenting and focus on calming down the skin. Spraying some cooling rose water or a simple water wash could be all your skin needs. In addition to this do not try to expect immediate results as a damaged skin barrier will take a few days or weeks to heal up. Just be gentle with your skin as well as yourself.

Keep Your Skincare Routine Simple

Avoid applying too many skincare products to your skin when the skin barrier is damaged. It’s best to consult a dermatologist or skincare expert so he/she can prescribe the best products to use according to your skin type. Your routine must address your skin concerns, meaning, if you have breakouts, redness, or discoloration, tell your dermatologist so he/she can help you use the right products to get rid of those issues. Also, you should avoid using products that contain harsh chemicals or fragrances especially if your skin barrier is damaged as they could exacerbate irritation and dryness. Harsh physical exfoliants may cause damage to the skin barrier. It’s best to stick to mild chemical exfoliants. Always remember, the more simple your skincare routine is, the better results will be.

Pick The Right Cleanser

Whether you prefer the double cleanse method or wash your face with just one cleanser, it must be gentle enough on your skin yet effective. The right cleanser should remove dust, dirt, makeup, dead skin cells, and other small particles while being gentle on the skin. It should protect the skin’s natural oils and ceramides as they are essential to maintaining a healthy skin barrier. So you can’t just use any cleanser, you need to figure out your skin type first then choose a cleanser that is designed especially to suit your skin for optimal results.

damaged skin barrier

Look For A Good Moisturizer

Your skin’s best friend is a ceramide moisturizer when the skin barrier is damaged. It supports the skin barrier, locks in moisture, and keeps the skin soft and hydrated. It’s an essential part of any successful skincare routine that can help you achieve your goal and glow your skin. Also, it’s highly recommended to pick a moisturizer that contains ingredients that nourish the skin barrier. Ingredients like plant oils, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and petrolatum can strengthen the skin barrier effectively, prevent water loss and repair a damaged skin barrier.

Get Rid Of Inflammation

If your skin is constantly irritated, you should visit a dermatologist to help you treat inflammation. For example, sensitive skin is more prone to irritation so people with sensitive skin should avoid harsh ingredients like alcohol, fragrances, sulphate and other harsh chemical ingredients to maintain a healthy skin barrier. Also, if your skin is itchy or becomes super dry, that’s a sign to skip exfoliating and use a moisturizer to relieve irritation and soften the skin. So it’s best to notice what your skin reacts badly to and avoid using it to help your skin feel healthy and smooth.

Best Ingredients That Can Help Fix Damaged Skin Barrier


Ceramides are found naturally in the skin, they help keep the skin barrier healthy. So skincare products containing pseudo-ceramides can be great for your skin as they relieve itching, flaking, and dryness and repair a damaged skin barrier. Also, moisturizers that contain ceramides can help support and strengthen the skin barrier. So check the ingredients first before buying a new moisturizer, Make sure it contains ceramides!

Plant Oils

Almost all plant oils can help relieve irritation and inflammation and protect the skin against infections due to their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial properties. Plus, each plant oil acts as an emollient that helps hydrate and smoothen deeply dry and irritated skin. Some of those great plant oils include coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, and rosehip oil. So plant oils may aid in repairing skin damage, locking in moisture, and nourishing the skin. To use them, apply some of the oil to the irritated area and massage gently until your skin absorbed it fully. Or you can buy skincare products that contain one or two of those plant oils.

Hyaluronic Acid And Glycerin

Glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and petrolatum act as humectants that attract water to the skin and retain moisture which helps repair a damaged skin barrier and keep it looking healthy and even. Skincare experts recommend using skincare products that contain hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and honey as they prevent water loss from the skin by 99%.

So look for those ingredients when buying a moisturizer to improve the function of your skin barrier.

How To Know If Skin Barrier Is Damaged?

Some common signs can tell whether your skin barrier is damaged.

Signs include:

  • Rough patches accompanied with itchiness
  • Flaky skin that is patchy
  • Itching even with a touch or in general
  • Chronic Irritation or small bumps
  • Dehydrated skin
  • Discoloration
  • Inflammation

Precautions To Take While Having A Damaged Skin Barrier

If your skin barrier is damaged, you should:

  • Avoid exposure to sunlight without protection as this will worsen your condition
  • Avoid smoking as it can cause more damage to the skin barrier and accelerate the aging process
  • Get enough sleep to give time to your skin to repair itself
  • Eat more leafy greens and vegetables as they are rich in antioxidants that support skin health
  • Apply a good moisturizer to keep skin hydrated and soft
  • Avoid using skin-care products that contain harsh ingredients
  • Avoid exfoliating
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Avoid DIYs


The skin barrier is the protector that defends your body against germs, infections, and other environmental aggressors. Having a damaged skin barrier makes your skin prone to dryness, itching, inflammation, and other problems. To repair your skin barrier and have healthy skin again, check the tips I included above and let me know what you think!

Author Bio: 

Nada GamalEldeen
Nada is a beauty blogger with 4+ years of writing experience in beauty & health. She is passionate about finding the best science-based tips that can help hair, body, and skin glow. Check out her articles on thenfrw.com.


  • 1.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK545171/
  • 2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5849435/
  • 3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/
  • 4.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12140465/
  • 5.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30084152/


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