The skin barrier protects the body from bacteria, viruses, and other external threats. It is also in charge of keeping moisture and allergens out.
When the skin barrier is healthy, the body is better able to heal wounds and resist infection. When the skin barrier is damaged, it can cause a variety of problems, including dry skin, eczema, and acne. So, how long does it take to heal skin barrier?
What is the barrier of your skin?
The skin barrier is the epidermis’s outermost protective layer, also known as the acid mantle. A lipid bilayer with natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) such as cholesterol, ceramides, and free fatty acids forms it. The NMFs collaborate to form a water-binding network, which keeps moisture in the skin and prevents transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
The skin barrier, also known as the moisture barrier, is primarily made up of three lipids: ceramides, cholesterol, and free (also known as essential) fatty acids. These lipids work together to keep water in your skin and protect it from the elements. Damage to the skin barrier manifests itself as minute cracks that allow moisture to escape and irritants to enter more easily.
What damages your skin barrier?
A weakened skin barrier can result in common skin problems such as blemishes, redness, dryness or dehydration, oiliness, and even increased sensitivity.
This is usually caused by an unhealthy skin care routine and habits, such as over-washing, using harsh beauty products or highly alkaline cleansers, strong acne medication, over-exfoliating, and overloading your skin with products it doesn’t need. Stress, hormonal changes, UV damage, and pollution are all factors that can weaken your skin barrier.
Signs that your skin barrier has been compromised
When your skin barrier is healthy, it appears plump and smooth, and it feels soft to the touch. If you have oily skin that is also dehydrated, this is a sign that your skin barrier is damaged.
Some other damaged skin barrier symptoms:
- Flakiness & Peeling
- Rough to the touch
- Stinging or burning sensation when products are applied
- Crepiness and fine lines
- Rashes like eczema (atopic dermatitis)
- Increased breakouts
- redness and itchiness
- your daily skincare products suddenly irritate your skin
- dry and dull skin
- pimples and whiteheads
- your skincare product won’t absorb into your skin
How Long Does It Take To Heal Skin Barrier until full recovery?
How long does it take to heal skin barrier? It is determined by the severity of the damage. It takes time for the lipid barrier to heal. It will take about 2-4 weeks to repair minor damage. Dryness, tightness, flakiness, and tingling sensations are signs of minor skin barrier damage, even when using a hydrating/moisturizing product that does not contain potential irritants. Most people are unaware that these are the early signs of a damaged skin barrier.
If you use the proper method, it will take 3 to 6 months to repair moderate damage. Oily but dehydrated skin, sensitivity, a burning sensation, and a rough texture on the face are all signs of moderate skin damage. The symptoms are obvious to see and feel, and this is when most people became aware of their skin problems.
If your skin barrier is severely damaged, it will take a very long time to heal. After your skin barrier has been repaired, you must maintain it gently to prevent further damage.
The healing process varies according to skin type. When you have dry and mature skin, it takes longer to heal your skin barrier. Combination or oily skin types, on the other hand, have a better ability to heal themselves.
What to use and what to avoid
What to use
Then, using moisture-rich ingredients, you should aim to hydrate and replenish your skin. The following are some of the best skin barrier repair ingredients to include in your skincare routine:
- Hyaluronic acid
- High-quality SPF to protect against damaging UV rays
- Botanical oils high in EFAs (essential fatty acids) like algae or kiwi seed oil
What to avoid
- Daily use of acidic ingredients like ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
- Overly-drying, harsh cleansing products
- Essential oils
- Harsh topical prescription acne medications (like benzoyl peroxide)
- Drying alcohols
This article covered the fundamentals of maintaining a healthy skin barrier. It discussed the importance of the skin barrier and provided suggestions for repairing it. Leave a comment if you have any questions about repairing your skin barrier. We’d be delighted to assist.