Published: January 15, 2024
Your skin barrier sits on the outermost layer of your skin, where it performs several important functions. From protecting against environmental aggressors to preventing moisture loss, this barrier plays a crucial part in your skin’s overall health and integrity.
Unfortunately, this barrier is also pretty delicate, meaning that it doesn’t take much for it to end up damaged. Once this happens, a number of problems can occur. Everything from acne and dehydration to dryness and sensitivities can be attributed to a compromised skin barrier.
So, what’s the solution?
If you think that your skin barrier has been impaired in any way, read on as Bionyx explains what you need to do to turn things around so that your skin barrier once again feels strong, resilient, and healthy.
1. Switch to a Gentler Cleanser
Although cleansing is an essential part of caring for your skin, it will, to some extent, interfere with your skin barrier. This is down to how a large part of your skin barrier consists of sebum and dead skin cells, a portion of which is removed each time you cleanse.
While cleansing shouldn’t be skipped, you can counter the barrier-stripping effects of cleansing by ensuring that the cleanser you’re using is gentle. Certain cleansing ingredients, such as sulfates and alcohols, are known for over-stripping the skin barrier, so stay away from formulas containing these.
Instead, look for a cleanser that makes use of mild surfactants, just like the Bionyx Rhodium Mousse Cleanser. In addition to its coconut-derived cleansing agents, it also contains amino acids to give your skin barrier a stronger finish.
2. Take a Break From Exfoliation
Just like cleansing, exfoliation is also notorious for stripping away the skin barrier. In fact, this is a common cause of the skin barrier becoming damaged in the first place. Over-exfoliation, whether this may be from using an overly harsh exfoliant or exfoliating too often, can quickly leave the skin barrier compromised.
As important as exfoliation is, put your exfoliators aside for a while. Your skin barrier needs some time to heal. Continuing to exfoliate won’t allow that to happen.
After a few weeks, consider gradually incorporating exfoliation back into your skincare routine. However, make sure that your exfoliator of choice is gentle. Stay away from powerful acids and super-abrasive scrubs. Instead, pick something that will exfoliate your skin without being too harsh, such as the Bionyx Rhodium Complex Facial Peeling. This gel-like exfoliator is efficient yet kind to the skin, leaving behind a dewy, rather than an irritated, finish.
3. Give Your Skin Extra Hydration
If your skin barrier is damaged, then this means that it won’t be able to retain moisture properly. Rather than moisture being trapped beneath your skin’s outer layer, it will easily escape from the cracks and gaps that a damaged barrier sports.
This is why dehydration is a common sign of a compromised skin barrier. And, until your skin barrier has healed, its moisture retention abilities aren’t going to improve.
For now, you’ll need to compensate for this increased loss of moisture by giving your skin some extra hydration. Make sure that your skincare products are packed with humectants, which are ingredients that bind moisture to the skin. Some of the best humectants out there that also work to keep the skin barrier feeling fortified are sodium hyaluronate and glycerin. You’ll find both in the Alloy Platinum Synergizing Serum. This silky solution is also packed with peptides, another ingredient that can help to boost the feel of your skin barrier.
4. Add Ceramides to Your Skincare Routine
Another ingredient worth adding to your skincare routine is ceramides. They naturally make up a large part of the skin barrier, acting like a glue that holds your skin cells together to give your skin that all-important barrier layer.
If your skin barrier is damaged, then this means that it will be lacking in ceramides. Providing the ingredient topically will go a long way in ensuring that your skin barrier feels fortified and more resilient in the future.
There are a few different types of ceramides out there, with ceramide NS being one of the best. You’ll find it in the Bionyx Platinum Transformative Serum, which is in our Platinum Transformative Collection. With peptides, plant proteins, vitamins, and natural extracts, this serum will soon have your skin looking smoother, softer, and happier.
5. Look For Products That Lower the Feeling of Inflammation
Your skin barrier is your body’s very first line of defense against the environment. Be it pollution, infections, toxins, or anything else, your skin barrier blocks these unwanted compounds from entering into your skin’s deeper layers and, therefore, your body.
When your skin barrier is damaged, it isn’t able to do this in the same way. The result of all of those impurities making their way into your skin is usually an increase in sensitivities, among an array of other skin concerns. This means that the skin will be highly prone to redness, irritation, and inflammation.
So, it only makes sense to counter this by turning to skincare products that are capable of lowering the feeling of inflammation in the skin. Take the Rhodium Facial Toner from Bionyx, for example. It contains a blend of complexion-soothing ingredients, from niacinamide to colloidal platinum. Together, they’ll balance out the look of your skin so that your complexion isn’t hit too hard by all of those new sensitivity triggers.
6. Prioritize Plant Oils
So far, we’ve talked about how important it is to use skincare products that not only hydrate and lower the feeling of inflammation, but also keep your skin barrier feeling restored and supported. Well, plant oils do all of this and more, making them worth paying attention to.
The best part is that there are so many different plant oils out there, making them easy to come by. With each oil also containing a selection of vitamins and antioxidants, they’ll be able to enhance your complexion in other ways too.
If you don’t yet have any skincare products that are chockfull of plant oils, check out the Bionyx Alloy Magnetic Synergy Mask. Hemp seed, baobab, marula, and sunflower oils come together in this blend, making it a game-changer for anyone struggling with skin that feels damaged.
7. Give Potent Actives a Miss For a While
As we mentioned earlier, a damaged skin barrier isn’t able to properly protect the skin from the environment. At the same time, it also won’t be able to protect your skin from any powerful active ingredients that you use.
Whether it be retinoids, alpha-hydroxy acids, high-strength vitamin C, or anything else, these ingredients shouldn’t be used on damaged skin. If they are, they’ll end up causing more harm than good, with their potency leading to inflammation that could further weaken your skin barrier.
So, for now, give those ingredients a break. Once your skin barrier is feeling stronger, you can gradually re-introduce them to your skincare routine.
8. Strip Back Your Skincare Routine
Of course, it’s not just active ingredients that can trigger irritation when your skin barrier is damaged. Other ingredients could easily do this too, even those that you’ve been comfortably using for months.
You’ll figure this out pretty quickly as your skin will suddenly become more sensitive to some of your regular skincare products. If this happens, don’t ignore it. Instead, cut those products out of your routine for now, seeking gentler alternatives if necessary. Your skin barrier needs time to heal, after which it will be more tolerant of those products once again.
9. Protect Your Skin From the Sun
UV rays are extremely detrimental to the skin barrier. Each time your skin is exposed to UV rays, the cells that make up your skin barrier weaken. This affects how they bond with the cells around them, which is what gives your skin barrier its strength.
Sun protection is vital for everyone, but it becomes even more so if you have a damaged barrier. Not only does this mean that your skin will be even more susceptible to UV damage, but it will also cause that damage to hit you at a deeper level.
While SPF 30 is usually recommended, go with a higher SPF for now, until your barrier has healed. Make sure that your skin is consistently covered with it, even during the winter months.
10. Stay Away From Hot Water
Another external cause of skin barrier damage is hot water. If you enjoy languishing under a steamy shower each day, then making a change here could go a long way in restoring your barrier’s strength.
Simply put, hot water strips away your skin barrier, so it’s time to turn the temperature of your shower down. Ideally, go with a lukewarm temperature. This will be cool enough not to harm your skin while warm enough to be comfortable for you.
11. Keep Your Stress Levels Low
Research shows that stress has an adverse effect on skin barrier function. This all comes down to cortisol, the hormone that your body produces when it’s feeling stressed. Cortisol suppresses the skin barrier, which, over time, can damage it.
While stress is often unavoidable, learning how to lower your stress levels when they start to rise is the key to management. By doing so, you’ll be preventing your body’s cortisol levels from soaring. This will keep your skin, as well as your mind, happier.
12. Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Finally, let’s talk about your lifestyle. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, meaning that all of your lifestyle choices are likely to affect it in some way.
This is why many emphasize the importance of a holistic approach to skincare. In addition to using the right products, make lifestyle choices that benefit your complexion. Eating a fresh and balanced diet, regularly exercising, sleeping well each night, and drinking plenty of water are just a few examples that will not only keep your body healthy, but will ensure that your skin barrier is able to function optimally too.
Keep Your Skin Barrier Feeling Healthy With Bionyx
It can take a while for a damaged skin barrier to feel restored and repaired. For some, this can happen in a few weeks, whereas others need to wait a couple of months. Either way, following the tips that we’ve shared above will enable you to speed that process up, ensuring that your skin barrier soon feels strong and resilient once again.