How To Repair A Damaged Skin Barrier

The “skin barrier” is part of our skin's top layer called the stratum corneum. It is made up of skin cells and a lipid interface that glues them together. It is also called the “brick-mortar” structure—skin cellsas the brick and lipid interface as the mortar. The lipid interface is made up of fatty acids, cholesterol and ceramides.

The skin barrier’s main roles are:

  1. Protecting your body from external stressors/microorganism
  2. Retaining water to keep your body and skin hydrated

When the protective barrier becomes damaged or impaired, it loses or becomes unable to hold on to the vital substances that keep skin cells intact, this leads to water loss and skin becoming more vulnerable to all external aggressors. 

Some signs of a damaged skin barrier:

  1. Redness
  2. Dehydrated skin
  3. Dry, scaly skin
  4. Acne
  5. Tightness and itching
  6. Sensitive, irritated or inflamed areas
  7. Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections

It would be impossible to list every potential source of skin barrier impairment; everything from your genetic to your lifestyle can affect your skin barrier’s health. 

Common causes of skin barrier damage:

  1. Alkaline cleansers (also over-washing)
  2. Over-exfoliating
  3. Pollution/UV radiation/Sun damage
  4. Misuse of actives like retinoids



A broken skin barrier can be repaired, but it does take time and effort. Here are some skin barrier repairing ingredients:

  1. Ingredients for barrier restoration
    • Ceramides
    • Cholesterol
    • Fatty Acids
    • Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF) like Amino acids, Peptides, Urea, Sodium Lactate
  2. Humectants
    • Panthenol
    • Sodium Hyaluronate/Hyaluronic Acid
    • Sodium PCA
  3. Skin soothing ingredients
    • Centella Asiatica
    • Bisabolol
    • Aloe Extract
    • Glycyrrhetinic Acid


Recommended Skin Barrier Repair products:

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Gel B5 Pro-Recovery


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Stratia Liquid Gold


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Regimen Lab C.R.E.A.M Ceramide Moisturizer


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Urban Skin Rx Even Tone Barrier Repair Ceramide Cream


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