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How to repair your skin barrier

  • 4 min read

Your skin barrier has two important jobs to do and it works hard to do them. It should keep the good stuff (moisture and hydration) in, and the bad stuff (toxins and pollution) out. 

Sounds simple, right? But sometimes the skin barrier needs a little help to stay in tip-top condition as it deals with the onslaught of modern living. So if you want to give it a little TLC, we’re here to tell you how to repair your skin barrier and keep it healthy and hydrated.

How do I tell if my skin barrier is damaged?

The symptoms of a damaged skin barrier can vary. However, the main culprit is usually a loss of moisture. If you are experiencing any of the following skin issues, then it’s time to repair your skin barrier.

What causes skin barrier damage?

Your skin is exposed to UV rays, pollution, and toxins all the time, and there is little that can be done to control the environmental aggressors that can compromise the health of your skin barrier. Modern living means that you are constantly exposed to things that challenge your skin barrier, and while it does a great job of protecting what’s on the inside, sometimes it needs some help too.

Your skin’s barrier can also suffer as a result of smoking, stress or not getting enough sleep, and these are factors that you can try to control but to which we can also apply the maxim ‘easier said than done’. There’s no judgement here – and that’s why we recommend a skin barrier friendly approach to skincare, rather than self-flagellation for struggling to have ‘perfect’ skin.

It’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as perfect skin. All skin is wonderful, and everyone’s skin barrier does an incredible job, no matter if it needs a little extra help.

Can my skincare routine affect skin barrier function?

Yes, your skincare routine can affect your skin barrier function. Your skincare routine plays a big part in maintaining the health of your skin barrier, and you may be using products that are causing more harm than good.

Switch up your skincare routine and step away from harsh exfoliants, such as retinoids, acids and sulphates, as they can all wash away the important natural oils that keep your skin looking plump and smooth. You might not need to take a break forever, but just long enough to let your skin settle.

Your skin needs the right balance of fats and oils. Stripping them away with harsh cleansers can disrupt the function of your skin barrier and cause dry skin.

The biggest change you can make to improve the function of your skin barrier is to ensure that your skincare routine promotes hydration and nourishment. Introducing gentle and natural cleansers, toners and moisturisers will slowly start to improve your skin barrier.

How do I repair my skin barrier?

The only way to improve your skin barrier is to replace lost moisture and do so over time. Our UpCircle experts recommend using skincare products that contain humectants – like glycerin and hyaluronic acid – that actually pull moisture from the air and lock it into the skin.

Simplifying your skincare routine for a few weeks can also help to rejuvenate your complexion. Here’s what you should do every morning and evening.

  • Use a gentle face wash and warm water to clean your skin – this cleanses but doesn’t dry out your skin.
  • Follow up with a face serum to replenish important oils.
  • Apply a moisturising cream that is rich in hyaluronic acid to hydrate and firm.

How long does it take to repair a skin barrier?

It’s an excellent question – and one that doesn’t have a definitive answer. Sorry! 

The timeframes depend on your skin type and how damaged the skin barrier really is. If you’ve used an ill-suited exfoliator just once or twice, you should see improvement within a couple of weeks, by following the simplified skincare routine above.

However, if you’ve gone overboard with face peels, harsh scrubs, and sulphates for a prolonged period, then it’s going to take a lot longer for the skin barrier to completely recover. You’ll need to be a little more patient.

The good news is that with the right skincare products your skin barrier will bounce back – even if it takes several weeks or months.

If you suffer from skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea, then a damaged skin barrier can cause a flare-up. Contact your dermatologist if you feel you need additional support with your skin barrier repair.

What skin barrier repair products should I use?

Our UpCircle skinfluencers have long been promoting the benefits of maintaining a healthy skin barrier with all-natural, gentle skincare products. Here is what you need in your skin barrier repair armoury:

Hand & Body Wash with Lemongrass: This smells amazing and is suitable for dry skin. Packed with anti-inflammatory kiwi-fruit water and glycerin, add this gently-fragranced fruity cleanser to your scaled-back skincare routine.

Double Cleansing Bundle: It is important to always have a cleansed and blank surface before applying any other products. This bundle includes our cleansing face balm and cleansing face milk which are dermatologically approved and keep the skin fully cleansed, hydrated and clear.

Serum & Moisturiser Skincare Bundle: The perfect pair for skin barrier repair. The serum contains coffee oil to combat hyperpigmentation, while the face moisturiser is packed with vitamin E to boost collagen production and cocoa butter to reinforce the skin barrier.

Night Cream: Repair your skin barrier while you sleep with our luxurious night cream with skin-replenishing hyaluronic acid to hydrate and niacinamide to even skin tone.

Ready to repair? 

Your skin barrier is the first line of defence against impurities and external aggressors – and keeping it nourished is the key to a healthy and glowing complexion.

Building up the skin’s outer barrier will always benefit the appearance of the skin, and there is no better time to get started than right now. Say goodbye to dry, flaky skin and hello to a simple yet effective natural skincare routine designed to nourish and repair your skin barrier.

Start by building your own UpCircle skin barrier repair bundle of natural skincare products – and save up to 30% on cleansers, toners, serums and moisturisers.