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How to rebuild your skin’s repair barrier

repair barrier

The skin is your body’s largest organ and a repair mechanism.

Think of your skin like an armour or shell to protect your organs. If that wasn’t enough of a responsibility, the skin’s repair barrier function protects you from irritants, premature ageing and sensitivity. Without this barrier function, your skin can become very sensitive.

How do you know if your skin’s repair barrier is weak?

Your skin goes to combat with aggressors on a daily basis. Simple things that we come into contact with every day like the sun, pollution, stress, chemicals, radiation and more break down the skin’s repair barrier and defense function. The weaker your skin’s repair barrier, the faster you’re likely to age. Your skin’s protective element also weakens as you age. You might see early signs of sun spots and pigmentation problems as well as fine lines and dryness. Those with paler skin may have thinner skin which is generally more sensitive, and you may notice signs of a weaker barrier such as redness, eczema and other types of skin irritation.

How can you protect your barrier?

Your skin is working really hard to maintain its barrier and works the hardest during your sleep when it goes in to repair mode. To help your skin, you can ensure that you get 8 hours sleep so that it can become more resilient.

You can also avoid having long hot showers and using harsh soaps and chemicals on the skin as they can interfere with the essential oils and natural moisturising factors on the skin. Ensure that you stay as hydrated as possible as this helps the barrier to work effectively. Dry skin is a sign that your barrier function is weakening as it is not able to retain water as efficiently. When you are young your skin can retain as much as 75% water but this ability decreases with age.

As for skincare, you should aim to avoid harsh exfoliants as they can cause trauma to the skin and increase your sensitivity. Use a gentle flannel and acid based exfoliator instead. You should also try to keep your routine as organic, clean and simple as possible and avoid any products that contain alcohol, silicones and other strong chemicals and irritants.