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  • Rain Holton

How to repair your skin barrier:

Updated: Apr 24

Have you tried many skincare products but no matter what, your skin is still sensitive, burning and stinging? It's time to repair the barrier! (scroll to bottom to view protocol/routine)

What is the skin barrier?

The skin barrier, also known as the stratum corneum, is the outermost layer of the epidermis and serves as the body's primary defense against external threats, including pathogens, irritants, and allergens. It plays a crucial role in maintaining skin health by regulating moisture levels, preventing water loss, and protecting against environmental stressors.

The skin barrier consists of:

  • Stratum Corneum: This is the outermost layer of the epidermis, composed of flattened, dead skin cells called corneocytes embedded in a lipid-rich matrix. The stratum corneum acts as a protective barrier that helps retain moisture and prevents harmful substances from penetrating the skin.

  • Lipid Bilayers: Lipids, including ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids, form a protective barrier between corneocytes, helping to maintain skin hydration and integrity. Disruption of the lipid barrier can lead to increased water loss and vulnerability to irritants and allergens.

Why do you want to repair your skin barrier?

The skin barrier is important to human life. Physically, it protects from external threats such as infectious agents, chemicals, systemic toxicity and allergens. Internally, the skin helps to maintain homeostasis and protects from enhanced loss of water from the body.

Symptoms of a damaged skin barrier may include:

  • Dryness

  • Redness and irritation

  • Increased sensitivity

  • Flare-ups of skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or acne

  • Increased susceptibility to infections- think topical fungal infections or bacterial infections

  • Hyperpigmentation

  • Cracks

  • Rough/dull texture

  • Inflammation

  • Stinging and burning are huge signs

  • Rashes like eczema

  • Fine lines and wrinkles

  • Inflammation

  • Dark spots

Keep in mind:

  • Damage to the skin barrier can lead to heightened sensitivity to external stimuli, such as changes in temperature, sunlight, or friction. Individuals with a damaged skin barrier may experience stinging, burning, or tingling sensations in response to certain triggers.

  • A weakened skin barrier can exacerbate existing skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, or acne, leading to flare-ups of symptoms. Inflammatory skin conditions may become more severe and difficult to manage if the skin barrier is compromised.

  • A damaged skin barrier may provide an entry point for pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi, increasing the risk of skin infections. Individuals with compromised skin barriers may be more prone to developing infections, such as impetigo or fungal infections.

What causes damage to the skin barrier?

  • Over exfoliation

  • Harsh Cleansers or over use of acids

  • Environmental Factors

  • Poor Diet and Hydration

  • Certain Medications

  • Underlying Skin Conditions

  • Aging

  • Pore Clogging ingredients

Important things to note:

  • Using pore clogging ingredients in skincare and makeup. They can cause irritation and breakouts. Remember you don’t need to be acne prone for pore cloggers to affect you. Overtime your pores can appear enlarged and our skin can appear to have wrinkles.

  • Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and acne can disrupt the skin barrier and increase susceptibility to damage. Chronic inflammation, itching, and scratching can further compromise the skin's integrity and impair its ability to repair itself.

  • Cleansers containing sulfates, alcohol, or fragrances can be too harsh for the skin, disrupting the natural pH balance and stripping away natural oils. This can compromise the skin barrier and lead to dryness, redness, and irritation.

SO- how do you repair your skin barrier?

I want you to choose a 4-5 step simple skincare routine as well as a couple internal supplements for a couple months.

Adding in redlight daily is helpful as well for at least 10 mins-by promoting collagen synthesis, red light therapy helps maintain a strong and resilient skin barrier. Red light therapy helps to heal the skin barrier from the inside out. Treating deep within the tissue makes for long-lasting result (PMID: 31291308)

To repair your barrier you are going to:

  1. Avoid harsh products

  2. Avoid over-exfoliation

  3. Address underlying infections

  4. Protect your skin from the sun (this is VERY important)

  5. Avoid washing with hot water

  6. Use redlight on your skin (I love MITORED- code RAIN)

  7. Use skin barrier repair products (See Below)

  8. Avoid irritants like sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrance, alcohol based products, and dyes

  9. Take a break from make up

  10. Lower your stress levels overall

  11. Remove processed sugars, gluten, dairy, and alcohol.

Pick (1) product from each of these categories-they are very gentle and will not clog your pores, they have been hand picked by me:

(1)Cleanser to use day & night, pick ONE:

(2)Moisturizer use day and night pick ONE:

(3)Non-pore clogging oil (Pick one, can use morning and night- I love to use at night)

(4) SPF protection- use everyday during the day. Even if its cloudy out!

Optional- helpful to use at night:

  • Clearstem BOUNCEBACK serum (rejuvenate your skin barrier function and protect your skin)

  • Clearstem CELLRENEW (Packed with collagen stem cells, targeted botanicals and hyaluronic acid that can help repair the barrier and calm inflammation)

  • Black Cumin Oil topically (smells very strong but is very nourishing to the skin)

Internal products that will help to add to your regimen:

I hope this help you guys understand the skin barrier, why you need to repair it and HOW! Message me with any questions on instagram!

More about me:

My name is Rain and I’ve been licensed esthetician for about 7 years now I’ve helped thousands of women with their skin, brows, and eyelashes- I owned a salon in Grand Rapids, Michigan for 5 years before I got chronically ill and being in the treatment room everyday for 6 days a week caused me physical pain. Now I help you virtually to get to the root cause of your skin and health issues. If you need further help, book a skincare consult with me HERE-LETS get to the bottom of your skin issues, for good! Mention this skin barrier post for $25 off your new client consult.

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