Damaged moisture barrier symptoms and how to treat it

Having a damaged moisture barrier can stand between you and the beautiful skin you’ve always wanted.

Damage to the skins moisture barrier can be a very big issue and cause a variety of issues on your skin.

This article will help you understand what a moisture barrier is, damaged moisture barrier symptoms as well as the steps you can take to repair it.

Damaged moisture barrier symptoms

What is a moisture barrier?

The skins moisture barrier is the top layer of skin cells and lipid molecules (ceramides) that protect your skin from external irritants and keep the skin healthy, happy and looking its best.

This is the outermost layer of the skin. The external irritants that the layer protects from include pollution, bacteria, impurities and anything else that can cause your skin to become irritated.

The moisture barrier also helps retain moisture as it prevents water in the skin from evaporating. The oils bind together to prevent the water from being released from your skin.

How do you tell if you have damaged skin?

If you were to look at your skin on a deeper level, you would see that the skin has punctures or cracks on it, this is a sign of a damaged moisture barrier.

These openings are where moisture can exit.

It’s also where external irritants and impurities can enter and wreak havoc causing skin rashes eczema and other types of skin issues.

This skin conditions can happen to people of all ages, races, genders and skin types.

This will show up in the form of:

  • Rough skin
  • Flakiness
  • Itchiness
  • Dehydration
  • Dry skin
  • Tightness
  • Eczema
  • Peeling
  • Stringing or irritation especially when you use products
  • Rosacea
  • Breakouts on a regular basis
  • Redness

How did my moisture barrier become damaged?

Too much exfoliation: Exfoliation can cause micro-tears in the skin.

That is why I always recommend using a chemical exfoliator instead of a physical exfoliator on your skin when wanting to exfoliate.

This is a great chemical exfoliator that is gentle on the skin

Harsh prescription acne treatments: These treatments are known to be very drying on the skin, especially if you don’t know how to moisturise after you use them.

You must always use a great moisturiser when using harsh prescription acne treatments. Be sure to know how to use them so they can work as they should.

Harsh over the counter acne treatments: These products should always be used as recommended, if not they can dry out your skin.

Sulphates in these harsh skin treatments will cause dry skin which will cause damage to your moisture barrier

Using hot water when washing: Hot water can be a great way to relax the body but the skin can become very dry as a result of it.

I recommend using cool water on your skin. Read more on how hot water can damage your skin

Using products witch alcohol: This is a very drying ingredient that can be found in many products.

It causes over-drying, especially when used over a long period of time.

Alcohol will also cause your skin to become very irritated and the moisture barrier will become damaged.

Not using a moisturiser: Everyone needs to be using a good moisturiser, the moisture will keep your skin supple and soft and prevent micro-tears

Ageing: As we age the skin on our face become weaker and thinner, ageing will make us more susceptible to micro-tears and a variety of other skin issues

Washing your face too often: This can cause micro-tears because the constant handling of your skin can irritate it.

Read more about the dangers of over-washing here

Damaged moisture barrier symptoms

Can the damage be repaired?

Yes! The damage can be repaired. Your skin will repair itself, you just have to let it be.

If the damage isn’t that severe your skin will be repaired quite quickly.

If you have been irritating your skin on a consistent basis over many years nonstop then this skin repair will take longer

How long does it take to repair your moisture barrier?

The moisture barrier on your skin will take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to heal.

If your body generally heals faster then you can expect to heal in about 2 weeks.

If your body heals at a normal rate then you can expect your skin to heal in about 4 weeks.

This is how long it takes the skin to produce a new layer of cells and get rid of the old damaged cells.

2-4 weeks is how long it takes for your skin to get back to its baseline texture, back to hot it was before it was damaged.

Can skin barrier be permanently damaged?

No, your skin barrier can’t be permanently be damaged as a result of not taking care of it or over-washing or over-exfoliating it.

If you’ve been treating your skin very harshly, not moisturising it and not protecting it from the sun for months or even years on end your skin may take some time to get back to normal.

It may take some months to heal but eventually, your skin will regenerate itself and go back to normal

What to do to help it heal:

Be gentle: Be a little more sensitive to your skin, it’s had to go through a lot with everything you’ve done to it so now it needs is some gentle tender love and care.

Swap out your harsh striping products with some more gentle products that will work for sensitive skin.

A good product to use is this face wash, it contains ceramides which will build your moisture barrier back up.

Wear sunscreen: This will protect your skin against damage from the UV rays of the sun.

It will also aid in helping to fight back against premature ageing which can happen as a result of dry skin as a result of the skin’s barrier is damaged. This is a favourite sunscreen

Lay off the hot water: As mentioned before hot water can cause a variety of problems on the skin. If you switch to cooler water you will save yourself all the stress and hassle

Say no to fragrance: Fragrance can be very drying, you should aim to lay off the fragrance to avoid drying out your skin and damaging the moisture barrier.

Humidify: Humidifiers help restore the moisture back into your skin. When the air is dry it sucks moisture from your skin. Use a humidifier to bring back moisture back into your skin

Does Vaseline repair skin barrier?

No Vaseline alone won’t repair your skin’s moisture barrier but it can help in some way. Vaseline works as a sealant, it is an occlusive product.

If you use a moisturiser and you really want to seal the moisture into your skin then you can use Vaseline over the moisturiser.

It prevents any moisture and hydration from evaporating off of the skin.

It’s a better choice to use when compared to oils such as mineral oils, olive oil and lanolin because the Vaseline molecules are too large to block your pores and cause breakouts.

Can aloe repair skin barrier?

Yes, aloe can help repair the skin barrier.

The plant contains polysaccharides, this compound is great at hydrating your skin and it’s also a wonderful anti-inflammatory agent, it also helps to calm and soothe skin irritation and prevent water loss on the skin.

The plant is loaded with vitamins A, B, C and D, which will nourish your damaged skin.

It also contains minerals such as magnesium, potassium and zinc. Your skin needs these vitamins and minerals to replenish itself and to strengthen it helping to repair itself faster and better.

Here is a favourite aloe vera gel

Damaged moisture barrier symptoms

How can I make my skin stronger?

If you want your moisture barrier to repair itself faster there are a few things you can do to help it become stronger.

The more consistent you are the better and faster your moisture barrier will heal.

Drink water: Dry skin is quite vulnerable and sensitive. If you want to help it along you need to keep it hydrated.

Drink 32 ounces of water a day at least. The increase in water will make your skin softer, plumper and healthier.

Moisturise: Moisturising products generally contain minerals vitamins, humectants and essential ceramides which will help boost your skin’s health.

Shower in cool water: this is more of a preventative measure against dry skin, hot water can damage our skin, showering in cool water will ensure that your moisture barrier doesn’t become more damaged.

Eat well: if you eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals and especially antioxidants then your skin will become stronger and tougher.

Foods that contain collagen will help your skin stay supple and soft and foods that contain antioxidants will prevent dangerous free radicals which would otherwise damage the skin cells.

Reducing sugars, increasing your consumption of green tea and healthy foods will improve your skin

Avoid drying products: these will include products that contain astringents or sulphates.

These work to break up dirt and debris from your skin but they can wind up drying your skin out and damaging your skins moisture barrier.

Rather use products that are hydrating and moisturising use products labelled “for dry skin’ as these products are able to hydrate the skin well.

What moisturizers do dermatologists recommend?

Dermatologists recommend moisturisers that are hydrating, moisturising and can help build up your skins natural moisture barrier.

The CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion is a great choice. This moisturiser was made by dermatologists so you know it’s good.

It is a lightweight moisturiser that can be used on dry to normal skin

It contains 3 essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid. The skin is composed of ceramides.

These are lipids which help form and maintain the skins moisture barrier and retains its structure.

The ceramides in this moisturiser will help rebuild your moisture barrier. The hyaluronic acid is a great hydrator.

It is a humectant and it can hold 6 parts of water to one part hyaluronic acid.

The hyaluronic acid is also able to penetrate deep into your skin to deliver the hydration not only to the top layers of skin. It does this without clogging your pores

This moisturiser won’t irritate your skin as it is hypoallergenic and is free from fragrance.

It is non-comedogenic so it won’t clog your pores. It is safe and gentle on the skin and is safe to use even if you have sensitive skin.

You can rest easy knowing that this moisturiser will keep your skin moisturised and hydrated for 24 hours, as it uses MVE technology to hydrate your skin all day.  

It is also accepted by the national eczema association.

I hope you enjoyed my article on how to figure out the symptoms of damage to your moisture barrier. I hope you are well informed now. If you enjoyed this article be sure to share it

You may also like