It may take months to heal a damaged skin barrier due to a variety of factors including your skin care routine, environmental stressors, and lifestyle factors.
Each of these factors must be carefully curated to support the skin barrier. After all, the skin is the body’s largest organ and requires attention and care for the overall health of your body.
What Does a Damaged Skin Barrier Look Like?
A damaged skin barrier comes in many forms, ranging from mild to severe damage. Typically, the following symptoms are present when the skin barrier is damaged:
- Dry, dehydrated, and/or flaky skin
- Consistent redness and inflammation
- The feeling of tight skin after cleansing
- Persistent acne
- Dehydration lines (appear as small wrinkles)
The causes include harsh skin care products, physical aggressors (like using rough towels on the skin), and lifestyle factors including lack of sleep and poor diet. While there may be other factors that contribute to a damaged skin barrier, these are the most common and preventable factors to focus on.
Factors That Make a Damaged Skin Barrier Worse
While you may be trying to heal a damaged skin barrier, it is important to note that seemingly small habits can consistently damage your skin barrier.
Poor Skin Care
There are plenty of bad habits that can lead to a damaged skin barrier.
There are two primary factors that can affect the quality of your skin and its ability to fight against environmental stressors.
How Long Does It Take To Fix a Damaged Skin Barrier?
The skin undergoes a cycle every few weeks.
During this cycle, new skin cells form and then differentiate (specialize) into skin cells with specific functions. Once these cells age, they shed. This shedding process is known as desquamation.
From cellular formation to desquamation, the process takes approximately 4 – 6 weeks. This means that it will likely take a minimum of 4 – 6 weeks to see improvements in your skin barrier.
How Do I Know If My Skin Barrier Is Repaired?
There are a few characteristics that you can keep track of in order to know when your skin barrier is repaired:
- Skin is less dry and/or flaky, especially under makeup
- You no longer experience burning, itching or irritation after washing or applying skin care products
- Fine dehydration lines are gone
- Skin looks more even, plump, and bright