What is Skin Barrier Function and How to know if it is Damaged?

Our skincare product shelves are filled with many products that promise to repair skin and keep it glowing. All these products act on the top layer of the skin called the skin barrier. Our skin barrier is our very own skin defense zone. The skin barrier protects the skin from free radicals, pollution UV Rays, dust, dirt and many other skin enemies. Here, we will gain more knowledge about the causes of the damaged skin barrier & how to know it is damaged.

What is Skin Barrier Function?

Your skin is made up of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous fatty layer. The skin barrier makes up the very top of the outer layer, the epidermis. The skin barrier is one of the first lines of defense for your immune system, putting a wall between your skin, toxins and UV rays. The skin barrier keeps you hydrated and moisturized by regulating water loss. Skin barrier damage can make your skin completely dry.  

How to know if the Skin Barrier is Damaged?

The damaged skin barrier can make the skin unhealthy and dehydrated. Following are the ways to identify if your skin barrier is damaged. 

Skin sensitivity and itchiness

Your skin’s defences are down, meaning more irritants have the opportunity to harm your skin, leaving you itchy and sensitive. If you suddenly experience more skin sensitivity, it may be due to a damaged skin barrier.

Dry patches start appearing

Your skin barrier is what keeps moisture in and out of your body. A healthy skin barrier helps prevent flaky and dry skin, sensitivity, redness, or irritation. If your skin barrier isn’t at its strongest, you may notice more skin shedding which may even lead to patches or scaly skin.

Breakouts become more frequent

Damaged skin barrier means more acne-causing bacteria are getting through. This can cause breakouts and symptoms that last longer than usual.

Causes of Skin Barrier Damage

There are many causes of skin barrier damage. But, consistently taking care of your skin and using natural skin care products can help in maintaining it. Listing down some causes of skin barrier damage below. 


The environment is full of pollution. Our skin is constantly being exposed to it, indoors and outdoors. This can cause skin barrier damage further causing the skin pores to get clogged, which ultimately leads to pimples and dull skin. 

Disturbed pH Levels

Skin is naturally acidic, about a 5 on the pH scale. If the pH of the skin is disturbed, it can’t protect the skin from bad microorganisms making the skin dull and dry. Minor shifts in pH are normal, but too much exposure to stronger bases or acids, like soaps and chemical peels, can make your skin’s pH bad.

Not Getting Enough Sleep

When you sleep, your skin’s blood flow increases which help in collagen synthesis and repairs the damage caused to the skin by UV exposure, pollution, dust, dirt, and more. Lack of sleep can often damage skin barrier and show up as dark circles, swollen eyes and fine lines & wrinkles making the skin dry and dull. 

Unhealthy Habits

Smoking not only affects your health and well-being, but it can also negatively affect the way your skin looks. Smoking restricts blood flow to the skin, limiting its natural healing process and drying it out. The smoke itself exposes the skin barrier to damaging substances, as well. Other lifestyle habits that can damage the skin barrier include alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, and an unhealthy diet.

Harmful Chemical-led Skincare Products

One of the most common skincare mistakes that damage the skin barrier is using products with harmful chemicals or toxins in them. Skincare products often have ingredients such as sulphates, parabens, mineral oil, silicones, phenoxyethanol, and more which can clog pores, cause skin irritation and make the skin dull. It’s always better to choose skincare products that are rich in Natural ingredients, Dermatologically tested and Certified Toxin-free.

Over washing

Overexposure to water and a harsh cleanser could cause a damaged skin barrier. It can strip away the natural lipid barrier on our skin. Instead of protecting your skin from dirt and impurities, it could damage the skin’s first protective layer, which provides most of the protection.

How to Take Care of Damaged Skin Barrier?

Be Gentle on your Skin

You should always be gentle on your skin and pat or dab products onto your skin instead of rubbing them in. Patting the product leads to less wastage and helps push it deeper into your skin. Dabbing products onto your skin is a less irritating and gentle way of putting products on your skin.

Keep Your Skincare Routine Simple

Avoid applying too many skincare products when the skin barrier is damaged. Your routine must address your skin concerns, like if you have breakouts, redness, or irritation. Also, you should avoid using products that contain harsh chemicals or fragrances, especially for damaged skin barriers. 

Hydrate Regularly

Keeping your skin hydrated is critical in the fight to restore and maintain a healthy skin barrier so it can protect itself from bacteria, reduce inflammation and remain soft and smooth. It is important to hydrate the skin regularly to maintain a healthy skin barrier.

Look for skin barrier repair creams that contain natural ingredients like ceramides, rice water extract, hyaluronic acid, etc. These ingredients retain moisture, rebuild the skin’s protective barrier and improve skin health. 

Look for Mineral-Based Sunscreens with Broad Spectrum 

Always look for a mineral-based sunscreen. It can absorb quickly without leaving any white cast and is non-sticky. Also, the sunscreen with a broad spectrum protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. Broad-spectrum sunscreens work the best on all types of skin and help in skin barrier repair.

Get Rid of Inflammation

The products that harsh ingredients like alcohol, fragrances, sulphate, etc cause skin irritation, redness, itchiness and inflammation. Avoid these harsh ingredients to maintain a healthy skin barrier. Also, if your skin is itchy or becomes super dry, that’s a sign to skip exfoliating and use a moisturizer to relieve irritation and soften the skin.


Q: Can ceramide help in skin barrier repair?

A: Natural Skincare Products rich in ceramides are great for your skin as they relieve itching, flaking, and dryness and repair a damaged skin barrier.

Q: What does the skin barrier function do?

A: Skin Barrier Function it protects the skin from external threats such as infectious agents, chemicals, and allergens.

The skin barrier is essential in helping to protect your body from germs and infections, as well as harsh environmental conditions. When the skin barrier breaks down it can cause a host of problems including dryness, itching, inflammation and sensitivity. Always use products that are rich in ceramides and rice water as it is very helpful in hydrating & retaining moisture and improving skin elasticity.

The Moms Co. Ceramide Range is Natural, Dermatologically Tested and effective to maintain and repair the damaged skin barriers. It is suited for all skin types and will keep your skin away from breakouts, redness and skin inflammation. To know more about our ceramides check this out https://blog.themomsco.com/2022/10/18/what-are-ceramides-how-do-they-work/

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