How to Restore the Skin Barrier: 5 Helpful Tips

How to Restore the Skin Barrier: 5 Helpful Tips

 Explore gentle skincare practices and key ingredients to restore your skin barrier. Discover non-pore-clogging moisturizers that can repair your skin.

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Have you ever wondered what protects us from the myriad of toxins, germs, and nefarious environmental factors we face daily?

It all comes down to a small, seldom-appreciated superhero known as the skin barrier. This thin, outermost layer of the epidermis acts as our last line of defense against the perils of countless pollutants that would otherwise permeate our skin. 

When it’s in mint condition, the skin barrier can help you achieve a healthy, radiant appearance. But if it takes a bit too much wear and tear, you’ll definitely start to feel (and see) it. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to restore skin barrier health whenever it needs a bit of a pick-me-up. 

What Does a Healthy Skin Barrier Look Like?

Knowing what a healthy skin barrier should look like starts with understanding a bit of science. 

The skin barrier is like a special armor made up of:

  • Dead cells
  • Lipids
  • Proteins
  • Fats

Unlike the rest of our skin, the skin barrier is not living. Yet, this layer plays an essential role in protecting us from harmful external irritants.  

And that’s not all—the skin barrier serves double duty. In addition to acting as a protective shield, it also locks the good stuff (like moisture) in. It prevents water from escaping our body, which prevents dry, dehydrated skin.

When the protective barrier of your skin is healthy, you will be more likely to enjoy clear, radiant skin that seems to glow from within. If you touch your face, it will feel soft, supple, and bouncy. 

On the other hand, a compromised skin barrier can cause noticeable skin problems as well as discomfort that’s hard to ignore. 

Common Causes of Skin Barrier Damage

Now you know how important skin barrier health is for both your appearance and protection. But how can you prevent a damaged skin barrier?

The first step is knowing what to watch out for. Common environmental elements that can contribute to a compromised skin barrier include: 

  • Allergens
  • Irritants
  • UV rays

The climate you’re surrounded by can also lead to skin barrier damage. In particular, the skin can face consequences when exposed to weather that is particularly: 

  • Dry
  • Hot
  • Humid
  • Cold

After seeing all these elements that can make your skin barrier suffer, you might be thinking, wait a minute—most of these things aren’t even under my control, so how am I supposed to help my skin barrier thrive?

The good (and bad) news is that most factors that negatively impact the protective barrier of your skin are under your control. Fixing these kinds of issues might involve breaking a bad habit or two and creating healthier new habits in their place, but your effort will be more than worth it in the long run. 

The following habits can significantly contribute to lowering the quality of your skin barrier:

  1. Poor skincare
  2. Harsh beauty products
  3. Lack of sleep
  4. Excessive stress levels
  5. Poor nutrition
  6. Smoking

Some of these factors are easier to remedy than others. It’s OK if you can’t change them all at once, but knowing the root cause of your skin problems can help you create actionable goals to work toward—even if you need to start with baby steps. 

Signs of a Compromised Skin Barrier

Just as cracks and leaks are clear signs that a building’s structural integrity is weakening, skin issues can be an indicator of a damaged moisture barrier. 

You may be suffering from a damaged barrier if you’re experiencing symptoms such as:

  • Acne
  • Inflammation
  • Dry, flaky, or rough patches

Signs of a diminished skin barrier can also show themselves in the way your skin feels. If you notice any stinging, sensitivity, or even itchy sensations, then it could be a sign that your skin barrier is calling for help. 

Whether or not your specific skin concerns stem from issues with your skin barrier, it never hurts to give your barrier an extra boost. Read on to learn how to nurture this protective, outermost layer of your skin so you can support your natural complexion. 

How to Protect the Skin Barrier

A shield will protect you in battle, but you’ve got to patch it up and repair any damage it sustains consistently so that it can continue defending you from harm. 

Your skin barrier works the same way. 

To properly protect your skin barrier and empower it to do the best job possible, you need to nourish it from the outside and the inside. 

Take a look at our 5 top tips for protecting and restoring the skin barrier. 

#1 Choose the Right Cleansers for Sensitive Skin

Using a face cleanser with harmful skincare ingredients and harsh chemicals is like washing a delicate, finely-made garment on the power cycle. 

The skin, especially the thin outermost layer, is extremely vulnerable. Ingredients such as harsh surfactants are known to cause harm to the proteins and lipids within the epidermis, which can lead to unwanted effects like tightness, dryness, and, of course, barrier damage.

When investing in new cleansers, make sure you choose an option with gentle, non-comedogenic skincare ingredients, especially if your skin is especially sensitive to irritants. This way, you can get your skin clean with a gentle cleanser without inadvertently causing skin complications. 

#2 The Importance of Hydration and Moisturization

The skin barrier is responsible for regulating skin hydration and maintaining its water content.

Just as you would nurture a plant with adequate water regularly to keep it plump, happy, and strong, it’s important to always supplement your skin barrier with generous moisturization. 

A high-quality moisturizer or moisture mask acts as a reinforcement to your skin barrier, holding onto water within the skin and preventing it from escaping. Boost your skin barrier’s natural abilities by working a quality moisturizer into your daily skincare routine. 

#3 Role of Diet in Supporting Skin Barrier Health

They say you are what you eat, but how true is this old adage when it comes to the skin barrier?

The answer is very

Numerous laboratory, animal, and human studies have demonstrated the powerful ability of dietary interventions to impact skin barrier function. Though further research is needed, positive skin barrier results have been associated with omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and prebiotics.

#4 Supplements and Ingredients for Skin Barrier Restoration

Foods high in vitamin D and/or omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to potentially help nourish your skin barrier. Foods that contain these nutrients include:

  • Seafood
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Egg yolks

Vitamin A is another key nutrient that can help your skin replenish itself faster, so be sure to put these foods on your plate every now and then:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cheese
  • Milk

If you’re looking for a simple yet effective way to supplement your skin barrier with potent nutrients without having to change up your daily diet, our MINDBODYSKIN® Hormonal Acne Supplements are an ideal solution packed with acne-fighting properties. 

#5 Avoiding Harsh Skincare Ingredients

When it comes to skincare, choose quality over quantity. And that goes for all kinds of skin goals—whether you’re after a squeaky-clean barrier, a healthy glow, or a hydration boost. 

Keep your routine simple and clean using products you know you can trust to pamper your skin with the gentle care it deserves. Choose gentle, less harsh skincare formulas to avoid upsetting the natural microbiome of your skin barrier. 

Creating a Skincare Routine for Barrier Restoration

Creating the ideal skincare regimen to bolster your skin barrier boils down to two key steps: 

  1. Avoid stripping your skin of its natural proteins and lipids
  2. Deposit deep hydration to supplement your skin barrier 

With this strategy in mind, here are the most important tips for organizing your barrier-loving skincare routine: 

  • Use a gentle cleanser – Wash all the day’s dirt and grime away without stripping your skin barrier of its natural oils. For best results, find a cleanser that is gentle, nourishing, and non-drying, like our GENTLECLEAN™ - Vitamin Infused Calming Wash. This holy grail of skincare hydrates while it cleanses and makes the perfect addition to both your morning and night routine. 
  • Moisturize and hydrate – Your skin barrier does its best to lock moisture in by itself, but why not give it a helping hand when you can? Our HYDRAGLOW™ Stem Cell Moisturizer is like a superfood for your skin barrier. Its regenerative properties will leave your complexion looking plump, glowy, and positively radiant. 

With all these tips in mind, you may be wondering, how long does it take to restore skin barrier health?

The truth is that the timeline to recovery will look different for every individual. But the best thing you can do for your skin’s well-being and appearance is to start baby-stepping toward these healthy skin barrier habits. 

Restore Your Skin Barrier with CLEARSTEM

Restoring your skin barrier looks a lot like self-care for your skin—and your entire well-being. Prioritize a healthy diet, a proper sleep schedule, and high-quality skincare products to restore and maintain a nourished skin barrier. 

At CLEARSTEM, we formulate all of our products from a starting point of scientific study. Our cleansers and moisturizers are expertly formulated to nourish your skin barrier, enhancing its function so that you can achieve a glowy complexion that looks and feels incredible. 

Browse our selection of dehydrated skin products for dry, dull skin. You’ll find that pick-me-up your skin barrier has been looking for. 


WebMD. What to Know About Your Skin Barrier and How to Protect It.

Cleveland Clinic. How To Tell if Your Skin Barrier Is Damaged and What To Do About It.

National Library of Medicine. Cleansing without compromise: the impact of cleansers on the skin barrier and the technology of mild cleansing.

Science Direct. Nutritional Cosmetics: Beauty from Within.

National Library of Medicibe. Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

National Library of Medicine. Illuminating the Role of Vitamin A in Skin Innate Immunity and the Skin Microbiome: A Narrative Review.

National Library of Medicine. Diet and Skin Barrier: The Role of Dietary Interventions on Skin Barrier Function.