How to repair a damaged skin barrier

Include gentle and nourishing ingredients: “Hyaluronic acid, lipids, essential fatty acids, shea butter, vitamin E and grape seed oil are always great, simple ingredients that soothe and help restore the skin’s barrier,” says Aguilar.

Mack also recommends looking for occlusive ingredients to improve functionality. “Ingredients such as dimethicone and glycerin help to draw in and lock in moisture,” she says. “Products that contain cholesterol and ceramides are also beneficial. These ingredients are naturally found in the skin and contribute to the integrity of the skin barrier.”

While your skin is recovering, you will want to avoid AHAs, BHAs, retinol, antioxidants or other active ingredients, says Fernandez. “If your skin is compromised by the use of sensitizing products, stop using the products and let the skin calm down (this can take days or even weeks),” she explains. “It is very important that creams used on damaged skin do not contain irritating additives (fragrances, etc.) and even if they are designed to be a barrier repair cream.”

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