Damaged Skin Barrier Reddit
With a never-ending list of beauty products and brands forced down our throats through social media, with impulsive Tik Tok purchases and influencer lives encouraging an endless routine, damaged skin barriers are on the rise.
Contrary to what the self proclaimed skincare experts say online (usually when financially incentivized by a brand) you do not need a seven step skincare routine for perfect skin as perfect skin doesn’t exist. Filters, on the other hand, do exist and are used every day to mislead customers, preying on their vulnerable insecurities.
Despite regulatory intervention within the online advertising industry, many online influencers continue to fail to properly disclose their gifted and AD products. With this in mind, naive buyers are hoodwinked into believing reviews and recommendations are genuine when they may well contain affiliate links.
There is not a person in the world who needs a seven step skincare routine. The main purpose of both a morning and PM skincare routine should be to protect the skin. During the day we must protect our skin from the sun and in the evening we must cleanse the skin of environmental pollutants.
For many people, washing simply with water on a morning is sufficient, followed by a moisturiser and then an SPF with adequate protection for your environment. By night time it’s important to use a cleanser that suits your skin type to cleanse the skin of external debris such as daily grime and makeup.
We all have different skin care needs but the desire for perfect skin, skin that defies ageing and poreless skin are some of the common marketing tacts used to shift products off shelves. Unfortunately, no product can claim to achieve any of the above statements.
Pore shrinking does not exist, skin-perfecting products are a meaningless pursuit, and much more harm than good can come from chopping and changing your routine every time you see a hyped product.
Reddit is home to many skincare enthusiasts who in recent years have rejected and questioned the marketing of a comprehensive and subsequently expensive skincare routine sold by brands.
Many people who end up with a damaged skin barrier seek anecdotal advice from other Redditors who have found themselves in a similar sore situation in the past.
What Is A Damaged Skin Barrier?
A damaged skin barrier occurs when the skin can no longer function as normal due to a number of factors. Hot water, irritating ingredients, physical exfoliation, and even sunburn can all contribute to a compromised skin barrier. Once the skin can no longer function as normal, external irritants are more likely to aggravate the skin. Products that were previously innocuous can cause rashes, burning, dryness, red blotches, tightness, and acne.
Unfortunately, many of us are damaging our skin barriers with skincare and further seeking skincare and advertising to fix the problem. Sadly, terms that appeal to those with compromised skin are essentially meaningless. For example, soothing, nourishing, repairing, and calming are popular adjectives used to describe lotions and serums sold to help vulnerable, damaged skin. Many such products are full of irritating essential oils, fragrances, and harsh surfactants. It does not matter whether you have not formerly had a problem with a skincare ingredient before, once damaged, your skin’s needs and response to external ingredients will change.
Depending on the severity of a damaged barrier which can range from a lone dry patch to a full-blown chemical burn, the repair time will differ from person to person.
Repairing Damaged Skin Barrier
The most important thing to do when repairing your skin’s barrier is to pause and find the culprit. Have you been overzealous with your AHA or BHA or introduced a new product? Once you’ve established the cause avoid the product for the foreseeable and stop all actives, no vitamin c, chemical exfoliants, no retinoids. Limit cleansing to once a day and instead of investing in a completely new cleanser, use an emollient such as Epaderm which is available in all pharmacies and rinse with lukewarm water. Even gentle cleansers can exaggerate burning symptoms due to their high water content. Depending on the state of your skin you may need to moisturise or may not. For example, if you have had a full-blown allergic reaction, visit your GP. Do not try to medicate at home as often liberally applying even an emollient can trap heat within the skin. You may be prescribed both topical and oral antihistamines and steroids depending on the severity of your reaction.
For at least two weeks as long as you are not making your skin worse, wash with an emollient and apply a thin layer 2-3 times a day. If you must leave the house during this period apply suncream. Ideally even no suncream for a week will allow your skin to calm down. It is extremely unlikely that an approved range of products for eczema will irritate your damaged barrier so head to the specialist skincare aisle for these rather than the typical and more cosmetically elegant skincare brands and formulas.
Once you are seeing some improvements do not become complacent and reintroduce new products all at once, consistent and simple skincare will repair the skin best. Avoid exfoliating for at least a month and reduce your frequency compared to your old routine initially. If you experience burning once again despite the skin looking healthier, strip back your routine.