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How to Repair & Strengthen Your Skin Barrier

In information that will surprise exactly no one, here at esmi, we’re really passionate about helping you take care of your skin. It is the largest organ in the human body and is the first line of defence when it comes to taking care of the rest of your body. But what protects the protector? Well, that’s the appropriately named skin barrier’s job. 

But what happens when the skin barrier is damaged? And how do you restore the skin barrier? Excellent questions…

What is the Skin Barrier?

First, let’s go back to basics. Your skin is made up of layers, each with their own unique abilities and purposes. The top layer is called the epidermis, while the outermost layer of that is called the stratum corneum, and the lips that keep those skin cells together is the skin barrier. Are you still with us? 

In a nutshell, the skin barrier has two main jobs; it keeps out harmful environmental toxins to keep your whole body safe, while making sure essential hydration stays locked in.

Why is the Skin Barrier So Important?

When the skin barrier is happy and healthy, you’ll notice your skin feels soft, hydrated and smooth. On the other hand, when the barrier is damaged, your skin will not hesitate to tell you. A compromised skin barrier cannot retain moisture as well, and it lets in more pollutants and bacteria - all of the stuff we want to keep out of our skin. 

Early signs of ageing are often thanks to a damaged barrier as we lose crucial ceramides and fatty acids. 

Signs of a Damaged Skin Barrier

A compromised skin barrier can be brought about by a whole range of things, like UV exposure, smoking, a lack of sleep, stress, exposure to pollution, over-exfoliation (good thing ours are rather gentle…) or good old fashioned genetics. 

Like we’ve mentioned before, your skin has a really bad poker face - if your skin barrier is damaged, it will become quite obvious. Rosacea, eczema, dry and flaky skin, irritation, hyperpigmentation, acne and in extreme cases, infections, are signs of an unhappy skin barrier.

How to Repair Your Skin Barrier

The number one rule when restoring  the skin barrier is to be gentle. Say it with us: be gentle! Using overly stripping and harsh products is only going to make the situation worse. On that note, starting with a gentle cleanser, like The Uncomplicated Cleanser will remove dirt and toxins without compromising the skin barrier. It is also key to cleanse with lukewarm water, nothing too hot or too cold (we like to call it the Goldilocks rule). 

Exfoliate (gently!) with our Gentle-Foliant range to remove build up from the day without stripping the skin and making the whole situation worse. 

On days when you need a ‘treat yourself’ moment, the Ultra Nourishing Booster Mask is rich in nourishing ingredients like shea butter, avocado oil, jojoba oil and natural wax (definitely not as scary as it sounds) which are all key for restoring a damaged skin barrier.

Hyaluronic acid helps to repair the skin barrier, and boosts hydration levels for a double whammy of skin goodness. That’s where our Hyaluronic Acid serum comes in. It is a humectant, meaning it can attract water to your skin to give it a big drink of water. Our body does naturally produce hyaluronic acid, but it is found mainly in the deeper layers of the skin, so applying it topically gives the outer layers some love. 

Using oils like jojoba and rosehip will restore your skin barrier and keep dry, flaky skin away. It just so happens that our 24K Gold Nourishing Oil has a healthy dose of both. Oh, and that luxe gold doesn’t hurt either! 

Probiotics are the good bacteria that keep the nasties away. Think of them like a boost to your skin’s natural defences and a great way to repair the skin barrier. The Skin Mylck contains Probiotic Lysates which can aid in strengthening the skin barrier against outside irritants. It acts as a light moisturiser and is the perfect way to top off your Skin Treats. 

And to top it all off, never, ever start the day without SPF. Sun exposure is no friend to your skin barrier so keep those rays off with the Skin Shield Natural Sunscreen


Keeping your skin barrier strong will make a huuuge difference to the health of your skin. If you have any other questions about how to keep yours happy or repair a damaged skin barrier, chat to our friendly skin experts today!