Mandatory Credit: Photo by WWD/REX/Shutterstock (9071004ar) Blanca Padilla Blumarine show, Backstage, Spring Summer 2018, Milan Fashion Week, Italy - 23 Sep 2017

Does your skin look red, raw or blotchy? Does it feel tender, irritated or extra sensitive? Have you been experiencing mass breakouts or rashes? If your answer to most of these questions is yes, chances are your skin barrier may be damaged. This can happen when we go overboard with skincare or beauty products, or with prolonged exposure to the elements. Fortunately, our skin is resilient and intelligent, and can repair itself. Here’s how to help it along:

Scale Back on the Skincare

This may seem counterintuitive to some, but when your skin barrier is damaged, the best thing to do is back off. Whenever we encounter skin problems such as breakouts or irritation, our natural instinct is to pile on the skincare products in the hopes of fixing our skin as quickly as possible. The truth is, our skin can do an impressive job of healing and repairing itself on its own, and we need to give it space to do its work. Give your extensive skincare routine a break, and focus nourishing your skin from within by adapting a healthy lifestyle, as advocated by beauty and wellness brand Well Within Beauty.

While rebuilding your skin barrier, stick to only the bare essential skincare products. These include a gentle cleanser, a soothing moisturizer, and sun protection. These are enough to keep your skin clean and well maintained without overwhelming it or disrupting it as it renews itself. To boost your body’s healing abilities and overall health, take nutritional supplements daily.

Well Within Beauty offers plant-based, antioxidant-rich supplements that help your skin strengthen and protect itself. Along with nutritional supplements, make sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink plenty of water. Loading up on fresh fruits and vegetables—especially dark leafy greens—will not only do wonders for your weight and energy, but it can also significantly improve the appearance and texture of your skin.

Regular exercise and getting enough sleep every night can also improve the condition of your skin, as exercise boosts blood circulation and your skin works overtime to repair itself as you sleep.

Choose Skin-Identical Ingredients

Our skin is made up of ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol. One of the best ways to rebuild a compromised skin barrier is to use skincare products that contain ingredients that naturally occur in our skin. Think of it as feeding your skin with the right materials it needs to make itself strong and healthy.

Be on the lookout for moisturizers that contain ceramides and fatty acids like shea butter and jojoba oil. Products that contain deeply hydrating ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid are also extremely beneficial when your skin is healing.

Protect

The sun’s powerful rays can cause extensive damage on your skin, especially if your skin barrier is already compromised. Sunscreen is your first line of defense against this potential damage. Never skip sunscreen; be sure to wear it every single day, even during winter or on rainy days to keep your skin protected at all times.

Remember, you want to avoid disrupting your skin as much as possible while it’s hard at work repairing itself, so you need to keep it safe from the sun’s harmful rays. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and broad spectrum protection to shield you from both UVA and UVB rays.

Patience, consistency and utmost gentleness are key when rebuilding your skin barrier. Stick with a minimalist skincare routine for at least a month, and focus on developing healthy lifestyle habits, and your skin will significantly improve.