Can I repair damage to the lipid layer of my skin?

How can one repair their protective lipid barrier on the face when it has become damaged? I've tried using a gentle cleanser such as Cerave Hydrating cleanser which is spoken of as very gentle and highly recommended but it caused dryness as well and kind of stung. I can't seem to moisturize enough either. I really feel like my skin can't take anymore but I know I need to cleanse my skin to remove makeup. What can I do to help calm it and get the lipid barrier healthy again? I'm 33, female, and I also have breakout prone skin in the tzone. Thank you

It takes about 30 days after a skin injury for the outer layer (the epidermis) to repair itself.   And your skin will be dryer and more sensitive during that time.   Even products for sensitiive skin can be irritating,.    Any product you try during this period…….IF IT BURNS, STINGS, or SEEMS DRYING should be stopped.   Also, many products have chemicals in them that may be irritating.  Link to sensitive skin products.

Here are some thoughts:

  • Read the labels, short lists are good, and long chemical names not so great.
  • Try cleansing with just a light moisturzier for a few weeks –  something like this Eminence organic oil free moisturizer might work well.
  • Avoid propylene glycol in products and sulfates.
  • Look for products that have ceramides (natural oil compounds in them).  Cerave (drugstore) can be good.   This Replenish Hydrating Cream is bland and can be helpful.
  • Reapply your moistuizer 4-5 times a day while letting your skin heal.
  • On that T-zone, you may not need these products there and can use your regular acne products because there is more natural oil there.

Hope this helps,   Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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