Skin damage is all too common in our day-to-day lives. Whether your skin dries out too easily, you cut yourself with a kitchen knife, or you just want to lessen the fine lines and wrinkles that come with age, learning how to repair damaged skin is important. Let's break down some of the best ways to help repair damaged skin based on the damage types themselves.
What is Skin Damage?
Skin damage isn’t necessarily just a cut or another obvious sign of skin injury. There are a few different types of skin issues that you might incur over the course of a day or even a lifetime. Each type of skin damage produces different mild effects and requires slightly different treatments.
Dry skin is by far the most common type of skin damage. People young and old across all genders can get dry skin just from going outside and exposing their skin to different environmental conditions.
For instance, practically everyone gets dry skin during the winter months as ambient humidity goes down and the dry air draws moisture away from your skin. Your lips and hands are particularly vulnerable to this type of damage.
However, your skin also gradually loses its ability to retain moisture as you age, which is why older people tend to have drier skin on average than younger folks.
Dry skin is undesirable for a few reasons:
- It doesn’t look as good as properly moisturized skin
- It’s more vulnerable to cracks or damage
- It ages more quickly
- It feels more uncomfortable
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help repair dry skin, both with general habits and with products made of natural, skin-nourishing ingredients.
Aging skin is also incredibly common – after all, everyone who lives long enough will eventually experience this condition! Aging skin tends to be a little drier than average, but it comes with its own mild damages and deficiencies.
For instance, aging skin typically takes on much more of a wrinkly texture and appearance, often with different levels of sagging. Furthermore, aging skin tends to produce dark spots called “age spots” that can upset the complexion and make it look older. Aging skin is more vulnerable to cracks and general skin damage, too.
Don't forget that aged skin also usually has had a lifetime of sun damage from decades of your skin absorbing UV rays from sun exposure. UVA rays are commonly associated with skin aging, while UVB rays are responsible for skin burning. Freckles, sun spots, and discoloration can begin to appear if you haven't used proper sun protection over the years like broad-spectrum sunscreen with enough SPF.
Aging skin happens because of the loss of collagen production over time as well as damage we experience from the sun. It’s no secret that it’s a challenge between fighting time and making sure your skin is healthy no matter what age you are, but with the right products you can support healthy aging and promote younger looking skin.
The last major type of skin damage is skin breakage, particularly those breaks that occur within the epidermis: the topmost layer of your skin. Broken skin is a fairly common injury, and the wounds are often so small that people don’t even realize that they’ve acquired a little cut or scrape over the course of their day.
It’s important to tend to broken skin because it:
- makes it easier for your skin to dry out
- opens up your body to the possibility of infection
- can be quite painful – a paper cut is barely a wound at all, but those things can sting!
“I love getting burnt” said no one ever! Regardless if it’s a small burn from the stovetop or a larger burn from an injury, I think we can all agree burns are pesky pains. Most people don’t realize the secret to healing a burn is keeping it moisturized and protected. That’s why a quality skin repair salve can do wonders for burns. It keeps your skin hydrated and protected from debris and dirt that may otherwise cause an infection or increase recovery time.
Why Does It Matter?
Ultimately, identifying the type of skin damage you have will help determine which direction your skin repair efforts should take.
If you’re looking to repair skin damage, consider all the ways a given product or technique might help. There are plenty of hydrating salves and other natural plant-based products that can help with multiple types of skin damage at once.
For instance, Green Goo’s Skin Repair Salve does a great job of moisturizing your skin and providing it nutrients through skin-promoting natural ingredients. Thus, it may help with both dry skin and any mild skin injuries at the same time.
Ways to Repair Damaged Skin
Your skin, the largest organ of your body, is actually quite adept at healing itself. Your epidermis is fairly thick, and is covered with a protein called keratin. As it detects the need for repair, keratin is used to construct new skin cells that cover up the damaged area through a process called cell turnover. At the same time, white blood cells and the rest of your body’s immune system handle any invading microorganisms that might have gotten into the wound in the intervening time.
Let’s go over some ways you can help this process along:
When your skin is damaged from being excessively dry, the best way to help things along is to moisturize and hydrate your skin.
At its core, any moisturizing lotion or product is made of a few good natural ingredients like hyaluronic acid, helichrysum, vitamin E or aloe vera. These compounds and other moisturizing elements help your skin by sealing in moisture and preventing that moisture from seeping out. Such moisturizers help hydrate your skin and keep it hydrated.
Your skin already does this to some extent on its own, but it may have a tough time based on your skin type, your environment, or even if you've just done a little too much exfoliating. A good Dry Skin Salve like the one from Green Goo is a great option to provide some hydration help – it’s packed with natural ingredients, and may help alleviate mild itching or irritation that comes from occasionally dry skin.
You may also want to treat any skin damage you get from general aging. As your skin gets older, it loses its ability to produce collagen, a key compound that determines how elastic your skin is and how well it can regenerate.
Thus, many key anti-aging creams or products will contain retinol and other molecules that can stimulate collagen production and help your skin cells regenerate more easily. Furthermore, you should try to give your skin essential vitamins and nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A to help promote cell turnover, elasticity, and overall skin health, even with age.
Over time, your skin can become healthier and look younger, as well as feel softer, just by giving it a little extra boost to maintain its health and regulate the processes it already goes through. Improving wrinkles and spots from aging skin may take time, but you can give you skin a natural boost if you fuel it with great nutrients.
Help Your Skin Heal
If you need to repair broken skin, the procedure is fairly simple:
- Start by cleaning the wound with alcohol or another sterilizing compound. This makes the job of your immune system a lot easier.
- Next, use a good Skin Repair Salve like the one mentioned above. This can provide your skin with helpful vitamins and nutrients to promote overall skin health.
- Cover the skin injury with a bandage or gauze pad. This prevents harmful microbes from getting into the wound.
Remember, your skin heals itself. All you have to do is give it a safe and sterile environment so your body’s immune system can get to work. Prevent your skin from drying out, and you’ll help your skin get back to normal in no time.
Burns on your skin demand a separate section since caring for these wounds requires a slightly different process than helping a simple cut.
There are a few different types of burns. First-degree burns are topical or only affect the epidermis. Second-degree burns are deeper and usually produce blisters. Third-degree burns are more serious and may incur permanent scarring or hyperpigmentation, and usually require a hospital visit and follow-up medical advice with a dermatologist .
First-degree burns are more treatable at home. To start:
- Clean the area with lukewarm water – be as gentle as you need to be
- Consider holding the burned area under lukewarm water, or using a cool, wet compress (rag). This will help alleviate the pain you feel from the burn--make sure not to use cold water as this can cause nerve damage right after a burn
- If you have blisters, only pop them using a sterile needle to let the fluid flow out
- After cleaning and cooling the burn, cover it with a sterile gauze bandage. Wrap the bandage loosely.
- Take a pain reliever or use a pain relief salve the next time you remove the bandage to clean the injury and check on it
Sunburns are typically not very serious (although severe sunburns can lead to free radicals and skin cancer). For sunburns, cool and clean the affected areas and try to be gentle on any burned skin. With Green Goo skin repair salve, you can nourish the burn with beeswax, sooth with aloe, and protect with yarrow.
Over time, your skin will form a new, uninjured layer of skin cells to replace the burned cells on top of your epidermis. The old skin will peel away and you’ll feel much better. Remember to use sunscreen next time!
In the end, burn injuries are (if they aren’t too serious) the same thing to your body in terms of repair as regular wounds. Your skin will heal itself in a matter of days or weeks depending on the severity of the burn. Giving your skin an environment optimal for healing is the best thing you can do, along with providing it with the vitamins and nutrients it needs anyway.
All in all, repairing damaged skin is mostly a matter of helping your body’s natural processes along the way instead of trying to directly interfere or take command of the procedure. Learning how best you can support your body is crucial – use only products derived from natural ingredients and remember to keep these important repair tips in mind: Moisturize, nourish, and make the affected environment optimal for healing. Keeping your skin healthy with daily maintenance is important to keep any injuries clean and infection-free.