What to do if you have an impaired skin barrier
Have you ever experienced a time where your skin reacts to everything? Or have you ever found that your most-loved serum or moisturizer is no longer favorable, and leaves your skin burning and/or itchy? Your skin may appear red or look dry and feel rough. After cleansing, your skin may feel tight and irritated and post blemish marks may take a longer than usual time to heal.
These are all common signs of impaired barrier function.
Here’s our recommended steps for nurturing it back to health.
Initially and until your skin returns to normal, pop aside exfoliating products including any Accelerating Acids or actives such as Retinol. You may be able to reintroduce these slowly later however you want to avoid anything too stimulating or active for the time being.
But isn’t exfoliating regularly important?
Yes, it is. We all know the importance of regular exfoliation but sometimes too much of a good thing can leave the skin vulnerable. Similarly, there are times where the skin is unable to support these types of ingredients. Other factors that may lead to barrier impairment are pollution and other environmental stressors such as unprotected UV or harsh drying winds. Genetics, hormones and biological ageing all play a part as well.
So, what skincare regime should you follow?
The first step is to respect the integrity of the skin and minimize further disruption to barrier function by selecting a cleanser to use morning and evening that is "pH balanced". This type of cleanser will effectively remove excess sebum, perspiration, and debris from the skin without stripping or altering the skin's naturally occurring slightly acidic pH.
Balancing Cleanser is a creamy 3-in-1 cleanser that is rich in soothing ingredients such as Vitamin E and Aloe Vera. It is a gentle yet thorough cleanser that leaves no oily residue on the skin and completely removes all face and eye makeup. With a pH of 5.5-6 it’s ideal to use morning and evening for all skin types, and being a soft, hydrating and non-foaming cleanser it is particularly suited in situations when the skin’s barrier function has been compromised as it respects the skin’s naturally occurring slightly acidic mantle, and will not cause further disruption or irritation.
The second step is to protect the skin with products that help to fight environmental aggression including damaging UV, and ensure you apply a broad-spectrum SPF. We recommend using an SPF30 or higher daily. Nurturing, occlusive moisturizer also help to prevent further moisture loss from the skin and allow the skin time to rebalance.
Essential Hydration Cream is a soothing emollient moisturizer that is formulated with skin soothing botanicals Rose Geranium and Evening Primrose Oil, and contains trace minerals and essential fatty acids. It helps to bring immediate relief and comfort to irritated skins, making it ideal to apply of an evening to give stressed skin a much-needed rest.
Morning – SPF
Evening – Essential Hydration Cream
The final step in working towards returning your skin to optimum health is to look for ingredients that not only nourish the skin but help to protect it from further damage and work to repair compromised barrier protection. Ingredients such as Niacinamide (Vitamin B), Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E are particularly beneficial, and all feature in our range of skin-loving serums. These may be applied morning or evening underneath your moisturizer.
Hyaluronic 8: The water factor of your skincare wardrobe, an independent clinical study found that after one application, hydration increased on average by 10% after 20 minutes. Apply Hyaluronic 8 once any irritation has settled to restore much needed hydration in parched, dry and flaking skin.
Vitamin E Serum: A lightweight, creamy and hydrating “first aid” serum to assist in soothing and fortifying the skin’s barrier Vitamin E Serum is ideal to apply as needed to stressed skin.
Vitamin B Serum: Containing 5% Niacinamide which works to help reinforce and enhance the skin’s barrier function, Vitamin B Serum also contains humectant Chia Seed to help rebuild moisture and prevent water loss from the Epidermis as well as soothing Pro Vitamin B5, Panthenol. Apply morning or evening to assist in restoring the skin’s barrier capabilities.
If you have any further questions about skin barrier health or would like a personal consultation, please book a live skin consult today.