The Products that Repaired My Skin Barrier

Common ways to damage your skin barrier is by over-applying skincare products. Acids, toners, retinols, peels, oils etc. This could happen if you’re a skincare aficionado and always wanting to try the latest and greatest, resulting in bombarding your skin. Or you just haven’t figured out the right balance of products to use where and when. Or you have a breakout and try to treat it too aggressively. In the past, I’ve had to learn the hard way to not attack my skin when it has decided to attack me 🙃 Easier said than done, but alas here I am years later and I’ve pretty much mastered my skincare routine (although I think there is always room for improvement and to learn from the professionals!)

Products that Repair Skin Barrier

What I realized was happening to my skin when I overdid it with products, specifically active products, was the harming and stripping of my skin barrier. Simply put, our skin barrier is the outermost layer of our epidermis and it’s super important. While it acts as a protective shield, once damaged, it can make your skin look…well…not good. I’ll preface my own experience with a damaged skin barrier by saying I have very sensitive skin that’s already susceptible to irritation, breakouts and rashes. I have allergies and can count the amount of times I’ve gotten contact dermatitis on both hands. So, I’m already dealing with finicky skin, but because of that I also pay very close attention to the changes in my skin and can immediately notice when something is off. That’s why I want to share all about the products that repaired my skin barrier.

Signs my skin barrier was damaged:

  1. My first sign that something was up with my skin was that redness that never seemed to go away. We all blemish in different colors, depending on our skin color and undertones. For me, I blemish red. I also just have skin that get red very easily, even with a simple touch. So, with all this being said, I was still noticing my skin seemed to never not have red spots and areas. It just always seemed a little inflamed and irritated, even though it felt fine.
  2. My second sign was dry patches. The most random dry patches on my cheeks. I remember when I’d apply my makeup, it would glide on perfectly and look smooth everywhere except for a few drier areas. These were dry patches I wouldn’t even notice unless I put on makeup. Again, my skin didn’t feel dry (tight feeling or itchy) and it didn’t even flake or peel or anything. It was purely visual and pretty much only when I put on makeup.
  3. The last sign my skin barrier was damaged is that when I’d smile, I’d see a tightness and pulling from dehydrated skin around my mouth-my smile lines to be exact. So far, I don’t have any set in lines in my face (meaning lines that are always present in my face, not just when I make expressions). So to see any area on my face that was so lackluster and dehydrated that lines were more prominent when I smiled told me something was up.

Before getting to the products that repair skin barrier, If you don’t think your skin barrier is necessarily suffering, but you are someone with redness-prone skin like me, check out my post on the skincare products I use to treat redness.

Products that Repair Skin Barrier

Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream

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If you’ve been around here long enough, you’ll notice how much of a fan I am of the Avene brand. Just all round incredible products for all skin types, but especially those with very sensitive skin. If you’re going to choose one product from this list to try first, I recommend this one. It applies similarly to mineral sunscreen, with a white cast you have to blend in well, but it does eventually absorb onto your skin and disappears. I noticed a difference in my skin within a week.

Instant Angel

I was recommended this cream by a friend and I’m thankful to her. It’s just an all-around great cream that truly melts into skin. It works beautifully before applying makeup too. Although it leaves behind no residue for being such a rich cream, because it is a rich formula, I do use a very small amount for my entire face. Again, knowing my sensitive skin may get clogged pores. Since the area that’s the most prone to getting clogged pores on my face is my forehead, I usually choose just 1 hydrating/moisturizing product to use during each skincare routine.

Bye Bye Lines Hyaluronic Acid Serum

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I’ve been a fan of this brand’s makeup for years and since last year I’ve been using a lot of their skincare and I’m really impressed. This hyaluronic acid is really great and even prior to creating my protective skin barrier routine, I was just using this product and noticed a difference in my skin within 2 weeks. If you go even a little bit overboard with the amount, like most hyaluronic acids, your skin will feel tacky. So I’m careful with the amount I use, but I also mainly use it at home, so I never really care if my skin is tacky.

Summer Fridays Jetlag Mask

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This is my goopiest cream (technically a mask, but you can leave it on as well). Goopiest meaning real thick and I do feel like it sits on my skin, taking it’s time to seep in and do it’s work. It’s called Jetlag Mask as it was created with the concept of using it as a protective barrier on flights. I prefer to use it at home, where if I do leave it on for an extended period of time, like all through the night, I know I won’t be sweating or having my pores aggravated too much where they can get clogged. With that in mind, this mask/cream is wonderful and even great to spot treat on particularly dry areas, which I often do.

REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Barrier Support Face Oil

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I’m so, so picky with face oils. A lot of them clog up my pores, even when the promise not to. This one is so gentle and seeps into my skin without feeling like it’s just sitting on top. A great oil to reduce the appearance of redness-a common sign of a stripped skin barrier.

Avène Thermal Spring Water

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This is the first step in my skincare routine both in the morning and at night, after cleansing my face. Water from our faucets can be really harsh on our skin and so spraying our skin first with soft thermal water is a great way to replenish what the faucet water stripped from our skin.

I’d love to hear if there are any other products that repair skin barrier that you’ve discovered or if you’re already a fan of one of these!

Find more of my skincare & beauty posts here.

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