Any skin care obsessive knows just how easy it is to go overboard. Sometimes the urge to try new products can get so overwhelming that you just happen to…try all of them at once. DIY-ing an at-home peel might sound alluring at first, but when you’re suddenly experiencing redness, itching and uneven texture you’ll be wondering what went wrong. Listen, it happens to the best of us! Even with pure intentions, skin care experimentation can lead to serious irritation. Luckily, these moisture barrier upsets are usually temporary and can be remedied with the right approach. Here’s our guide to getting things back to normal.
What’s A Moisture Barrier Anyway?
Also known as the stratum corneum, this is the outermost layer of your epidermis. It acts as the first line of defense against bad bacteria, environmental stressors, pollutants and other debris and works to prevent water loss in the skin. Lots of healthy bacteria exist in the microbiome of the skin as well, but when their environment is invaded by harsh products, pollution or stress, bad bacteria can take over and upset the delicate balance, resulting in major irritation, breakouts, roughness and more. Aggressive exfoliants in particular can disrupt the balance of the stratum corneum, leading to some pretty angry skin.
Press Pause On Actives
AHAs, BHAs and retinoids have their place in a well-rounded routine, but getting overzealous with these ingredients can lead to tight, dehydrated skin and frustrating breakouts. Give your skin ample time between using these treatments and make sure not to overlap, especially when it comes to ingredients like retinol and salicylic acid. For now, let’s focus on restoring moisture and balance to the skin!
Nourish With A Mask
One way to fast-track healing is to find a soothing mask that will calm irritation with tried-and-true ingredients. Korres Greek Yoghurt Probiotic SuperDose Face Mask combines probiotic-rich Greek yogurt with hydrating glycerin and squalane and nourishing shea butter for a gentle treatment that brings balance back to the good bacteria of the stratum corneum. BONUS: pop the jar in the fridge for a few minutes before applying for a de-puffing, cooling boost that will help calm redness fast.
Build A “Moisture Sandwich”
The best way to lock water into the moisture barrier is to layer it in. Start with a hydrating and calming serum like Facile Skincare Destress Targeted Calming Serum, which has phytosphingosine, an ingredient known to target bad bacteria, and ceramides, which work to strengthen the skin. Gently press the serum into damp skin to kickstart the deep hydration process.
Next, layer on a water-based moisturizer to build upon that hydration and strengthen skin’s defenses. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturizing Cream has mineral-rich thermal water in its fragrance-free and allergy-tested formula, which makes it a good choice to prevent further irritation. Finally, it’s time to…
Slugging has gone viral for a reason: it works to lock in hydration and lipids and helps the skin repair itself after damaging treatments. Whether you use Aquaphor, Vaseline, or a good ol’ oil-based moisturizer, this final layer will create an artificial healing barrier on the skin while you wait for your own moisture barrier to heal.
Whether you’ve gone a bit crazy with the glycolic or you’re simply finding your skin is more dehydrated than usual, these tips can help you restore your skin to a healthy, glowing complexion worthy of #nomakeup selfies in no time.