Red, irritated Skin? Why you need to Repair Your Skin Barrier

Kim Newton
Less than 3 minutes / July 15th, 2022

We’ve all been there before. Desperate to get the perfect, glowy skin we’ve always dreamed of, we rush down to our local beauty store, grab the latest scrub, peel or serum that's promised us suspiciously fast results, we open the bottle faster than we can say ‘HASHTAG-GLASS-SKIN”, use it religiously day and night for a few weeks and then bam - the bottle (and our wallets) are  empty and now we have irritated, angry skin that's more sensitive than ever before. Sigh. 

Now we don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but the reason why your skin is seeing red (...quite literally) is because although your skin is resilient and designed to face an array of external elements, it can only put up with so much… Que red, flaky sensitive Sally.

If this sounds all too familiar , it's time to put down the at-home face peel, take a deep breath in, and read on because we’re going to teach you how to tame your sensitive Sally and give your skin barrier the love and attention it rightfully deserves. 

What is the Skin Barrier?

The skin is a complicated yet cleverly sophisticated organ that is made up of several layers that all serve various functions. The outermost layer (aka epidermis) is more commonly known as the “skin barrier” and  when it's in tip-top shape, it will work to reduce excess water loss from the skin, as well as protect us against environmental factors such as pollution, allergens, chemicals etc. 

When its not in tip-top shape, you will start to notice:

1. Dehydrated, dry and/or flaky skin.
2. Redness or rosacea flare ups.
3. Rough texture to touch.
4. Stinging, burning, itchiness or sensitivity to things that shouldn't irritate skin (like water).
5. Flare ups of inflammatory skin conditions like acne, eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.
6. Increased oiliness and breakouts.
7. Skin that looks dull, or duller than usual.

    Unfortunately for many people, there are a LOT of reasons that can cause the skin barrier to act up.  As mentioned, one of the main reasons for skin barrier disruption can be found in common topline skincare products aimed to give rapid results (think AHAs, BHAs, retinoids, chemical peels, and harsh scrubs etc). Another common reason is extreme climate conditions, both hot and cold, which means that if you find yourself battling a cold, windy winter and then fanning yourself during a hot summer (especially in NZ where we are more exposed to excess UV) then you probably need to give your skin barrier some extra TLC. Some other causes include; excessive washing, hot showers, stress, a nutrient-light diet, a lack of sleep and smoking. 

    How to Repair your skin barrier

    We’re going to be upfront - repairing your skin barrier is not an overnight process, and the recovery time will be different for everyone (The 2 main factors for this: 1. your skin type and 2. how much damage was done in the first place). Generally though, it can take 2 - 4 weeks till you see some pretty nifty #nofilter improvements! Here are our 3 tips to help you to repair your skin barrier and wave goodbye to red, sensitive skin for good!

    Avoid Harsh Cleansers

    First things first, it’s time to say no (...for now but probably should be forever) to any harsh soaps, cleansers and scrubs you may be regularly using that strip the skin of its natural oils and alter the slightly acidic pH of your skin. We want to keep as much of those natural oils in your skin as possible, so swap out your traditional cleanser for a gentle Oil Cleanser. Our plant-based Oil Cleanser is a cult-favourite and for good reason. It gently cleanses the skin and can even remove waterproof mascara whilst protecting and nourishing the skin at the same time - it's a win-win situation in our books!

    Apply Probiotics Topically

    Probiotics aren't just great in your yogurt they also can do wonders for your skin when applied topically! Your skin is covered with millions of good bacteria (which may sound weird and slightly gross) but these little battlers help keep your skin balanced and fight the bad bacteria that we face in our everyday life. By adding probiotics to your skin you will help reduce inflammation, increase resilience to environmental damage, and strengthen the skin barriers ability to fight aggressors such as UV, pollution and stress. Our favourite probiotic gem is our Renew serum which contains 3% vegan probiotic lysate. We have seen amazing results from our Tailor tribe who swear by this product. 

    Get in that Moisture (Naturally)

    We’re big fans of plump hydrated skin but we’re pretty big on saying no to synthetic ingredients and fragrances! We recommend  moisturising morning and night using clean moisturisers and serums. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid can deeply hydrate the skin and help boost water retention. Our Hydrate serum contains 2% hyaluronic acid and contains no hidden nasties so it will rapidly increase hydration without irritating the skin. We like to mix it in with Moisture - our light-weight moisturiser with plant oils including; grape seed, hazelnut & rosehip oil that helps create an invisible barrier to lock in moisture and protect the skin.



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