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Our skin barrier is pretty amazing. It helps to shield our skin from harmful bacteria, toxins, and contaminants that are around us.

Seeing as it sits right on the surface, our barrier tends to take a beating. Between UV rays, pollutants, donning face masks, and everything in between, we put our skin barrier through an onslaught of aggressors each day. And once it’s compromised, all sorts of problems present themselves.

I would know. After several years, my skin barrier was crying for help. My skin was not only dehydrated, flaky, and red, but it also had a hard time holding onto any makeup I put on it, so camouflaging my imperfections was near impossible.

However, I’ve since learned to build it back up, and now I can even skip the makeup primer. But before I reveal the secret weapon I have in my routine, let’s jump back in time to find out how I wrecked my skin.

How I ended up with a damaged skin barrier

Credit: Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels

As a beauty journalist, I’ve always considered my face a guinea pig for trying new beauty products. But there’s just one thing that stands in the way of my trials: having sensitive, acne-prone skin.

Over years of experimenting with treatments (I’m looking at you, salicylic acid and retinol), my weak skin barrier suffered. My skin turned pink and my usual skincare products either stung or burned my skin. I was breaking out more and my complexion became blotchier too.

It didn’t help that I was recently exposed to the sun for a tad too long – totally my fault for not diligently reapplying sunscreen or seeking shade sooner. This led to skin that both looked and felt raw.

When my go-to products were making me wince, it was even riskier to introduce new formulas to my rotation. However, I did make an exception for one serum, which promised to repair and strengthen damaged and sensitised skin.

My secret weapon for a damaged skin barrier

First things first, I stopped doing whatever I was doing that got me into this mess in the first place. That meant cutting out all actives like exfoliating acids and retinol.

To repair my skin barrier, I stuck with a simple and gentle three-step skincare routine. I chose the mildest cleanser in my collection and the most soothing, hydrating moisturiser I could find. Of course, I’d also slather on sunscreen in the morning and keep my complexion protected throughout the day with SPF top-ups.

I also squeezed in a product that landed on my desk most recently: the Uriage Bariederm Cica Daily Serum, which became the MVP in my entire routine.

Uriage Bariederm Cica Daily Serum review 1

When I tried it for the very first time, I didn’t experience any stinging sensation, which boded well for my skin’s recovery phase. The ultralight, watery serum felt refreshing, and it absorbed really quickly too.

To rebalance the skin, the serum uses the prebiotic inulin, which not only reduces the growth of harmful bacteria in favour of friendly microorganisms naturally present on the skin, but also pulls moisture from the environment into the skin to keep it hydrated.

This prebiotic is found in Uriage’s signature Thermal Water, which is enriched with soothing and moisturising minerals that help reinforce the skin’s barrier.

Uriage Bariederm Cica Daily Serum review texture

Uriage Bariederm Cica Daily Serum also contains centella asiatica, an anti-inflammatory ingredient that soothes and repairs the skin. Meanwhile, high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acids work to hydrate the surface and deeper layers of the skin respectively, keeping it supple and plump.

You’ll also find vitamin B5 in the formula, which is another humectant that attracts water to the skin and holds onto it. Research also shows that this particular vitamin can help our skin produce more lipids (a.k.a. fat) that are crucial for building a strong and healthy skin barrier.

What’s more, the serum boasts dipeptides, a skin conditioning ingredient that encourages skin repair as it prevents visible signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Together, these gentle yet effective ingredients work to heal and strengthen damaged and fragile skin.

Uriage Bariederm Cica Daily Serum review: Results after 1 week

Uriage Bariederm Cica Daily Serum review before after 1

After using Uriage Bariederm Cica Daily Serum twice a day for a week, the redness around my cheeks faded and the bout of breakouts along my jawline started clearing up.

Though I still have some residual redness from my sensitised barrier, my complexion looked much better and was on the road to a swift recovery.

My skin felt plumper and softer too, which pointed to a surge in moisture levels. Plus, the stinging subsided and it didn’t feel as painful to put on my moisturiser or sunscreen.

Because my skin texture felt smoother and more hydrated, I didn’t have to rely on a makeup primer to feign a smooth canvas any longer. My overall skin tone looked more even too, so I could use less foundation and concealer.

I started regaining my confidence after seven days, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to forgo base makeup in just two more weeks. Even if my barrier is back at 100%, I would continue using the serum for its glow-giving results. It’s “glass skin” in a bottle!

If you’re struggling to reduce redness, having a hard time building up a weakened barrier, or you’re suffering from maskne, this serum is perfect for you.

Uriage Bariederm Cica Daily Serum retails for S$49.90 at Watsons, Guardian, and Uriage Official Stores on Shopee and Lazada.

This article is brought to you by Uriage.