In recent years, moisturisers have become come into increasing prominence in the beauty scene here. Its importance in maintaining younger-looking, healthier skin is becoming more and more well-known.
At the same time, it can also be frustrating when you’re spamming the moisturiser but it doesn’t seem to help your skin achieve that well-hydrated state that you desire.
The reason for this? It could be that your skin’s moisture barrier has already been damaged. We covered more on this in our previous article examining what skin moisture barrier even is.
So how exactly can you tweak your skincare routines to make sure you’re repairing your skin barrier instead of damaging it further? We’ve compiled these 9 steps to help you.
Step 1: Get rid of overly harsh skincare products
Skincare products are supposed to, well, care for your skin. However, in an effort to thoroughly cleanse off makeup remnants, oil, sebum, dead skin cells, and pollutants that have accumulated on our skin all day, many skincare products on the market include chemicals that may be too harsh for those of us who already have weakened skin barriers.
Facial cleansers and toners in particular are the worst when it comes to this. Their function is to clean off these impurities, but the chemicals used for this purpose, such as sodium laureth sulphate (SLS), might be too drying for your skin.
Pick a milder cleansing agent, like the Real Barrier Cream Cleansing Foam. This type of cleansers are SLS-free, but are still able to do a thorough job in cleansing off the dirt and grime on your skin layer after a day’s work.
Real Barrier Cream Cleansing Foam retails for SGD22 at Watsons.
Step 2: Everything in moderation
In an effort to solve your skincare problems once and for all, you might fall into the trap of going overboard with your products.
We’re talking about using products like exfoliators, peels, and anti-acne spot treatments. They may be effective for their given purposes, but you have to be even more conscientious about repairing your skin barrier and hydrating your skin layers after using them.
Step 3: Use ingredients similar to your skin
If you have a weakened skin barrier and aren’t sure what ingredients you should be looking for, try finding brands that aim to create products that are as similar to your skin as possible.
The more chemically similar your products are to your skin, the less likely it is to irritate your skin and cause any adverse reactions.
Real Barrier is one such brand. They have innovated a globally patented technology which they named the Multi-Lamellar Emulsion (MLE). This technology uses two types of ceramides to regenerate the natural structure of healthy human skin, which helps to repair your skin barrier.
Step 4: Make your moisture barrier your skincare priority
Skin dryness can actually lead to a host of other skincare problems, so taking care of your skin’s barrier may actually help you with every other concern you have.
Dry skin can result in flakey skin, itchiness, rashes, sensitivity, premature ageing, development of fine lines, wrinkles, laugh lines, and so on. If this sounds like you, you may want to consider making your moisture barrier the top priority in your skincare.
For targeted skincare products like serums and ampoules, instead of using those for anti-ageing or soothing, try swapping them out for something that’s not only hydrating but which also helps to repair your skin barrier.
The Real Barrier Intro Serum is a concentrated targeted skincare solution that is also non-greasy on the skin. It “adjusts skin barriers” with its MLE technology, and soothes irritated skin with their patented 3-Calming Complex consisting of panthenol, madecassoside, and allantoin.
Real Barrier Intro Serum retails for SGD37 (40ml) at Watsons.
Step 5: Don’t forget to mist
You may be religiously putting on your day and night moisturisers, but don’t forget that products tend to wear off over the course of the day. This is especially so if you work in an air-conditioned office, and often have to walk under the blazing sun to get lunch.
Both air-conditioning and the type of tropical heat that we have to deal with in Singapore are actually very drying for your skin. This is exacerbated if you wear makeup every day to work. Some types of makeup can also dry out your skin.
Keep your skin hydrated with a boost of mid-day moisture from a hydrating facial mist. Store this somewhere on your desk so it’s always within convenient reach.
The Real Barrier Essence Mist contains its signature MLE technology as well as hyaluronic acid to help give regular reinforcements to your skin’s barrier, keeping it moisturised throughout the day.
Real Barrier Essence Mist retails for SGD22 (80ml) at Watsons.
Step 6: Compensate for your anti-acne products
If you suffer from acne, or even just the occasional zit and breakouts, you may already be using an acne spot treatment.
Anti-acne medications like benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and topical antibiotics are now readily available over the counter or from the pharmacy. While they are effective for combatting pimples, they can be really drying for your skin, damaging your skin barrier in the process.
Like every other skin concern, acne has varying degrees of severity. For those with severe cystic acne, a visit to the dermatologist for more intense, prescription-only medicine would be necessary to help clear it up.
However, for those of us who only suffer from the occasional zit, or even if we’re just trying to hasten the healing of a recovering pimple, you can switch to an anti-acne product that is gentler on the skin, minimising the stress on your skin’s moisture barrier.
The Real Barrier Cicarelief Cream can help with that. We’ve given the lowdown on this natural soothing treatment, and since then it’s been raved about by our colleagues who have tried it out.
Real Barrier Cicarelief Cream retails for SGD42 and will be available at Watsons soon.
Step 7: Make your sheet masks do double time
A popular method used by many beauty junkies out there to pamper themselves and their skin is to use sheet masks. They’re affordable, feel great on the skin, and you really can feel the hydration on your skin after a masking session.
But have you ever woken up the next day, washed your face, and realised that the hydrating effects of the mask has completely disappeared?
It’s time to invest in masks that actually give you longer-term effects and which will help to repair your skin barrier. These masks are not only intensely hydrating, but also contain other ingredients to fortify your skin barrier, helping it to better retain the moisture from your skincare.
The Real Barrier line of products also include masks that utilise their MLE technology for skin barrier protection and reparation.
Real Barrier Soothing Ampoule Mask retails for SGD31 for 5 sheets at Watsons.
Step 8: Choose your moisturiser wisely
For anyone with dry skin and damaged skin barriers, there’s no getting around the fact that your moisturiser will have to be the cornerstone of your skincare. Pick one that not only moisturises your skin intensely, but helps your skin barrier as well.
A favourite with the Daily Vanity team is the Real Barrier Extreme Cream, which has earned rave reviews from us when we first tried it out. It’s intensely moisturising without ever feeling too greasy on the skin, and your skin somehow feels better the next day. Check out our Picks of the Month in October last year where we couldn’t stop gushing about the product.
At first glance, the Extreme Cream may seem to have a steep price, but it’s actually more affordable if compared with other moisturisers on the market of the same quality.
Real Barrier Extreme Cream retails for SGD44 at Watsons.
Step 9: Sunscreen may indirectly help
You may think that sunscreen isn’t quite related to skin barrier protection, but you’re wrong. Even though our climate is humid, the scorching heat of the tropical Singaporean sun can actually be damaging to your skin and its moisture barrier as well.
Furthermore, sun protection is something we need to be particular about here in sunny Singapore. Besides helping with your skin moisture barrier, it prevents a whole host of skincare problems like premature ageing, pigmentation, and even skin cancers.
Remember to put on sunscreen at the beginning of every day, no matter what the weather and whatever your schedule. You’ll be exposed to sunlight from the windows even if you’re sitting in an air-conditioned office, or in the comfort of your own home, so make sure you protect yourself. UV rays can penetrate through storm clouds as well, so it doesn’t mean that sunscreen is unnecessary on a gloomy, overcast day.
Real Barrier Tone Up Sunscreen SPF50 PA+++ retails for SGD34 (40ml) at Watsons.
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