Impaired skin barrier? Let’s fix it!

First things first. Let’s start with what is what.

Is your shield compromised?

Skin barrier?

The skin barrier or hydrolipidic film is comprised of sebum and lipids and as such acts as your skin’s natural protection against environmental damage and water loss. Both functions are paramount for your skin health and radiant skin appearance. If your skin barrier is healthy, it effectively retains water and has the right balance of lipids, it is resilient and flexible. While everybody has a skin barrier, some can have a naturally weaker barrier (dry, sensitive, thinner skin types) but some manage to damage theirs, due to lack of knowledge. Been there, done that….

Is my skin barrier impaired?

You would be surprised how many people have an impaired skin barrier, and the funny thing is – many of them are actually putting some effort in their skincare. Just not the appropriate one…because at the end, the most damaging is inappropriate skincare destroying your skin’s pH balance, with cleansing as one of the main culprits. The skin barrier in general is not such a fragile princess, your skin tends to be resilient and it is eager to recover itself, but if you abuse it repeatedly, with harsh cleansers, exfoliation, excessive use of potent active ingredients, sodium bicarbonate peelings etc. well, at some point, it just can take it anymore, and then it gets really ugly. The most common symptoms of an impaired skin barrier, thus sensitized skin are:

  • Dehydration and tightness from lack of water, because your skin has lost its capability to retain water. Your skin can be dehydrated yet very oily, because it tries to compensate!
  • Acne breakouts due to excess sebum since your skin is struggling really hard to compensate.
  • Itchiness, flakiness, eczema, redness, soreness due to dehydration and lack of shield from external irritants like bacteria, pollution, UV rays, smoke, skincare ingredients etc.
  • Dull, uneven, rough skin, because everything above.

As you may notice, all this symptoms could be easily attributed to sensitive skin but the difference is, sensitive skin is a skin type, whereas sensitized skin is  a result of a damaged skin barrier. Basically the same applies to the difference between dehydrated or dry skin. Dry skin is a type, dehydrated skin is an aquired condition.

So think, was your skin always like this, or it went berserk somewhere along the way?

While with sensitive skin there isn’t much to do, you just have to »get over it« and adapt your skincare accordingly, you can most definitely repair an impaired skin barrier.

Eucerin Atopicontrol Face Care Cream and Eucerin Aquaphor helped me restore my skin barrier

How can I repair my skin barrier?

The first and foremost, you need to be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your skin barrier wasn’t destroyed in a day either. It needs its time and you have to be willing to give it and take it easy. How long? It depends on your skin type, how long was your skin abused and how much damage it suffered, but I’d say from at least 1 to even 6 months.

I have dry and sensitive skin and I sensitized my skin by abusing active ingredients – I needed a 6 months rehab.

So, how the rehab works:

  • Adapt your cleansing routine, you can read more about it here: click
  • Back to basics: drop all cosmetic products with active ingredients (vitamin C, retinoids, acids). ALL of them, except vitamin B. The only skincare you’re allowed to use are replenishing natural moisturizers, ceramides, vitamin B and different occlusive products that act like a makeshift skin barrier and retain moisture while yours is healing. Avoid any cosmetic products that have higher concentrations of irritants like perfume, alcohol denat, higher concentrations of essential oils, etc.
  • Use sun protection diligently. Choose a product that is intended for sensitive skin.
  • Always avoid (even when your skin becomes healthy): hot water, sun exposure, mechanical peelings, cosmetic products with inappropriate pH.

If you’re afraid you’re going to become granny material during this rehab (like I did), don’t. You can still use replenishing moisturizers or serums with peptides that have also anti-aging proprieties and after the worst is behind you, you can also use some gentler and less potent forms of actives and enzyme peelings.

And don’t forget. Once you are »out of the woods« keep your freshly acquired skincare habits and don’t rush into too much, too soon. Less is always more. Check my other skincare basics posts for more information!

NIOD CAIS serum and The Ordinary 10% Niacinamide, also helped me with skin regeneration and added the missing anti-aging touch

I think I hear your thoughts now. You would like to know which products are in the skin barrier approved bandwagon, right? Here are some suggestions for the back to basics skincare:


  • Skintegra Atomic, 200 ml, 20€, Superskin
  • Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Cleansing Foam, 160 ml, 10€, Ebay
  • Jessa Intimpflege Parfumfrei, 300 ml 2,50€, Drogerie Markt

Lighter moisturizers (hydration, replenishing)

  • Near Skin Total Ceramide Cream, 50 ml, 25€, Missha Slovenija (my review: click)
  • Skintegra Lunar, 30 ml, 22€, Superskin (has anti-aging proprieties too!)
  • Eucerin Atopicontrol Face Care Cream, 50 ml, 15€, Pharmacy

Heavier moisturizers / occlusives (a makeshift skin barrier)

  • COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask, 110 ml, 21€, Lookfantastic
  • Eucerin Aquaphor Repairing Ointment, 45ml, 9€, 45 ml, Pharmacy
  • Bioderma Cicabio Crème Réparatrice, 40 ml, 9€, Pharmacy

Serums with skin-regeneration proprieties (regeneration, resilience)

  • Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1 (CAIS2), 15 ml, 47€, Superskin
  • Skintegra Hydra B Advanced Hydration Serum, 30 ml, 15€, Superskin
  • The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc, 30 ml, 8€, Superskin [please note: many complain that it dries their skin out due to zinc, some have experienced breakouts]

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, so far my favourite vitamin B

As always, if you have any questions – shoot!



  1. Hi there,

    I severely damaged my moisture barrier by using harsh topicals and cleansers and over-washing for nearly 10 years, with sporadic breaks from doing anything to my skin. Dermatologists just kept prescribing different topicals and never told me that my skin was chronically dehydrated. I discovered what was going on about 3 years ago, and for a long time did absolutely nothing to my skin to let it recover. And then over 1 YEAR ago, I started using hyrdrating products like niacin, urea, vitamin c, snail cream, etc and also dermarolling occasionally to help with product absorption. My skin is definitely improving, but it’s still really inflamed and the skin is still orange-peel like. I’m worried that complete recovery will never happen because I damaged my skin for so long. Do you have any advice? Is this normal? How much longer do you think it will take? Are there any ways to speed the process up?

    Thank you so much. Any feedback you can give is appreciated!

    • Hi Zach!
      Ditch the dermarolling right now. Needles are just for doctors and qualified personnel in a sterile and safe environment to use. With home devices at the end you do more harm than good – just making small, UNEVEN wounds and TEARS that actually don’t have any real purpose in terms of promoting collagen production or product absorption, it just exposes your skin to deeper inflammation. Even on healthy skin is not recommended, so just put it away. Your products will absorb just OK without it.
      Go back to basics – you listed nice products, but if you put them all on your skin at the same time you also put many preservatives and mix ingredients that are not compatible. Too many preservatives and active ingredients that don’t match together harm your skin (please read my post about layering products). Ditch the Vitamin C if you use it in an acidic form (ascorbic acid) and any other active ingredients that are acidic or strong. Use only Niacinamide, Panthenol or Copper Peptides. If you’re really fond of Vitamin C at this point opt out for the non-acidic Tetra form. Snail mucus is also OK if you have a quality product – check the ingredient list, make sure it doesn’t contain perfumes, alcohol denat, or too many ingredients in general.
      Keep it simple in terms of layering and in terms of products. Short ingredients lists, no perfumes, no harsh ingredients whatsoever. Don’t layer more than 3 products at the time. Example routines:
      – Gentle cleansing with a gentle cleanser (e.g. Hada Labo Foam)
      – Niacinamide Serum (Paula’s Choice Niacinamide Booster or The Ordinary Niacinamide 10%)
      – Replenishing simple moisturizers for sensitive / eczema skin, like Eucerin Atopicontrol, Missha Total Cearamides, Bioderma Cicabio, Paula’s Choice Omega cream, or any products you have with Urea if it is for sensitive/damaged skin
      – SPF cream with physical sunscreen (important for redness and reducing inflammation due to heat)
      – Gentle DOUBLE cleansing (Hada Labo Oil + Foam)
      – Restoring serum with Copper Peptides (The Ordinary or NIOD) or Paula’s Choice Calm serum
      – Replenishing simple moisturizer (stated above)
      – Vaseline as a mask! To close in the moisture and other restoring goodies and to promote better absorption (a safe and gentle alternative to dermarolling). You can soak off the excess with a towel before sleep, leave it overnight and wash it in the morning. Vaseline acts as a healthy skin barrier and helps close all the moisture in your skin. But don’t use it during the day, because it also blocks the moisture from the atmosphere to get in your skin. It is just a nigh time mask!
      You can use enzyme peelings if your skin feels rough or in need of exfoliation, but just once a week.
      You shall see improvement fairly quickly if you’ll stick to a simple routine without too much layering and with simple sensitive skin products. I’m not sure how your routine looks now – but if it is more elaborated than the listed above this might be the reason your recovery is not going as it should be. There’s also that you might have some underlying skin conditions like eczema, rosacea etc. – if even after you simplify everything your skin doesn’t improve go to see a doctor to exclude any skin conditions. Otherwise, after a long abuse your skin needs a long recovery, so don’t give up! It is normal and it can be undone, just stick to the less is more protocol and keep it simple, don’t experiment, don’t rotate different products, make sure your products don’t contain ANY harsh ingredients,etc.
      Check also my other posts about cleansing, rinsing the micellar water (if you’re using it), layering skincare products and SPF – they are full of useful information for your condition.
      Keep me posted!

  2. Hi Tika,

    Very helpful article.

    I ended up with a compromised skin barrier thanks to laser hair removal which also left me with hyperpigmentation.

    I’ve been using stratia products, mainly liquid gold and other repair snail creams and it helped but still stuck with dull uneven skin which is prone to redness.

    I’ve been told that once the skin barrier has been compromised, although you can “repair” the damage, it will never be as good as it was before.

    I never used to use any moisturiser or SPF and had glowing skin whereas now I use everything beneficial to skin and skin looks dull and uneven.

    Any advice?

    Oh I forgot to say I’m treating the hyperpigmentation with mandelic acid.

    • Hi Monzah! Stratia Liquid Gold is actually one of the most effective products for restoring an impaired skin barrier, so this is definitely a good choice. It is partially true about the permanent damage – partially because it depends on what caused the damage and if you have any underlying skin conditions – e.g. like rosacea. But mostly it can actually be undone if you’re diligent and patient.
      I have Atopic dermatitis and my barrier will never be as strong as a normal skin barrier on healthy skin, but I can still manage to live without any noticeable problems. I’ll suggest you to really SIMPLFY your skincare routines for at least six months, don’t switch products, don’t layer too much, DITCH any product that is not necessary. While snail mucus has some beneficial proprieties for sensitized skin it also comes mixed up with ingredients that are not all that good (it depends on which product you use, but it is better safe than sorry…). Don’t layer too many products – especially the watery ones because they contain lots of preservatives that have a deteriorating effect on your barrier and skin (please check out my post about layering skincare products – I’ve explained why less is more especially when you’re dealing with an impaired skin barrier or sensitive skin). As you noticed before you had lovely skin despite not having any proper skincare routine – this is often the case when you start using too many products in an attempt to save the skin. Not a good protocol, so cut everything that is not necessary and keep it simple. Regarding SPF – while it might seem redundant when you’re younger and healthy it is actually paramount for healthy skin, because the damage accumulates through years and one day you wake up with all that damage on your face with interests – it is like drinking too much. You feel okay for hours and then the last shot knocks you off – is the same with skin and accumulated sun damage, one day is just enough and everything comes out. If you have hyperpigmentations it is really necessary to find a good SPF product to use everyday (read my posts about SPF).
      Basically, get back to basics and simplify. Use Stratia LG and in the evening cover it up with some vaseline to close all the goodies and moist in your skin. Use Vaseline as a mask and just soak the excess with a towel before sleeping, wash it off in the morning with a gentle cleanser. If you use micellar water make sure you ALWAYS wash it off (I have a post about that too). Use a PHYSICAL (not chemical!) sunscreen (Like Niod Survival 30 or Neostrata Sheer Protection). Consider double cleansing with very gentle products – Hada Labo has some good options. Check my posts about double cleansing and rinsing the micellar water. Consider including some NIACINAMIDE and COPPER PEPTIDES in your routine to use it under Stratia. Layer maximum of 3 products at the time and only one can be “watery” (serum).
      Ditch the Mandelic for some time (and any other acids). While mandelic is quite gentle could be anyway too stripping. I know hyperpigmentations can be a bi*ch to deal with, but consider this option – switch the acid with Vitamin C in the non-acidic tetra from which can have also healing proprieties (check The Ordinary for the Tetra form) to address the hyperpigmentation. Use it in the mornings over some Copper peptides or Niacinamide.
      For exfoliation purposes opt-out for enzyme peelings – they are well tolerated and much more gentle compared to acids with the basically same effect. Use them only once a week, the best ones are usually in a powder form.
      I hope this helps a little bit! Keep it simple and keep me posted.

  3. Hi I damaged my skin barrier in January with a harsh toner. Ever since
    I’m having breakout sensitised skin . Been to dermatologist to just be prescribed antibiotic or protopics. I have had a skin analysis that shows my skin is tipid dry. My skin is in a terrible dull way n sensitised with spots. X

    • Hi Fallon,
      try with the damaged barrier protocol, avoid any harsh ingredients, and keep it really simple.
      Did your doctor check if you have any underlying skin conditions? Because antibiotics can be an overkill if there’s only the damaged barrier issue. I’d suggest you to be very patient and don’t do any experiments or use too many products in an attempt to speed the healing process, just use a quality neutral moisturizer (Check also for CeraVe) with some occlusives in the evening, check my cleansing and SPF protection posts – like suggested in the article. Some of my answers above might be useful too. I can’t suggest you anything more than that because I’m not sure what you’re dealing with and if you got any diagnosis from your doctor.

  4. Hi again, just that I was having breakouts my mum also is suffering with this from the same product. I need some kind of routine that won’t clog my pores but will help because I feel my skin is now overproducing oil but dry at the same time

    • Hi Fallon, it looks like it could be an impaired skin barrier but when it comes to skin the problem can be really complex and it can not be dealt with only through comments and my guesswork.
      If you have breakouts you could try with azelaic acid and niacinamide. The latter controls sebum AND heals your skin at the same time. Nevertheless, you’ll need some moisturizer and occlusives to seal the moisture in your skin at least on evenings (not during the day). Which product will clog your pores it is not easy to predict, because this depends on each skin specifically. All this is VERY “in general”, as said you need a personalized approach and some testing. How about visiting some Esthetician? If you’re from the US you shall have some good options.
      In general, you can start with considering:
      Niacinamide AM
      Azelaic acid (at least 10%) PM if your skin tolerates it
      A light moisturizer PM (find something that doesn’t clog your pores, – this is very individual, something neutral, non-scented)
      An occlusive moisturizer as a mask PM – if your skin barrier is impaired Vaseline is the best option – wear it like a mask before sleeping to retain all the moisture.
      Check out my post about skin cleansing. It is very important! And SPF during the day.
      I hope you’ll find a solution soon.

  5. Hi there, a few months late and hope that you’ll assist.
    My barrier has really been compromised, my skin feels so rough even when moisturized, I think this happened due to over exfoliating and using L ascobic vit skinceuticals ce which I know is crazy expensive but I jumped on the band wagon. I have history of eczema but it’s been controlled for decades. So I tried only cleansing, hydrating mist and moisturizer and last step spf, I ditched exfoliating altogether, cleanse at night only and hydrate throughout the whole day. This helped over a 3 month period and akin was getting better, I then decided to reintroduce Vit ce FERULIC, today my skin is dry and itchy. However the dame happens when I use HA my skin goes crazy dry and immediately my barrier is impaired. What to do please? Stopping using vit c I’ve already done, I guess I’m not able to use either of these products on my skin ever, sadly. Please advise further if possible. TIA

    • Hi Lesley! I’m deeply sorry for the late reply, I’ve been busy. There’s nothing wrong with Skinceuticals it just isn’t OK for sensitive, eczema prone skin. Or a compromised barrier. Ditch ascorbic acid – Vitamin C in its acidic form. If you want some Vitamin C in your routine give it a go with the Tetra form which is ascorbic acid coated in oil and it doesn’t irritate your skin surface. Take it easy though – it can still irritate in deeper layers, just a drop in your mousturizer, when your barrier will be OK again. HA in general is tricky – these trends that HA molecules has to have a low mass to penetrate deeper has left many with irritated skin. Small molecules penetrate deeper and cause irritations. I think HA is overhyped anyway, it doesn’t moisturize per se it just attracts water. Which is good, but other humectants can be as effective and safer. Ditch the HA.

      I hope this helps!

  6. Hi I liked your post a lot..just a doubt about the moisturizer you mentioned as I have extremely sensitive oily to dry skin so when I have checked the ingredient of the one u mentioned was not good for oily fungal acne triggered skin like mine ..can u pls help me finding water based moisturizer for damaged skin with oily to dry skin

    • Hi Shreya, where are you from? Because I need to know which “stores” are applicable for you and which products. In terms of results you need to be patient, Avene is a good brand, but to repair your barrier you might need even up to 6 months. You can remove flakiness with a gentle enyzme peel if your skin can tolerate it, if not, leave it. A silicone brush might be helpful too. Stay away from mechanical exfoliating scrubs, and check Paula’s Choice calm serum if it might fit you. Think about some niacinamide too, check also CeraVe PM lotion.

  7. Hi, I’m a 16 year old boy who has an impaired skin barrier from over exfoliating my face but I just have it on my forehead. I’ve just bought the niacinamide 10% serum, and I’ve also read that you said vaseline would be a good mask. I will try that tonight! Also when I just wash my face with water in the morning my skin doesn’t feel dry or tight is that a good thing? Last thing I have combo skin so is using the cerave moisturizing lotion good for repairing my skin barrier? Hope you can help me!

    • Hi Catari. The Ordinary Niacinamide helped me a lot, but I’ve got many feedbacks that users experienced skin drying (due to zinc). If you’ll experience that try to switch to some other product with niacinamide (e.g. Medik8 Clarity Peptides serum). CeraVe PM is great for barrier repair and it also has some niacinamide in a lesser concentration but still OK and effective. Just stay at minimum layering and gentle cleansing and give it time. It takes some time for the barrier to restore itself. Water can dry your skin, but If you don’t feel any tightness it should be OK, but if you have any problems with clogged pores I’d recommend a gentle water-based cleanser in the morning (CeraVe, Hada Labo Tokyo,etc.). Vaseline masks are great! Because they work as a makeshift barrier, but you need to use something moisturizing underneath (like CeraVe), leave it for a couple of hours. If there’s any residue gently wipe it off before sleeping. I recommend washing it off in the morning, because the remaining residue might be too occlusive during the day. Eucerin Aquaphore is awesome as a “vaseline” mask. I hope this helped a little bit. I wish you the best of luck and many happy skin days!

  8. Hi there, I am 23 years old, fair skin red hair, generally sensitive skin. I cleared up all of my acne and scarring when lockdown began using the Ordinary’s Niacinamide and Peeling Solution. I then got too cocky and bought the Paulas Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (black bottle) started off fine then increased the use to twice a day (as per instructions on the bottle) realised this was too much when I was getting extreme breakouts (not purging) stopped using it for a week and my skin was back to perfectly clear so I reintroduced the PC, started to breakout again but assumed it was purging from taking a break from it before. I bought the Cerave S.A. cleanser thinking it would help with the rough feeling I was beginning to get. I then got an extremely bad sun burn which caused my face to swell. I then stopped using all exfoliators to allow the sunburn to go away and stuck to cleansing using the Cerave Hydrating Cleanser, Cerave Moisturising Lotion and Cream, as well is continuing the Niacinamide and have also introduced their Hyalouronic Acid. My skin feels like sandpaper but is completely covered in oil with the most acne I’ve had in years, covering my whole face but mainly bad on my forehead and chin areas. I have developed millions of clogged pores and my skin is very itchy with the grease! I have no idea what do to. I stopped using all exfoliators almost two weeks ago and there’s no change to the texture of my skin, do you have any advice?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Lauren, uhh sounds like a very compromised skin barrier! Over exfoliation is a common cause of a damaged skin barrier, it’s OK to ditch it. Two weeks is not much for healing, you’ll need to be very patient. The sunburn was severe also because you stripped your skin’s natural protection with exfoliants. If you use exfoliants you MUST use Sun Protection! Always! Or you’ll do more harm than good!
      Keep your skincare to a minimum, try first with niacinamide that has restoring effects and controls sebum – it will support healing and less acne. Stick to the barrier protocol (no harsh ingredients, gentle cleansing – check out my blog post about it, minimum layers and no exfoliants of any type). When your skin feels a bit better, you can try with a gentle enzyme peel (like Elemis Papaya) and when it gets much better with Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Booster. It works wonders on rough skin and clogged pores. Try also some supplements – like Ceramides (I hear Life Extensions are good, I use a Slovenian brand, though) and Hyaluronic Acid (as a supplement, not skincare!). They work wonders for an impaired skin barrier.
      Since my reply is really late (sorry about that), did you notice any improvement during this time?

  9. Hi !! So I am 15 years old, and for about five years now, i’ve struggled with acne prone skin. I have an olive skin tone that is oily by nature. Not only do I have acne, I now have redness on my cheeks, my nose, and forehead. It’s weird, because all the spots i have redness is where i would break out. but the redness isn’t consistent and in certain spots is kinda splotchy. Which started about 4 years ago when my acne was breaking out. Keep in mind that the last 5 years i’ve done everything from adapalene to curology to pro active to differen gel, and before I knew any better, I would even use rubbing alcohol as a toner. So here I am today, and my skin is very very oily, yet so tight and dry feeling underneath of that. Especially in the areas where the redness is. My dermatologist told me it was rosacea, yet the redness isn’t exactly even everywhere and I feel like it’s due to a compromised skin barrier but I need your opinion on it. My skin feels very tight but especially in the inflamed areas, is extremely oily. Do I have a damaged skin barrier?? Is it fixable??I have this fear that I wont be able to fix it all the way because some spots on my face are pretty red and damaged. even my dermatologist said it was rosacea but it doesn’t flare up with usual rosacea triggers. What do u think??

    • Hi Taylor. It looks it could be a compromised barrier, but I really can’t make any assessments through the internet, without seeing you in person, knowing your routines, lifestyle etc.. What you have looks a little bit too complicated for online advice, but I have some suggestions that might help. First if it is rosacea, azelaic acid will help, if it is a compromised barrier, it might make things worse. I suggest you to try the “barrier protocol” for as long as 3 months and see if there’s any improvement on this inflamed areas, if not, you can give a go to azelaic acid (at least 10%, better 20%). Stick to the barrier protocol – i.e., gentle cleansing, no harsh ingredients, no actives [which is basically a good protocol even if it is rosacea]. Since you’re acne prone try with some light daytime products , a Niacinamide moisturising serum (will help also about sebum, Medik8 has a wonderful one. It is expensive but it works) and some light moisturiser (CeraVe maybe). Keep everything to a bare minimum and I strongly suggest you to add some ceramide supplements (e.g. Life Extension) and hyaluronic acid supplements if possible. They will help to strengthen the barrier from the inside and they can also have an effect on acne. For exfoliation use some gentle enzyme peel but no more than 3x a month. Check your cleansing routine! Use only gentle cleansers wit an appropriate pH value. I suggest you also evening maskig with some vaseline products, to use as a makeshift barrier to retain the moisture in the skin. You just use a good moisturising serum and put over a thin layer of vaseline, after a couple of hours you just dab off the excess and go to sleep – in the morning you wash it all off thoroughly. It might feel oily and heavy but it can help a lot and in the contrary of the common beliefs, vaseline doesn’t clog pores. It can be too occlusive if used all the time, but some masking can do a lot for a compromised barrier. Keep in mind that the oilness you experience might be the side effect of a compromised skin barrier, because your skin is trying to compensate the loss of water and other substances that are lacking due to damage. That doesn’t mean you should avoid thicker products like vaseline. If you make a makeshift barrier, the skin should become less oily in time, because it won’t work so hard to compensate.
      I hope this helps a bit.

  10. Hi there, another compromised barrier here. I want to add copper peptides, but the NIOD one gets mixed reviews and is expensive and The Ordinary one is a 1% mixed with their buffet. Is there something else that you recommend for maximum results of barrier repair and skin regrowth?

    • Hi Taylor, I like CAIS but I agree it is expensive and generally, copper peptides can be tricky due to oxidation. However, this is not a big problem if you don’t use vitamin C, because with a compromised barrier is not recommended. I didn’t try any other copper peptides, because they’re mostly very expensive and I can achieve the same results with other products or supplements. Regarding The Ordinary I like some of their products but I must say that the hype kind of subsided, because many products don’t have a real effect as supposed. You learn that by comparing some of their actives with some other brands…So I can’t really say Buffet would help. I had it once and didn’t notice anything special. If CAIS is not an option I’d suggest you to try products with ceramides and lipids, Niacinamide and I strongly suggest adding some ceramide supplements. They do wonders for an impaired skin barrier and they saved my skin, I even got rid of atopic dermatitis. Check the Life Extension ceramides. I didn’t try them, because I use a Slovenian brand, but I’ve heard they work!
      Hope this helps!

  11. Hi! I’m in my teens, and I’ve almost always had dry,/combo skin (quite oily on Tzone, especially during that time of the month).. I I damaged my barrier because of using products with alcohol denat. and many other damaging ingredients

    I’ve been trying to fix it, and so far there’s been some improvement because I’ve tried to focus on hydration more. But my skin still has redness and is inflamed, especially on my cheeks and around my nose., and it still gets tight after a quick cleanse. But I’ve also tried a gazillion products over many months and I feel like they cause my skin to be more red or don’t work, even if those products are intended for barrier repair or hydration. I just really want to repair my barrier and get the redness away, get my barrier strong enough so that eventually in the future I can work on some kind of gentle exfoliation because I also have clogged pores. Do you know how I can repair my barrier when a lot of products seem to overwhelm my skin and make it redder? I even use a gentle cleanser not everyday but if I leave it on a little too long my face becomes dry, redder and itchy. But if I don’t cleanse at all, my skin complexion will look more dull and the dead cells seem to accumulate.

    • Hi Sam, I’m sorry for the late reply but I’m kind of overwhelmed :/
      Since I don’t know where you’re from, I can’t exactly suggest you any products but I’ll try. But first things first.
      You need to properlj cleanse your skin to repair your barrier, and I suggest double cleansing (click) in the evening and single in the morning. The key is in gentle cleansers, you can find some product suggestions here: Product Suggestions. Not listed, but I also suggest Purito cleansers (Oil & Gel).
      Then, LESS IS MORE (click). Don’t layer too much! Only gentle cleansing, some hydration and then care, all products need to be gentle and without any irritants, look for Atopic skin product lines. Keep it simple and be patient. Add some Ceramide and Hyaluron supplements (Check Life Extension products).
      Add Niacinamide! It helps with barrier problems and keeps the sebum at bay. Try to find some hydrating serum with Niacinamide (maybe Clarity peptides by Medik8)
      Use SPF! It allows your skin to heal by shielding it form UV rays that among other also cause skin inflammation. Try something gentle with physical filters (maybe Paula’s Choice Calm)
      Redness will subside when the inflammation will subside. It takes time and don’t rush it, be patient. When you barrier is better, you can also adress it with azelaic acid (I suggest Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Booster).
      Exfoliate, but gently and only once or twice a week. I suggest gentle enzyme peels (Check Elemis, Sensai) or a silicon brush (silicon, not ordinary cleansing brushes. Something like Foreo or Eggo).
      I hope this helps a little bit and I wish you a healthy and happy skin!

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