Sunday 3 October 2021

Skincare | How I look after and repair my skin barrier

how to repair my skin barrier

This is a post I have been meaning to do for the longest time now but then something else always comes up that I want to review or I don’t take my photos in time! I got there in the end though and today I want to talk about some of my favourite products I use to look after and strengthen my skin barrier which also work a treat if you have broken it too!


Your skin barrier can become damaged by a lot of things, for me it’s usually something like over exfoliation or dehydration and I experienced it right at the start of my course of Roaccutane too. It could also be due to things like sun exposure or too much tretinoin and you will be able to tell because your skin will probably feel rough and itchy and might look red or feel dry and sensitive too!


First things first, simplify your skincare routine and step away from actives like AHA’s, BHA’s and retinol. Cleanser wise, if I am removing makeup, I like something hydrating and balmy like the Emma Hardie Moringa cleansing balm. This feels so comforting and rich and never drags the skin, I use a soft, damp muslin or wash cloth to remove being careful not to tug my skin too much. For a second or morning cleanse I love the Cerave Hydrating Cleanser. This is a really simple gel formula containing ceramides and hyaluronic acid and my skin never feels dry or tight after use! See more about both cleansers in this dedicated post! 


Emma Hardie moringa cleansing balm texture review

For toner, the most gentle, hydrating formulas I have found tend to be K Beauty ones and you can’t go wrong with the Klairs Supple Preparation facial toner* (via Face the Future). It’s gel like, cooling and contains hyaluronic acid and centella asiatica so it nourishes and is anti-inflammatory too! Full review here! I love a spritz and the most gentle one I have thus far is the La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra 8 – it’s specially formulated for sensitive skin and it works to soothe and repair skin's barrier and relieve uncomfortable itching, burning and redness. More on this here!



barrier repair serums skincare

Hyaluronic acid is a staple in my routine even when my skin isn’t feeling in need of repair and the Vichy Mineral 89* is a great option. It’s a gel texture and I apply to damp skin and it feels immediately hydrated as it gets to work plumping my skin and the feeling lasts all day! Read more here! Serum wise, Dermalogica Smart Response Serum* has been a beautiful addition to my skincare routine and one I confess I stopped using recently so I could save some for winter as that's when my skin tends to play up more. It responds to your skins changing needs to hydrate, firm, brighten and soothe depending on what it feels you require. It contains glycerin and niacinamide and instantly calms skin while feeling hydrating enough that sometimes I don’t even feel the need for moisturiser after! More on this serum here!   


Earlier this year, I fell in love with NIOD’s Survival 0* - an antioxidant and reparative formulation that targets damage from pollution and blue light and Modulating Glucosides*, an emulsion specifically for sensitive, irritated skin that instantly helps destress it and repair the barrier. These supported my skin so well while I was on Roaccutane and I have a full review here! On the topic of serums, I also have to mention my long term favourite Copper Amino Isolate Serum*, now on its third formula update, it’s one of my most repurchased serums and is such a good all-rounder to keep skin looking and feeling healthy, even and radiant. I am obsessed and you can read more here! 


Deciem niod modulating glucosides survival 0 review

Moving onto moisturisers and I really don’t think you can beat Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream. It contains five ceramides and hyaluronic acid and the cream manages to be both lightweight (so perfect under makeup) as well as rich enough for overnight! My skin drinks this stuff up and I always go back to it! It’s hydrating, soothing and restoring! A must have! If I want a little something extra I’ll add an oil on top and my current favourite is the Scientia Dusk Elixir*. It’s a mix of 23 oils, antioxidants and fatty acids and works overnight to support skin repair and recovery while plumping and hydrating! More info here! It also goes without saying that SPF is an essential for daytime protection and the La Roche Posay Anthelios Age Correct SPF 50* (via Face the Future) is formulated for sensitive skin and also packed full of hyaluronic acid and niacinamide so while protecting it works to target pigmentation too! No white cast or pilling with this either – I am so impressed!


Lastly, I want to mention a couple of extras I have in my routine for as and when I need them. The I’m From Mugwort Essence and mask are firm favourites and were lifesavers again when I was on Roaccutane! Mugwort is full of antioxidants, vitamin and minerals and ideal for irritated skin! They are both so calming and hydrating and I can’t recommend them enough - read more here! And, I can’t forget lips - Lanolips for me has been a constant recently and the 101 ointment is amazing, especially for overnight hydration! 


i'm from mugwort mask review

As you can see - I could talk about my favourite products for targeting sensitised skin all day! I would love to know what your go to products are if you have damaged your skin barrier?


*denotes a PR sample that was sent to me.

All opinions are my own. Affiliate links used.

See my full disclosure here.



best products for skin barrier repair

Danielle xx


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  1. I'm such a fan of Dr Jart ceramidin range, especially the mist.

    Majean -

  2. When it comes to repairing my skin barrier, I will always look for K-beauty skincare! No ifs, ands, or buts. They don't play when it comes to skincare. And I love it when they say "hydrating" on the bottle, it really means hydrating! Hydration is the key to my skin barrier. Great post, Danielle! xx

    lenne |

    1. Exactly! There are still so many more K Beauty products I want to explore! xx

  3. I really want to up my skincare, so this post is super helpful! Everything here sounds lovely. The Dr Jart moisturiser sounds great and definitely like something I would love. Thanks for sharing xx

    Hannah |

  4. Not going to lie, this post was super helpful to me as I'm not really thinking about repairing my skin barrier so thanks for sharing (and reminding me I should!)

    xoxo Simone |

  5. I spy a few of my faves here and others that have been added to my wish list. When I damage my barrier function, I go back to basics & it always works. I use Zelens Power D and mostly Omorovicza products, also Dermalogica repair, if I have it! x


  6. This is a great post! I definitely had to be more mindful of my skin's barrier on roaccutane - and I went the same way in terms of testing k beauty. It's just so much gentler - I've not looked back since! xx

    mia //

    1. I introduced so many K Beauty products into my routine when I was on roaccutane and never looked back! xx

  7. Yes I agree about retinol. I am leery of it, I hear it thins the skin over time which in the long run will lead to wrinkles but hyaluronic acid that I would use.

    Allie of

    1. Yes, I use hyaluronic acid every day but retinol only maybe twice a week when my barrier can take it! xx

  8. I have a retional night cream (Murad) and it sadly broke me out and left my skin really dry. I'll have to try some hyluronic acid products. x

    Zoey |

    1. Oh no that sucks! I've been wanting to try some Murad too! Yes, can go wrong with a healthy dose of hydration! xx

  9. I am going to have to invest in some of these items!

    Danielle |

  10. This is a great post. Love all the products you mentioned.


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