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I have to say that since I've been making a conscious effort not to overdo my actives, I have far fewer issues with my skin barrier. However, all the mindfulness in the world can't save me from the inevitable wobble I have when we go from summer to autumn or from winter to spring. For whatever reason, March is always the worst for me! So, today I'm talking through some fantastic ingredients that can help you get on top of the issue before it really sets in. Of course, the products are my personal picks, but I always encourage you to look through your own products and find something similar before considering new purchases.
For my morning routine, I'm more of a mist person because I like to keep things quick and easy - I've really been enjoying the Curel Deep Moisture Spray | £19.50 | lately. This has a really light mister but it truly does hydrate and soothe my skin in a way that lasts (I can't stand mists that disappear into the aether!) This is formulated with glycerin to draw moisture into the skin and increase hydration levels, a form of castor oil to moisturise the skin and lock in that hydration, cholesterol for its skin barrier-replenishing benefits and also allantoin to soothe the skin. In the evening, I really enjoy the Aveeno Calm & Restore Soothing Oat Toning Lotion* | £7.99 | full review. It has a real weight to it and can actually help to buffer your retinoid a little if you apply that afterwards. It's formulated with glycerin, oat and Vitamin E to moisturise, calm and balance the skin.
A serum that's the perfect blend of feeling calming whilst also giving results is the Venn Probiotics Cica Complex Biome Booster* | £153 | full review. It is not cheap, but if this is within your budget or you're lucky enough to have a voucher to spend or a discount up for grabs: I have to admit, I truly love using this! The benefits of it are twofold: it contains fermented ingredients to boost the skin's microbiome and lead to a happy barrier, alongside soothing cica and anti-inflammatory ingredients to reduce redness but it also contains peptides to plump and hydrate the skin. They could also boost collagen production, so this is about as gentle as a well-ageing formula can get for skin that's feeling a little reactive.
One of my absolute favourite all-rounder moisturisers has to be the Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream* | £45 | full review. I'm on my second tub of it now and have been reminded of its perfection! The reason this product is so re-visitable is because it has this delightfully light-but-substantial texture; it feels fluffy on the skin, it works well under makeup but it deeply nourishes, softens and replenishes my dry skin. The ceramides, shea butter, fatty ingredients and jojoba are a hug for my face when it needs it!
For an extra boost of nourishment, I love sealing in my PM routine with the Zelens Power D* | £95 | full review | though you could also use a couple of drops of this before your moisturiser in the daytime for that concentrated barrier repair. Again, this is a little pricey, but I've already got my backup so I guess that's all you really need to know to see that it's worth it for me and my skin. Vitamin D can help support the skin barrier and this lightweight oil also contains emollients, cholesterol (a component of the skin barrier), Vitamin F (rich in linoleic acid), squalane, fatty acids, Vitamin E and nourishing oils like sunflower and avocado. It calms and soothes my skin, repairs it when it's not happy, can balance out stronger actives I might want to use and overall nourishes and softens my skin.
If your skin is in crisis: I recommend the REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm* | £45 | full review. This little pot of oil-based magic has such an amazing healing effect when applied to dry and / or irritated patches of skin. I also often use this in more sensitive areas like around my mouth and nose to take the edge off active ingredients I'm using on the rest of my face. It's formulated with jojoba and sunflower oils alongside beta-glucan, which are all great moisturising and calming ingredients.
How do you keep your skin barrier happy as the seasons change?