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Is your face constantly sore, prone to irritation, redness, tingles or dryness no matter how much moisturiser you lather on?


If so, read on because we’re covering barrier damage and how to know if you’ve damaged your skin barrier.


What is your Skin Barrier?

Your skin barrier is protected by a thin layer of lipids and sweat from your glands.  This protective layer is called the acid mantle.  The main role of your acid mantle is to help your skin retain moisture while protecting it from harm caused by bacteria and environmental factors

If your acid mantle is out of balance, your skin barrier becomes more prone to damage.


Taking care of your Acid Mantle

Not only does it have to contend with bacteria and pollution chipping away at it, there are many things we do in the name of good skincare damage our mantle. The good news is that there are ways to maintain it, which we’ve discussed in a previous article on optimising your skin’s pH balance.


How to Know If You’ve Damaged Your Barrier

If you’re suffering from:

  • Sore skin;
  • Sudden irritation;
  • Redness;
  • Tingly skin;
  • Dry skin no matter how much moisturiser you put on

You may have damaged your skin barrier.

This is common when you are using products that are poorly formulated, harsh, too basic or alkaline.

Don’t panic though.  With the right care, you can regain a strong skin barrier and be back on the way to healthy, glowing skin before you know it!

the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin

Repairing your Skin Barrier

If you’ve overdone it on the acids or harsh cleansers, follow these steps:

  1. Stick to the basics when your skin is going haywire, the temptation is to add more and more products to try to get things right.  However, the more complicated the routine, the harder it can be to repair skin problems.  Resist the temptation to do more and get back to fundamentals.
  2. Don’t go too hard on the cleanse Using water that’s too hot, harsh cleansers or exfoliants may feel effective, but having a heavy cleanse may harm your skin. This is because not only does it strip away the dead skin cells on the surface, but your skin’s barrier as well.  For a gentle yet effective cleansing routine that’s suitable for all skin types, check out:


Protecting and Maintaining your Skin Barrier 

There are a great range of K-Beauty products that can help with maintaining a strong skin barrier as well.

Depending on how much TLC your skin barrier needs, here are a few of our favourites.

  • If you need all-round intensive barrier repair, try out Etude House’s Soon Jung 2x Barrier Intensive Cream.  This pH balanced moisturiser is packed with Centella Asiatica and is free from potential irritants like synthetic fragrance, mineral oil or parabens. It can help to sooth and repair damaged skin.
  • For a toner free from alcohol or fragrance, try iUNIK’s Hyaluronic Acid toner.
  • For repairing skin that feels dry and flaky, iUNIK’s Beta Glucan range is a great option.  This range contains a moisture cream and serum, harnessing the antioxidant power of mushrooms to hydrate, assist with sensitivity and improve redness.
  • If you want to keep things simple with an everyday moisturiser with barrier care properties, try Jelly Ko’s Bubble Tea Steam Cream.  This deliciously hydrating cream contains super ingredients Niacinamide, Vitamin E, Beta Glucan and Pearl to reduce fine lines and bring brightness to all skin types.


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Jelly Ko Bubble Tea Steam Cream
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