Ash Ash
last year

Can’t heal moisture barrier?

I’ve cut out all actives as well as exfoliating products and have only tried a few of these products at one time, in different variations, yet my barrier remains broken with itchy, red, burning, and breaking out skin. I’ve done so much extensive research into all of my skin care and the ingredients but can’t seem to heal it.

AM - Everyday
1
Calm and Restore Nourishing Oat Cleanser Aveeno - Calm and Restore Nourishing Oat Cleanser
2
Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion GOOD LIGHT - Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion
3
Buy Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum Australia - Korean Beauty Skincare and Cosmetics Good Molecules - Buy Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum Australia - Korean Beauty Skincare and Cosmetics
4
ceramide barrier serum cocokind - ceramide barrier serum
5
Calm + Restore Triple Oat Serum Aveeno - Calm + Restore Triple Oat Serum
6
Moisturising Gel Cream BYOMA - Moisturising Gel Cream
7
Vitamin C Serum Mad Hippie - Vitamin C Serum
AM - Every other day
1
Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence COSRX - Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
2
Ceramidin Cream Dr. Jart+ - Ceramidin Cream
3
Ultra Repair Cream First Aid Beauty - Ultra Repair Cream
AM - Once a week
1
Buy Cosrx Full Fit Propolis Light Ampoule Australia - Korean Skincare Australia COSRX - Buy Cosrx Full Fit Propolis Light Ampoule Australia - Korean Skincare Australia
2
Super Saturated Experiment - Super Saturated
3
Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser CeraVe - Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser
4
Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel Fragrance Free Neutrogena - Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel Fragrance Free
5
Liquid Gold Stratia - Liquid Gold
6
Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm e.l.f. Cosmetics - Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm
PM - Everyday
1
Calm and Restore Nourishing Oat Cleanser Aveeno - Calm and Restore Nourishing Oat Cleanser
2
Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion GOOD LIGHT - Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion
3
Buy Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum Australia - Korean Beauty Skincare and Cosmetics Good Molecules - Buy Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum Australia - Korean Beauty Skincare and Cosmetics
4
ceramide barrier serum cocokind - ceramide barrier serum
5
Calm + Restore Triple Oat Serum Aveeno - Calm + Restore Triple Oat Serum
6
Moisturising Gel Cream BYOMA - Moisturising Gel Cream
PM - Every other day
1
Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence COSRX - Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
2
Ceramidin Cream Dr. Jart+ - Ceramidin Cream
3
Ultra Repair Cream First Aid Beauty - Ultra Repair Cream
4
Healing Ointment CeraVe - Healing Ointment
5
Pure Retinol Eye Cream No7 - Pure Retinol Eye Cream
PM - Twice a week
1
Shop La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Australia - Beauty Skin Care La Roche-Posay - Shop La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Australia - Beauty Skin Care
2
Rescue Balm Post-Blemish Recovery Cream Hero Cosmetics - Rescue Balm Post-Blemish Recovery Cream
PM - Once a week
1
Buy Cosrx Full Fit Propolis Light Ampoule Australia - Korean Skincare Australia COSRX - Buy Cosrx Full Fit Propolis Light Ampoule Australia - Korean Skincare Australia
2
Super Saturated Experiment - Super Saturated
3
Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser CeraVe - Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser
4
Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel Fragrance Free Neutrogena - Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel Fragrance Free
5
Liquid Gold Stratia - Liquid Gold
6
PHA Gentle Toner The INKEY List CA - PHA Gentle Toner
7
Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm e.l.f. Cosmetics - Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm
1
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I have had success with skinceuticals Barrier Repair and the Triple Lipid Restore cream used twice a day.

2
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Hi Ash, I’ve got sensitive acne prone skin and have propolis to be irritating to my skin. The last propolis product o tried was the CosRX propolis toner and I’d find that it just makes my skin uncomfortable.

I have a similar issue as you, snd so I reduced my products to about 6 trusted products in total with just one active product: the ordinary mandelic acid and that’s helped my skin a ton!!

Your products seem a bit much for sensitive skin as yours IMO including some of which have irritated my skin in the past even though they are marketed as “gentle” or even when WMJ give me the assurance that the product has a low irritation risk.

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Hi Ash!

I feel for you, I also have sensitive, dry, acne-prone skin. I also had an inflamed, damaged skin barrier and it took me a while to find products that worked for me.I know how difficult it can be!

I noticed that you have a lot of products in your routine and you could benefit from dialing back and simplifying. It could also use an SPF.

Vit C is an active and can be irritating to sensitive skin types depending on what type of vit c you’re using, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is stable and safe for us sensi ppl.

The Inkey list PHA toner is also an active that should be avoided while your barrier is healing.

I also noticed that you have a lot of hyaluronic acid (aka sodium hyaluronate) and too much of a good thing isn’t always good. It can be potentially inflammatory and drying. There’s a board certified derm, Dr. Shereene Idriss on YouTube who has a great video about Hyaluronic Acid (HA) and a lot of other skincare. It could be helpful to temporarily remove it from your routine to see what effect that has.

The products that have it are:

Goodlight toner, good molecules HA serum, mad hippie vit c, cosrx snail 96, cosrx propolis light ampoule, stratia liquid gold, cerave healing ointment and cleanser. Neutrogena cleanser

Cleansers w/ HA are generally fine bc you’ll be washing them off anyway.

I’m going to give a general break down for a simplified routine and you can insert any options you like, I’ll also give some suggestions based on what’s already in your routine. Of course do whatever feels right for you!

AM

-gentle cleanser (aveeno oat cleanser or Neutrogena cleansing gel)

-hydrating serum (experiment super saturated LOVE or aveeno triple restore oat serum)

-moisturizer (byoma or first aid beauty)

-SPF (La Roche Posay makes a moisturizer/spf, toleriane double repair)

PM

Double cleanse***

  -cleansing balm/oil/micellar water (elf cleansing balm or bioderma micellar water)

  -acne cleanser ((leave on for 1.5-2min) cerave acne foaming cleanser)

-hydrating serum (experiment super saturated or aveeno oat serum)

-moisturizer (byoma or first aid beauty)

-eye cream (no7 retinol eye cream place under a layer of moisturizer)

-hero cosmetics blemish balm (if needed)

Spot treatment (suggestion):

-Murad rapid relief acne spot treatment

Continue this until you start to see a reduction in irritation (2 weeks) and then start to add in more active ingredients to target your skincare needs. (Vit C, BHA serum, PHA, retinol)

Products I’d pause/skip (& why) ***

Repeat HA (pause altogether or choose 1 serum***):

-Goodlight toner ***

-good molecules HA serum ***

-mad hippie vit c

-cosrx snail 96 ***

-cosrx propolis light ampoule

-stratia liquid gold

-cerave healing ointment

Potential clog: alone this is great but with a richer moisturizer it can be a bit clogging

-cocokind barrier serum

-LRP cicaplast baum b5 (use sparingly on very dry spots)

Fragrance: (skip) Has essential oils, not great for sensi skin

-dr jart cream

Actives: (pause) let that skin barrier heal <3

-Inkey List PHA

-Mad Hippie Vit C

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Another great SPF is Live Tinted Hue Guard SPF 30!

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I also use this website to check for pore-clogging ingredients:

https://acneclinicnyc.com/pore-clogging-ingredients/

Also Soon Jung 2x Barrier Cream is another great moisturizer!

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Oh my gosh thank you so much for your response!! I never thought about too much HA! I have cut out all other actives like the PHA toner and the Vitamin C and just focused on hydration and letting things calm down but you’re absolutely right I should be limiting what products I use instead of just piling everything on my face and hoping it works/heals faster. I eventually want to start retinol or tretinoin (probably low percentage retinol since my skin is so sensitive!) and skin cycling but am feeling a little weary because of how sensitive my skin is. Once my barrier is healed and strong again, retinol will be my next course of action since I am 25 now. Do you have any recommendations? Again thank you so much for taking time to help me and give me such great advice!! ❤️

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Yes, of course! I’m happy to be of any help, I know how it feels 😭 I’m the same way! I would constantly be trying new products. I’d barely give my face a chance to adjust to anything, slow and steady really is the way with skincare.

I was timid to start retinols too! Once I felt my barrier had healed enough I did incorporate one, I used it 1x/week to start for 2-3 weeks then slowly moved up to 2x/week and dialed back if I felt too sensitized. I really like Good Molecules Gentle Retinol Cream. It’s a great price and a good place to start. I still have some left and I started using it in June 2022! I used that alone then started to incorporate a salicylic acid in August. Both retinol and salicylic acid were low percentages and I only ramped up to higher in October. I also started skin cycling to get a better exfoliation routine (BHA->Retinol->Rest->Rest->Repeat). And as of this month I started using Naturium Retinaldehyde and I really like it! I also removed one of my “Rest” days to see how my skin reacts. It’s a tad drier but no real irritation so I’ll keep at it. I hope all this info helped!

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I also forgot to mention/ include that I do wear sunscreen everyday I just completely forgot to add them to my routine! I’ll go ahead and do that now. 😊

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How do you like the one you’re using? I’m a hit or miss with sunscreens, I’m always trying new ones. I know I like a tinted mineral tho!

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I would just stick to a gentle moisturizer, cleanser, sunscreen and maybe a healing serum until your skin calms down. I would stick to the oat cleanser, cocokind ceramide barrier serum (or aveeno oat serum) and the cicaplast baume. If the cicaplast baume is too much for the daytime, then in the daytime you could try the E.L.F. Holy Hydration instead. And a korean sunscreen like beauty of josean rice sunscreen or an expensive american mineral sunscreen like EltaMD or skinceuticals might also help. Once your barrier is healed, only add a couple more serums/actives at a time.

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It takes a while to heal the skin barrier. When my skin barrier was broken, I stopped everything for a month.

I used a gentle cleanser and light moisturizer at night.

In the morning splashed my face with water and then applied sunscreen.

Keep it simple. Too many products cause too many issues.

I’ve kept this routine for a while now and use Tretinoin at nighttime.

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I would agree with Laura!! As a person who also struggles with inflamed skin, try a water-only wash in the a.m, followed by your current favorite/least irritating moisturizer, followed by your current sunscreen. Reapply your sunscreen every two hours or so, even if inside (I personally find the sun itself can be very irritating when your skin is trying so hard to heal!) At night, use your current gentle cleanser, followed by the same moisturizer you use in the a.m! I've also had good luck with layering Cerave's Healing Ointment (pretty much Vaselene with some extra ceramides) over my moisturizer before going to bed. If your skin is cracking, you have to almost treat it like an injury (because it is!) and baby it almost like you would with cracked skin on your knuckles (if you've ever lived in a really cold place you might have experienced this/know what I mean!)

Do this for at least 2 weeks, and possibly up to two months until your skin feels better. If you're still having trouble after 2 months, consider making an appt. with a dermatologist or your primary care doctor (if you can) to rule out any other potential skin conditions or allergies! There are sometimes other factors at play, ie. health conditions, side effects from certain medications, even food allergies that can drastically affect your skin.

Also from personal experience, whenever I've had really bad irritation I used to stop all current products and go buy less irritating ones immediately out of desperation- which just ultimately made the cycle worse. Unless there is a noticeable reaction/allergy to your current neutral cleanser, sunscreen, and moisturizer, try this protocol with those first, since your skin is already used to them! It will burden it less than a repair protocol with completely new products and ingredients from scratch (sounds paradoxical but I've learned the hard way.) Best of luck and hope your skin feels better soon!!

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P.s: Small caveat to the no-new-products suggestion, using either of these sprays before my moisturizer helped me a lot, especially when even my super gentle lotion would sting!

https://www.tower28beauty.com/products/sos-daily-facial-rescue-spray?variant=13413450186807

https://byoma.com/product/balancing-face-mist/

Also, consider going make-up free for a bit if you can while you're healing, and cross-check you current makeup kit ingredients for irritants like fragrance and essential oils!

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Use a cream or serum with a higher percentage of panthenol, that will help you repair your skinbarrier.

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I would say really cut your routine down to your cleanser, then using the Snail Mucin and then the Cicaplast, Morning and Night. At Night i would recommend slugging. Thats how i repaired my Moisture Barrier. The Oat Serum should also benefit you. ^^ I hope this helps!

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