If you've followed Apothaka® for some time, you'll know that a skin barrier-first approach to skincare has always been central to our philosophy. So it's been interesting to see how the skincare market has shifted its focus lately from single-active products and aggressive use of actives (particularly exfoliation). We've become increasingly cynical about why some brands launch certain products - particularly when you look across their whole ranges. There's clearly been a strategic move from brands to use the term "barrier" in product names as they realise they can capitalise on consumers searching for barrier repair products in a very saturated market. The skin barrier has become somewhat of a "trend" in the last couple of years and whilst a greater focus on skin barrier health is a very positive thing, it feels incongruous when it's positioned alongside the promotion of overly strong actives in their range. Perhaps it's not intentional, but the message we take from brands like this is "let's wreck your skin barrier with these unnecessarily potent products of ours then we can fix them with our new barrier repairing serum"!
Some big red flags that are evident which suggest that brands are simply paying lip service to skin barrier health are:
🚩 selling very potent acid exfoliators which are widely accessible to anyone (including skincare novices)
🚩 promoting once or twice daily exfoliation on their product labels
🚩 selling other unnecessarily high-strength actives and assuming consumers know how to safely use / combine them
🚩 offering an overwhelming range of products / actives which will inevitably result in people overdoing it
Speak to any aesthetician and they'll tell you that they've been seeing more and more cases of people damaging their skin barriers over recent years through overdoing actives. The skincare market is overwhelming, especially for those trying to build a routine which suits their own skin's needs. And when you're battling skin conditions and are promised a quick fix, it's even worse.
IT'S NOT ENOUGH to simply offer a barrier supportive serum in your range if you're ALSO promoting daily exfoliation or unnecessary strong actives - this just signals a brand putting profit before their customers, it's not indicative of a brand supporting skin health (I liken it to promoting yo-yo dieting over a sustainable lifestyle change).
If you want to put your skin health first, choose a brand which makes this CENTRAL to their philosophy - across their WHOLE range, not just for one product. Because skin barrier health comes from your overall skincare approach / whole routine, not a single product.
And if it's not obvious, I mean choose Apothaka® - the brand that created the OG barrier support serum alongside a range of barrier supportive products when much of the industry was still pushing aggressive exfoliation. You may see other brands with similar sounding names now, but just think about what else they're selling across their range and whether they have your skin health at heart.
You can find our whole range of barrier supportive facial skincare here