NB. this is taken from a post I originally wrote on Instagram back in July 2020, but still very relevant! In fact I'm going to share a series of skin health-focussed posts here since this is very much the foundation of Apothaka's range!
It seems everyone these days is talking about the importance of the skin barrier, and many brands have jumped on this in terms of products which promise to repair the skin barrier (a couple of years ago when I wrote the brief for my barrier support serum, skin barrier health was rarely discussed!). The thing is, a single product isn't going to save your skin barrier - you need to ensure that your entire skincare approach centres around respecting your skin barrier. And that means a gentle, minimalist approach which suits YOUR skin (forget what everyone else is doing/buying!).
I often receive messages from people asking about barrier support serum. They have a compromised skin barrier, usually from an overuse of exfoliants, aggressive products and/or overly complicated routines (and we've all been there so I don't pass judgement!). As much as I know my barrier support serum is a fantastic, gentle formulation, I tell everyone that it isn't a miracle worker on its own! I didn't formulate it as an ad hoc repair product - I created it to help maintain healthy skin when used on an ongoing basis as part of a gentle routine.
Our skin has an amazing ability to function well if we are careful with it. That means gentle but effective cleansing, keeping it suitably hydrated (which in itself aids skin cell turnover and offers some protection), and protecting it from UV damage.
It's so easy to get into a cycle of throwing too much at our skin and upsetting its balance, especially when bombarded with new product launches, multiple actives, increasingly aggressive products (stronger isn't better!) and using a product that isn't suitable for you just because it drowns your Insta feed.
Over-exfoliation through using products which are way stronger than needed, and/or using them more frequently than needed upsets that balance and opens up the skin to irritation. The usual reaction is to add even more products to counteract the drying/irritating effects when really what's needed is to stop and go back to basics.
So rather than being reactive and thinking about barrier repair after the damage has been done, let's instead think about ongoing barrier protection - not from a single product but through our entire skincare routine. Let's break the cycle of damage & repair, and instead focus on health & prevention. And this also means finding the right balance for your skin, not someone else's. Remember perfect / flawless skin doesn't exist so let's reset the goal to healthy skin and save the skin barrier!
For more information on skin health and barrier integrity, I highly recommend checking out Andy Millward - this is something he's very passionate about and is a big inspiration for me!