Rich's Top 10 Picks to Heal Your Skin Barrier

Rich's Top 10 Picks to Heal Your Skin Barrier

One of our favorite male skincare influencers, Rich (@theskincarestooge), has even more recommendations for your irritated or over sensitized skin! On restoring your skin barrier, he says: "Dermatologists like to describe your skin barrier as a brick wall, though I prefer to look at it as a Rocky Road dessert! 

The digestive biscuits, marshmallows, and nuts are your skin cells, whilst the delicious melted chocolate that holds them all neatly together are your lipids and proteins. When it’s fresh from the fridge and intact, all’s good with the world. However, if the chocolate wears away by overwashing, too much exfoliating, or even ageing, stress, and environmental pressures, then the biscuits and marshmallows can become loose. 

What was once intact and managing to keep the good stuff (like hydration) in and the bad stuff (like dirt and bacteria) out, is now sadly compromised. You’ll know if you’ve accidentally deconstructed your rocky road as your skin will become dry or itchy, red, or even experience breakouts - so here are my top products to return it to its yummy, solid state and mend that broken friendship."

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Richard Davies
Beauty Blogger
  • CeraVe
    Hydrating Facial Cleanser For Normal to Dry Skin

    Richard Davies

    Think about it. You wouldn’t wash your silk or wool undies with a Brillo pad, hot water, and harsh detergents, would you? Well, your skin deserves the same gentle approach. 

    Cleansing is where much of the damage to the skin barrier can occur, so skip the harsh foams and scrubs and instead plump for a great universal cleanse such as this one from CeraVe. 

    This particular version contains three ceramides (basically chocolate in your Rocky Road) plus hyaluronic acid, the hydrator du jour. This one is my most recommended cleanser to my dry or sensitized friends, which speaks volumes!
  • La Roche-Posay
    Toleriane Dermo Milky Cleanser

    Richard Davies

    Unless, like JLo, you bathe in mineral water and angel tears, you’ll probably find that your local water can be overly drying, especially if your skin is already sensitive. 

    For those wanting to guard against those daily drying effects (just until your barrier is built back up), you might consider a wipe-off cleanse. La Roche-Posay makes great products that are both simple and skin-respecting. Their Toleriane Dermo Milky Cleanser is no exception. 

    It has minimal ingredients including oodles of nourishing glycerin and spring water that will provide a thorough yet gentle cleanse. The cleanser respects your skin's vital lipids as you wipe it away with your reusable cotton pads.
  • Bella Aura
    Gentle Purifying Cleanser

    Richard Davies

    It doesn’t have to be all function over fun when rebuilding that essential barrier. This is one of my all-time favorite hydrating cleansers, and I have tried many! 

    So effective are its softening and moisturizing powers, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve indulged in a 30-minute hydrating mask after just a few minutes of use. It achieves these stunning effects via argan, sunflower, black cumin, and prickly pear within a high-tech solution that really elevates your morning or evening cleanse to another level.
  • Resist
    Advanced Replenishing Toner

    Richard Davies

    Derek Zoolander may actually have had a point here! You see, whilst you do want to pare back your routine when rebuilding your skin barrier, there are still a few essential steps to consider - and one of those is hydration! 

    I personally love an essence. Think of these as toners on steroids. They provide the skin with some much-needed extra hydration and nourishment in one quick step. 

    Paula's Choice provides an excellent option chock-full of all the things your skin needs to function better including hydrators, emollients, and calming ingredients, all at a price that won’t break the bank!
  • Skin Regimen
    Microalgae Essence Energizing Illuminating Lotion

    Richard Davies

    If you do want to splurge, this option from Skin Regimen takes the guesswork out of barrier care by providing a whopping seven of the skin's natural moisturizing factors in this one sophisticated product. 

    Remember our Rocky Road analogy? Well, these NMF’s join with the skin's lipids to form the all-important chocolate. This silky liquid essence provides a serious boost of hydration and moisture while calming and destressing. Oh, and the effects last - Bella!
  • Bioderma
    Matricium Regeneration Treatment

    Richard Davies

    Bioderma serum ampoules are super-smart treatments clinically proven to heal compromised and damaged skin pronto. It contains a mega-dose of 64 carefully chosen ingredients that allow the skin to effectively renew itself. 

    This is the kind of product you want in your cabinet for those times when all else fails - think sunburn, periods of illness, or post-cosmetic procedures. This can deal with it all!
  • NIOD
    Modulating Glucosides

    Richard Davies

    Modulating glucoside serum from NIOD sounds a little space-age, but don’t be put off. You really can expect out of this world results! 

    Loved by those who suffer from eczema and sensitive skins alike, this high-tech serum offers results overnight using the most up to date ingredients such as bioengineered ceramides, oat, lipids, and amino acids - all ingredients to keep an eye out for when looking for products to tackle unhappy or compromised skin.
  • CeraVe
    Moisturizing Cream for Normal to Dry Skin

    Richard Davies

    When your barrier is compromised, it allows water to leave the skin, leading to dehydration and inflammation. That's why you need the skincare equivalent of a Bandaid to lock in all the good stuff that we’ve just applied! 

    So we’re back to CeraVe, whose moisturizer gives an occlusive (moisture seal) barrier using three types of ceramides and cholesterol while your skin barrier heals. This is thick, but don’t be put off as it ticks all the boxes for barrier support including nonclogging properties and being free of fragrance and essential oils.
  • Zelens
    Power D High Potency Provitamin D Treatment Drops

    Richard Davies

    Dr. Zelen’s Power D Oil has become something of a cult product with those in the know. It’s not cheap, but a little goes a long way, and it improves skin so fast that you’ll have plenty left for the next time you get a little overzealous with your exfoliator! 

    How does it achieve this magic? By combining hyaluronic acid and peptides that stimulate cell growth and wound healing. 

    It also contains a long list of barrier-strengthening ingredients such as yeast cells that stimulate cellular repair, vegetable esters that reinforce the skin barrier, and anti-inflammatory provitamin D, the star of the show.
  • Garden of Life
    Oceans 3 Beyond Omega-3 with OmegaXanthin

    Richard Davies

    Of course, it’s not just what you put on your face that makes a difference but also the nutrition you give to your body. I like to moisturize from within with a quality high-strength omega-3 supplement. 

    This seriously anti-inflammatory pick is by Garden of Life and will not only soften and strengthen skin but nails and hair too! Plus, this brand does a great range of probiotics that would also be worthy of consideration if you are looking to bolster your overall health.

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