YOU DID WHAT?!
Oh, you poor, sweet goose.
It’s okay. You’re not the first person to go too hard with actives and exfoliants and end up with dry, flaky skin, and a pissed-off moisture barrier. Many glow-monsters have come before you (like me! Hi!) and made the same foolish mistake. And now, like them (and me), you’ve got to make it up to your face. Fast. Because that moisture barrier you just pissed off, is kiiiind of a big deal.
Your moisture barrier (or stratum corneum, if you speak science/want to sound fancy at parties) is the outermost layer of your skin.
When it’s healthy? It regulates moisture levels; keeping water firmly locked in your skin while also protecting you from environmental damage (UV, pollution) and bacteria.
When it’s damaged? Your skin will punish you with congestion, dryness, flaking, sensitivity, and an icky, uncomfortable tight feeling.
Here’s how you fix it:
First things first, put the potent stuff (i.e. retinols, BHAs, AHAs, etc) on the bench for the time-being. This recovery process is all about going back to the basics so! Your save-my-skin routine should include: A gentle pH balanced cleanser, a nourishing face oil, a SPF, a hydrating night cream, and that’s it.
Look for products with ingredients like…
Hyaluronic acid: Offers long-lasting hydration, and can bind water up to 1,000 times its weight. Nice.
Zinc oxide: A natural mineral and nutrient that provides broad spectrum protection (good because your skin is extremely vulnerable to UV damage right now) and is ultra soothing (good for calming your pissed-off face).
CoQ10: A supercharged antioxidant with magnificent skin-soothing abilities.
Here’s how you stop it from happening again:
Your skin cells take about a month to renew so try and stick to the basics for at least that long. Then, once your skin calms down, gradually add your actives back in. And from now on limit your exfoliation to 2-3 times a week, max.
Here’s how you thank us for this helpful advice:
Diamonds. Learjets. Superyachts. Your pick.