Your skin goes through a lot — it protects us from pollutants, pathogens, injury, and light, and makes up about 15% of our bodyweight. Our body’s largest organ deserves some love back.
You have likely heard the term ‘skin barrier’ — this is the outmost layer of our skin whose job is to stop pollutants from getting in and moisture from getting out. The health of your skin barrier has a direct impact on the appearance of your skin — a strong skin barrier will keep your face looking hydrated and plump while being less susceptible to irritation, while a damaged one will struggle to retain moisture and fend off pollutants, resulting in dull, uneven skin.
While it’s hard to avoid environmental pollutants, the good news is that there are steps we can take to repair our skin barrier to be healthy enough to keep them out. Your skin will benefit from a break from harsh exfoliants and intensive treatments and a switch to a more intuitive, stripped-back regimen. We’ve put together a simple, nourishing skincare routine to guide you on your path to a less shiddy skin barrier
Step 1: Cleanse. Before applying any products, we need to remove dirt and pollutants the skin has collected to start with a blank canvas. Look for a gentle, mild cleanser with nourishing ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. This Torriden Balanceful Cleansing Gel is formulated with Centella Asiatica extract, a soothing agent that reduces inflammation and gently cleanses pores. For oilier skin, try CeraVe's Foaming Facial Cleanser to cleanse the skin of excess oils and dirt without stripping it of hydration.
Step 2: Apply a serum. Give your skin an extra dose of hydration with a gentle, hydration-focused serum. Try to avoid actives like AHAs, BHAs, retinols, and vitamin C, which can over-exfoliate and strip the skin. Instead, opt for skin-satiating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides. The Torriden Dive In Skin Booster is a lightweight, non-sticky essence with five different types of hyaluronic acid with varying molecular weights designed to penetrate and hydrate different layers of your skin. Panthenol and allantoin help soothe the skin, reduce inflammation, and lock in hydration. For a budget-friendly option, try The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5.
Step 3: Moisturize. Help your skin barrier lock in the moisture it needs to function at its highest. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid (see a pattern here?) to help draw moisture into the skin, and niacinamide to fight free radicals and give your skin barrier a helping hand.
Step 4: Protect your skin from UV radiation.Sun protection is next to godliness! This is a crucial step in strengthening our skin barrier — UV rays can cause irreparable damage and premature ageing if we don’t protect ourselves. Look for a chemical formula with broad spectrum protection and an SPF of at least 30.
The Tocobo Bio Watery Sun Cream has a silky-soft texture that melts into the skin and has zero white cast or residue. Formulated with mung bean extract and bio hyaluronic acid to calm and hydrate the skin, it’s a barrier-friendly double-whammy of hydration and protection. If you’re looking for something even more lightweight and effortless, its sister, the Tocobo Cotton Soft Sun Stick, is a great option for on the go oil control. In a convenient stick form, this sunscreen has micro-powders for a soft matte finish and truly makes the skin feel like velvet without compromising any of the protective benefits. It hydrates the skin with jojoba seed oil and evening primrose flower extract while offering broad spectrum, SPF 50 protection