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How to protect and restore your skin barrier

Discover why your skin’s natural barrier is so important and how protecting it is the secret to a happy, radiant complexion. Plus, we reveal the La Roche-Posay products that can help to repair a damaged barrier.

What is the skin barrier?

This delicate yet vital function occurs in the stratum corneum – the skin’s outermost layer – and helps to keep irritants out, and moisture and lipids in. It also protects the skin from environmental aggressors such as UV, pollution and infection. But, when the barrier is damaged, it leaves the skin more vulnerable and ‘leaky’, meaning water escapes more easily and skin conditions such as dryness and long-term sensitivity become more commonplace.

How can you restore your skin barrier?

If your skin often feels dry, sensitive, and fragile, your natural barrier function may have been compromised by factors such as age, aggressors in the environment, harsh skincare, or clinical procedures. The good news is that you can help to restore your barrier function with skincare rich in lipids and oils.

How can you protect your barrier function?

A gentle skincare routine containing lipid-rich ingredients is the most effective way of protecting your barrier function. Maintaining the right amount of moisture, or the Natural Moisturising Factor as it’s referred to by dermatologists, is key to helping the skin function properly.

The Toleriane range from La Roche-Posay is a great way of getting back to basics if your skin barrier has been damaged or compromised. Toleriane Dermo Cleanser, for example, is a wipe-off milk that gently cleanses sensitive, intolerant or even allergy-prone skin with a formula enriched with glycerine and La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water. You can follow this with a serum such as Toleriane Ultra Dermallergo Serum to lock in vital moisture and relieve any feelings of tightness or irritation with its formula enriched with neurosensine.

Alternatively, if you have dehydrated, irritated and sensitive skin, the new Cicaplast B5 Face Serum is ultra-hydrating and ultra-repairing. The specifically-designed formula has created a gentle minimalist, fragrance-free serum. With an exclusive “barrier-like” formula, the serum forms a thin layer on skin to help protect from external aggressors and promote better skin recovery.

Follow this with a moisturiser such as Toleriane Sensitive Cream Moisturiser for sensitive skin that’s enriched with neurosensine, glycerine, shea butter and La Roche-Posay's Thermal Spring Water. If you prefer a gel texture, Cicaplast Gel B5 has an invisible, insulating texture that hydrates skin and helps to relieve itching and tight sensations . Alternatively, if you need to soothe an immediate flareup and your skin is very fragile, help to restore your skin barrier with Lipikar Baume AP+M. Its triple-action formula immediately soothes the skin and provides up to 48-hour hydration while restoring the skin’s barrier function, reducing the frequency of flareups and rebalancing the microbiome.

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