Great article in The New York Times about the use of too many creams, serums and toners that are breaking down the skin barrier and harming our acid mantle. Adding to that products with high levels of drying alcohol, pH or harsh essential oils…

Luckily LA PEAU SKINCARE offers all the ingredients needed to repair the skin barrier and replenish lost moisture. Easy to use LA PEAU consists of 3 products: a day cream, a night cream and an eye contour – contained in pure, transparent jars with a simple royal blue logo. Inside is a fragrance-free white cream/gel, nothing glamorous nor superfluous, the aim is maximum efficiency.  

“What’s to blame for the mass barrier malfunction? Too many creams, serums and toners! It’s largely a product of our own obsession with squeaky clean and using product upon product upon product,” says Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist in New York. “Combine product overload with environmental assaults, and you have a recipe for skin barrier disaster”. 

When customers message Nicolas Travis, the founder of the skin-care brand Allies of Skin, with questions about their sensitive skin, he asks them what other products they’re using. Ninety-nine percent of the time, he said, it’s something with drying alcohol or harsh essential oils.
“I have to tell them, ‘You’ve just spent years of using really badly formulated products, which is like years and years of eating junk food,’” said Mr. Travis, whose company is based in Singapore and is in stores in 15 countries, including the United States. “I say, ‘Your skin isn’t sensitive, your skin barrier is just really weak.’”
Ask aestheticians and dermatologists what problem they’re seeing these days, and as often as not the answer is a broken-down skin barrier. Little wonder, then, that the new beauty buzzwords are “barrier repair” (and its cousin “barrier protection”).
A broken barrier — symptoms include inflammation and patchy, flaky skin — can eventually lead to other problems since it means the skin’s defenses are compromised. Besides sensitive skin, barrier dysfunction is also partly responsible for rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and acne, all of which are on the rise, according to epidemiological studies.
What’s to blame for the mass barrier malfunction? Too many creams, serums and other hope in a jar. “It’s largely a product of our own obsession with squeaky clean and using product upon product upon product,” said Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist in New York. Combine product overload with environmental assaults, and you have a recipe for skin barrier disaster.

The acid mantle is the protective film of natural oils, amino acids and sweat that covers your skin. Damage it with too much scrubbing or neutralize it with alkaline washes and you’re on your way to barrier problems: inflammation, allergies, breakouts.
The first step in skin barrier protection is stepping away from the kajillion products.
“The 10-step Korean regimen is an ordeal for the skin,” Dr. Surber said.
The skin is simply too complex for any single ingredient to do the job, said S. Tyler Hollmig, an assistant professor of dermatologic surgery at Stanford University. 
Products with ingredients like glycerin, petrolatum and amino acids can also help repair the skin barrier and replenish lost moisture. These don’t need to be fancy. Shari Marchbein, a dermatologist in New York, advises that, as basic as it sounds, moisturizer should be applied within 60 seconds of cleansing to trap in the hydration.
“If you frost a dry cake, the cake is still dry,” Dr. Marchbein said. “If you frost a moist cake, it stays moist.”
By Courtney Rubin 

The New York Times

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