Beauty Diary: These two Aussie beauty products saved my damaged skin

There’s not much my face can’t handle, in fact, I’m fairly confident you could throw a nuclear bomb at it and my skin still wouldn’t react.

Retinol? No problem. Vitamin C? My chops drink it like water. AHAs? Slather me in ‘em.

This good fortune however came to an abrupt end recently after I opened a new bottle of one of my favourite serums – and my face exploded in angry red bumps and sore spots in just 24 hours.

Now, I’m not here to blast a beauty brand as this unfortunate incident wasn’t really anyone’s fault but my own.

You see, the security seal on the serum appeared to have been compromised, but due to the expensive nature of the product (which retails for almost $250 a pop) and the fact I usually have pretty tolerable skin, I decided to throw caution to the wind.

After applying it in the morning as usual, I woke up the following day with an inflamed and angry face. Big oops.

What happened to my skin?

Davey Rooney, the founder of Boring Without You Beauty and a graduate in cosmetic science, told news.com.au’s The Beauty Diary my serum mistake had damaged my skin carrier – an all too common mistake many people made when using potent skincare at home

“At some point in your lifetime, you will probably experience a damaged barrier,” the clever-beauty clogs explained.

“A million things can cause it; sun exposure, cold weather, allergens, lack of sleep, hot water, getting sick, physical abrasion, over-cleansing, over-exfoliating, and irritating skincare can all impact your skin barrier function.

“A lot of the time, multiple things are at play.”

What is a skin barrier and why is it important?

“Your skin barrier is the outermost layer of your skin,” Davey explained.

“It’s responsible for keeping water in and pathogens out. Imagine a fortress. The stronger your fortress, the better your skin holds onto water and is less prone to irritation.

“That means, more hydrated, healthy, strong skin. This fortress is made up of skin cells, ceramides, cholesterol, fatty acids, proteins, and your natural moisturising factor.

“Each play an important role in protection, hydration, and repair.”

How to tell if your skin barrier is impaired

According to Davey, a damaged barrier can appear red, flaky, shiny, textured, have larger pores, and breakout more often.

“A telltale sign that your barrier is damaged is if the skincare you usually use or even water starts to sting,” he added.

In my case, my face had erupted in bumps that were itchy, red and stung to touch. Even though I knew exactly what had caused it, a vitamin C that had been exposed to oxygen due to a broken seal, it was still a hard pill to swallow.

My breakout left me feeling incredibly self-conscious, not to mention stupid for deciding to risk using a product I could tell had been compromised.

How to fix your irritated skin barrier

If you want to repair your barrier, go back to basics, Davey advises.

“Just focus on moisturising and sun protection. Products and ingredients that could potentially irritate your skin need to stop, this includes chemical and physical exfoliants, retinoids, and vitamin C.”

Luckily, I had the perfect products in my bathroom cabinet to help my skin heal, and they’re from two new Australian beauty brands.

Skinpossible Let’s Start Over Barrier Repair Soufflé

Available at skinpossible.au

Price: $118

This product does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s deeply hydrating and nourishing, but most importantly it is designed to heal and repair, which was just what my face needed. The formula is packed with a unique blend of prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics as well as bio-fermented papaya and aloe vera along with squalene, ceramides, and grapeseed oil. It feels completely weightless on application and my skin drank it up after my mishap. I’m also a huge fan of pump container, which releases the perfect amount for each use, eradicating waste and protecting the product inside.

Mx Skincare Serum Vitamin B3+

Available at mxskincare.com

Price: $89

As soon as my skin is under any sort of distress, I always reach for a B3 product, as it’s known for its healing qualities and is usually tolerated by most skin types – even irritated ones. Vitamin B3 also increases the production of ceramides, an essential component of the skin’s lipid barrier, which explains why my face enjoyed this product so much in the aftermath of my flare-up. It’s a really light serum that absorbs easily – and I noticed it helped calmed my inflamed skin. It’s also really hydrating too.

Expert’s top pick to repair damaged skin barrier

Davey stressed another key component to healing a damaged skin barrier was wearing sunscreen, with the beauty expert recommending a mineral sunscreen if you’re experiencing skin issues.

“While chemical filters are perfectly fine, they can potentially irritate an already damaged barrier,” he said.

“I also use the La Roche Posay Cica Baume ($35.99). It has zinc and madecassoside, which are clinically proven to help soothe and calm irritated skin.

“I also use an occlusive like petroleum jelly to create an artificial barrier, and I am looking for a moisturiser with a high amount of niacinamide for repair.”

However he warned getting your skin back to optimum health “is not a quick fix”, stressing that repairing your barrier can take four to eight weeks.

If you have a question about a beauty product or an item you’d like to see road-tested in The Beauty Diary, jump into our official Facebook group where you can join like-minded beauty junkies. You can also catch me on Instagram and TikTok.

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