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Barrier Cream: Isn’t it About Time You Give Your Skin What It Needs?

Barrier Cream: Isn't It About Time You Give Your Skin What It Needs?

A healthy barrier = quicker healing,
less environmental damage and skin that holds onto moisture longer.
But the healthier your barrier, the healthier your skin

Here at NC, we believe an intact barrier function is the foundation of healthy skin.

Why? It may not look like it, but your skin is constantly hard at work.

Its most challenging job is at the outermost layer, your protective barrier.

You can liken your barrier to a security guard for your skin.

It is there to stop potential problems from passing through and to protect what lies within.

The weakness of this shield is the underlying cause of many sensitive skin concerns.

Understanding Creams That Repair Your Barrier

This series is the culmination of years of working directly with the skin.

We look at what depletes the barrier function of your skin.

And the skin-identical ingredients that replenish them.

We aim to make sense of the misinformation out there; for you, our readers, and our clients with a compromised barrier.

Whether from poorly performed treatments, incorrect product usage, environmental or systemic damage, or premature ageing.

You need only read the list below to realise that skin with a damaged barrier can lead to a lot of skin conditions:

  • acne
  • redness
  • irritation
  • dryness
  • sensitivity
  • dehydration
  • inflammation
  • sallow or dull
  • pimples, papules, and pustules

As you can see, if your barrier function is out of balance, it can be bad news all around.

Conditions that occur are dryness, irritation, and inflammation; your skin will often turn red with light contact and may sting when any product is applied.

To understand this further, we must first look at your barrier function in more detail.

What is Your Barrier Made up Of?

This study (1) shows lipids’ proportions in topical applications CERAMIDES, CHOLESTEROL, and FATTY ACIDS are the ones that are found in your skin,

However, with age, your body’s production of these lipids declines, disrupting your skin’s natural functions – this is terrible news for your skin’s natural self-repair.

The ideal proportion for ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids in a formula is 3:1:1 – or, put another way, three parts of one ingredient to each other.

We have covered this article in detail in the article Barrier Function it’s your Skin’s Security Guard.

What Can Compromise Your Barrier?

Generally, your skin undergoes a complete renewal process within about 4 to 6 weeks.

Natural cellular turnover, ageing, harsh ingredients and treatments and environmental pollutants all compromise our protective barrier.

In addition, your skin loses essential substances through the solvent effect of liquids:

Water: This can wash out protective substances, especially at a higher temperature. For example, a bath can induce swelling, as the hot water affects the vasodilation of vessels in your skin, and the stratum corneum becomes waterlogged.

Surface-active substances: Soaps and cleansing agents can be a significant problem for your skin, as surfactants wash away the natural fatty substances and your acid mantle and form holes in the structure of the barrier layers.

Emulsifiers: These can have a “wash-out” effect on your skin. Emulsifiers are used in formulae to stabilise a mixture of oils and water in the form of an emulsion that transports fatty acids into your skin. Emulsifiers stay in your skin and will not degrade.

Upon contact with water or partial cleansing, your skin reactivates the emulsifiers, which again transport natural barrier substances, this time out of your skin.

This process is very harmful, especially to dry, sensitive skin types and those with eczema or psoriasis, rosacea and other sensitivities.

Products such as our Bio Lipid skin shot or Miracle cleanse are free of emulsifiers. Instead, they help to repair the gaps in the barrier layers because they have similar bi-layer structures.

What Should I look for in a Barrier Repair Product

The Superstar Ingredients

Four SUPERSTAR components will help your skin’s repair mechanism do its job, all of which can be found in our products: Phosphatidylcholine or soy lecithin.

Ceramides: These are essential for the healthy organisation of our tissues into structures; they are responsible for keeping the barrier repair mechanism of our skin functioning well, preventing trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), and keeping bad things out.

Ceramides are found in our skin at a concentration of about 50%. A decrease due to exposure to different temperatures or the natural decline in their production as we age decreases the efficacy of the stratum corneum’s ability to keep water in and other things out.

Cholesterol plays an essential role in your skin – it is one of the most common lipids in our body, giving the structure and fluidity of our cells, and is an integral component of the “mortar” that sits between our cells. Young and healthy skin has a thick “mortar” with no cracks.

As we age, cholesterol levels in our skin decrease by as much as 40% by the time we reach the age of 40. The result is a thinner mortar and a dilapidated brick wall, which leads to premature ageing.

Fatty acids: We love using them in our formulas; they bring many benefits to the skin.

How do they work for barrier function? Our skin’s lipid matrix comprises about 50% ceramides, 25% cholesterol, and 15% free fatty acids, so they are crucial to the proper function of your stratum corneum. Let’s take a look at each one in detail and how they help in a formula to create that all-important barrier cream.

Linoleic Acid: Studies have shown this is super important in the normal barrier function, and those who suffer from atopic dermatitis and acne show reduced levels of linoleic acid in their skin.

Without it, you can experience a severe essential fatty acid deficiency, leading to increased water loss, dryness, inflammation, and breakouts.

Linoleic acid is one of the fatty acids crucial to cellular function yet cannot be biologically synthesised by our bodies. We have to get it from outside sources, which is why it is an “essential” fatty acid.

We find what many manufacturers don’t realise is that Linoleic Acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid, so most of the oils in their formulations have short shelf lives and go rancid – this includes sunflower oil and, sadly, rosehip seed oil – that is unless you are purchasing the Co2 oil.

What Naked Chemist Products include these?

As discussed above, a significant prerequisite is that these ingredients are added in the perfect ratios; when they are, they can copy the physical properties of your skin’s barrier structure.

The Naked Chemist uses skin science combined with skin-identical ingredients that may be missing from your skin, which will help to repair your skin’s barrier function.

Similar to your skin’s barrier layers, the barrier-active formulas include Fortify Barrier Repair, and Ceramide repair balm mimic the natural lipids that form the bi-layer of your skin cells.

The results and feedback from our clients have been fantastic.

Cleanse with miracle cleanse following layer Bio under Fortify, and at night, introduce Ceramide balm and watch your barrier function go through the roof.

This seriously is next-level skincare at its best.

What’s Not in The Naked Chemist?

Equally as important when it comes to barrier repair ingredients are those that will disrupt the barrier:

      • perfumes and some essential oils: These can cause severe irritation on your skin
      • mineral oils: These can affect the natural production of your skin’s protective substances
      • amines: These can stress your skin
      • Silicones affect your skin’s ability to make protective substances.
      • Alcohols and actives can strip your barrier and alter the pH, causing inflammation and sensitivity.

Being free of these ingredients allows the products to have a proactive and positive effect on your skin, preventing a breakdown of your skin’s natural defence system by protecting the acid mantle, regenerating skin cells, and improving hydration.

To Conclude. The naked truth

The point here is that, traditionally, skincare products focus on adding new ingredients to the skin. But we believe; instead, we should turn our attention to replenishing what should naturally be there with elements that match the composition of our skin – you can read more about skin-identical ingredients here.

Compared to ingredients that are too active or harsh and have no place on the skin, as they only lead to irritation and a compromised barrier, we have seen some beautiful results on our clients with these formulas – especially regarding skin penetration, repair, and regeneration.

So, why not treat your skin using “like with like” and give it a dose of what it needs?

27 thoughts on “Barrier Cream: Isn’t it About Time You Give Your Skin What It Needs?

  1. Chad says:

    Hi, I love your outlook on ingredients and the barrier! So I’m not sure exactly what messed my barrier up… I have a hunch but regardless I get so down when it’s like this….

    Anyway could I get away with just using your repair cream and not the lipid serum?

    Right now I do rose water then apply hyaluronic acid then jojoba oil which helps but I need something to really knock this out.

    Please help!! You will be my savior!!

  2. Nicole says:

    Hi Samantha- I am hoping you can recommend products from your line for me. I have persistent all around facial redness, very sensitive and flaky skin where anything I apply seems to sting and cause dryness. I have been to multiple derms, ipl treatments, allergy testing etc and have been unable to find treatment for years now (I’m 29 and had no skin problems until early 20’s). I highly believe my skin barrier could be damaged. Can you please reply or email me with any ideas. Thank you

  3. Beatris Gamboa Vasquez says:

    Hello, i just order some of your products which i am excited to try, how long does shipping and delivery take?

  4. Julia Middleton says:

    Hi Samantha

    I had four IPL treatments a seven years ago for some rosacea on my cheeks and acne scarring on my chin. Unfortunately, the treatments worsened my condition and I had full rosacea and seborrrheic dermatitis with swelling. My skin has not been the same since and I worry I have caused irreparable damage to my skin. My skin has been dehydrated for a long time since then, but I have recently had a reaction to Rozex for Rosacea and now my skin on my cheeks is very tight, sore, inflamed and fine lines are much more noticeable, especially when smiling. I am acne-prone on my chin and forehead, but also very sensitive on my face – which products would you recommend to heal the damaged barrier? I am 40 years old. Thank you.

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Nini After reading your email I recommend purchasing H20 to combat dehydration and possibly pH for a thin fragile skin that requires strenghtening. I would next layer with fortify to lock humectants against your skin. At night I would use Bio lipid alone or layered over H20 which really makes the skin smooth, plump and re texturised. Naturlene is also a great option for added moisture – any further questions please do not hesitate to reach out. All the best Samantha

  5. evelinasmagacz says:

    I call Bio Lipid Complex Liquid Gold… its the most amazing product ever. This product is literally saving my skin. I’m on roaccutane for my inflammed skin which is helping with the excessive oil production due to the extreme dehydration my skin is suffering from however my skin still didn’t feel normal. I knew something was missing, my skin was inflexible, felt tight & uncomfortable. That was until I tried Bio Lipid, mind you I had tried other creams that contain lipids, cholesterol & fatty acids but nothing even slightly compares to Bio Lipid. I was having terrible skin issues & seeing 2 dermatologists who were perplexed as to what was going on with my skin. They denied that your skin over produces oil when it’s dehydrated & called that “rubbish”. They also do not believe in a damaged skin barrier from over exfoliation & stated it only happens from the sun… Samantha on the other hand understands skin more than any dermatologist, & I have seen one of the best in Australia who jst said I had rosacea. Samantha’s knowledge & expertise of how our skin functions is out of this world, words cannot explain it. Her products are amazing. I also love Fortify for a damaged skin barrier it doesn’t jst sink into the skin in 5 mins then leaves your skin dry, it leaves my skin moisturised for the whole day. Saviour is another excellent product as is Eye Lift and Miracle Clranse. Nxt I’m going to try PH Acid Mantle. Thank you Samantha you are truly the Queen of Skincare 🙏 wish you were in Aus so I could come & see you in person!

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hello Eve and thankyou for this absolutely fantastic review i really appreciate it. Bio lipid is all about re-building the integrity of the barrier and Fortify like the name suggests backs that up, replenishing ingredient that are missing because of a compromised barrier. I am so pleased that my products are going some way to help repair your skin – all the best of luck Samantha

  6. Armida Martinez says:

    Hi, I am very excited to have stumbled upon your website. I have been dealing with dry red and sensitive skin for 2 years now. I have always had oily tough skin so this change threw me off. It all started after i did a serious of Derma pen procedures for acne scarring. After the last treatment, I developed a rash and without even thinking about it, I started to use Hydrocortisone. I used hydrocortisone on my face for almost a year not realizing how bad this was for my skin. I went to numerous dermatologist without any luck so i just kept treating my self with the hydrocortisone. My skin will get unbearable every time that i would stop it. I finally stopped using the hydrocortisone and went through a rough time which was soothed by using Cerave moisture cream but that kept clogging my pores but, everything else would make my skin angry. After some research i found out that my skin barrier was compromised as long term use of hydrocortisone on skin actually destroys your skin barrier and my barrier was already compromised from the Derma pen procedure to begin with. Anyways, I will be ordering your products today and i look forward to having healed amazing skin once again.

  7. Sania says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I have an extremely dehydrated skin which is patchy and tight most of the times.
    However, after couple of hours, it becomes super oily (No matter I apply moisturiser, makeup or nothing).

    On top of all this, I am breaking out pretty much everywhere on my face White and red pimples are popping out and it was never the case before. I have had all my tests done and nothing abnormal. I have been to a dermatologist who suggested peels and infact did two chemical peels on me which has worsened and thus, it is red, inflamed, dry, oily and breaking out all at the same time.
    Please advise !

  8. Heidi Burnham says:


    Hi Samantha, thanks for the reply. I should have worded the part about me being sensitive to smells a little differently. I am sensitive to chemical smells. Essential oil fragrances don’t tend to be a problem. What might be a problem with them is my over use of them. I used them too much for too long in high concentrations. I think they would be fine in products that use them more sparingly. Also, your product recommendations look great for my face and neck but do you know of any products I can use for the whole body to repair the skin barrier? It would be very expensive to use small jars for body moisturizer? Also would you have any recommendations on what to use for whole body washing and hand washing? I use my olive oil castile liquid soap for all of that. I did always dilute it with distilled water so I wasn’t using it super concentrated but I still feel like it has been really drying to my skin. Thanks for your help.

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Heidi
      I do formulate a similar product as Fortify for a couple of customers for the body, please email me directly through the contact page if you would like more information. Kind regards Samantha

  9. Heidi says:

    Hello, I have been frustrated with very dry skin problens for years and I am very intrigued by your blog. I have been using natural and organic skincare products for years but am just now coming to the conclusion that my skin barrier is completely ruined and I think it’s from what I have been using on it. One of the biggest problems I think has caused this is using 100% olive oil castile liquid soap with added essential oils to cleanse in the shower. I dont know what else I could use instead. I have had dry itchy skin for years that lead me to the natural stuff in the first place, which helped alot, especially on my dry red cracked hands, but now I realize that my skin is just dry, itchy and flaky all the time and natural moisturizers do little to help it. My skin is chemically sensitive and I am also sensitive to smells and would like to use the most natural cleanser I can find. With everything I have been reading about soaps I am so confused and have no idea what to do. What else is there besides soap that one would use to cleanse the whole body? Is there something you can recommend?

    • Samantha Miller says:

      Hi Heidi

      Thank you for reaching out. My products are designed for these skin problems. Olive oil can have negative results long term as can essential oils. So you want to be looking for fragrance free, strip your routine back to basics and check out some of my range like savior and miracle cleanse, bio lipid and fortify, which will help to restore your barrier and balance your pH which is what your skin obviously requires.

  10. Josephine says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I have a compromised barrier, extremely dry, thin skin which is prone to irritation and Rosacea. The dryness is now so advanced it feels like an extra 3 layers of skin on my face!
    I have spent tens of thousands on products and treatments and feel it’s only made my condition worse. Can you please recommend a treatment plan using your products? I am 27 years old and have been having issues since the age of 12.
    Kind regards
    Jo xx

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