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How to protect skin from overuse of active skin ingredients

How to protect your skin from overuse of actives

Actives, otherwise known as active ingredients, are a skincare favourite because they can work wonders on specific concerns, and who doesn’t love results? Too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing though. Here’s why you should avoid overusing actives and how to soothe skin if you have.

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Firstly, what are actives?

It’s likely you’ve heard the term ‘active ingredient’ used more than once. The skincare world loves a buzzword, and this is one of its favourites. But what does it mean? To put it simply, active ingredients are what make your skincare products work and effective. They can target all kinds of concerns including breakouts, congestion, signs of ageing and pigmentation. Popular actives include vitamin C, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and retinol.

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What can happen if you use too many actives?

We all want our skincare to make a difference, so it’s not surprising that a lot of our products are packed with active ingredients. Overusing actives or combining too many can damage your skin barrier though, which is essential to your skin’s health. As its name suggests, it’s a protective layer that helps to protect your skin from UV damage and other environmental aggressors while also trapping in the moisture your skin needs. When it’s damaged, your skin may feel more sensitive, tight and dry. A weakened barrier can also aggravate skin concerns like rosacea, eczema and acne.

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How to repair a damaged skin barrier

If you’ve been reaching for the retinol a little too much, you’ll want to restore your skin’s natural balance. Use a gentle, non-foaming cleanser or micellar water that removes dirt, oil and impurities from your skin’s surface without stripping it of essential oils.

Nourishing day creams and night creams can also help to replenish and repair your skin’s barrier. Layer on thicker hydrating creams at night to take advantage of your skin’s overnight recovery mode when it repairs damage caused during the day.

Don’t forget a layer of SPF too. This can help to keep your skin barrier protected and functioning properly.