If you’ve been scrolling the skincare side of the internet in the past month, you know the hottest new release is Hailey Bieber’s latest drop from her skincare brand, Rhode. Rhode Glazing Milk has taken the internet by storm, thanks to its unique formula, a stunning array of benefits, and Hailey’s own endorsement of Rhode’s elite marketing efforts.
This essence-meets-hydrating-milk claims to be a skin-supporting treatment to help restore and boost a fragile moisture barrier. But what exactly is a moisture barrier? And what can Rhode’s buzzy new product — plus their other buzzy barrier products on the shelves — actually do for your skin?
I did a deep dive into all things skin barrier to find out if this new beauty trend — and Rhode’s latest launch — are worth the hype.
Not just another buzzword
Beauty buzzwords are a dime a dozen — slugging, #CleanLook … cold girl? With the ubiquity of TikTok microtrends, it’s tough to keep up with each and every skincare trend making its rounds on the internet. And newsflash: you probably shouldn’t chase each and every skincare trend that goes viral.
All skin is different. And using inferior products or ingredients that are bad for your skin type can do more harm than good. The main thing you can do for your skin is be consistent with your routine. Switching up your products every other week simply isn’t sustainable for your bank account. Plus, it’s counterintuitive for your skin.
But how can you know what will work for you?
The skin type test
First, determine your skin type. Do you have oily, combination, or dry skin? Are you sensitive? Breakout prone? The quickest way to do this is just by washing your face. Do a quick cleanse, then let your skin dry on its own product-free.
After 10 minutes, do a quick check-in. Is your skin parched and/or cracked? Or is it getting oily? If the former, you have dry skin. If it’s the latter, you have oily skin. If it’s a combination of both? You guessed it, you have combination skin.
How to find the right products for your skincare routine
Armed with the awareness of your skin type, you can now make intelligent decisions about which products to buy. But don’t throw the kitchen sink at your skin just because a brand promises to target dry or oily skin. Narrow down your options by focusing in on your skin’s particular concerns.
This is where that fickle skincare trend cycle comes in. Every few weeks, TikTok tries to convince you that your skin lacks some vital ingredient. But does it? Many of these trends are mere marketing schemes that prey on our passion for clear, glowy skin. But these trends are rarely endorsed by dermatologists.
In fact, one trend that seems to be sticking around is a notion that dermatologists also agree on: prioritizing your skin barrier.
What is your skin barrier? A guide to your microbiome
A skin barrier is the outer layer of your skin. It protects your skin against damage, environmental stress (physically, not existentially), premature signs of aging, and reinforces that firm, glowy look we all crave so much.
Also known as your microbiome — or lipid layer — your skin barrier is like a shield. It keeps the good stuff — like water, nutrients, and natural oils — inside your skin while keeping harmful stuff — environmental damage, pollution, damaging UV rays — out.
So, it’s crucial to keep your skin barrier healthy and happy for the overall protection of your complexion. A strong skin barrier is important for all skin types. It’s the building block for healthy skin, so barrier protection should be the building block for all skincare.
However, with more-and-more harsh ingredients like exfoliants and retinol available on the shelves, it’s all too easy to overdo your skincare and end up stripping your skin barrier. Basically, a compromised skin barrier will make all your skincare efforts null and void.
Common causes of a damaged skin barrier include:
- Exposure to pollution or irritants
- Sun damage
- Harsh, stripping products and soaps
- Damaging chemicals
How do you know if your skin barrier is damaged?
A damaged skin barrier leads to irritation, breakouts, and increased sensitivity. You can tell if your skin barrier is damaged by how your skin reacts to products. Does it suddenly sting when you apply your favorite serum? Do exfoliants feel like fire the second they touch your poor, inflamed face?
Typically, oversensitivity and inflammation are red flags that signal an abraded skin barrier. So are breakouts. If your skin’s reacting in angry, red pimples and a rough texture, this might also be a sign of a damaged skin barrier.
Dehydration and unquenchably thirsty skin are other signs that your microbiome needs tending. You can address the damage and start skin barrier repair, focus on rehydrating your skin with gentle products that provide free radical protection and skin-soothing elements. Essentially, look for products that contain the ingredients to create an artificial barrier to protect your skin while it heals itself.
Ingredients to look for include:
- Hyaluronic acid
Best barrier-boosting products on the market
Whether you’re in the process of healing a damaged barrier, or you want to protect your skin from damage — especially in the summer, when you’re more exposed to the elements — barrier-protecting skincare is essential to your daily routine.
It turns out, it really is worth all the social media hoopla you’ve been seeing. It contains nourishing ceramides, glycerin, and other skin-strengthening ingredients like magnesium. Zinc, and copper. Unlike a terrible celeb skincare line like Kylie Skin, Rhode Skin’s Glazing Milk is one launch that should be on your list.
However, if you don’t want to break the bank, here are some other barrier products to add to your skincare shelf:
- Tower28 Daily Barrier Cream
- Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief
- Glossier After Baume After Baume Moisture barrier recovery cream
- EltaMD Barrier Renewal Complex
- SKINFIX Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream
- Dr Jart Ceramidin
- iNNBEAUTY PROJECT Face Glaze Skin Barrier Protect & Glow Moisturizer
- Glow Recipe Avocado Soothing Skin Barrier Serum with Ceramides
- ManukaRx Skin Rescue Ointment
- Violette FR Boum-Boum Milk