Problem Skin Heroes? | AD
Main Image – Live That Glow
As a huge fan of any products that deal in skin health rather than just how it looks, my interest was firmly piqued when I was contacted by a new brand, The Other Skincare Company– with a focus on boosting skin immunity and health- a few months ago.
Because while I absolutely love a product that delivers on its claims to add glow/tackle breakouts/soothe redness, since developing some rosacea last year my focus has since been on going deeper and building up my skin’s own defences and barrier- and this is a brand that promises to do just that.
Formulated using the principles of corneotherapy– a skincare methodology based on the concept that visible skin problems (like acne, redness, dryness etc) are associated with damage to the skin’s barrier and stratum corneum (skin’s outermost layer), The Other Skincare Company’s focus is on strengthening and repairing skin’s barrier instead of treating separate symptoms. The idea is that by improving the skin barrier, common skin issues like acne and breakouts will improve in turn.
It’s important to keep our skin barrier healthy, as it “protects your body from free radicals,” says Healthline.
“Additionally, without your skin barrier, the water inside your body would escape and evaporate, leaving you completely dehydrated.
“Your skin barrier is essential for your overall health and needs to be protected to help your body function properly,” it adds.
And from my own experience I’ve noticed that whenever I’ve damaged my skin barrier (with anything from over-exfoliating to using harsher skincare ingredients or even sitting around in central heating), there’s an obvious impact on my skin.
The results are most often redness, flaking or even breakout-like bumps; so I was intrigued by the brand’s approach to repairing a damaged skin barrier while avoiding ingredients that could potentially compromise it.
Instead, the Other Skincare Company’s answer is to use “skin-identical” ingredients (those which are naturally present in skin’s structure) like ceramides, cholesterol, free fatty acids, hyaluronic acid, glycerol, and proteins to strengthen the stratum corneum and soothe, balance and rehydrate.
Completely natural, and heavy on plant-based proteins, fruit enzymes, minerals and vitamins and antioxidants, the brand’s products are cruelty-free and formulated without silicones, artificial fragrance, or more common cleansing agents like Sodium Laureth Sulphate and Sodium lauryl sulphate.
“Sodium laureth sulfate, or SLS, makes products sudsy and foamy. It can be found in cleansers, shampoos and shower gels. SLS can cause skin and eye irritation, and it is frequently contaminated with a known carcinogen,” says Mayo Clinic – so it’s really not great for your skin!
So having used their products on my own skin for the past month, how did I (and my skin barrier) get on?
Keep Calm Oil-to-Milk Cleanser
Containing a blend of fruit enzymes and ceramides (a skin-identical ingredient naturally present in our own cells) this (delightfully emerald-hued) oil emulsifies to a milk on contact with water.
Really easy to work onto skin, Keep Calm lifts off the day (and any makeup/oil/SPF) easily, leaving me moisturised, comfortable and impressively glowy with decreased levels of skin redness…a definite favourite.
Ingredients include grapeseed oil, blue tansy flower oil, and fruit enzymes from bilberry, orange fruit, lemon fruit, sugar cane and maple extracts.
Great for: Problem skin types and glowy skin fans.
Not-so-great for: Anyone really against the feel of an oil cleanser on their skin (although this is aimed at breakout-prone skin).
Keep Calm Oil-to-Milk Cleanser is $39/£30 for 120 ml from The Other Skincare Company
NMF Micellar Water
Although I don’t always think they’re an essential step for every single skin type, I really enjoy using a toner in between cleansing and moisturising to soothe skin and add hydration.
And NMF certainly boasts some impressive ingredients here, with the name itself standing for ‘Natural Moisturising Factor’; a fluid naturally present in the top layer of our skin. Made up mainly of sodium PCA, sodium lactate, urea, hyaluronic acid, glycerol and amino acids, the NMF present in our skin is there to draw water out of the atmosphere and into our cells.
The Other Skincare Company’s NMF toner seeks to mimic this action by including some of those same ingredients, including glycerin, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA and sodium lactate.
Smelling lightly of rose water, NMF delivers on what I need my toners to do- helping to remove the last remnants of cleanser, dirt and makeup, and leaving skin hydrated.
Great for: Toner or micellar water fans who like their products on the soothing, hydrating side. Rose scent fans.
Not-so-great for: Anyone really averse to any sort of scent since this contains rose and neroli distillates.
NMF Micellar Water is $29/£22.35 for 120 ml from The Other Skincare Company
Phantom Bi-Phase Spray Moisturizer
Finally, I’ve been trying out the brand’s moisturiser; a spray formula aimed at dehydrated, blemish-prone skin.
This has a rich feel- almost like an oil- as it goes on, which takes a few minutes to sink in. Aside from that, an impressive combination of aloe leaf juice, watermelon and pomegranate seed oils salix alba bark ferment (and anti-inflammatory), ceramides, Echinacea and green tea leaf extract leaves skin comfortable and balanced.
Since I don’t have any active acne or breakouts I can’t say how effective it is on blemishes- but as someone with slightly irritated and dehydrated skin this is a moisturiser that works well for me.
Great for: Dehydrated, sensitive or dry skin types who will probably find this as moisturising as soothing as I do.
Not-so-great for: Those who don’t like essential oils in their products, since this contains lavender oil. Anyone who really can’t get on with any sort of oil in their moisturiser as this does contain several.
Phantom Bi-Phase Spray Moisturizer is $49/£37 for 30 ml from The Other Skincare Company
As someone who tries *a lot* of different products for work, I can say that even ones which initially make my skin feel good can over time seem to leave me drier or redder than before if they’re not really supporting my skin’s health.
For me, The Other Skincare Company’s line has had the opposite effect though- leaving my skin more comfortable, less red, and glowier over time. And although the products I’ve used are aimed specifically at ‘problem’ skin because they tackle skin’s barrier they’ve been effective even on my own non-breakout-prone skin.
Having said that, the brand is also soon set to release a line specifically targeted at rosacea, and given my impressive results so far I’ll definitely be checking that out for my own sensitive skin too when it launches.