The Science Behind Instagram’s Most Viral Serum

Seen buzz about TBH Skincare’s Rebound serum all over your feed? There’s a reason. Rebound has set a benchmark for successful Australian skincare launches – selling out in just eighteen days (don’t worry, there is more coming soon and you can waitlist yourself for the product here). Unlike some influencer backed skincare launches, Rebound has serious credibility behind it. Co-creator Hannah English is an ex-pharmaceutical scientist. Over the last five years, she has become a go-to expert for skincare lovers wanting the facts about ingredients. She also serves up jaw-dropping beauty looks and is directly responsible for the five Pat McGrath eyeshadow pallets sitting (heavily used) in my makeup drawer.

So, when I heard Hannah English had launched a serum with TBH Skincare I cleared my shelf. Rebound is a barrier repair serum, that promises to – help your skin do just that. My skin barrier was thoughtful enough to be mid-meltdown when I started Rebound, truly putting the product to the test. The superfine texture is weightless but delivers hydration and comfort all day. It has replaced my morning Vitamin C while I nurse my skin through recovery.

Hannah was kind enough to explain some of the wizardry behind Rebound – and shared her tips for skin barrier-breakdown prevention and recovery with POPSUGAR (so you can avoid my mistakes).

POPSUGAR Australia: When you partnered with TBH Skincare, why did you decide to create a barrier repair product?

Hannah English: As beauty lovers, we get really excited about the latest and greatest actives. There’s a mentality of harder, better, faster, stronger and we can forget to acknowledge or respect our skin’s natural biology. What hurts it and what helps it.

There was a period when I became particularly aware of this. I was seeing all these very active products coming out. As a beauty content creator, I’d receive at least 3 exfoliating a week – at the best of times, my skin can only handle a once-weekly exfoliation.

As this was happening I was also the most stressed I had ever been (I wrote a book! About skin!) – it was showing on my face. I was experiencing breakouts, rosacea and perioral dermatitis. All of it. The irony wasn’t lost on me.

I did what I called a “skin diet” – cleanse, moisturise, stick to one serum only and sunscreen. That’s when I started thinking about what the perfect “one serum only” product for sensitised skin might look like. Something that would hydrate, support and calm in one step.

tbh Skincare's Rebound Serum
tbh Skincare’s Rebound Serum
PS: Can you talk us through the key actives in Rebound Serum?

HE: Absolutely! Panthenol (Vitamin B5) has a role in lipid metabolism. The skin’s barrier is made up of fats that float around holding our cells in place, panthenol helps to regulate those fats. It’s best used at 1% in cosmetic formulations, any more and it can great a weird gel texture. Ceramides are the main type of fat in your skin’s barrier, with cholesterol being another one – so they all interact, mimicking the function of optimally performing skin.

We also included copper peptides in Rebound. They help calm your skin when it’s angry, but they’re also an anti-ageing ingredient. They signal the breakdown of damaged, bunched up old collagen (which can result in a ripply skin texture) and helpfully remind your body to start making fresh collagen and elastin!

Copper peptides are a great option if you can’t tolerate retinol, or if you want to offset the side effects of retinol which can include flaking, peeling and heat in the skin.

PS: What are the ways we can unintentionally damage our skin barrier?

HE: There are so many. To list just some:

  • . Over-exfoliation – not just with products! I once sensitised my skin by rubbing my face too hard with a gym towel.
  • . Harsh cleansers or cleansing too often, with too much pressure.
  • . Acne treatments
  • . Sun exposure
  • . Intense in-clinic treatments like microdermabrasion, microneedling and strong peels. A good clinician will explain before and aftercare to you to avoid this happening.
  • . Stress
  • . The environment! The wind is not your skin barrier’s friend and neither is air pollution!
  • And another thing to be mindful of is that people with very dry/flaky skin have a more fragile barrier naturally, so they’re more likely to experience sensitivity or sensitised skin.
PS: What are some warning signs that your barrier is impaired?

HE: If you’re feeling heat in your skin or if you’re experiencing a lot of redness (although it’s important to note that redness is not visible in all skin tones) those are strong indicators. Also, if a product stings when it didn’t before that is a warning sign.

Tightness, however, is the main thing you should watch for, as that will show up before all the others. If your skin feels tight but remains oily or conversely if your skin is tight and flaking you’ll want to ease off the actives!

PS: So… say you’ve checked that list and you’ve definitely impaired your barrier – what are some steps you can take?

HE: Think about each product you use and whether it’s a “giving back” product (nourishing) or whether it’s a more challenging “taking” product (exfoliating). There’s nothing wrong with active products but your skin needs to be in good shape before you introduce them. If the product falls into the “challenging” category, it’s going to need to go on holiday for a little while!

One of the most important things is to keep moisturising, even if you have oily skin. If you feel stressed by things that are too heavy, something like Rebound can be your moisture step.

Lastly, do not stop wearing sunscreen! The sun puts our skin through so much stress, even when it’s cloudy. You will be surprised by how much better your skin feels just from a renewed commitment to sun protection.