If you have spent any time researching skin care products (which is likely the case, considering the fact that you came here in the first place), you have most likely come across the term "moisture barrier." Ah the mysterious moisture barrier—the reason skin care and beauty companies have convinced you to buy their product for years.
But what, exactly, is the moisture barrier? And how do you know that your moisture barrier has suffered damage? We get questions like these quite often, so we decided to compile our knowledge on the subject into a blog post to teach you what you need to know about your moisture barrier and how to care for it.
Understanding Your Moisture Barrier
The moisture barrier refers to the outermost layer of your skin. This is the part of your skin that is both actively shedding dead skin cells and working to keep the inner layers of your skin healthy. From keeping the nutrients in your moisturizer inside your skin to protecting the top layer of your epidermis from sun damage, your moisture barrier is essentially responsible for the overall health of your skin.
Unfortunately, this could also mean that your efforts will be fruitless if you apply the right products but do not take care of your moisture barrier. This part of your skin is the part that protects you from dehydration, meaning it is extra important to care for your moisture barrier in order to avoid problems with dry skin. But how do you know whether you are or are not taking good care of your moisture barrier?
Assessing Your Moisture Barrier
Fortunately, that part is fairly easy once you get a good understanding of what, exactly, your moisture barrier is. Take some time to assess the look and feel of your skin in all areas, not just on your face. Are there parts that are dry, itchy, or flaky? In the colder months, it is often more likely that your skin suffers a dry spell. If you notice that your skin is dry, itchy, or appears red in certain spots, your moisture barrier could likely be suffering from damage.
Not to worry, because once you understand the causes of moisture barrier damage you can address them easily. Lots of things can cause damage to your moisture barrier. Anything from smoking and pollution to not drinking enough water can be the culprit, but it could also be as simple as not moisturizing enough or not using the right product.
Fixing Moisture Barrier Damage
If you do happen to notice that your moisture barrier could use a bit of TLC, fixing it is no problem with the right knowledge (and products). The first step, though, is making sure that you are keeping your body hydrated as well. Start drinking more water every day. If you already drink enough water and still notice that your skin feels dry, itchy, red, or flaky, then it may be time to bring in the big guns.
Look for products with ingredients like ceramides and collagen-boosting abilities. These ingredients are in things like moisturizers, which help prevent moisture barrier damage in addition to maintaining it. Remember, though, that hydration and moisturizing are two very different things when it comes to skin care, and that it is important to pay attention to both.
For barrier health we recommend this Intense Moisturizer from Elta MD. It contains lots of nourishing ingredients to soothe irritation caused by dry, itchy skin. Plus, it soothes irritation from common skin diseases like eczema and atopic dermatitis. Keep in mind, though, that if your skin barrier damage is caused by deeper medical issues than you may need to consult a dermatologist to find out how to address it.
To boost hydration, we recommend the Water Drench Cloud Cream from Peter Thomas Roth. This ultra-hydrating product contains hyaluronic acid to draw out hydration from deep within the skin and keep your skin looking supple and hydrated. Thus, in turn, helping boost your moisture barrier and diminishing the appearances of aging.