If your skin makes you look much older than you really are, you might be completely ignoring a critical part of your skin.
It’s your skin’s moisture barrier.
Keeping your moisture barrier - or acid mantle, as it’s also called - in good shape is essential for warding off the premature signs of ageing now and in the future!
What is Your Skin’s Moisture Barrier?
So, what is the moisture barrier in the first place? This important skin structure helps your skin to function as it should. When it’s damaged, issues such as irritation and breakouts are much more common.
By preventing trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), your moisture barrier helps to keep hydration where it needs to be; within your skin. Skin that doesn’t have enough hydration looks much more wrinkly and crepe-y than normal, adding years to your appearance!
Signs of a Damaged Moisture Barrier + Common Causes
If you’re wondering if your skin barrier is compromised, here are some of the most common signs to look for:
- Dry, parched skin that makes you look older than you really are
- Exaggerated fine lines and wrinkles
- Skin that easily flushes red and stays red
- Persistent, visible flakes of dry skin
- Acne in places that you don’t normally breakout
If any of these sound familiar, it’s likely that you’ve compromised your dermal barrier - which takes us to the next question:
What causes a damaged moisture barrier?
There are a few common causes of a damaged skin barrier - we’ve rounded up the three most likely ones to occur.
Using Products With the Wrong pH
The health of your skin and your moisture depend strongly on using products with the right pH for your skin. pH refers to the power of hydrogen, and is a measure of how acidic or how alkaline something is.
Skin naturally has a pH that ranges from 4.1-5.8, putting it on the slightly acidic side of the scale. Improperly formulated cleansers have too high of a pH, damaging your skin. The solution? A gentle cleanser that respects the integrity of your dermal barrier.
Regular exfoliation is incredibly beneficial for your skin; it can help to clear breakouts, fade dark spots, and even stimulate collagen production. However, it’s crucial not to over-exfoliate your skin.
Over-exfoliation occurs when an acid peel or exfoliating pads are used too frequently on skin. This can easily happen if you’re exfoliating your skin twice a day - depending on your skin, you may only need it once a day or a few times per week for best results!
Not Giving Skin Enough Hydration
Keeping moisture levels high in your skin is critical for a healthy moisture barrier! Using a moisturizer daily - no matter your skin type - is important for making sure that your skin has enough hydration and moisture for skin health.
Barrier-Strengthening Ingredients to Go For
Repairing this all-important skin structure starts with the right skincare ingredients. Here are our must-haves for recuperating your skin’s barrier!
Did you know that ceramides actually naturally occur in our skin? When we use skincare formulated with ceramides, we increase our skin’s natural levels. They have a critical role in maintaining the structure of your moisture barrier1!
If we imagine this barrier as a brick wall, ceramides make up the bricks - which is why they’re a must-have for all skin types.
Another well-known skin barrier friendly ingredient is Niacinamide. It’s able to strengthen and support skin, reducing sensitivity and redness2. Studies have found that Niacinamide is able to reduce water loss through the upper layers of the skin, helping your skin to hold on to the critical hydration that it needs.
This hydrating skincare ingredient helps to replenish your skin’s water levels, strengthening your skin’s dermal barrier. Hyaluronic Acid works by attracting water to itself - this means that wherever it goes in your skin, it brings water with it. This smooths away dryness and alongside other nurturing ingredients such as Ceramides and Niacinamide, helps to rebuild your skin’s moisture barrier.
Your Moisture Barrier: The Bottom Line
This delicate, yet critical skin structure can easily be damaged with the wrong skincare products. However, it’s easy to bring back to life for healthy skin with the right skincare ingredients! Fortify your moisture barrier for healthy, resilient skin.