Your skins moisture barrier is one of the most important functions of your skin. It is often over looked though and actually could solve a lot of your problems if you maintain a healthy one. Often the most un obvious things are those that will solve a whole host of issues.
What Is The Moisture Barrier
Your moisture barrier also know as, protective barrier or hydro-lipid film is the outer layer of your skin. It’s a slightly acidic film sitting around ph 5.5. The Epidermis provides protection for the deeper layers of the skin. Water regulation, helping to keep moisture in the skin as well as allowing moisture out. Keeping harmful bacteria out, but also protecting against the environment or external aggressors.
It’s made up of lipids including ceramides, that bind your skin cells together.
Qualities include being semi permeable which means, when functioning well, it can regulate what goes in and out of the skin.
Why it’s important
Damaged Moisture barrier leaves your skin vulnerable and open to attack. A damaged moisture barrier can lead to so many other issues with in your skin. It can cause sensitivity, allow too much moisture to escape from the skin and allow bacteria and other aggressors into the skin.
By keeping your moisture barrier in tack you’ll find that you’re able to reverse or prevent other skin conditions.
A dry skin will continue to be dry and dehydrated if the skin can not lock in the moisture you are trying to put into it.
Bacteria is able to get into the skin which can be a cause of some break outs. Keeping the harmful bacteria out can often help reduce break outs with out the need to treat them. I am not saying it will cure all of your breakouts but it can certainly help.
How to identify
The simplest way to know is ask yourself, ‘does my skin feel tight after cleansing’ and ‘if I didn’t apply moisturiser would my skin feel tight’ if the answer is yes, then you know the skin has lost its ability to retain moisture.
Other signs are if you’re suffering from a skin condition such as acne, rosacea, eczema / dermatitis or psoriasis.
Keep it healthy
Cleansers, avoid anything that leaves the skin feeling tight or stripped. You also want to avoid anything too antibacterial, like the gut the skin needs friendly bacteria. The skin also has a microbiome like the gut and is used to communicate. You therefore do not want to compromise this. Avoid products that will alter the skins PH level. Too alkaline is a breeding ground for bad bacteria.
Acids and exfoliation, I love an acid and will often recommend. This is a situation you don’t want to over exfoliate. Also look out for products where the molecules are chirality correct. Why because if the molecule is not it can cause irritation in the skin.
Known irritants such as synthetic fragrance should be avoided.
Replenish the skin. Use products that stimulate ceramide production in the skin. You also need the help of cholesterol and fatty acids.
L-Lactic Acid is a beneficial acid. I know I’ve just said ease off the acids but everything in moderation. It’s exfoliating, conditioning and hydrating all in one. It provides gentle exfoliation whilst boosting ceramide production.
Retinol, a derivative of Vitamin A, remodels and restores normal skin function. Used in conjunction with antioxidants will restore healthy skin function. Antioxidants help fight against the environment and free radical damage. Before using a retinol always seeks advice, I have a post here if you need more information.
Stress, UV, Diet and the environment are all factors that can have a damaging effect. Low fat diets, we need essential fatty acids to play a part in health skin.
As always use SPF to protect your skin. It should be a 100% must in your routine. Unless you never go outside, and lets be honest thats not most of us.
I hope this helps, there is a fair amount of information to get your head around. If you have an other questions leave them in the comments for me.
Want more beauty? Check out my last post here.