Is your skin dry, dehydrated, sensitive, do you easily get fine lines and wrinkles? Did you say yes to all of the above or to only one? If your skin fills any of these characteristics than you might have a damaged moisture barrier.
What is the moisture barrier
The moisture barrier is your outermost layer of your skin it is located in the epidermis. Made up of cells and lipids the barrier protects your skin from bacteria and regulates the moisture of your skin, keeping the good things from leaving and not letting bad things get inside. The barrier also regulates inflammation.
However, a compromised skin barrier means that moisture will escape the skin leaving your skin dry and dehydrated. Not only can your skin be dry and dehydrated from a damaged barrier but sensitivity, breakouts, and wrinkles are also a sign of damage.
Cells are the building blocks of the human body. Your barrier is made up of cells and lipids. Below is a representation of a healthy moisture barrier. The red circle represents bacteria that wants to get inside your and wreak havoc on your skin. The blue circle represents moisture as a whole.
Damaged Moisture Barrier
Below we have a representation of a damaged barrier. Our barrier now has “cracks” that allow bacteria inside and let moisture escape which leads to where we are now.
Why might your barrier be damaged?
There are many reasons as to why your moisture barrier might be damaged.
One reason is age; when you age your moisture barrier gets worse at doing its job because lipids decrease and so your skin needs help in the form of a proper skincare routine.
Mental stress and fatigue can also damage your barrier that’s why taking time to unwind and destress is important. Make time for yourself. In today’s busy world people often forget to take care of themselves. Remember guys, your health is important.
Environmental factors can cause damage to your barrier. When the weather changes sometimes your skin cannot adjust to these changes which causes damage to your skin. When winter comes knocking on the door our indoor heating goes up which causes dry conditions and that can “cracks” in your barrier so invest in a humidifier.
Over-exfoliating can damage the barrier of your skin, that’s why you should only exfoliate a few times a week and if you know your skin can’t handle a few times then you should only exfoliate once a week.
Excessive washing and using drying cleansers cause dry skin. When you shower or bathe you should wash in lukewarm water and use soaps and cleansers that are not drying or damaging to your skin. If you cannot give up your hot showers, and I know how hard it can be, then try and cut down on the time you spend showering and. Hot water strips the skin of its natural oils so it is important not to spend a long time in hot water.
Also, remember to put on sunscreen so that your skin does not suffer from sun damage.
How to improve your moisture barrier
Now that you know that your dry skin might be because of a damaged moisture barrier, you are probably dying to find out how to help fix your barrier.
- If showering in hot water is bad for your skin, then washing your face with hot water is also damaging. Wash your face with lukewarm water to avoid damaging your skin barrier.
- Avoid drying cleansers and if your barrier is already compromised use moisturizing creamy cleansers.
- Do not exfoliate every day, keep your exfoliating from one to a few times a week.
- Pick a good moisturizer one with hyaluronic acid and glycerin is usually recommended.
- Try moisturizing masks for that extra pick me up. This might just be your chance to try that sheet mask you’ve been eyeing.
- Avoid products that have added fragrances.
- If you drink coffee, drink a cup of water right after your coffee.
- In general drink plenty of water every day to keep your skin hydrated.
Investing in yourself is investing in the future.