A Strong Protective Moisture Barrier is the First Step to Sensational Skin
The secret to amazing skin? A strong protective moisture barrier. “What is that?” We may well ask. It’s skin’s defensive layer that serves as a shield against harsh environmental conditions, toxins, pollution, and unhealthy bacteria. It also absorbs and traps moisture into skin to help prevent transepidermal water loss, aka dehydration.
When our protective barrier isn’t functioning optimally, it makes our skin more susceptible to irritants, dryness, irritation, and redness. And during winter, our barriers are particularly vulnerable to damage since cold temperatures can break them down creating cracks in skin, along with dryness and inflammation. Meanwhile, indoor heating can decrease humidity levels, accelerating skin’s water loss and dramatically increasing dryness. These conditions can be especially problematic to those of us who suffer from chronic inflammatory skin concerns, such as eczema since they can trigger flare-ups.
But frigid outdoor and parching indoor temperatures aren’t the only culprits that can negatively affect barrier function.
- Using a too-harsh cleanser can rob skin of vital moisture and break down its vital natural moisturizing factors leading to a weakened protective moisture barrier.
- Extra-zealous exfoliating can not only strip skin and cause chinks and cracks in our protective moisture barrier but also unleash a hailstorm of skin-damaging, aging, and inflaming free radicals.
How to know if our barrier function isn’t up to par? The signs are easy to recognize. These include redness, irritation, dryness, and flaking. On the flip side, we may also experience shininess, tightness, and persistent acne. Skin with a healthy moisture barrier holds onto moisture properly and stays clear, plump, firm, and comfortable.
Here’s how to put our protective moisture barriers on the path to functioning optimally and keep them there:
Wash & Prep Gently: Choose a mild, non-stripping cleanser to cleanse away impurities, make-up, and excess oil. Follow that up with a multi-tasking treatment mist such as our Hyacyn Active Purifying Mist. Formulated with Hypochlorous Acid (HCOl), a potent anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory agent, it helps reset the skin barrier with pH balanced nourishing and purifying properties. It also effectively treats blemishes and soothes even the most stressed and sensitive skin, including those prone to acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.
Exfoliate Carefully: Steer clear of harsh scrubs and high-octane chemical sloughers. Instead, look for milder preparations that regulate cell turnover without disrupting skin’s natural balance.
- Treat & Hydrate with Barrier Builders: Not all treatment serums and moisturizers are created equal. There are a few hydrating ingredients that are actual components of skin that don’t just moisturize the surface but also shore up our protective barriers. These include hyaluronic acid, which acts as a sponge to attract and hold moisture into skin, and squalene, a natural component of sebum that works overtime to help skin retain moisture, strengthen the skin barrier, and keep it clear of pollutants and impurities. Both our Renewing and Restorative HA Serums incorporate powerful healing and anti-aging ingredients combined with our PPM6 technology to provide these multiple benefits all in one single product.