How to Repair Moisture Barrier?

A damaged moisture barrier is a common skin issue and can be associated with constant dryness, tightness, and even itchiness. It also contributes to breakouts, rosacea, and eczema. This happens when the epidermis is stripped of its natural oils and becomes less able to protect the skin against bacteria and irritants. Keep reading to learn how to repair moisture barrier and maintain your skin clean and healthy.

What is Moisture Barrier?

A moisture barrier is strictly correlated with the stratum corneum’s integrity and differentiation of filaggrin (epidermal protein). The barrier creates a strong protective complex and functions as a frontline between the deeper layers of skin and the outer environment. On average, every 28-40 days, its visible cells completely slough off and are replaced by fresh ones from the lower epidermal layers. If this process goes smoothly and the moisture barrier keeps intact, the skin looks healthy and functions properly.

What Destroys Moisture Barrier?

Internal Factors

Aging. After 25-30, the skin metabolism slows down, producing fewer natural oils and decreasing cell renewal. All these contribute to the disruption of the moisture barrier.

Genetics. Every skin is different, and some of us may inherit a weak moisture barrier. This happens due to mutations in the filaggrin gene (a protein that facilitates differentiation of the epidermis). According to a new study, people with genetically less good “barrier protection” are more likely to be exposed to chemicals that may lead to skin disease or cancer.

External Factors

Excessive Washing. Washing your face is good, but only if you limit yourself to two times a day. Remember that hot water and mesh sponges may damage the skin barrier.

Using Harsh Soaps. Our skin is slightly acidic for a reason: to keep moisture in and bacteria out. When we use harsh soap, which is alkaline, we ruin the acid mantle, disturbing overall skin health.

Over-Exfoliating. While removing skin impurities with exfoliation is beneficial, doing so too often may leave the skin in worse condition. Determine your skin type first to decide how often you should exfoliate without going overboard. If you have oily skin, you can do exfoliation twice a week. For people with combination skin, we recommend carefully scrubbing only the t-zone twice a week. If your skin is dry, exfoliation isn’t necessary as often since your skin lacks natural oils. You can use gentle scrub or peel every two weeks. 

Stress. According to a study from The Journal of Clinical Investigation, psychological stress-induced production of systemic corticosteroids can weaken the moisture barrier. 

Steroids. A study from The Journal of Investigating Dermatology found that prolonged exposure to steroids may cause visible adverse changes in the skin barrier, decrease ceramides, and increase transepidermal water loss.

Extreme Weather. Our skin doesn’t like when it’s very cold or exhaustingly hot. Extreme weather can strip the natural barrier, allowing moisture to escape and irritants to get in.

How to Repair Damaged Moisture Barrier?

The healing of the moisture barrier is a complex process and takes about two to four weeks. Be patient and follow our simple recommendations:

  1. Determine your skin type and stick to the proper beauty regimen. Read one of the articles to find the best routine for oily, dry, or combination skin.
  2. Eat foods rich in essential fatty acids: fish, nuts, seeds, and plant oils.
  3. Keep your skin’s pH level balanced. The ideal pH value of skin lies between 4.5 and 5.5, so it’s best to use products with a pH close to the skin’s natural range.
  4. Use ceramides! Ceramides are the same lipids from the stratum corneum. A 2018 study has proved that beauty formulas enriched with ceramides can effectively repair moisture barrier, and improve dry, rough skin.
  5. Try natural oils. Jojoba oil, coconut oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, sunflower oil, and olive oil have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and can help to repair the skin barrier. You only need to remember that oils themselves don’t moisturize the skin but nourish it.
  6. Use skin care face masks with probiotics. A 2020 study has confirmed that topical probiotics can manipulate our microbiome and change it for the better. It successfully treats skin diseases associated with damaged moisture barrier: atopic dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, and chronic wounds.
  7. Watch the weather forecast! If it is freezy cold, protect your skin with a cream rich in natural fatty acids. If it is hot as hell, apply a lightweight moisturizer with a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Best Products to Repair Moisture Barrier

This moisturizer takes a two-fold approach to promote healthy-looking skin. One, it boosts hydration (with niacinamide and glycerin), two, it repairs a damaged moisture barrier (with ceramides), and three, it protects the cells from nasty free radicals (with vitamin E). Suits all skin types. Fragrance- and oil-free. Affordable.

This skin care brand lives up to its name and promises to make your skin bloom. We believe it since its moisturizer contains an amazing mix of unique ingredients. It contains a shot of probiotic complex that improves the skin barrier and affects skin hydration. Besides, the formula is rich in soothing agents like aloe, honey, cucumber, and chamomile. It works for all skin types, but we highly recommend it to try for people with reactive skin.

For those looking for a simple and straightforward product, this moisturizer is the way to go. Yes, it is pricey, but it can do amazing things and last for a long time. Its formula contains the dynamic blend of growth factors that promote cell division, and ceramide that can hold barrier intact and healthy. The product is creamy but not greasy. We would suggest using it for people with very dry or post-procedure skin.

A compromised skin barrier is often associated with dryness and sensitivity. Luckily, Sunday Riley Ice moisturizer addresses exactly that with a trio of ceramide, sterols, and vitamin F – all crucial agents that can bring instant relief. Cruelty-free and non-irritating formula. It would suit people with very dry skin and those who need to restore their skin right after a long flight.

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