Dry skin, sensitivity, premature ageing. No, we’re not listing our biggest fears, though they are pretty high up there (alongside getting stuck in a lift, turning up to dinner in the same outfit as your bestie, and missing out on Tay Tay tickets). These are actually all problems that can occur when your skin’s moisture barrier is damaged. Scary stuff, we know.
‘Moisture barrier’ is probably a phrase you’ve heard thrown around, and while its name might be pretty self explanatory, it can be hard knowing what it is, what it does, and how to protect it.
So, what is your skin’s moisture barrier?
The skin’s moisture barrier – also known as the ‘stratum corneum’ by dermatologists and other smart people – is the first line of defence on your skin’s surface, there to keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. By good stuff, we mean your skin’s natural oils, nutrients and moisture, and by bad stuff, we mean pollutants, chemicals and allergens.
When your moisture barrier is at its A-game, your skin is radiant, plump and dewy (AKA #skingoals). If it gets damaged, you can expect some combination of dry patches, sensitive inflamed skin and those pesky fine lines. It’s a no from us.
So, how do you fortify your skin’s moisture barrier? Here are some quick steps to incorporate into your skincare routine for a VIP pass to a happy moisture barrier and glowing skin.
Step 1: Use a gentle cleanser
The key word here is ‘gentle’. While your skin might feel nice and clean when you use a cleanser that gives you that after-wash skin tightness (you know the one), it’s not doing you any good. Harsh cleansers can compromise your moisture barrier, and lead to dryness, irritation and sensitivity. Instead, always reach for a gentle cleanser that’s free from parabens, fragrance and is PH balanced, packed with barrier-loving ingredients like glycerin and natural oils.
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Step 2: Use a toner
Toner is the unsung hero of a good skincare routine. It preps the skin and replenishes it after cleansing, and can also help get rid of any oil and impurities your cleanser might have left behind. There’s a toner for all needs and skin types, whether you’re after something moisturising, soothing, brightening or exfoliating. Your toner comes right after you’re done cleansing, and most toners can be applied by soaking a cotton round and lightly blotting it across the skin. If you're looking for a planet-friendly option, there are plenty of toners that come in mist form (and will have your bathroom feeling like a day spa).
Step 3: Apply a nourishing serum
This is where the fun stuff happens. Serums made with nourishing ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid are your moisture barrier’s best friend. Ceramides are fatty acids that help moisturise and strengthen your moisture barrier, while hyaluronic acid gives you plump, hydrated skin and minimises fine lines, thanks to its amazing ability to retain moisture. All you have to do is pump a couple of drops into your hands and lightly massage the serum into your face and neck. If you’re using hyaluronic acid, make sure your skin is damp before applying so it soaks up as much hydration as possible – your skin will love you for it.
Step 4: Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
Moisturiser helps your barrier by forming a thin film on your skin that reduces moisture loss and keeps it hydrated. For glowing, ‘bouncy’ skin, use moisturiser rich in glycerin, panthenol and those lovely little things called ceramides. No good barrier-helping routine is complete without a generous dab of moisturiser massaged gently into your skin. Pair it with a hydrating body moisturiser to feel soft and supple from top to toe.
Step 5: Lock it all in with face oil
Face oils formulated with ingredients like squalane and jojoba oil nourish your skin and keep your barrier protected, by locking in moisture and stopping pollutants from getting in. A few drops, a gentle pat, and voila – you’ve got instantly dewy skin and a happy moisture barrier.
There you have it, the 5 easy steps to help fortify your moisture barrier and keep you glowing. Looking for more tips on keeping your skin plump and dewy? Here are some Go-To Ideas for Hydrating Your Skin from the Inside (& Out).
Happy Sundae x
Enjoy a dollop of luminous hydration 👇
Written By: Lizzie Waley (Sundae Co-Founder & Body Care Enthusiast) | LinkedIn
Fact Checked: Charnnie Frimpong (Sundae Content Marketing Manager) | Linkedin