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How to Repair Your Moisture Barrier

By Elsa de Berker, she/her

Chances are, you’ve at least seen or heard about the importance of your skin’s moisture barrier. Perhaps, you’ve even googled it? The term is part of the larger conversation around some other key buzzwordslike microbiome, prebiotics, and acid mantle. You might already know that maintaining a strong moisture barrier is crucial to your skin’s overall health. But do you know what exactly the moisture barrier does, or, more importantly, how to fix yours if it’s out of whack?

“Think of the moisture barrier as the perfect fence around a beautiful garden,” explains Youth To The People’s Education Executive, Nicole Breece. “You want that fence to be tight, so that everything inside of it stays protected and safe. Now apply this thought to your face: the moisture barrier acts as a block to pollutants and irritants, whilst also keeping all the good nutrients in the skin.”

Tell-tale signs that your moisture barrier might be compromised include inflammation, redness, and breakouts, along with a myriad of other issues, which Breece likes to help people decipher with this handy pop quiz: 

“Ask yourself the following questions, and if you answer “yes” to any, then your moisture barrier is in need of repair,” she says.

  • Is your skin rough or flaky?
  • Are you producing excess oil?
  • Does your skin feel tight and dehydrated?
  • Is your T-zone shiny, but the rest of your face is lacking in moisture?
  • Is your skin feeling more sensitive than usual?
  •  

    Breece’s first line of defense involves zeroing in on supplying the skin with a surplus of hydration, along with the mindful repopulation of good bacteria via prebiotic- and probiotic-rich fermented ingredients, like kombucha black tea. Together, the two-part act will improve overall skin health at the source and help it to regain optimal function.  

    “Think of all the moisture leaking through the dry and damaged fence,” she says, citing her garden analogy again. “You need to add back moisture in order to mend it for good.”

    Breece also notes that it’s important to opt for products with soothing and barrier-supporting qualities over anything harsh or potently active. 

    If your skin is dry and flaky, you might still be dealing with pore congestion, so while it’s ok to use gentle treatments, you want to think more about adding in reparative elements rather than stripping anything additional away,” she says.

    With this in mind, her ideal regimen to restore a damaged moisture barrier follows a less-is-more approach: 

    “Use a gentle cleanser morning and night, followed by YTTP’s Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner or the Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist, which contains ultra-calming pentapeptides and hyaluronic acid to help the skin retain moisture,” she says.

    To complete your routine, you’ll also need a mini arsenal of heavy-duty hydrators. 

    “Grab the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Oil in the AM, followed by this protective Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream, and reach for the plumping Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask before bed a couple of nights a week,” says Breece, adding that you’ll want to stick with this protocol for at least 28 days in order to reap its full benefits. 

    “As is the case with correcting any skin issue, you’re treating the moisture barrier from the bottom to the top, so you need to wait for a full cell turnover cycle to see results. That being said, with these particular products, you should start to feel some comfort after a week.”

    Written by Elsa de Berker for Youth To The People