Our skin does so much for us day in and day out. It helps us to look our best, and it can warn us of impending sickness and other changes going on within our body. One important function our skin has to protect us is known as the moisture barrier. The moisture barrier is the skin’s first line of defense against irritation, infections, and other external factors. It is the fence that helps the skin to retain and hold hydration and moisture and protect against unwanted visitors.
A healthy moisture barrier is the key to a hydrated and supple appearance, but it can be damaged, whether by acne breakouts, sensitivity, ill reaction to certain skin care products, sun damage, and more. All the more reason to use skin care products that can help contribute to the health of the skin’s most important ally. What makes up the moisture barrier? How can we protect our moisture barrier? What ingredients are there that can help to promote its health and function?
We love a supple juicy moisture barrier at Sweeter Juice Skin, so we wanted to give you guys the deets on maintaining your skin’s natural line of defense! Everybody gather around, and let’s get started.
What Makes Up the Moisture Barrier?
Our skin is made up of several layers, but for simplicity’s sake, we’re going to focus on the two outer layers. You may know one of them as the epidermis. The top of the epidermis is known as the stratum corneum. These two layers make up what we know as the moisture barrier. As we mentioned before, the moisture barrier’s main function is to keep undesirables and other things out of our skin and to keep good things in. It protects the skin from getting dehydrated and helps the skin to hold moisture. The moisture barrier is also made up of different lipids, fats, and sebum that the skin produces. These essential substances help the skin to retain elasticity and remain smooth, youthful, and lubricated. Like other nutrients in our body, these have to be replenished constantly as they can be depleted from the wear and tear of aging, environmental factors, lifestyle, and more.
How Can You Protect Our Moisture Barrier?
Your skin works best when it has a good skincare routine with ingredients that help to promote its health and vitality. The moisture barrier is part of the skin’s functions and is no different. Happy skin is soft, supple, and vibrant. A healthy moisture barrier also enables us to use different products with little sensitivity; although due to genetics, skin type, and other factors, some of us may have more sensitivity than others. You can tell when your moisture barrier is damaged when products that you normally use cause irritation, sensitivity, redness, and general discomfort. Dryness, a reduced ability to retain moisture and water, general sensitivity, and itchiness are also signs that your moisture barrier has been compromised or damaged. It can take time to repair your skin barrier, but luckily there are a host of ingredients out there that can provide benefits and assist in the process:
Shea Butter – Shea butter is full of fats, oils, and other vitamins that can help to promote a healthy moisture barrier and provide moisture to dry skin. Shea butter also contains several fatty acids that can help to promote elasticity and suppleness to the skin. Our Shea Butter + Neem Dream Cream is the perfect candidate for dry, irritated skin, and can help to restore lost moisture and assist your skin is retaining hydration.
Hyaluronic Acid – Hyaluronic Acid is a sugar molecule that occurs naturally in the skin. It can hold 1,000 times its weight in water. It’s wonderful for increasing moisture levels in the skin and helping the skin to look buoyant and plump. Hyaluronic acid is also a skin soother and can help to quell irritation, redness, and promote healthy looking skin. Our REVIVAL Ultra Gel Facial Moisturizers contain botanical hyaluronic acid and can help to moisturize and encourage a healthy skin barrier. All of them are wonderful for the skin barrier, but we recommend our Chrysanthemum and Elderberry variants as those key ingredients are specially formulated to lessen the appearance of stressed and irritated skin.
Rose Water – An ancient skin beautifier and soother, rose water goes back centuries as being used to promote supple, young-looking skin. Rose water helps to reduce signs of irritation and redness due to its anti-inflammatory characteristics. Rose water is hydrating and full of antioxidants that can protect and nourish the skin from free radicals and other signs of aging. We would recommend our Organic Rose water Toner to provide you with the perfect edge to combat the dryness and irritation that comes with a damaged moisture barrier, but recently we’ve decided to switch it out with something even better. It’s not available on the site right now unfortunately (Yeah, we know). But don’t fret, our new Green Tea + Honey Cleanser and Green Tea + Hyaluronic Toner duo will do you just as good; which brings us to our next ingredient:
Green Tea – Green Tea is a powerful antioxidant and is anti-inflammatory. Green tea can reduce swelling, redness, and irritation in the skin thanks to substances called catechins that it contains. It helps to promote healthy skin and contains several vitamins that can give the moisture barrier what it needs to function. We wanted to make it the star player in our new Green Tea cleansing and toning duo because we know what a knockout it is!
Ceramides – A type of fatty acid that your skin naturally produces, ceramides help to hold your barrier’s skin cells together and fills any cracks between them, like grout or cement between bricks. Ceramides are essential to helping the skin keep itself hydrated and prevent leakage of water, moisture, and other skin loving substances. Our skin gradually loses the ability to produce adequate ceramides as we age, so it is vital that we keep using products that contain ceramides or promote their creation. Since shea butter naturally contains fatty acids, it can naturally help the process and also encourage an increase of ceramides.
Aloe Vera – Aloe vera is a classic choice among people for soothing burns, irritation, and other inflammatory skin ailments. Aloe vera supports collagen creation and can help to encourage the appearance of healed skin as well. With regular use, scarring from injuries can be reduced and smoothed out. It contains several vitamins, mainly A, C, and E; popular vitamins used to promote skin healing and anti-aging. We love using aloe vera in our products like our REVIVAL Ultra Gels and our Green Tea + Honey Facial Cleanser and Green Tea + Hyaluronic Toner! They both contain two of the ingredients mentioned in this blog, aloe vera and hyaluronic acid and will help to hydrate and repair your skin.
Oils – Oils in general are a good way to provide dry skin with lubrication and help to seal in moisture into the skin. Oils like jojoba oil, pumpkin seed oil, rosehip seed oil, and many others contain fatty acids as well. Our Queen Royoil is a perfect blend of skin loving oils consisting of myrrh, moringa oil, marula oil, pumpkin seed, grapeseed, and jojoba oil and can provide your skin with the fats that it needs to stay in tip top shape.
Using Heavy Creams and Butters - Some skin types may be more susceptible to dryness and flakiness, thus light lotions won't be as adequate. Using a heavy body butter can help to provide the extra hydration and moisture your skin needs, and our exclusive set of body butters will definitely boost your skin's radiance and suppleness!
Our superior upcoming body butter set comes with three butters: Cocoa Rich$, Nubian Gold, and our original fan-favorite, head-to-toe cream, Dream Cream!
Cocoa Rich$ is a rich blend of West African Cocoa Butter blended with luxurious oils that promise to promote radiance and glowing skin to your body!
Nubian Gold is a royally crafter oil enriched butter blend, formulated with East African Shea Butter, a rare form of the shea variety that can penetrate even the driest skin upon application!
And finally, our original best-seller Dream Cream will help to provide hydration for your hair, face, and body! This wonderful head-to-toe shea butter blend will ensure you have the most supple dewy skin and improve your skin over time with each use! You can get all three butters in our limited edition Best Butters Gift Set, available now!
These ingredients mentioned are found in most skin products due to their reliability and popularity. They all work well together and for a sick moisture barrier, they’re heaven sent. In a previous blog, “The Difference Between Humectants, Emollients, and Occlusives”, we mentioned how important it is to use occlusives to help seal in the water and moisture that we apply to the skin.
A damaged skin barrier cannot hold moisture in as well as a fully functioning one so it's essential to incorporate oils, butters, Vaseline, petrolatum, and other occlusives so they can step in and assist while your skin barrier is healing. We know a healthy, happy skin barrier is an important key to supple and healthy skin. So we encourage all of you to hydrate, moisturize, and oil up as much as you can, because really, what would we do without a moisture barrier?