Five Minutes With Your Moisture Barrier
Your Moisture Barrier (Barry for short) is your skin’s shining armour. It is your key defence against all the nasties in the outside world. Buckle in for a Q & A like you’ve never experienced with our old pal, Barry. We promise that by the end, you’ll love him as much as we do.
SS: So Barry, run us through your typical day. Where can we find you and what do you usually do?
B: Well, Sasse, on any given day you can find me nestled in the outermost layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum. I spend all my time here and my two key responsibilities are protecting you from external nasties and maintaining moisture. As you can see, I was named with my job in mind.
SS: Wow, Barry, those are some major responsibilities. No doubt some days you just don’t feel up to it.
B: That’s true, Sasse. Sometimes I am far too damaged to do much good for you so I act up by making the skin around me dry, flaky, red, itchy or hyperpigmented. These are all sigs that I’m in distress and I am begging you to do something about it.
SS: But wait, Barry, what causes you such damage?
B: *Hesitates* Sasse... sometimes you do.
B: Look, some people are so nice and just want the best for their skin but they get a bit over-excited. They want to exfoliate because we all know exfoliating is an essential part of most people’s skincare routine, but some people take it a step too far and over-exfoliate which causes me a lot of distress. This is because over-exfoliating, whether with physical or chemical exfoliators (A.K.A. acids), can remove the outer protective layer of the skin, i.e. ME. When you damage me like this, the skin gets dehydrated and irritated.
SS: Wow, that sounds really traumatic for you AND me!
B: It certainly is. That’s why I sometimes lose the plot and make the skin sensitive. It’s really like a cry for help. When in doubt about whether your exfoliation is the culprit of newfound sensitivity, always err on the side of caution.
SS: Great advice, Barry. So other than over-exfoliating, are there other ways you can be damaged? Surely I’m not the only culprit.
B: Hahaha, of course, there are plenty of other ways I can be damaged. I’m a sensitive guy, you know. Colder climates or seasons are generally dryer with less moisture in the air which makes it hard for your skin to maintain me. UV rays can also weaken the cell bonds in the outer layers of skin where I live and some scientists are even telling me that this can in turn allow more UV ray penetration, perpetuating the weakening cycle. This is why you should meet my friend Sunscreen if you haven’t already. Without Sunscreen, I’m in a lose/lose situation.
SS: Oh yes, I met Sunscreen years ago! Such a great guy. We hang out every morning without fail. Can’t believe he hasn’t mentioned me to you.
B: We’ll have to organise a wine & Waterless Bentonite Clay Face Mask night for the three of us.
SS: Sounds great! Barry, we’ve spoken a lot about all the ways we can accidentally damage you, but what can we do to help and strengthen you?
B: Sasse, I thought you’d never ask. There are a few ways you can look after and strengthen me. My favourite things are emollients and humectants. These are rich ingredients that draw in and lock in moisture such as glycerine, shea butter and some rich oils. Ceramides are also good pals of mine. They make up more than 50% of the skin’s lipid bilayer, helping the skin around me to hold moisture which then strengthens me.
SS: Is this a good time to mention our Ultimate Face Moisturising Cream? That guy is packed with Ceramides, oils, butters and Glycerine. Basically all of your favourite things.
B: Correct! He and Sunscreen are my OG ride or dies. I love those guys.
SS: OK, so aside from focusing on products that contain ingredients that strengthen you (Ultimate Face Moisturising Cream) and protect you (Sunscreen), we mainly need to pay close attention to how our skin reacts to active products and exfoliants. If it starts to get irritated, that’s because you’re distressed and we need to cut back the actives or exfoliants to every other day to give you some breathing space.
B: That’s exactly right. Maybe I’m not such a complicated, sensitive guy after all. My mystery is gone.
SS: Haha! Thanks so much for catching up with me today, Barry. It has been a pleasure to chat with you.
B: Thanks for having me, Sasse Skin! Until next time.