Flaking? Peeling? Increased sensitivity? Red, dry, and tight? Itchy? Premature fine lines? Increased oil production? Inflammatory flare-ups of rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, acne? Ah, yes. All signs lead to a damaged moisture barrier. Join the club! This is one of the easiest things to muck up, and the hardest to rebuild. Read on to make 2023 the year you repair your moisture barrier! 

What is a Moisture Barrier?

Simply put, your moisture barrier is the gatekeeper to plump, hydrated skin. It's the outer layer of the skin that provides protection; retains natural oils, nutrients, and moisture, and prevents moisture loss. It keeps the good things in and the bad things out, bad things like environmental stressors, bacteria, pollutants, and other known irritants. Once this delicate natural balance has been disrupted, it will take some time to get it back to its protective best. Start by thwarting these 5 common skincare mistakes: 


Gentle and high performance facial cleansers sold at The Green Kiss

5 Bad Habits That Are Ruining Your Skin's Moisture Barrier

1. Washing Your Face With Hot Water

Hot water strips your skin of its natural oils, which results in a dry, unhappy moisture barrier. Instead, dermatologists recommend washing your face in cold or room-temp water.  

2. Over Washing Your Face 

We love the Korean-inspired 10-step skincare routine, but while the double-cleanse has its benefits, it's walking a fine line into over-washing. When your skin barrier is compromised, scale back how often you cleanse and use a gentle and effective cleanser like Gentle Gel or Daydreamer twice daily.

3. Over Exfoliating

Over-cleansing and over-exfoliating tend to go hand in hand. In the never-ending quest for glass skin - a smooth, clear, and intensely hydrated complexion - the temptation is there to increase exfoliating. But the truth is, your lipids don't replenish fast enough to endure constant buffing. A granular exfoliant is not your friend while rebuilding a damaged moisture barrier. Instead, massage in a plant-based and non-abrasive exfoliant weekly until your skin can handle more. 

4. Sleeping in Makeup

What's that? You're human? And sometimes you fall asleep on the couch hours into a Netflix binge with toast crumbs in your lap and a glass of wine in hand? It's ok! One night won't cause damage to your skin's health. Still, sleeping with makeup and oil-clogged pores prevents surface cell turnover! The very thing we're trying desperately to hold on to. So make things easy for yourself - put a stack of cleansing cloths on your bedside table to remove all traces of makeup, oil and grime before you doze off - you can literally do this with your eyes closed - and promise us you'll swap your pillowcase the next day. 

5. Doubling Down on Actives 

Actives and stripping agents like retinoidsAHAs/BHAs and vitamin C have certainly earned their place in your natural skincare routine. But while you're nursing your damaged lipid barrier back to health, take a break from these powerful skincare tools. You'll be able to slowly reintroduce them once your skin is healed. Hydrating serums like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide are safe to continue using as they help improve the skin barrier function by drawing in moisture.

Dry skin

Final Thoughts

A damaged moisture barrier means moisture loss and dehydration. We treat dehydrated skin not as a skin type but as a skin condition. A pared-down natural and effective skincare routine with a focus on rich moisture (oh hi, slugging!) will seal all that hydration into the skin, preventing dehydration. Over time, your skin barrier will reach a corrected balance, and you can get back into enjoying your more adventurous products. 

Achieving your healthiest skin starts with a strong skin barrier. Feel free to send us a photo of the ingredient labels on your current skincare products, and we'll guide your optimal routine to rebuild your moisture barrier.