Oily, Dry And Irritated Skin All Have THIS In Common

Oily, dry and irritated skin have all this in common

Although it may not sound like oily, irritated, and dry skin is similar, as it turns out, they may have a common cause – a damaged moisture barrier. Your moisture barrier lies on the outer layer of your skin to protect it from environmental aggressors while simultaneously helping it retain moisture. So when it’s compromised it can become dehydrated and aggravated, which can lead to a whole array of skin concerns.

We spoke to K-beauty experts Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, Co-Founders, and Co-CEOs of K-beauty brand Glow Recipe. If there’s one thing these skin experts know, it’s how to keep your skin hydrated and your moisture barrier on top form.

How the Moisture Barrier Works

“Your skin’s moisture barrier is the outermost layer of your skin that has a natural, protective barrier that keeps it safe from trans-epidermal water loss and protects your skin from harmful environmental aggressors,” Sarah tells us. And, when your moisture barrier is compromised these potential irritants and allergens are able to get into your skin, which Sarah says “Could lead to a variety of skin issues such as acne, dryness, chronic inflammation, and overall sensitivity.”

The skin’s moisture barrier also helps “Retain natural oils, nutrients, and moisture, and is made up of skin cells at the surface and the “glue” that holds them together. When it’s strong, it prevents moisture loss (which can lead to dehydration) to ensure supple, plump, hydrated skin,” explains Sarah. In short, it’s essential.

moisture barrier

Why it’s SO Important to Have a Healthy Moisture Barrier

“A healthy, strong skin barrier is what keeps bacteria and inflammation at bay,” Christine explains. “Think of a brick wall where the bricks are tightly and evenly laid together to protect what is inside from the outside elements. When your skin barrier is compromised, it means your skin is more susceptible to irritants and inflammation. Irritated skin could take two weeks or even more to repair itself and get back to optimal health, and that’s with consistent use of hydrating and skin fortifying treatments with restorative ingredients.”

Signs Your Moisture Barrier is Damaged

Everyone’s skin is different and not everyone will display the same signs that their moisture barrier is damaged. However, there are some common indicators, Sarah outlines the following signs:

Oily skin: A key sign is “When you’re blotting away the shine throughout the day but also feel like the skin is tight or dry at the same time. Oily-dehydrated skin is the most common indicator that your skin barrier is damaged. People who secrete a lot of oil are more likely to demonstrate aggressive skincare habits that strip away the natural oil and all (even good) bacteria off their face, which further damages the barrier function.”

Sudden irritation: “You can also tell your skin barrier is compromised when skincare products that you may have been using for a long time irritate, sensitize or even cause redness.” For example, you’re using the same products but they start to sting when usually they don’t.

Inflammation: “Other indicators include skin feeling rough, and looking red or inflamed. It’s so important to keep the skin hydrated and strong, or the barrier can weaken over time, which can accelerate the skin to age faster.”

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