Do you find that after you cleanse your skin it feels tight and dry? Or does your skin feel dull and lifeless when you wake up despite applying a night cream? Chances are, you may have damaged your moisture barrier. The moisture barrier, or stratum corneum, is essentially a flattened grid of dead skin cells, natural lipids, cholesterol, and fatty acids making up a barrier on the outer part of your epidermis. It’s primary function is to keep bacteria out and moisture in.
Too often people immediately gravitate to harsh acids and scrubs when their complexion is looking dull but end up over exfoliating. When you consistently strip away your skin’s moisture in hopes of drying up breakouts or removing clogged pores, you can actually worsen the problem. The side effects of over exfoliating can range from an excess oil production to dry, irritated skin.
What to look out for:
• Tight feeling after cleansing
• Sensitivity to products that you aren’t usually sensitive to
• Unusual redness
• Increase in breakouts
• Increase in oiliness
• Dry, flaky skin
If this is sounding a bit too familiar, scale back your exfoliating – a lot. A normal complexion with a healthy moisture barrier should be exfoliated 1-3x a week. However, when you are dealing with a barrier that’s been compromised by too much scrubbing or chemicals, you should go down to once a week (or even less!). Your skin needs time to rebuild that layer of dead skin and lipids before you should resume a normal exfoliation routine. It’s also important to be able to identify the best types of products for your skin. The best way to get on the right track is to see your esthetician. (Obviously!). A professional will be able to get an up close look at your skin that you just can’t get at home. From there, you can work products and routines into your life to repair what was lost.
The first step to keeping your skin hydrated is simple – drink PLENTY of water. Also, look for products that contain ingredients like:
• Hyaluronic Acid – can hold up to 1,000x its weight in water
• Squalene – replenishing oil derived from olives
• Glycerin – a humectant that holds moisture in the skin
• Ceramides – fatty acids and lipids
Check out some popular products here at Sanctuary Spa designed to keep your skin hydrated and healthy!