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What Is The Skin Barrier?

Often referred to as the ‘moisture barrier’ or ‘lipid barrier’, the Skin Barrier works as a protective layer, keeping hydration in and irritants out. It is the hero that keeps your skin looking healthy.

A compromised barrier can make your skin red, irritated, itchy, and flaky. Ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid and oats can help keep skin’s barrier feeling and looking healthy.

What Is The Skin Barrier?

Your skin’s lipid barrier is the outer layer of cells that helps to form a protective layer between you and the environment. It can be useful to think of the skin barrier as a brick wall. The lipids – which comprise a blend of fatty acids, ceramides, and other nutrients called skin’s Natural Moisturising Factor – are the “mortar” between your skin’s cells, or “bricks.”

Why is skin’s moisture barrier important?

A healthy skin barrier has two crucial jobs - It keeps skin’s hydration in and keeps environmental irritants and pollutants out. When skin’s barrier is strong, it prevents excess water loss that causes dehydration and keeps out UV radiation, heat, cold, and environmental irritants. When skin’s barrier is compromised, or damaged, it’s unable to effectively protect the skin!

What are the signs of a damaged skin barrier?

The first warning sign of a damaged skin barrier is dehydration. This can result in symptoms like redness, itching, and flaky skin. Your skin may also become more reactive, and may feel especially sensitive to heat, cold, dry air, or certain skin care products. what causes skin’s barrier to become compromised? Unfortunately, many factors can cause damage to the skin barrier.

Here are some of the most common triggers:

• Genetics play a role: people with chronically dry skin often naturally lack a strong lipid barrier.

• Ageing depletes skin’s natural lipids over time.

• Seasonal changes in temperature, humidity, and environmental irritants can result in decreased lipids.

• Over-exfoliating or using harsh skin care ingredients can strip lipids from the skin.

• UV exposure, stress, and certain health conditions can damage skin’s barrier or cause it to recover more slowly.

How can I fix a damaged skin barrier?

The fastest way to fix a damaged lipid barrier is to act right away! As soon as you realise your dryness and irritation are signs of a compromised barrier, take the following steps:

• Stop using any products that are causing your skin to feel irritated or sensitive.

• Avoid physical exfoliants until skin feels healthy again.

• Look for ingredients that will soothe your skin and help support a healthy barrier – like ceramides, oats, plant oils and hyaluronic acid.

• Hydrate! Moisturise whenever skin begins to feel dehydrated.

How can I keep skin’s moisture barrier healthy?

When it comes to maintaining a healthy skin barrier, prevention is the best medicine. Hydration is key here – so choose a toner, moisturiser, and SPF that work for your skin and use them every day.

We recommend Ren Evercalm Barrier Support Elixir, Ren Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm, Dermalogica Hyaluronic Ceramide Mist and Dermalogica Ultracalming Products.

Finally, avoid irritants: over-exfoliating or using certain skin care ingredients (like alcohol or acetone) are potential triggers.

Profile Photo of Alex Echeverri author for John and Ginger
Alex Echeverri
Friday, April 15, 2022

Ultracalming Serum Concentrate 40ml


Calm skin sensitivity with this a super concentrated serum that helps calm, restore and defend sensitised skin.

£65.00 £55.50

Ultracalming Cleanser 250ml


Help calm and cool redness and sensitivity with this pH balanced non foaming cleanser.

£42.00 £36.00

Hyaluronic Ceramide Mist 150ml


This facial mist saturates skin with hydration, and locks in moisture, improving its vitality and helping it bounce back from the signs of stress and fatigue.

£49.00 £42.00

Evercalm Barrier Support Elixir 30ml


A face oil to treat the 7 signs of sensitivity, which are often redness, dryness, itching, discomfort, flaky skin, tightness or a burning sensation.


Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm 30ml


A luxurious and rich overnight hydrating barrier repair oil, designed to intensely nourish and moisturise skin whilst you sleep.


Evercalm Redness Relief Serum 30ml


A soothing face serum to calm sensitive skin and redness, including dryness, itching, discomfort, flakiness, tightness or burning sensations.