The cold, dry winter months are upon us and with that comes dry, flakey skin. You may spend your time lathering countless products on your skin to stay hydrated and notice it still appears irritated, dull and dry. This is because you have to consider your skin’s moisture barrier if you want to achieve true hydration in the frigid winter months. Your skin’s moisture barrier is the outermost, protective layer of your skin made up of ceramides, fatty acids and lipids. It acts as a guard, protecting your skin’s surface from harsh environmental aggressors. When your moisture barrier has been compromised, irritants have an easier time entering your skin’s surface, leading to sensitive, dry, breakout-prone skin. You can tell your skin’s moisture barrier has been compromised if you experience redness, dryness, itching and acne. As your moisture barrier proves to be more important than ever, the following are several ways to build up and strengthen a compromised barrier. 

1. Simplify your skin care routine. Applying too many products to your skin may just be harming your moisture barrier in the long run. When it comes to restoring said barrier, keeping it simple is key. Get rid of any products that contain astringents like alcohol or witch hazel, as they can strip your skin of its oils. Incorporate a hydrating cleanser that will deeply clarify your pores while also maintaining your skin’s integrity. Fyab Health’s Foaming Facial Cleanser is formulated with soothing ingredients like willow bark and glycerin to effectively clean your face while also deeply moisturizing dehydrated skin. 

2. Avoid scrubs and peels. When restoring your skin’s moisture barrier, it is important to avoid skin care products that can further irritate like scrubs and peels. Although AHA and BHA chemical peels have become popular in skin care recently, their ingredients like glycolic acid and lactic acid can be harsh on your already sensitive skin. These ingredients are meant to penetrate your skin’s barrier so that it may deeply exfoliate, meaning further damage to your barrier. It is also important to limit your physical exfoliants. Scrubs that contain beads should only be used once a week if you are trying to strengthen your skin’s barrier. 

3. Incorporate nourishing ingredients. The most important step in improving your barrier is through using the right ingredients on your skin and reading the labels. Niacinamide is a wonder ingredient when it comes to boosting your skin’s ceramide production and improving the lipid barrier. Fyab Health’s Anti-Aging Serum and Renewal Serum are two great products that incorporate niacinamide to smooth and even your skin tone. 

4. Protect your skin from damage. If you have a compromised moisture barrier, you MUST protect your skin from further damage caused by environmental stressors. Antioxidants are a great way to protect against free radical damage as they work to help your skin maintain a strong barrier. Look for products with vitamin E, A and C to experience the benefits and protect your skin. Fyab Health’s Brightening Serum and Blemish Control Serum are formulated with vitamin C and E to protect your skin against UV rays and allow it to maintain its natural moisture.

5. Wear sunscreen. Along with protecting your skin from free radicals comes incorporating sunscreen into your everyday skin care routine. Wearing a daily SPF of 40 or higher will ensure your skin is protected from UV damage that may penetrate your skin’s barrier. Many SPFs also contain antioxidants that are essential in restoring your moisture barrier.

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