What Exactly Is The Skin Moisture Barrier & Why Is Everyone Talking About It?

If you’re looking to unlock the glowing skin of your dreams, then maintaining a strengthened skin barrier is key.

Written by Marissa Oliva

If you’re someone who stays up to snuff with the world of skin care, then chances are you’ve been seeing the buzzy term “skin barrier” everywhere lately. Well, we’re here to confirm it’s not just a trend: There’s real, research-backed science to the benefits of a healthy skin barrier — aka your moisture or lipid barrier, which is the outermost layer of skin and what you see when you look in the mirror. “The skin barrier is a fragile complex of cells that is essential for protecting against water loss, maintaining moisture, and protecting the body against microbes, allergens, chemicals, and other environmental pollutants,” explains Dr. Evan Rieder, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and psychiatrist.

With that said, if you’re looking to unlock the clear, smooth, glowing skin of your dreams, then maintaining a strengthened skin barrier is key. Much like the shingles of a roof, if your barrier is compromised, it’s an invitation for all those aggressors Rieder listed above to enter your skin, plus water to escape. And this results in irritated and inflamed skin that’s prone to lines, dryness, and dullness.

So how do you actually keep your skin barrier in good shape? No surprise here: It starts with what you’re putting on your skin. You’ll want to stay away from anything that’s going to aggressively eat away at this top layer, like harsh acids and exfoliators. It’s also important to be careful of sun exposure, and to always, always wear SPF. In terms of products, opt for formulas that are specifically designed to support your skin’s barrier, like Lancôme’s top-selling Advanced Génifique Face Serum. The innovative booster for your barrier is packed with MVP ingredients like bifidus prebiotic, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin Cg, all of which work in tandem to help sustain your skin’s surface.

Now let’s get into what each ingredient does for the barrier, straight from top derms.

The Bacteria Balancer: 10% Bifidus Prebiotic

“Bifidus prebiotic extract helps balance your microbiome,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, M.D. “You may not realize it, but there are millions of microorganisms living on your skin that help your barrier function optimally. When your microbiome becomes disrupted, it can impair barrier function. Prebiotics act like food that preferentially feeds good bacteria to maintain a healthy microbiome.” In other words, a balanced microbiome equals a healthy skin barrier.

The A-List Hydrator: Hyaluronic Acid

“Hyaluronic acid acts like a sponge to pull water to the outer skin layer to ensure hydration,” says Zeichner. Rieder explains this ingredient is what helps give that plump, dewy appearance to skin via enhancing hydration. And as we all know, the plumper and more moisturized skin is, the less prominent fine lines, wrinkles, and large pores become. The effect is smooth, supple skin that has a nice bounce to it.

The Antioxidant Powerhouse: Vitamin Cg

“Vitamin C helps neutralize free radical damage and rid the body of daily environmental damage,” says Rieder. Think protection from skin-damaging UV rays, pollution, and other irritants. It’s the ultimate gold-star antioxidant for a reason.

This unique formula uses a form of the hero ingredient called vitamin Cg, which is a water-soluble, stable vitamin C derivative that’s known to be gentle on the skin, and that won’t degrade when exposed to air, heat, or light.

Kind of like strength training, strengthening your skin barrier requires consistency, so you’ll want to apply Advanced Génifique Face Serum day and night for optimal results. Consistency-wise, the formula is a light, watery texture that makes it perfect for layering under your other skin-care products. Get this: In as little as one week, you’ll be able to see a visible improvement in your skin’s radiance and texture.

Now take this as your sign to start building up your barrier — stat — for your most beautiful, healthy, and happy skin yet.