E82: 4 skin conditions that are linked to a broken moisture barrier

Also knows as the acid mantle, did you know that your moisture barrier is your skin’s BODY GUARD? This famous barrier is not only responsible to protect the skin from environmental debris and outside bacteria, but it also has another purpose: to keep the moisture within your skin. It’s made up of lipids (oils) that bind your skin cells together. When it’s intact, the skin feels soft and supple. But when it’s broken or damaged, it will make your skin feel irritated, red, sensitive, since it has tiny broken cracks that is letting the moisture OUT and letting the outside irritants IN. The moisture barrier usually will be influenced greatly by day to day habits (it’s the little things over time that can make a big impact, like washing your skin with a soap bar, smoking, or not wearing SPF.)

Things you’ll learn:

  1. What it looks and feels like
  2. Habits that can influence the moisture barrier’s health
  3. 4 skin conditions that are linked to this damage
  4. Products to utilize to fix these issues with time line recommended


  1. Boosting Essence
  2. Peace Booster
  3. Aqua Calm Cream

Thank you for your kind listening ears, always.

With gratitude


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Podcast Transcript


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Hello everyone welcome back to the podcast Emilie here as usual better known as the meta fairy and today’s episode is always brought to you by Meta Esthetique premier Ottawa skincare establishment since 1979 where we guide and educate our clients on how to age gracefully. Now we are still in the wintertime and I don’t know for you but whenever the cold weather is around us I can definitely feel it in my skin. And it is the same for every one. I don’t believe that someone’s skin can stay relatively the same throughout 12 months out of the year, the winter time. Even if your winter time is slightly warmer than a typical Canadian winter. You will still have a slight change in humidity in you know all the way the sun hits the earth and the way you know you change your lifestyle according to seasons like there’s so many different things that will affect your skin but environmental change and environmental seasons will definitely have an effect on it.

So today I thought I would talk about something that we kind of tend to forget about. And it is going to be the base of four different skin conditions when this happens, so we’re going to talk about four different skin conditions that are linked to a broken moisture barrier.

Okay, so first and foremost, let’s talk about the moisture barrier and what it is. The moisture barrier is also known as the acid mantle and it is your skin’s bodyguard. So this famous barrier is not only responsible to protect the your skin from the invite environmental debris outside bacteria, but it’s also really important to keep in mind that the moisture barrier. One of its main roles is to keep the moisture within your skin. So it’s made up of lipids so oils and they bind your skin cells together. And when it’s really really healthy, the skin is going to feel soft and supple. But when it’s broken or damaged, it’s going to feel irritated, red is sensitive and that’s only because there are tiny, tiny little broken cracks in that barrier and it’s letting the moisture out and it’s letting the outside irritants in. So we always have to keep in mind that the health of your moisture barrier is going to be influenced by two different things, especially two different things so you’ll have your day to day habits. But you’ll also have the things that you put on the skin as well.

So what does it look like and feel like? Usually, especially for me because I treat a lot of skins. Usually I can tell right away when someone’s moisture barrier is broken as soon as I touch them. First of all the touch is really really rough. Some people will get more flakiness than others it depends on the degree of how damaged the moisture barrier is. Redness right away. dryness, irritation, sensitivity and most of the time these are things that you can fix if it’s solely linked to a broken moisture barrier.

Now there are many different habits that will influence the health of your moisture barrier and a lot of them if they’re little things, little things that will accumulate throughout time and will really damage consistently that barrier. So for example over exfoliation is one of like the most common one that you’ll see that and using skincare products that are too drying so someone that uses a high foaming cleanser or a soap bar every morning and night. There moisture barrier is going to be totally screwed up. And it’s silly but just the first step of the regimen, the cleansing step when that is not the right product for your skin type. It really throws off the rest of your regimen because it’s giving your skin a condition that it should not have normally because it is due to the high drying level of that cleanser. Another thing would be skipping the use of your moisturizer so you know sometimes when you know it’s your lazy Sunday afternoons or lazy Sunday mornings, and you basically don’t do anything all day long or you’re just too busy, maybe kids or family duties that you just completely forget to put on something on your skin. Doing that consistently. You will feel it right away that your skin is dry. Your skin needs that moisture on a day to day basis. And when you skip it way too many times. It’s going to try to bounce back and protect itself. So some people for example, the ones that have oily skins, they think that if they use a moisturizer, it’s going to increase the oils. It won’t it actually will diminish your oil production because when you don’t wear moisturizer, your oily skin is going to be like oh my God, I need water. I need it. I need it. So it’s going to overproduce oil to try to bounce back. The fact that there’s less moisture within the skin. So just keep that in mind. Don’t skip the use of your moisturizer. Use it morning and night. Super important.

Another common one that I’ll see is prescription retinoids those damn prescription retinoids Listen, I have a love and hate relationships with the prescription retinoids the only reason behind that is because so many people that I see that use prescription retinoids their skin is completely screwed up. It is too strong. It makes the skin really flaky. It basically really destroys the moisture barrier because it is a strong prescription. So unless you have really bad scarring or really bad wrinkles that are deep, deep, deep, deep, I don’t really necessarily believe that you need a prescription strength retinoids you can get one that is a little lower than a pure vitamin A prescription and you will get the same results except you will not have as much irritation. So that’s another common one that I see.

And obviously in the winter, the fact that we’re going to artificial warming systems so most of us have furnaces or you know heating systems in our house. That’s super drying on the skin and most of us need a humidifier or something to retain the moisture in the air. And then you go out and super cold so there’s a clash in the climates. You know, it’s very, very harsh on the skin. So you know these are just little things that over time if you keep doing them you will encourage a more broken moisture barrier.

When you have a broken moisture barrier, it is it’s going to encourage lots of skin concerns that you wouldn’t normally have. So yeah, some people tend to be more sensitive to be more sensitive Naturally Speaking, others tend to be more dehydrated naturally. But here we’re talking about skin conditions that are induced by moisture barriers that are damaged. And most of the time what’s going to happen is that the common signs of a damage moisture barrier will be lots of dryness, so you know when it’s like you touch with your fingers, your skin and it feels really rough to the touch. That can be one because you’re you’re drawing flakiness and peeling. That’s going to be another one irritation and redness. So inflammation is going to be your big number one. And for some people this is the sucky part is that if you have a broken moisture barrier, that that means it’s let it’s letting the moisture out. Right. So when it’s letting the moisture out, your skin is going to be naturally dehydrated. And then it’s going to block the sebum activity from coming out to your skin and people that are more acne prone are going to have more breakouts because everything is clogged underneath the skin because of that dry buildup.

Basically you’re going back to basics. When your moisture barrier is not healthy when it’s broken. You really need to go back to the basics and you have to think moisture, moisture, moisture repair and calming ingredients. Keep in mind as you get older, your your skin’s moisture barrier like anything else in your skin, you know the activity slows down the skin becomes a little bit more sensitive and then it becomes more dry because you’re producing less oil, things like that your skin’s moisture barrier is going to be more vulnerable after a certain age. So for sure, aging is going to be a factor to keep in mind but there’s always things there’s always things that you can do to keep it as healthy as possible.

So one thing that you will do, like I said before, you’re going to go back to basics. You’re going to put away your retinoids you’re going to put away your vitamin C’s you’re going to put away your AHAs your BHAs anything that’s really strong and active. You’re going to put all that shit aside, okay? Because your skin’s simply not going to take it. It’s not normal to put on something on your skin and to feel it sting. Every time you put something on your skin. That’s your skin kind of trying to tell you that something’s not right.

Okay, so first of all, you’re going to use a very gentle cleanser. So you’re going to put away any type of foaming cleanser, put that shit aside, and you’re going to be using such a calming milky something that’s not going to irritate your skin and something that’s not going to form Okay, so some type of emulsion or some type of milk usually is the best way to go because it’s it really leaves the skin nice and hydrated. You’re going to watch out for your toners you’re going to make sure that they’re not astringent, you’re going to make sure that there’s no alcohol in them. And you’re going to make sure that you’re going to switch that out for more of like an essence.

So instead of using a toner, you’re going to use a essence and the one I really do recommend to use is the Intuos line. There’s a product called the boosting essence, it’s kind of like an ALEC sear. And what it’s going to do is that it’s really going to repair that skin it’s going to get it ready to absorb the future products that you can put on your skin. It’s going to detoxify the skin too at the same time. So and it’s going to feed it a lot of nutrients and a lot of vitamins at the same time. So very important to just keep it basic but use products that won’t be too aggressive on the skin. Okay.

Now another thing habit wise that you’re going to try to stop doing is washing your face with really really really really hot water. So you know when you go in the shower and you’re taking the super hot shower because you really feel like it. Well you’re not going to put your head under the stream of water that is too hot. Because when you do that the hot water it’s going to dilate your capillaries okay, it’s going to raise your skin’s internal temperature and it will impair the skin’s moisture barrier your best to use lukewarm or even cold water because that will not aggress the skin’s moisture barrier. Super important. Some people love the hot water on the face. It’s great but you can’t do it consistently. You really have to avoid it, especially if your skin is in a situation where the moisture barrier is not is not in its optimal situation health wise.

Now in terms of moisturizer, you’re going to use one simple moisturizer morning and night. Keep it simple guys, it’s the same idea. You’re going to back to you’re going to go back to simple routines. You want a moisturizer that is made to fix. redness, irritation, dehydration, you know the typical moisturizer that is going to calm the skin down. That is going to rehydrate it and rebalance everything that’s going on with that moisture barrier. So the one that I truly, truly, really really love is this Swiss fine Aqua coulomb creme. Anyone that has used this moisturizer before I call it the gold jar. Even though the jar is pink, it’s like it’s gold in a jar. It is so so soothing. It even has a green tint in it to kind of counter effect the redness of the skin. And it really really works well on flushing that redness. You can also use a specific serum or something that’s a little bit more concentrated but again, not something that’s too active something that’s going to target that specific irritation. The peace booster is a really good example and swissline That one is made for irritated, flaky, any skin type that tends to be more in the irritation side is really really great for that and wear your sunscreen and then you’re golden. So you’re going back to basics. You’re using a very basic routine. You can even drop down to simply using a cleanser and a moisturizer and obviously your SPF in the day but if you really want to drop it down, but generally speaking, it won’t be an overnight thing. You need to keep doing this for a long time. Up to four weeks, I would say a good month before you actually start to see that, hey, my skin is actually starting to feel less irritated, less sensitive, less angry, basically. So I would say four weeks is going to be the timeline that you’re going to look at in terms of fixing that whole damage, moisture barrier. And keep in mind it’s something that can come back if you go back to old habits if you go back to doing the things that did in in store can you say that that in store that brought up the broken moisture barrier. If you go back to all these things that you were doing, then it will naturally come back.

So don’t think that once you’re done fixing your moisture barrier then you’re done for life. It’s it’s kind of like staying in shape. You always have to work at it to make sure that you stay in shape, right. So keep that in mind when you go back to like using your exfoliation acids and your vitamin C’s and all these things. Just keep in mind Don’t go too fast, you know, slowly at a time reintroduce your things slowly don’t shock your skin into too much activity because it will scare it off and you might have some issues with your moisture barrier that will come back. So hopefully that gave you a few insights on the things that you can do to really help the health of your moisture barrier. The really the ultimate trick is really to always have something in your routine that’s going to be hydrating hydration is one of the most important skin concerns that you should keep in mind. So hydration goes hand in hand with a healthy moisture barrier. In terms of professional treatments, we can do a lot when it comes to moisture barrier.

But ultimately speaking, it really comes to what you do at home that’s going to be a game changer. You can come and see us every month. But if you go back at your house and you do shitty skincare habits, we’re gonna have to fix you up every single time that you come in and it’s not going to last because you’re not doing the right things at home. So keep that in mind. When it comes to a broken moisture barrier. It really comes to what you do at home and using the right type of products in order to fix your skin.

If you would need some help in that department. You can always reach us by email if you’d like to have a longer conversation at hello@themetaesthetique.com or slide in our DMS if you’d like to @metaesthetique on Instagram. So happy happy rest of your day. Hope you’re doing well and hope your winter is not as harsh as ours up in Canada. So we will chat with you very soon and we’ll catch you on the next episode.