You know the feeling. Your skin is tight, itching, dry and burning. Your skin is over producing oil and you can’t wait to get home, wash your face and relieve your burning face with some fresh skincare products.
Maybe it was too much chemical exfoliation. Maybe your skin got irritated or maybe you just always deal with dehydrated skin.
Did you know there is an underlying cause to all this pain and oil?
Your moisture barrier is compromised, weak or damaged.
If you have no idea what your moisture barrier is, or why it even matters in skincare, check out my comprehensive post all about it! (like, what the F is a moisture barrier?)
The short nitty gritty of it is that you have cells in the top layer of your skin (stratum corneum) that are held together by a glue mainly comprised of ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol. This creates a barrier that keeps water inside of your skin and keeps out irritants and bacteria.
When you over exfoliate your face or have dehydrated skin, your moisture barrier is lacking enough of the barrier glue to hold the cells in place, essentially creating holes and a thin barrier that doesn’t work properly.
So how do you solve this problem? By adding in more ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol to help repair and strengthen the barrier function!
Enter Stratia Liquid Gold, which claims to repair your barrier with those very ingredients!
Don’t Call it a Comeback, I’ve been Here for Years
Stratia Liquid Gold has an interesting heritage.
Liquid Gold was developed by Allie Reed, who you may know as the blogger behind The Acid Queen.
Imagine a time just before the present. When you wanted skincare reviews and info you went to blogs and message boards! There was quite a skincare blog culture about 7 years ago, and so many talented and passionate people were sharing their perspective and nerdy research on ingredients.
Allie was one such blogger and even a hobby skincare chemist! Her passion for ingredients and skincare collided, and she soon was whipping up all kinds of sexy skincare concoctions with a healthy dose of science.
She shared samples of what became known as Liquid Gold on Reddit and people went ape for it! This stuff really had a cult following from the very beginning.
Allie created her own skincare company, Stratia Skin, and now offers a complete skincare line with 6 products and international shipping.
I’m Rocking My Peers, Puttin’ Suckers in Fear
You’ve heard of ceramides. They are actually kind of a hot buzz word these days, and you’ll find them floating around in all kinds of products.
Ceramides are one of the fundamental building blocks of the moisture barrier and can definitely help a weakened or damaged barrier. But did you know ceramides alone won’t help to heal a damaged barrier?
Ceramides work best when their friends cholesterol and fatty acids are in the mix. We know Stratia Liquid Gold has ceramides (3 different types!), fatty acids (phytosphingosine, rose hip oil, sea buckthorn oil) and cholesterol, so much win!
Not only does your moisture barrier need all three of these types of ingredients to receive the loving repair it desperately needs, they also need to be formulated at a certain ratio to really be beneficial.
But don’t worry because that ratio (50% ceramides, 25% cholesterol and 15% fatty acids) is the exact blend found in Liquid Gold!
Another notable ingredient here is niacinamide, making up about 4% of this formula. Niacinamide is the darling of the skincare world when it comes to brightening dark marks and for giving the skin an even glow. But did you know that niacinamide can help your moisture barrier? Niacinamide is actually able to stimulate your body’s natural ability to produce ceramides! That means that continued use of Liquid Gold should help your skin heal itself. This is an important ingredient to include in a product geared towards barrier care, because emerging research shows that those with chronic dehydrated skin may be deficient in naturally producing ceramides.
Don’t You Call This a Regular Jam
Liquid Gold is marketed as a lightweight moisturizer and can definitely be the final layer for oily skin types. I find this has the weight of a light lotion, not heavy like a cream. For me, I find it’s just not quite a sufficient final step, so I layer a medium-weight cream over it without problem!
Liquid Gold is literally gold! Liquid Gold gets it’s name from the stunning gold color that is produced naturally by the sea buckthorn oil. No artificial colors here!
This has a really beautiful, silky feel and you can tell there are some lovely oils in here. It’s never greasy by any means, but it does have that rich, nourishing feeling while still absorbing quickly and weighing nothing on the skin. I like how well this plays with makeup and sunscreen and can be easily layered under a thicker cream.
Because Liquid Gold has so much sea buckthorn oil and has that stunning natural color, it is possible for it to tint very pale skin types. It’s not super yellow, but there is a hint of it which may mean pale pals will chose to wear this at night only or with tone-up cream or base makeup. (I am about a #23 in most Korean base makeup products and have no issue with tinting. My mom is the pale skin model here, about a #13 and tinting is visible on her skin).
Listen to the Way I Slay
As you may know, I have been struggling with a weak moisture barrier for a few years, but recently went from weak to damaged. I was in bad shape and I needed a savior to come help my poor, wrecked barrier.
I specifically bought Liquid Gold for that very reason. I did my research, I read the reviews. This was supposed to be my holy grail to whip my barrier back into shape.
So I very ceremoniously pumped the bottle for the first time and lovingly applied it to my face.
It felt nice. I waited.
I don’t know what I expected, but you know some products give you that immediate satisfaction; an instant soothing or comforting feeling, visible reduction of redness or relief from burning.
Liquid Gold didn’t do that.
I think I hyped it up so much in my mind, this was going to be the turning point in my quest to heal my barrier, that I sort of put a lot of expectation on it.
Liquid Gold works slowly. But Liquid Gold works surely.
After about 3-4 weeks of consistent twice daily use, I started to notice that my barrier was doing a lot better. My epic transepidermal water loss (TEWL) had completely vanished, my skin was comfortable all day long, no more tight, uncomfortable and burning skin. I also noticed that my skin just seemed to be able to take more, bounce back faster.
Recently, I had a disastrous encounter with a mandalic acid toner that left my skin feeling a little raw and burning after 1 use. A day or two of soothing, plain routines with my trusty Liquid Gold and my skin was back to normal! Before Liquid Gold, the healing from that episode could have taken weeks!
This isn’t a magic bullet though, meaning, it won’t solve all your barrier issues without some other proper skincare products and techniques in place. You still need to be using a low pH cleanser, keeping acid use to a minimum and use lots of watery products to re-hydrate your depleted barrier. I found that I still needed to use an oil and cream to seal in my layers and Liquid Gold to protect from the harsh winter conditions that have already set in here in the Midwest.
But with the right foundation in place, Liquid Gold is the barrier replenishing product you’ve been searching for!
I’m Gonna Knock You Out
If you have even slightly dehydrated skin, you need Liquid Gold in your life. And if you have a chronically weak or, worse yet, damaged barrier, you need to run, not walk, to get this product in your life.
This has quickly become my ride or die and I can’t imagine living without its healing powers ever again. It seriously is helping my barrier repair like no other product has! Consider me knocked out (in a good way)!
Liquid Gold is available at stratiaskin.com for $24.