6 Ingredients to Strengthen Your Moisture Barrier (that aren’t ceramides)
When you’re searching for information on how to heal or strengthen your moisture barrier, one ingredient comes up over and over again — ceramides. Just add lots of ceramides into your routine and your barrier will be golden.
And that’s not bad advice; ceramides make up about 50% of your moisture barrier so they definitely are a crucial part of the puzzle. But they are only one piece of the puzzle.
Ceramides, along with cholesterol and fatty acids, will certainly help but they aren’t the only kids on the block that can offer your barrier some help. Creating a well-rounded skincare routine with ceramides, cholesterol, fatty acids AND other barrier-supporting ingredients will go a long way to boost your barrier health.
Unfortunately, a lot of these other ingredients just don’t get the spotlight! So I’ve rounded up 6 ingredients that will support your moisture barrier routines, plus some product recommendations!
Skin type: Combo/dehydrated/sensitive
Who doesn’t love this superstar ingredient? Niacinamide can do so much our skin but it also has a surprising benefit for your moisture barrier. Niacinamide, when found in concentrations of 2% and higher, can actually stimulate your skin’s own natural production of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids (the major components of your barrier)! While topical application of these components can definitely help your skin, the natural production by our body will always be good! This makes niacinamide an important ally in your fight to strengthen your moisture barrier. (Source)
Check out: Purito Fermented Complex 94 Boosting Essence (Yesstyle*)
This essence boasts 94% fermented ingredients which help to brighten the skin and enhance the absorption of your skincare products. But this beauty also contains 3% niacinamide for all your ceramides stimulating needs!
Panthenol, also known as pro-vitamin B5, is a wonderful skin-soothing ingredient and great for sensitive skin. But, panthenol is also an effective ingredient in the fight against dehydration and TEWL (transepidermal water loss), which are hallmark symptoms of a weak moisture barrier. Panthenol is an effective humectant that attracts and binds a lot of water to the skin, and it also has exciting benefits for supporting the skin’s lipid layer. The lipid layer helps our skin hold on to its hydration and a strong lipid layer means less water loss! (Source)
Check out: Tiam Vita B5 Toner (Yesstyle*) and My Signature Panthenol Moist Cream (Yesstyle*)
Tiam Vita B5 Toner delivers lots of hydration and soothing for dehydrated skin and is perfect for layering up in the 7-skin method. This toner contains 10,000ppm panthenol (about 1%), peptides (see below for more info) and is perfect for sensitive skin. Pair it with the Tiam My Signature Panthenol Moist Cream which has 10% panthenol.
Peptides are a skin-restoring ingredient that are part of amino acids, a skin protein and considered the building blocks of skin. Peptides can help support the skin and allow it to become more resilient. Peptides work best when combined with other skincare ingredients like ceramides and anti-oxidants.
Check out: Klairs Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop (Yesstyle*)
This peptides-focused serum should be used right after cleansing; it absorbs quickly into the skin and feels just like water, making it appropriate for all skin types. This contains two types of peptides that are well known for their skin restoring properties.
The building blocks of skin! Amino acids are the most important skin protein, but that isn’t the full story. Amino acids are part of an ingredient classification you might have heard of: NMF (natural moisturizing factors). Amino acids can help bind a lot of water to your skin and help you keep it there, fighting against TEWL. Amino acids are an excellent ingredient that help with the health of your skin from the inside and the outside!
Check out: Laneige Cream Skin Refiner (Jolse*) Check out my review here
The star ingredient of Laneige Cream Skin is white tea leaf water. This is a modified green tea leaf (well known for its antioxidant and amino acid profile). When the green tea leaf turns white, the amino acid content goes up by 150%!
This is a polysaccharide sugar that is found in mushrooms, algae, yeast and oats. It’s a fantastic ingredient to calm irritation and inflammation and brings a lot of lightweight moisture to the skin. Moisture is an important component of your moisture barrier quest because it’s often the element we forget about. When treating the symptoms of dehydration your motto is probably: hydration, hydration, hydration! And that’s not the wrong instinct, but it’s not the only thing you need to be treating your skin with. Moisture helps your skin lock down and hold in all that layered up hydration your skin is craving!
Check out: Iunik Beta Glucan Power Moisture Serum (Yesstyle*)
Containing 98% beta glucan and 2% sodium PCA, this serum is an excellent, lightweight moisturizer that is perfect for even the most sensitive of skin. Beta glucan also contains some antioxidant protections, which happens to be our 6th ingredient on this list.
These are repairing and protecting superstars. Antioxidants protect us from oxidative stress which can be caused by a lot of things, including our stress levels. Yup, that every day stress we carry around can negatively impact your skin! It can also be caused by pollution and lifestyle factors like diet and exercise. Antioxidants can not only repair some of the damage done by oxidative stress, but they can also prevent more damage from occurring! Antioxidants help to strengthen the skin, allowing it to become more resilient and able to bounce back quicker!
Vitamin E is one particular antioxidant that can offer additional protection to the skin. Vitamin E, in combination with UV filters, can help protect your skin from UV damage! UV exposure can wear down your barrier’s defenses over time and UV protection is a must for a healthy barrier (and just skin health overall).
Check out: Iunik Noni Light Oil Serum (Yesstyle*)
This serum/oil hybrid delivers the nourishment of a facial oil, in the lightweight, hydrating texture of a serum! Absorbs quickly with no greasy or rich finish, this is the perfect way to layer protective moisture into your routine without any shine!
Antioxidant protection comes in the form of vitamin E found in the rosehip, argan and olive oils in this serum!
Code KELLYDRIS saves you 5% on your Yesstyle order (*affiliated)
*Indicates use of affiliate links that pay a small commission to help run this blog