Skin Barrier Health 101

What is the skin barrier?

You may have been hearing this buzz word a lot, but what exactly is your skin barrier and why does it matter? Without getting too technical, the skin barrier (also known as moisture barrier or lipid barrier) is the outermost layer of our skin’s surface. It serves as a protective shield to keep all the nasties out (aka pollution, environmental aggressors & bacteria) and all the good stuff in (aka moisture). It is also our largest organ so worth caring about - be good to your skin barrier and you will look and feel great!

Your skin barrier determines how your skin looks & feels, and once you damage it, it can lead to skin sensitivity, breakouts and premature wrinkles. Still, even the biggest skincare experts mess up every now and then and, thankfully, a damaged barrier is possible to fix - when you know what you’re doing.  

First things first, is my skin barrier healthy? 

When your skin barrier is healthy, it means your skin is functioning at its very best. It will be hydrated, plump, radiant and smooth. If your barrier has been compromised, your skin might be dry, flaky, irritated, burning and/or itchy. Another tell tale sign is if your skin feels a bit tingly when you apply a gentle moisturiser. 

The key to fixing your skin barrier is healing it with a simple routine that is full of hydrating, gentle ingredients and avoiding exfoliating for 2-3 weeks. 

Your skincare routine should include a gentle cleanser, followed by a hydrating toner and lastly (and more importantly) a rich moisturiser. If your skin is still feeling very tight, you can layer on a face oil to lock in all that extra hydration. 

What can damage my skin barrier? 

Unfortunately, it’s fairly easy (and common, we’ve all been there…) to damage your barrier - in fact, most people don’t realise they’re doing it. It can easily be compromised by: 

  • Age: As we get older, the skin barrier naturally weakens and our skin cell turnover process becomes slower, causing skin to appear duller, dryer and more irritable. 

  • Over-Exfoliation: Whilst exfoliating can help to remove the buildup of dead skin cells on our skin barrier, it’s important to avoid over-exfoliating your skin (we recommend to do no more than 1-2 times per week) and to use exfoliators that don’t strip your skin. 
  • Environmental Factors: While a lot of this is out of your control, sun exposure, the freezing winter, and even cooling systems can all weaken the skin barrier. 

  • Harsh Ingredients: Many products include synthetic fragrances, alcohol and harsh ingredients which can cause skin sensitivity. Using these ingredients on a regular basis can often create skin barrier damage that remains unnoticeable until there is clear, visible skin inflammation. 

Our Science

At Herbal Essentials, all our products are scientifically formulated with Himalayan Active Water which has been clinically proven to help regenerate speed up skin cell renewal in the epidermis through 3 essential minerals: Calcium, Magnesium & Potassium


Helps to renew skin cells & supports the production of antioxidants.


Supports the skin barrier & helps calm the skin from redness and irritation.


Boosts antioxidants production & supports skin's ability to lock in moisture.