Your skin is your body’s largest organ. And like all organs, it has a vital job to do. Your skin protects you from the environment, helps regulate your body temperature, and even eliminates toxins through sweating. But that’s not all! Your skin also contains a moisture barrier. This moisture barrier is a thin layer of oil that sits on the surface of your skin. It’s made up of sebum (oil) and sweat, and it works to protect your skin from dehydration, bacteria, and other potential irritants. When your moisture barrier is healthy, your skin looks and feels supple and glowing. But when it’s damaged, you might experience dryness, redness, or even breakouts. So what causes a moisture barrier to become damaged? Let’s take a look.1. Over-washing One of the most common causes of a damaged moisture barrier is over-washing. When you wash your face with soap and water, you strip away the natural oils that make up your moisture barrier. This can leave your skin feeling dry, tight, and irritated. 2. Using harsh ingredients Another common cause of a damaged moisture barrier is using harsh ingredients on your skin. This includes things like sulfates, alcohols, retinoids, and fragrances. These ingredients can be drying and irritating, causing your moisture barrier to become compromised. 3. Excessive exfoliation While exfoliation is an important part of any skincare routine, too much of it can damage your moisture barrier. This is because exfoliating scrubs away the top layer of skin along with the sebum that helps protect it. As a result, you might end up with dry, red patches or even breakouts. 4. Climate changes Climate changes can also damage your moisture barrier. This is because drastic changes in temperature or humidity can cause your skin to become dry or irritated. So if you’re traveling to a new climate—or even just dealing with seasonal changes—be sure to take extra care of your skin! A healthy moisture barrier is important for keeping your skin looking and feeling its best. But what causes a moisture barrier to become damaged? There are four main culprits: over-washing, using harsh ingredients, excessive exfoliation, and climate changes. By being aware of these potential dangers, you can help keep your moisture barrier intact—and your skin looking its best!