Just 6 things to know about your skin barrier, according to a dermatologist.

Thanks to our brand partner, CeraVe

2022 is the year of the skin's moisture barrier. 

Over the last few years, having a hard-working, multi-step skincare routine has become increasingly popular, especially as everyone has started to discover the wonderful world of actives like vitamin c and retinol.

Whether you are a skincare newbie or certified beauty junkie, all of this can take quite a toll on our skin's moisture barrier – something that most of us only consider once we notice it’s irritated or impaired.

Plenty of us would consider CeraVe as the bread-and-butter of skincare when it comes to supporting the moisture barrier, so I was a tad excited to learn their newest Skin Renewing range is combining some of our favorite active ingredients and moisture-barrier-supporting ceramides.

Specialist consultant dermatologist and Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, Dr Samantha Davidson, spoke to Mamamia to share all the essentials you need to know about your moisture barrier – along with 6 brilliant things to know when it comes to supporting it.

CeraVe Skin Renewing range. Image: Supplied.


Your skin barrier does a lot of work for you.

If you’re unfamiliar with what your skin's moisture barrier is doing for you, that probably means it’s been doing its job well! Its primary purpose is to protect your body from external elements (think bacteria, allergens, UV), and keep moisture in. 

Dr Davidson says that the term 'skin barrier' is referring to the very outer layer of the epidermis; "it keeps everything in that it’s meant to and keeps out what’s meant to be kept out". It also helps to regulate hydration levels, basically just keeping everything ‘normal’.

So, yes, your skin barrier is kind of a big deal.

Ceramides are an important ‘building block’ of the skin.

Ceramides are a lipid or fat that moisturises the external layer of the skin and help to hold all the skin cells together. Beyond that, Dr Davidson describes how they “help create a seal and retain moisture but as we get older, they don’t naturally support as well as they used to”. 


Applying topical skincare enriched with ceramides, like CeraVe, can help to give back to the skin. At the centre of CeraVe formulas are the bio-identical ceramides 1, 3 and 6-11, which are commonly found in the skin.

Rebalancing a compromised moisture barrier can take longer than you think.

When it comes to supporting your moisture barrier after it’s been compromised, it’s best to keep your expectations reasonable. Dr Davidson points out that “1-2 months is more realistic, as this is how long it takes for a skin cell to turnover” so whilst you may see some immediate signs of improvement at the surface, proper repair can take a bit longer.

When dealing with sensitive skin, going back to the trusted basics is best. Try to avoid overwashing or more harsh actives that could overdraw the skin and instead reach for gentle products featuring skin hydrating and supporting ingredients. 

The ~exciting~ new CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream is a fab savey option to help support and strengthen your moisture barrier. It features a peptide complex, as well as niacinamide, hydration hero hyaluronic acid and 3 essential ceramides. Niacinamide is the one to thank for helping reduce visible redness and comfort skin, whilst the peptide complex helps to promote skin plumpness and volume. It’s the last step in your PM routine for that overnight boost to help you wake up looking well-rested.


Strong and steady wins the race for new skincare products.

Whenever you’re looking to change up your skincare and introduce a new product, Dr Davidson is big on recommending you do this gradually. 

“Use small amounts, 2-3 times per week at most and then gradually increase over time if your skin is handling the product well,” she says. Also, it’s best to only introduce one new active ingredient or product at a time, so that if any issues arise, it’s easier to isolate what may be the cause.

Another way to help introduce a new product is to apply it followed by a moisturiser afterwards to help support your skin. CeraVe’s Skin Renewing Retinol Serum is a brand spankin' new product to make this whole process much easier – as it partners encapsulated retinol with chicory root and ceramides as a gentle way to support your skin through the process. 

Retinol is a powerhouse for helping to stimulate collagen production and skin cell renewal, working towards smoother, brighter-looking skin. It’s perfectly paired with chicory root, which is an antioxidant-rich ingredient with comforting benefits, plus ceramides, to help counter the sometimes ~spicy~ feel of retinol.

Skin barrier supporting skincare is in.

For a long time, most of us were reaching straight for strong actives or harsh cleansers to help with skin concerns such as acne. In the last few years, this has shifted as we’ve realised that our skin moisture barrier and microbiome needs care and nourishment, rather than being stripped or over dried. As Dr Davidson says, “We want to think of skin like a garden – prune to increase turnover but also fertilise to improve condition.” Meaning? Giving back to your skin is just as important as helping to protect it in the first place.


This is where CeraVe's new Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum enters the chat. And praise the beauty gods for that. It features 10 per cent pure L-ascorbic acid alongside essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid. L-ascorbic acid is the most pure form of vitamin C and is a powerful antioxidant, which can help protect against free radical damage as well as brightening the skin. It has been combined with hyaluronic acid and ceramides, to visibly improve fine lines and wrinkles.

Image: Supplied.


Your skin will tell you when something is wrong.

If you have a skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis, you'll likely be very familiar with how it feels to have a compromised skin barrier. If not, your skin is pretty good at telling you when something isn’t quite right with it. 

“Your skin is quite a communicative organ and will tell you if it’s impaired – look out for dryness, itching, stinging, redness or inflamed skin, or pimples,” says Dr Davidson. 

This is also why it's suggested to patch test a new product if you’ve never used it before just in case it’s too much for your skin and causes a reaction. Try applying a small amount to a patch of skin on the side of the neck, or similar area that’s easily covered, for 2 days before introducing it to your face.

Whilst most of us don’t give much thought to our skin barrier until something goes wrong, hopefully this knowledge gives you the power to best support your healthiest, most glowy skin!

Shop the new CeraVe Skin Renewing range, targeting visible signs of ageing while supporting your skin's moisture barrier. 

Feature Image: Instagram/@morgansskinjournal

CeraVe was developed with dermatologists in 2005 after experts noticed that many skin conditions such as dry skin, eczema and acne all had one thing in common – a deficiency in skin Ceramides and in turn, a compromised skin barrier. CeraVe successfully launched into the Australian market in 2019, and contains three essential, skin-loving Ceramides that the skin needs, progressively delivered through a patented MultiVesicular Emulsion (MVE®) technology that maintains hydration levels in the skin for 24 hour, to help support the skin moisture barrier every day.