10 best skin barrier repair products of 2021


Your skin is your body’s largest organ and it has its work cut out for it. Each of its many layers has its own role to help protect your body.

Your skin barrier, or stratum corneum, is the outermost layer of the skin. Although it is thin, you can think of it as a Brick wall. It is made up of strong skin cells called corneocytes, which are held together by mortar-like lipids.

This skin layer also contains keratin and natural moisturizers. In addition, the lipid layer also contains cholesterol, fatty acids and ceramides.

Melanie Palm, MD, a certified dermatologist in Solana Beach, Calif., Explains that the skin barrier is important for our ability to hold water, protect us from chemicals or unwanted exposures, and help us resist infections.

“It protects our internal organs and systems from the outside and acts as a barrier against toxins, environmental exposures and light, and helps regulate temperature and comfort,” she says.

It is possible that the skin barrier is damaged, which means it will not work as effectively. However, there are tons of products designed to help protect and repair the skin barrier, which is different from just providing hydration like normal moisturizers do.

To create this list, we researched products that contain ingredients such as ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid. We have also included pH balancing products.

Each of the products on our list has been carefully vetted by our content integrity team to ensure it meets our medical and commercial standards. Find out more here.

Price guide

  • $ = less than $ 30
  • $$ = over $ 30

Best pH Balancing Skin Barrier Repair Product

Xuyoni synergy booster

  • Price: $$
  • Skin type: all, including sensitive and damaged skin
  • Cut: 50 milliliter (mL) container

Maintaining your skin’s natural pH level is an important part of keeping your skin barrier healthy.

This multitasking toner and serum does just that, working to balance the pH and hydrate your skin. It should be applied directly after cleaning.

The product contains organic moringa oleifera leaf extract – which the brand claims can help detoxify skin that has been exposed to pollutants and environmental stressors.

Moringa leaves are also high in sulfur, iodine, and amino acids, which Xuyoni says helps firm and repair. They also explain that the formula uses antioxidants from vitamins and polyphenols for an extra youthful glow.

With 96% organic ingredients, this product is vegan and cruelty-free.

Best Economical Skin Barrier Repair Product For Rashes

Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief

  • Price: $
  • Skin type: acne-prone skin, skin with hyperpigmentation
  • Cut: 45 ml bottle

This vegan barrier serum contains 10 percent tamanu nut oil, which means people with allergies to nuts may have an allergic reaction.

However, if you are not allergic to nuts, this ingredient could be beneficial for your skin. The company claims that tamanu oil helps improve texture and breakouts, while reviving the skin. The oil also helps lock in moisture, keeping your skin barrier healthy.

It also contains niacinamide, another skin care ingredient believed to help fight acne, dark spots, and eczema. The formula also includes rose hips and safflower to soothe the skin.

This choice is cruelty-free and free of perfumes, essential oils and dyes.

Best skin barrier repair product for mature skin

Paula’s Choice Barrier Repair Moisturizer with Retinol

  • Price: $$
  • Skin type: mature skin
  • Cut: 50 ml bottle

This creamy formula works on nourishing dry skin and also treats skin aging issues like wrinkles. This is thanks to its use of retinol – the popular derivative of vitamin A known for its anti-wrinkle and anti-acne effects.

If you are new to retinol, this product can be a good start as it only contains 0.01% retinol. This can help reduce the possibility of irritation.

Many Google reviewers praise this choice for its firming and moisturizing abilities, while others note that the price is a bit higher than the bottle. A few other comments point out that the packaging is a downside, claiming that a product appears to be stuck in the pump.

Best cost-effective skin barrier repair product with multiple ceramides

Cocokind Ceramide Barrier Serum

  • Price: $
  • Skin type: all skin types
  • Cut: 30 ml bottle

This choice contains five types of ceramides, an ingredient that can help strengthen the skin barrier and retain moisture. This makes it a good choice for fine lines and wrinkles as they tend to be more noticeable on dry skin.

The formula also contains lipids including fatty acids, cholesterol, and squalane, which the brand claims help maintain the skin’s natural moisture barrier and retain moisture. It also contains ceramide precursors, which have been show to be effective in improving skin barrier function.

As a bonus, Cocokind is a brand focused on sustainability, with most packaging being plastic-free and easily recyclable. They also provide statistics on the amount of carbon emissions that each of their products creates.

Best skin barrier repair product for acne prone skin

EltaMD Skin Recovery Serum

  • Price: $$
  • Skin type: sensitive, acne-prone
  • Cut: 29 ml bottle

This serum promises to significantly reduce redness in 24 hours.

It contains vitamin B5 and cica (tiger grass extract) which, according to the brand, relieve inflammation and help with skin barrier function. The formula also contains antioxidants to help protect against free radicals that lead to signs of aging.

This choice is said to not clog the pores, making it a good choice for people with acne. In addition, it is also free of dye, fragrance and parabens.

Best skin barrier serum with hyaluronic acid

Brighter Super Bounce

  • Price: $
  • Skin type: all skin types
  • Cut: 30 ml bottle

Some Google critics call this choice “life-changing,” while a few say it’s uncomfortably sticky.

The brand describes it as soft and smooth, claiming that it offers a combination of 2% hyaluronic acid (HA) and provitamin B5, to hydrate in several ways.

HA is a superstar skin care ingredient, with a reputation for:

  • moisturizing
  • healing
  • fight against wrinkles
  • increase skin elasticity
  • treat eczema
  • help redness of the face

Glossier explains that the HA works in this serum by attracting and blocking moisture in the skin, while the vitamin B5 encourages long-term hydration.

Best skin barrier repairing cleanser

SkinFix Barrier + Foaming Cleansing Oil

  • Price: $$
  • Skin type: to dry
  • Cut: 60 ml bottle

This pick is different from the others on our list – it’s a foaming cleanser aimed at removing dirt and makeup without stripping lipids, thanks to sulfate-free coconut-based cleansers and light oils.

Google reviewers are generally satisfied campers, noting that this cleanser supports their skin barrier, especially for reviewers with very dry skin.

The company claims that this choice smooths out the appearance of uneven texture and reduces the appearance of redness and spots. It’s also cruelty-free and vegan.

Best natural skin barrier repair product

Typology Lipid-Replenishing Serum

  • Price: $
  • Skin type: all skin types, dry skin
  • Cut: 15 ml bottle

This vegan serum is made in France. The 99% naturally derived formula includes ceramides to help repair the skin barrier, strengthen skin protection and provide long-lasting hydration.

Reviews of the product on the Typology site are overwhelmingly positive, with comments saying it works well, calling the serum luxurious and nourishing. However, reviews on third-party sites are lacking.

Best skin barrier repair product for overexfoliated skin

Stratia Liquid Gold

  • Price: $
  • Skin type: all skin types, including overexfoliated skin
  • Cut: 60 ml bottle

This moisturizer has over 2,000 Google reviews and the majority of them are brilliant. Some say the product’s name (Liquid Gold) matches its performance well, highlighting how effective it is in healing very tight, dry, itchy skin (which can be a sign of a damaged skin barrier).

The product is composed of cholesterol, ceramides and fatty acids. It also contains niacinamide to help reduce redness, retain moisture, and protect against damage from ultraviolet rays.

The brand points out that the product is yellow in color, which may cause people with very pale skin to see a yellow appearance on their skin, but they say it doesn’t stain. They suggest using this product before bed.

This choice is free of perfume, alcohol and essential oils.

Best skin barrier gel with hyaluronic acid

Maelove B5 Moisturizing Gel

  • Price: $
  • Skin type: dry skin
  • Cut: 30 ml bottle

This lightweight gel product acts as a hydration booster and contains famous HA for the skin.

It also contains vitamin B5 and an antioxidant called resveratrol, which helps neutralize free radicals that can damage the skin.

The brand says this gel serum spreads well and layers without difficulty, promising you won’t feel a greasy or heavy residue.

It’s worth pointing out that this product comes with free shipping, free returns, and a 100-day warranty.

About Thomas Hereford

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