Most moisturizers improve your skin’s barrier (the outermost layer of skin). But there’s a new generation of barrier repair creams that take it one step further. They hydrate, repair and smooth complexions so they look healthier and more radiant. And do so in a way that really lasts. Instead of short-term hydration that evaporates after a few hours, these creams and serums make a difference in the overall health of your skin. They help your cells hold on to moisture longer, making it appear — and, more importantly, act — younger. And they’re a must-have for anyone with sensitive, irritated or problematic skin.
The Wrinkle Reducer
StriVectin Wrinkle Recode Moisture Rich Barrier Cream, $119 at StriVectin
Two unique barrier-boosting technologies make this cream stand out from the pack. Your skin’s lipid content is restored and your skin barrier is strengthened. So it moisturizes, diminishes fine lines and deep wrinkles plus reduces the look of redness.
The Sensitive Skin Savior
KraveBeauty Great Barrier Relief, $28 at KraveBeauty
This creamy serum calms even the most sensitive of skin. Its combo of conditioning oils fights irritation, discoloration and even breakouts caused by a damaged skin barrier. And it does it all without feeling greasy.
The Better Skin Co. Mirakle Cream, $17 at Bloomingdale’s
This does-it-all cream improves the skin barrier thanks to a blend of coconut oil, shea butter, sea buckthorn, aloe and soothing algae. It’s rich enough for the driest skin types yet it feels light when you apply it.
The Inflammation Fighter
Dermalogica UltraCalming Barrier Repair, $47 at Ulta Beauty
If your skin is red, itchy and irritated, you need this cream. It contains a special calming blend of oat and botanical extracts to minimize irritation. And it heals the skin barrier with evening primrose and borage seed oil.
The Older Skin Booster
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2, $128 at DermStore
If you’ve noticed your skin getting drier as you age, you might be suffering from a lipid deficiency. This cream rebalances your skin’s lipids with a blend of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids — simultaneously restoring barrier function.
The Skin Damage Protector
Priori LCA fx140 – Barrier Restore Complexe, $72 at Priori
In addition to barrier repair lipids, this lotion contains a blend of lactic acid and antioxidants to help your skin look its best. The acid aids in cell turnover while the antioxidants protect skin from damage from things like UV rays and pollution.
The Natural Choice
Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream, $50 at Sephora
This cream is 95 percent natural, making it perfect for extremely sensitive skin. A peptide protein blend supports skin barrier function and protects from free radical damage.
The Supercharged Anti-Ager
DefenAge 24/7 Barrier Balance Cream, $127 at DefenAge
While this cream targets barrier repair first and foremost, it also addresses fine lines and pigmentation with peptides and botanical ingredients. And the texture is unbelievably light and luxurious — you won’t want to stop applying it.
The Lightest Formula
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum, $48 at Drunk Elephant
This serum feels so light yet it’s intensely moisturizing. It contains a complex of watermelon rind, apple and lentil that helps each skin cell hold on to hydration for 24 hours. It’s also packed with brighteners, antioxidants and even antibacterial ingredients for the healthiest skin possible.