Best Skin Barrier Creams

9 best skin barrier creams to repair stressed, dehydrated and damaged skin

Posted by for Skincare

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Like a comforting, soothing cocoon for the skin. 

Outside of the Christmas parties and New Year’s Eve revelry, winter can be a bit of a slog. Even now, when the very beginnings of spring buds are sprouting up from the ground, there’s still blustery winds, sideways rain and cold chills that all give our skin a bit of a battering. Throw in central heating, more time spent indoors and frequent temperature changes and you’re facing stressed, dry, damaged skin. Not the one. 

Skin barrier creams, so named for their ability to help repair the integrity and healthy functioning of the skin barrier, are designed to minimise the amount of water lost from the skin (technically known as transepidermal water loss), as well as improve how able your skin is able to keep out environmental aggressors. A true “barrier”, these creams tend to be thicker, enriched with ceramides, lipids, and fatty acids to permeate and protect the skin. You can use them as a daily moisturiser or as a before-bed treatment, just make sure to stay consistent – cumulative skin barrier gains are what we’re after this cold season. 

  • Glossier After Baume

    Glossier After Baume Review

    Designed to nourish and protect the skin, Glossier’s newest product is rich and buttery – described as being “like a puffer jacket” for the skin. Whether you use it as a daily moisturiser in the winter or as a cocooning salve after actives like retinol, expect cushioned comfort and a happier skin barrier.

    Shop Glossier After Baume, £25

  • U Beauty The Barrier Bioactive Treatment

    Best Skin Barrier Creams – U Beauty

    Created to be used as an intensive overnight mask treatment, U Beauty’s barrier cream combines marine ingredients to improve the healthy functioning of the skin barrier. 

    Inspired by the immortal jellyfish who undergoes the same process, the Barrier Bioactive Treatment boosts the growth and proliferation of new skin cells, increasing the integrity of the skin barrier and skin hydration. 

    Shop U Beauty The Barrier Bioactive Treatment at Cult Beauty, £186

  • Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer

    Best Skin Barrier Creams – Farmacy

    Creators of the cult Green Clean melting cleansing balm, US brand Farmacy is just as well known for its intensely nourishing hydrating, honey-infused range. 

    Formulated with moisturising shea butter and skin-repairing vitamin E, the Honey Halo ceramide moisturiser is rich in antioxidants to brighten, hydrate and protect. 

    Shop Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer at Lookfantastic, £33.60

  • Scientia Ceramide Skin Rescue Moisture Barrier Balm

    Best Skin Barrier Creams – Scientia

    Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, fatty acids and lipids all work together to create a soothing, cooling barrier cream that hydrates (thanks, jojoba), plumps and smooths as it works. 

    Shop Scientia Ceramide Skin Rescue Moisture Barrier Balm at Cult Beauty, £28

  • Paula's Choice Resist Barrier Repair Cream

    Best Skin Barrier Creams – Paula's Choice

    This barrier cream is slightly different as it also contains retinol (vitamin A), which helps to increase the rate at which skin cells turnover, revealing younger-looking, softer, firmer skin. 

    Also enriched with shea butter and ceramides, it will help restore the healthy functioning of your skin barrier.

    Shop Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair Cream at Space NK, £35

  • Oskia Rest Day Barrier Repair Balm

    Best Skin Barrier Creams – Oskia Rest Day Comfort Cream

    Makers of one of (if not the best, in my humble opinion) exfoliating masks – the Renaissance Mask – Oskia also has an option for comforting and calming your skin too. Designed to treat stressed out and dehydrated skin, the formula is a blend of colloidal oats (incredibly soothing) with micro-algae and a complex of ceramides, amino acids and vitamins. 

    Shop Oskia Rest Day Barrier Repair Balm at Cult Beauty, £68

  • Allies of Skin Molecular Barrier Recovery Cream Balm

    Best Skin Barrier Creams – Allies of Skin

    Use this Allies of Skin barrier cream consistently as an overnight treatment to plump, comfort, hydrate and repair, while the oat protein and ceramide mix combine with biotechnologically produced moss to support skin resilience.

    Shop Allies of Skin Molecular Barrier Recovery Cream Balm, £80

  • Aesop Elemental Facial Barrier Cream

    Best Skin Barrier Creams – Aesop

    An intensive barrier cream targeted at reactive and overly sensitive skin, it creates an invisible shield (barrier) to lock the hydration in while protecting from environmental stressors and aggressors. 

    Shop Aesop Elemental Facial Barrier Cream at Cult Beauty, £43

  • Nursem Caring Skin Fix

    Best Skin Barrier Creams – Nurseem

    If you have angry, itchy red or purple skin, this multi-use Nursem cream contains pharmaceutical grade colloidal oatmeal to soothe and repair, while hyaluronic acid, pro vitamin B5, avocado oil and shea butter regenerate and protect. 

    Shop Nursem Caring Skin Fix, £14.99

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