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What is a Skin Barrier Repair Cream?

You may have heard of the ‘skin barrier’ – the important outer layer of skin responsible for keeping moisture in and external stressors like pollution out. All up, these two functions are a primary factor in how healthy your skin looks and feels. All skin types need a healthy skin moisture barrier for bright and hydrated complexions. Signs like breakouts, skin redness, dryness and oiliness can each be due to a weakened skin moisture barrier. To strengthen, protect and promote glowing skin, a skin barrier repair cream can be included in your routine. See why this skincare hero is a boon for skin that feels depleted and find the best skin barrier cream for your skin type ahead.

Best Anti-Ageing Ingredients

What is skin barrier cream?

Think of the skin moisture barrier as a built-in shield for the skin. It helps to prevent trans-epidermal water loss (or skin dehydration in other words) and acts as a barrier against bacteria and pollution. A healthy skin moisture barrier is sealed together by lipids – and when it’s compromised, those natural oils fall away and affect the shield’s ability to hold in moisture.

Daily stress can cause damage to skin barrier function, and this is where a skin barrier cream for face comes in. Dry weather, stress, hormonal changes and even touching your face are just some of the factors that compromise skin barrier strength. In a skincare routine, we use these creams to repair skin barrier. Typically quite thick in texture, barrier creams for skin breakdown are used morning and night as the last step in routines (or before SPF).

The benefits of skin barrier repair cream

While their texture and placement in a routine is similar to moisturisers, the two products are different. Moisturisers are primarily hydrating, but a skin barrier protecting cream can work to improve the skin moisture barrier. This is a powerful step in helping weakened or stressed skin, and can help to bring about the following benefits:


  • Brightening dull skin
  • Targeting discomfort and redness in skin
  • Hydrating skin for longer
  • Improving supple skin texture
  • Increasing bouncy look and feel in skin
  • As an anti-ageing skincare tool

Kiehl’s skin barrier protecting cream

As with all skincare, the best skin barrier cream for your face will depend on your skin type. Weakened skin can occur at any time to anyone, resulting in a range of concerns. When your typical skin concerns appear, it can indicate a skin moisture barrier in need of support. Getting it back to a state of balance takes a gentle nudge from nourishing, naturally derived ingredients. Find the right barrier cream for sensitive skin, oily or dry.

Ultra Facial Cream for Skin Barrier

Ultra Facial Cream with Squalane

A nourishing barrier cream for skin breakdown, Ultra Facial Cream with Squalane contains a combination of hydrating ingredients. We recommend this barrier cream for sensitive skin and dry skin types, thanks to its gentle and fragrance-free formula. A hero ingredient in our #1 ultra-hydrating cream is squalane – a lipid that absorbs easily into skin, helping the skin barrier to seal itself. Glycerin and glacial glycoprotein help to hydrate deeply, and help skin retain moisture.

When should you apply skin barrier cream?

To get the most from your skin barrier repair cream, we recommend using it with skincare products that will support and enhance it. Focus on other hydrating and gentle ingredients – in the morning and night, opt for the following routine:

  1. Massage a gentle cleanser into skin with lukewarm water. This will help to clear impurities from weakened skin.

  2. A serum tailored to your skin concern. One of the extra benefits of skin barrier protecting cream is its ability to help seal in other products so that they can work as effectively as possible.

  3. Your day cream or evening moisturiser goes next. We don’t want to overload skin here, so choose a lightweight formula. Allow time for the moisturiser to absorb properly - around 30 seconds.

  4. Then, apply your skin barrier protecting cream. Gently press the cream onto skin, helping it to absorb with light pats of your fingertips. You can apply more product as needed.

  5. Finally, in the morning, a broad-spectrum sunscreen should be applied. This step is an important part of protecting skin barrier and skin cell health.

Loved this guide? Discover your new anti-aging skincare routine next.


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