If you’ve been burned by moisturizers in the past, you’ll be glad to see that, like the other fragrance-free SOS (Save.Our.Skin) products, Daily Barrier Recovery Cream has the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association.
Best for Extremely Dry Skin: Caudalie Premier Cru The Rich Cream
For immediate relief from redness, flakiness, and peeling (a hallmark of a damaged skin barrier), consider this Premier Cru The Rich Cream from Caudalie. It errs on the pricier side of things, but it’s worth it to bathe your skin in a luxurious blend of lipid-replenishing bio-ceramides that prevent water loss. Did we mention that its sibling, The Cream, won a 2022 Best of Beauty Award? If you thought that formula was indulgent, just you wait.
Best Affordable Serum That Punches Above its Weight: KraveBeauty Great Barrier Relief
This creamy, nourishing Great Barrier Relief Serum from KraveBeauty is the perfect one-two punch as it restores your damaged skin barrier while simultaneously evening out your complexion. It’s loaded with reparative ingredients such as tamanu oil, niacinamide, and ceramides which are essential to skin health.
Best for Acne-Prone Skin: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
Another one of Dr. Saedi’s top picks, this La Roche-Posay hydrator has a light consistency and contains ceramides and glycerin to strengthen the barrier and lock in moisture. It’s oil-free, making it a great option for those who suffer from acne-prone skin. Slather it on your face and neck daily for immediate comfort.
Most Healing Treatment: Alastin Skincare Regenerating Skin Nectar
“This is a great post-procedural ointment that isn’t overly occlusive yet provides hydration, repair, and skin barrier protection,” Leah Ansell, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Treiber Dermatology Associates and assistant professor of dermatology at Columbia based in New York City notes. Laser treatments aside, when your skin is feeling stripped or overly dry from exfoliating, layer on this concoction of calming arnica montana extract and naringenin to immediately soothe skin. In addition, the brand’s proprietary TriHex Technology boosts the skin’s ability to produce elastin and collagen — resulting in plumper, stronger skin.
Best for Dry Patches: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream
This thick yet fast-absorbing cream feels sinful as you apply it, relieving dry patches, making the skin appear visibly smoother, and reducing redness. It contains a blend of glycerin, urea, and squalane which provide intense hydration to the skin. No level of dryness is too severe for this cream — here’s looking at you, scaly winter skin.
Best for Gentle Exfoliation: Cocokind Ceramide Barrier Serum
This reasonably-priced serum is specially formulated with five types of synthetic ceramides and lipids that mimic and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier. A little goes a long way — you only need two to three for your entire face. With regular use, you’ll notice a significant reduction in redness caused by ongoing skin irritation. Bonus: Lactic acid helps slough off dead skin cells so that the aforementioned goodness absorbs more deeply.
Best Lightweight Cream: Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Rich Barrier Moisturizer
The lightweight cream is part of the same product family as the Best of Beauty-winning Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydrating Body Cream. In case you need further convincing of its hydrating powers, the soft and weightless formula is anchored by the brand’s patented moisture barrier-boosting complex which works to counter the effects of dehydrators and provide up to 120 hours of increased hydration.
Best for Eczema-Prone Skin: Murad Daily Defense Colloidal Oatmeal Cream
Another recipient of the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance, this cream contains a proprietary mixture of colloidal oatmeal, niacinamide, and mondo grass sugars, which retains essential moisture and lipids, strengthening the skin from within while also prolonging relief from eczema flare-ups. The sealed pump is also great for those of us who are prone to making a mess in the bathroom, and there’s less potential for the spread of bacteria.
Best All-Over Treatment: Nécessaire The Body Cream
As we all know, dryness doesn’t stop at the face or neck. That’s where Nécessaire’s The Body Cream comes in handy to soothe dry, flaky skin in often overlooked areas of our bodies. Formulated with five ceramides, colloidal oatmeal, five percent niacinamide, and one percent linoleic acid, this body cream replenishes a dry, damaged skin barrier by providing moisture, healing, and comfort.