Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream
First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream has some great qualities when it comes to hydrating skin, but problematic packaging keeps it from earning our recommendation.
One of the most appealing parts of this fragrance-free cream is its texture; it has a whipped quality that makes it lightweight yet still hydrating, and it absorbs quickly, making it suitable for all skin types.
First Aid Beauty uses a lot of tech-driven language to describe this moisturizer’s abilities, such as “bio-mimic” and “adaptive hydration technology.” What that essentially means is that this cream is supposed to be able to strengthen and restore skin’s protective barrier, and it has ingredients that can absolutely do that.
Among them is skin-plumping sodium hyaluronate plus ingredients that help skin retain moisture including cholesterol, a ceramide, and fatty acids. Also included are skin-soothing oatmeal, licorice and green tea extracts, as well as vitamin E.
Unfortunately, those ingredients aren’t done any favors by this products jar packaging. Jars expose delicate ingredients like antioxidants and fatty acids to light and air, which quickly causes them to lose their effectiveness. That aside, jars also present hygiene issues you don’t want in your water-based skin care (see More Info for details).
One more note: this cream contains oxygen, which, while it might sound good for skin, isn’t the best because it can promote free radical damage. The jar packaging, however, renders it largely ineffective.
In better packaging, this otherwise good skin cream would rate highly, but as it stands you’re better off selecting one of the better-packaged alternatives on our list of best moisturizers.
- Lightweight texture is suitable for all skin types.
- Contains ingredients that can help strengthen and restore skin’s barrier.
- Fragrance free.
- Packaged in a jar, which exposes its delicate ingredients to light and air.
Jar Packaging & Beneficial ingredients: Beneficial ingredients, which include all plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are unstable, which means they begin to break down in the presence of air. Once a jar is opened and lets air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective. Routine exposure to daylight also is problematic for these ingredients.
Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.
Remember: The ingredients that provide the most benefit in addressing visible signs of aging must be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging to remain effective throughout usage. Buying products in this type of packaging means that the ingredients have the best chance of remaining effective—to the benefit of your skin!
References for this information:
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10
A light-as-air face moisturizer that helps strengthen the skin barrier, balance and provide adaptable hydration for combination, normal and dry skin types. Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream contains lipids that bio-mimic the natural composition of the skin barrier*, helping to fortify it and maintain its healthy state. Triple-Weight Hyaluronic Acid, a powerful humectant, helps draw external moisture into skin while adaptive hydration technology aids in stimulating the skin’s ability to replenish its internal moisture reserves as needed. Colloidal Oatmeal and antioxidant-rich Vitamin E help calm, soothe and condition skin for an allover healthy, glowing complexion.
First Aid Beauty At-A-Glance
Strengths: Several fragrance-free products; relatively reasonable pricing; sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection; wonderful fragrance-free body wash.
Weaknesses: AHA pads contain a low amount of glycolic and lactic acids; some products contain fragrant plant extracts; every product contains feverfew extract, which has benefits, but also can be an irritant; jar packaging; for a line meant for sensitive skin, their use of common irritants is disappointing.
With a name like First Aid Beauty (FAB for short), it's obvious this line is meant to rescue your skin from distress, and, indeed, these products are targeted toward those who have sensitive, easily irritated skin, but who still want an elegant, department-store flair. Ironically, FAB falls short on both ends of the spectrum.
Despite the company's claims of providing "therapeutic action" for "tough skin conditions," some of the products contain irritating ingredients that are extremely problematic for any skin type, especially for those with sensitive or compromised skin. It was disappointing to see known irritants like sulfur, balsam resin, and witch hazel in products claiming to calm your skin and reduce redness. "What were they thinking?" was a question that came up more than once while reviewing this line!
On the bright side, First Aid Beauty does have a very good fragrance-free body wash. There are also a few products that omit the fragrance, which is a definite must for sensitive skin, although, in fact, all skin types do best with fragrance-free products. Unfortunately, the fragrance-free formulas in this line come up short on important ingredients, like antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.
It is best to avoid their Ultra Repair Cream, the SPF 30 sunscreen, Detox Eye Roller, Blemish Eraser, and the Anti-Redness Serum because they all contain enough irritating ingredients to make conditions like acne, redness, and sensitivity worse.
For more information about First Aid Beauty, visit your local Sephora or Ulta or call (800) 322-3619 or visit www.firstaidbeauty.com.
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