In response to moisture-stripping beauty trends like over-exfoliation, there's been an uptick in chatter about protecting the skin barrier. Maintaining the integrity of your skin barrier is essential for a few reasons: it helps protect your internal body from harmful elements (like pollution, chemicals, and UV radiation) and prevents transepidermal water loss. Wanting to provide a powerhouse product that delivers all of the barrier-boosting magic we need, U Beauty created The Barrier Bioactive Treatment ($198).
"I think research and education are leading the way when it comes to skincare," founder Tina Craig says. "For us, the focus has always been on science and technology, so this is a natural product in our suite."
The high-tech reparative overnight treatment is inspired by the immortal jellyfish, an organism Craig was exposed to as a teenager. Marine researchers have long been fascinated by the immortal jellyfish for its ability to transform back to its earliest stage of development by reverting adult cells into stem cells. When applied to skin, it offers impressive benefits.
"When I was 18 and going to tanning beds, my grandmother would take me to her Chinese acupuncturists and herbalists," she says. "They'd stick acupuncture needles all over my face and then cover it with a mysterious slime. I dreaded those appointments but what [the jellyfish stem cell treatment] did for my skin was amazing."
Though the Barrier Bioactive Treatment doesn't actually contain the immortal jellyfish, it helped shape the brand's new proprietary capsule technology called "the immortal siren." The resulting formula (which took four years to develop) contains bioactive marine ingredients engineered to act on the skin's stem cells and essential growth factors to boost the production of new cells.
"As always, we were extremely strategic about the ingredient choices," Craig notes. "In this formula, you'll see a new, almost novel ingredient list that supports a healthy, strengthened, and protected skin barrier." These ingredients include: urea, vitamin B6, sodium DNA, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, purified oat extract, fruit AHAs, waxes (jojoba, sunflower, and mimosa), and salicylic acid.
And like all U Beauty products, the new treatment is also powered by their patent-pending "siren capsule technology." Here's what that means: Through an encapsulation process, the technology allows distribution of the formula's key active ingredients only where they're needed on your skin. In fact, according to the brand, it can even target damage-causing free radicals.
According to the brand, clinical studies performed on 30 volunteers showed that this tech-forward treatment starts delivering impressive results shortly after the first use. Participants noticed a 22% increase in skin barrier integrity 15 minutes after use. 93% of users agreed their skin looked more youthful and smoother after 30 days of daily use.
Incorporating the Barrier Bioactive Treatment in your evening routine is simple. "It is designed to be the last step in your evening skincare routine after you've applied the Resurfacing Compound and Super Hydrator to your face," Craig explains. "It feels delicious to apply right before you drift off to sleep."
If you're ready to slather on U Beauty's latest launch (we know we are), you can snag it on the brand's website or at Violet Grey, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Revolve, Bergdorf Goodman, and Neiman Marcus.
Rosso JD, Zeichner J, Alexis A, Cohen D, Berson D. Understanding the epidermal barrier in healthy and compromised skin: clinically relevant information for the dermatology practitioner: proceedings of an expert panel roundtable meeting. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2016;9(4 Suppl 1):S2-S8.