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I can’t imagine you have NOT heard of The Ordinary Soothing & Barrier Support Serum yet, the bright pink serum has been all over the internet for weeks now. It took me a while to properly test it though, as the effect on the skin isn’t as easily to judge as it is with other products.
Good thing we are heading into winter with cold weather, central heating and all the other good stuff that makes my skin act up.
So now that I am ready: Is it worth your money?
What The Ordinary Soothing & Barrier Support Serum claims
A multi-active solution designed to help repair skin barrier, soothe discomfort, and reduce the look of redness.
Facts about The Ordinary Soothing & Barrier Support Serum
Prize and size
One bottle in the classic The Ordinary design contains 30 ml and is available for 20,40 € on the website here. That is actually kind of pricey compared to other products from the brand, so my expectations were high.
Texture and smell
First things first: Yes it is as pink in real life as you can see in the pictures. It is on the thicker side, feeling like an emulsion and has a distinct, nutty smell that I don’t find particularly pleasing, but also not massively off-putting. It is similar to many other fragrance-free products.
How to use The Ordinary Soothing & Barrier Support Serum
You can use it both morning and night, maybe even both if you feel your skin needs it, and I tend to do around half a pipette for my whole face. Don’t worry, although it shows up pink on the skin that disappears when you spread it – the more you use, the pinker it looks, but it never really stains your face.
For the first few minutes it feels a little tacky on the face, but that subsides after a while, leaving the skin feeling soft and with something like a protective layer on top. I never experienced any pilling or any issues with other products I paired it with.
Ingredients of The Ordinary Soothing & Barrier Support Serum
Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.
Looking at the ingredient list you will find quite a few active components of different well known plant extracts, like Asiaticosid, Asiatic Acid and Madecassic Acid from Centella Asiatica (More info: The benefits of Centella Asiatica in skincare explained) and then Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside and other components from Green Tea Extract (More info: The benefits of Green Tea Extract in skincare explained).
There is also Niacinamide with its many skin benefits and Bisabolol for soothing (More info: The benefits of Niacinamide in skincare explained). To help with barrier repair you will find Sphingo– and Phospholipids that are part of healthy skin membranes as well as Cetylhydroxyproline Palmitamide, which is a synthetic Ceramide. (More info: The benefits of Ceramides in skincare explained)
While you won’t find your typical Glycerin or Hyaluronic Acid, the different sugars like Xylitylglucoside act as humectants for some extra hydration, and both 4-T-Butylcyclohexanol and Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid claim to reduce itching and burning of the skin – at least according to the manufacturer.
The pink color apparently comes from the Cyanocobalamin aka Vitamin B12, but to my knowledge the data on its benefits when applied topically is sparse. The color is fun though!
Does it live up to its claims?
It has ingredients that help relieve redness and irritation as well as those needed to support the skin barrier. That doesn’t mean it will help you with your problem though, as there are several reasons why your skin could be acting up, from genetic disposition to overexfoliation. This is not a drug designed to treat eczema, it is cosmetic aiming to support your skin in helping itself.
How does it compare to…
La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ Repairing Cream
We are obviously comparing apples with oranges here, or in skincare terms serums with creams, so there are obvious differences in texture and means of application, but as the Cicaplast Baume is the one product you always hear about when it comes to soothing irritated skin, I felt comparing them would be warranted.
As the name gives away, La Roche Posay focus on Panthenol (More info: The benefits of Panthenol in skincare explained) and it’s soothing and repairing benefits as well as Zinc Gluconate, which is antiinflammatory. Both products share components of Centella Asiatica, but the other ingredients The Ordinary added are missing in the cream. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing though – depending on the reason for your skins irritation, less ingredients might actually be better for you. As long as they are the right ones of course.
Real Barrier Extreme Essence Toner
Another product that is different in texture and application, but similar in claims: The Extreme Essence Toner by Real Barrier. The brand claims to use a 3-Calming-Complex with Panthenol, Madecassoside and Allantoin as well as the ideal ratio of skin identical lipids and ceramides to help strengthen the skins barrier.
While I can’t comment on the exact effect of this complex, I can report that I perceived the essence as very soothing, but need to mention that it contains Lavender and Orange Oil which did surprise me as essential oils aren’t ideal when you suffer from sensitivities.
Would I repurchase and which skin types do I recommend it to?
Now it is really hard to judge if my skin barrier is healthier than it would have been otherwise, but over the time of me using it I was under the impression that it was generally calmer than it usually is during this time of the year. Despite the nice blend of ingredients though, I am not sure if it is something I feel I need to have in my routine permanently. In this it reminds me a lot of the NIOD Modulating Glucosides one I tried last year (review here), which, interestingly enough, isn’t that much more expensive than this one.
If your skin is acting up, it is reasonable to give it a go as it has both established as well as more innovative calming ingredients, but I don’t feel like it is an absolute must-have.
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