New treatments for restoring impaired epidermal barrier permeability: skin barrier repair creams

Clin Dermatol. 2012 May-Jun;30(3):345-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2011.08.018.


Skin health depends on an intact barrier composed of protein-rich corneocytes surrounded by the lamellar intercellular lipids. This barrier provides waterproof protection for the body, preventing infection, regulating electrolyte balance, maintaining body temperature, and providing a mechanism for sensation. Damage to the skin barrier results in skin disease that can be treated by a variety of externally applied substances, such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, licorice extracts, dimethicone, petrolatum, and paraffin wax. These substances are found in moisturizers that are sold as cosmetics and in prescriptions as 510(k) devices. This contribution examines the formulation and effect of skin barrier creams.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Cosmetics / administration & dosage*
  • Emollients / administration & dosage*
  • Epidermis / drug effects*
  • Epidermis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Permeability / drug effects
  • Skin Absorption / drug effects
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Water Loss, Insensible / drug effects
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Cosmetics
  • Emollients