When talking to dermatologists about the best moisturizer for dry skin, there's one product that comes up time and time again: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. It's known for delivering intense hydration and repairing your skin barrier without leaving skin slick or greasy, thanks to skin-soothing ingredients like colloidal oatmeal and shea butter. But just when you thought things couldn't get any better, the brand released a new version of the formula that performs just as well as the original...while also plumping your skin.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Firming Collagen Cream—which hit shelves this month—is the amped-up, anti-aging version of the moisturizer we all know and love. In addition to ceramides and colloidal oatmeal, it's got elasticity-enhancing actives to help plump and firm skin. Around the time you hit 30, your body's natural collagen production starts to slow, which causes fine lines and wrinkles. In order to combat these issues, dermatologists suggest adding collagen-stimulating ingredients into your routine, which this formula offers in spades.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Collagen Cream
The star of the show here is peptides, which are one of the "highest-tech" ingredients for kicking your body's natural collagen production into high gear. Peptides are smaller chains of amino acids, and when you apply them topically, they link up with the protein receptors in your skin cells and effectively help to turn on the collagen-making process. The result is smoother, plumper skin with fewer fine lines and wrinkles. "The beauty of peptides is that products typically use small enough ones that can penetrate your skin and send signals to our cells to promote anti-aging or other benefits," says Rachel Nazarian, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City.
The formula also has niacinamide, another derm-favorite ingredient for helping ramp up collagen production. It also helps to target other age-related skin concerns like dullness and dark spots, and it's an overall hero for targeting uneven skin tone and texture while being gentle enough to work on all skin types without causing irritation.
"I bet this product feels great on the skin—it has calming niacinamide and oatmeal, hydrating ceramides and squalane, and peptides to support healthy skin," says Dr. Nazarian. It's got actual collagen in it, too, but because those molecules are likely too large to absorb into your skin, "there’s little evidence that it absorbs into the skin and adds to our own collagen supply," she says. The collagen itself may help to leave the surface of your skin smooth, but the formula's other ingredients are doing the actual work of firming up your complexion.
As a longtime lover of the original Ultra Repair Cream, I was curious as to whether or not the new formula would live up to the dry skin-saving standards its predecessor has set. But I've been using the collagen-infused version for two weeks, and it's quickly earned a permanent spot in my routine. It's kept my dehydrated complexion quenched and happy but isn't quite as thick as the original moisturizer, which means it's great for both layering it under makeup and slathering on at night. It's creamy without being greasy and gives my skin an instant lift every time I apply. Apologies to my old moisturizer, but I've officially moved on to a newer model.
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