I Tried The Face Oil That Claims To Balance Your Microbiome & Leave You Glowing
Four weeks later, here are my results.
In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews.
StriVectin recently debuted its new Super-B Barrier Strengthening Oil, a facial oil packed with prebiotics and emollient ingredients that work to balance the skin’s microbiome and support the lipid barrier. But why is that important, and what exactly separates it from other oils on the market? The microbiome, in short, is the skin’s natural barrier that contains a slew of beneficial bacteria to keep your skin in bacterial homeostasis. By balancing out the good and bad bacteria, the microbiome protects the deeper layers of the skin from infection or irritation. As someone who occasionally deals with skin irritation, I was eager to test the new launch for myself.
Since the skin’s lipid barrier also acts as protection from the outside world, that makes it vital in the ongoing fight against irritation. For context, the lipid barrier is a layer of oil that the skin produces naturally, with a few main goals in mind: to retain water and electrolytes while protecting the skin from any foreign microorganisms that might try to invade the dermis.
Although both of these skin functions work to protect the skin, sometimes excessive cleansing or exfoliating can compromise the microbiome and lipid barrier, resulting in skin that suffers from dryness, dullness, acne, and even fine lines and wrinkles.
Since StriVectin’s Super-B Barrier Strengthening Oil promises to address many of these concerns with the new formula (a tall order for any skin care product), I decided to put it to the test for four weeks — here’s what I’ve uncovered.
The Benefits Of Super-B Barrier Strengthening Oil
From the moment I stepped into the beauty industry as a writer, I’ve noticed that face oils are one of the most popular products for brands to debut. Typically, a company will choose a standard carrier oil (aka a base oil that is used to dilute and blend with other oils) that isn't too costly to produce, add in a few active ingredients, then bottle their concoctions into tinctures to sell to the masses. It takes high quality ingredients and noticeable results to stand out among the sea of products.
StriVectin’s oil contains emollients (a skin smoother and softener), like meadowfoam seed oil, and fatty acids from jojoba and oat oils, that will help to nourish the lipid barrier (which, again, prevents water loss in the skin), as well as protecting the skin from microorganisms in the outside world. It also contains a prebiotic (bacillus ferment) blend sourced from French hot springs (chic) in the volcanic region of Auvergne, which helps to support bacterial diversity in the skin's microbiome.
In short, the bacteria in this face oil helps the bacteria on the skin's surface to thrive and protect the skin from pathogens that may result in acne, loss of hydration, dullness, and fine lines and wrinkles.
My Skin After The Super-B Barrier Strengthening Oil
Other than a few fine lines, my more significant *problem* areas have to do with my skin's dryness and dullness. And despite currently being on an acne regimen my dermatologist concocted for me, I still have a few breakouts here and there, which I most likely attribute to my skin's apparent inability to hold onto moisture.
Once I cracked open the bottle, the oil's scent immediately hit me — it has a berry-like smell which reminds me of eating sugary cereal as a kid and then swiping on a quick coat of Smackers lip gloss before heading out the door. I'm not too big on scents in skin care, as I find that they are aggressive on my nose, but the smell dissipates shortly after application and never really irritated my skin.
As with most facial oils, the key is knowing how much to use. Many people tend to believe that you must use an entire dropper full of oil, but that is *not* true. Typically, about a quarter or half a dropper will suffice for complete coverage. I found that using about five drops of this oil covered my face, neck, and décolletage with a subdued glow that never made me look greasy or feel too slick.
In the morning, after cleansing my face and applying a hydrating serum, I patted the oil onto my skin before finishing off my routine with a sunscreen. I took note of the lightweight texture and how it seemed to soak into my skin almost immediately. My face felt soft and smooth after application, but never felt too heavy, which made it possible for me to work this oil into my daytime routine before makeup application without my complexion products slipping right off. I would, however, give yourself at least ten minutes before applying any makeup (all skin care needs a bit of time to really sink in and prevent pilling).
So how did the oil stack up for the four weeks of testing? I noticed that the subtle grey tint of dullness wasn’t as apparent, and my skin felt particularly plump and moisturized (which in turn helps fine lines look less noticeable). I could also cut back on using ice rollers to calm my skin as my whole complexion was pretty much irritation-free. I credit that to the lipid barrier- and microbiome-balancing ingredients and consistent use.
Is This Product Worth Your Time?
With the world of face oils growing at an alarming rate, does the Super-B Barrier Strengthening Oil stand out enough to merit its $72 price tag? I believe so. In my typical routine, I’d usually employ various serums and moisturizers to obtain all my niacinamide, prebiotic, and emollient ingredient needs. But, this oil contains all of these ingredients in one formula, meaning that I get to minimize my routine and leave space in my beauty budget for other goodies I have my eyes on. Plus, this product diminished the fine lines in my forehead in just about a month of use, which I haven’t really experienced with many face oils in the past.
Although I will not die on a hill proclaiming that this is the best moisturizing product I have ever used in my entire life, the Super-B Barrier Strengthening Oil still delivers on the promises to minimize redness and keep irritation at bay. If you find that your skin is dry and sporting a few more wrinkles than you would like, and nothing else in your beauty routine is helping, this might be a good option to try heading into fall.
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