Since launching in 2021, Common Heir has become known for its zero-waste and plastic-free skincare products. The brand—founded by Angela Ubias and Cary Lin—entered the market with its Vitamin C Serum capsules (which won a 2021 Byrdie Eco Award). In 2022, Ubias and Lin unveiled the Retinol Serum (which won a 2022 Byrdie Eco Award). And this year, the duo released their third product, the 2% Ceramide Barrier Boost Serum.
Beyond being an eco-conscious company, Common Heir’s formulas prioritize melanin-rich skin. This is especially true for the new Ceramide Barrier Boost Serum, as it is directly inspired by the skincare rituals Ubias grew up with as a half-Black, half-Latina woman. “This launch is deeply inspired by our community and my heritage,” Ubias shares. “I can still remember the cold creams my grandma, Ruby, would use and the botanical oils my grandma, Irene, had strewn across her vanity.” Ahead, learn more about Common Heir’s Ceramide Barrier Boost Serum and read my full review.
BEST FOR: All skin tones and types
USES: Hydrating dry skin, reducing inflammation, and improving firmness
KEY INGREDIENTS: Ceramides, agave stem extract, coconut oil, meadowfoam seed oil
ABOUT THE BRAND: Founded by Angela Ubias and Cary Lin, the skincare brand creates zero-waste and plastic-free products.
About My Skin: Dry and dull
My skin is prone to dryness year-round. If I don’t stick to my skincare routine, my skin will feel dehydrated, tight, and irritated. With my skincare products, I typically look for sensitive skin–friendly and ultra-hydrating ingredients (like hyaluronic acid, colloidal oatmeal, aloe vera, or avocado oil). When it comes to serums, I gravitate toward lightweight, runnier formulas and tend to use them in the morning and evening to ensure my skin maintains hydration.
The Delivery Method: Twist the capsule
The Ceramide Barrier Boost Serum comes with 60 recyclable capsules. To dispense the serum, you only need to twist the tip of the capsule and gently squeeze the serum onto your fingers.
The Feel: Lightweight and absorbent
Once I applied the serum to my skin, I was immediately delighted by the texture. It feels incredibly lightweight on the skin, which I appreciate, as some serums can feel too heavy and oily. It quickly absorbs into the skin, leaving behind a smooth, nongreasy finish.
Ingredients: A blend of ceramides and botanical extracts
Ubias and her team spent eight months perfecting the serum before greenlighting it for production. During that time, they experimented with different types of ceramides, an ingredient known to restore the skin barrier, improve signs of aging, and block environmental damage. “We utilize Ceramide NP at a 2% concentration to lock in moisture and replenish ceramides that we naturally start losing as we age,” Ubias says. “We also incorporated soothing botanicals like agave to plump the skin, green caviar to add more moisture, desert sand verbena to calm inflammation, and a new indigo-inspired botanical blend that’s extremely soothing and has been well-studied to reduce redness.”
As mentioned, this serum was also made with melanin-rich skin in mind. “This is particularly great for melanin-rich skin because we need more ceramides, especially on the top layers of our skin, to support a healthy skin barrier,” Ubias explains. “Studies have shown as melanin composition increases, ceramide levels decrease, which leaves those with melanin-rich skin more prone to dryness. However, even for those with fairer skin, our skin stops producing ceramides as we age, which results in drier skin and damaged skin barriers.”
The Results: Hydrated, dewy skin
Ubias recommends using the Ceramide Barrier Boost Serum daily for the best results. “This product is safe, effective, and easy to incorporate into your daily (or nightly) routine without the need for a ramp-up period the way you would a niacinamide or retinoid,” she points out. “Since I’ve had my hands on this final formula, I use it once to twice daily. In the winter, I love layering it on after my essence and before my moisturizer. At night, I love applying it after my retinol and before moisturizer for an extra layer of protection.”
Like Ubias, I’ve been applying the serum in the morning and evening. As someone with perpetually parched skin, I was excited to see if Common Heir’s Ceramide Barrier Boost Serum could mitigate my dryness. I was skeptical that one capsule would suffice, but I quickly realized that there was more than enough serum inside. After slathering it on, my skin feels velvety smooth and soft each time. I’ve also noticed skin feels plumper and bouncier. But, most importantly, this serum helps my skin stay hydrated all day. Not to mention that it leaves me with a lasting luminous, dewy glow.
Common Heir approaches sustainability in three ways—formulas, packaging, and giving back. The brand thoughtfully sources its ingredients—all palm- and coconut-derived ingredients are RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified. Additionally, on the packaging front, Common Heir adheres to a plastic-free philosophy. The cartons are 100% recyclable and printed with inks and coatings that don’t impact material recyclability or safety. The plant-based capsules are also recyclable and biodegradable. The brand recommends melting them in boiling water and pouring the remnants down your sink. Or you can add the capsules to your compost. Common Heir has also partnered with 1% for the Planet and Ocean Blue Project to further amplify the brand’s sustainability efforts, donating $1 from every email signup to support their conservation initiatives.
The Value: A worthwhile investment
The Ceramide Barrier Boost Serum is $88. However, Common Heir creates skincare products worth splurging on. As mentioned, the formulas are made with high-quality, effective ingredients. Furthermore, the product’s claims are clinically proven. Almost 40 subjects aged 18 to 65 participated in a third-party four-week clinical study for the Ceramide Barrier Boost Serum. 91% of respondents agreed that their skin immediately felt moisturized and smoother. 88% noted that they experienced improved moisture retention. Additionally, the serum’s sustainability factors make it stand out compared to others on the market.
Similar Products: You have options
Acure Ultra Hydrating Ceramide Day Serum ($22): Acure tapped plant ceramides, squalane, and centella asiatica to create this lightweight daytime serum. It provides parched skin with intense moisture, keeping your skin barrier healthy and hydrated.
Cocokind Ceramide Barrier Boost ($22): This nourishing serum supports your skin barrier and boosts hydration. It’s formulated with five types of ceramides and lipids, reducing transepidermal water loss and signs of irritation. With consistent use, you’ll notice suppler, more hydrated skin.
Common Heir’s Ceramide Barrier Boost Serum is a product I’m excited to use every morning and evening. It’s made my skin plumper, softer, and more deeply hydrated. Plus, it leaves me with a dewy, radiant glow. TLDR: If you’re dealing with dryness or dullness, this will be a game-changing addition to your routine.