Speed Heal: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Epidermal Recovery Accelerator

by Janine on 14 June 2010 · 46 comments

I have a few knee-jerk type solution responses to certain I-need-help statements. “MAC Blot Powder!” I blurt when someone wonders how to control daily oily-skin shine. “Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant!” jumps out when the question is about gentle exfoliants. “Neostrata glycolic acid toner!” is at the front of the line as an aid for breakout-prone complexions. “Clive Owen!” — er — well.

“Cicaplast!” is my answer to skin irritation, scrapes, cuts, hot-tool burns, and microdermabrasion gone wrong.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Epidermal Recovery Accelerator ($18.50) for irritated, distressed or post-procedure skin is a topical ointment much like Polysporin, only it can heal in half the time. (Toronto dermatologist Dr. Nowell Solish showed studies in support of its speedy ways when he first introduced editors to the product a few years back.)

A key ingredient is something called madecassoside, sourced from a medicinal plant called Centella Asiatica; its leaves have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and collagen-boosting properties. Copper, zinc, manganese and selenium, an antioxidant, also contribute to the get-better-quick, while dimethicone, a type of silicone found in moisturizers and makeup, forms a barrier over the skin a bit like an invisible band-aid.

Last year I did a dumb thing. I had a microdermabrasion facial (at a spa instead of a derm office — two dumb things), a hugely stupid move for me because I was already exfoliating my skin regularly and more than the average person would. (Listen, lots of exfoliation kept my skin breakout-free for years; any change in that routine made my complexion very cranky indeed).

First, the microdermabrasion was painful, which it had never been for me before. Second, by the time I got home, my face was a mess of throbbing, violently red welts so ouchy that I didn’t know what to do with myself.

Thankfully I remembered that Cicaplast is derm-recommended for patients who have had skin resurfacing procedures. I figured this counted since I felt like I’d left my skin at that spa place, so I beelined for my tube and slathered the stuff on. It stung like heck, but within minutes the sting faded, taking with it almost all the throbbing and a good portion of the pissed-off redness.

I reapplied several hours later when the throbbing dialed up again. And again there was that initial stinging, soon followed by blissful relief.

With Cicaplast’s help, my skin was back to its normal tone within three days, which I know for certain would not have happened otherwise. I don’t heal that quickly in general. Without Cicaplast, I’d have been red, welty and whiny for more than a week, guaranteed.

Huh. I’d never intended to tell that story.

Available at drugstores and well.ca (for $17.27).

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Arianne 14 June 2010 at 10:57 am

Oh wow! Cicaplast sounds like a magic balm!

I had a bad rope burn on my chest last summer from a ziplining escapade. Is this something that could’ve helped with that, too? The scar is unnoticeable now, but I’m wondering if I should be adding this to my first aid kit during my adventurous trips.

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Janine 15 June 2010 at 4:12 am

Yes, absolutely! One of the reasons derms recommend it is its speedy healing properties — less chance of scarring!

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Alex 14 June 2010 at 4:53 pm

I can second the Neostrata glycolic acid toner! I just got it a few weeks ago and my skin was much happier within a week of using it.

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Janine 15 June 2010 at 4:13 am

I used that stuff for more than 10 years! Am trying the glycolic-acid day cream with SPF these days, but have a bottle of the toner on reserve.

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Jill D (29secrets.com) 15 June 2010 at 1:24 pm

i find the Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Mask is equally amazing at healing things (burns, scars, etc), but Cicaplast is definitely a thriftier price point!

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Janine 15 June 2010 at 2:15 pm

Ooh, I didn’t know Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Mask had such properties — will have to give that a go in a compare-and-contrast way!

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Lisa ~ Urban Native Girl 16 June 2010 at 3:41 pm

This is great stuff, I’ve used it just when I have really sensitive dry skin that doesn’t want anything on it but I need to go out anyways (and with foundation). It’s helped me in a few situations :)

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Janine 4 July 2010 at 7:36 pm

I know some people use it for really severely dry skin, which totally makes sense, Lisa. A compromised moisture barrier needs repair assistance. My theory is that the ingredients in Cicaplast should be able to help with that. As well, the dimethicone would create a temporary shield to make sure nothing bad gets in, and serve as a smoothing primer under makeup. Nice.

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Adam 9 November 2010 at 12:58 am

Cicaplast is my savior! I have a fairly severe acne problem which has resulted in my use of Accutane for the second time within a year. The main problem with Accutane is that although it clears up your acne, it drys the skin out to the point where it can no longer heal. Healing is virtually brought to a standstill when the skin is so dry. My mom got a hold of Cicaplast because my dad had just had a basal skin cancer removed from his chin and she thought it would help with any scarring, but he never ended up using it. (He grew some hair there instead!) Anyways, Cicaplast heals up all of those dry red acne scars in a matter of days with almost instant results in removing inflammation and dryness. The best part is that it does not cause any additional acne. Probably because of its “invisible shield” it makes. I don’t know what I would have done without it!

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Janine 21 November 2010 at 9:28 pm

Thanks for the comment, Adam! As far as I’m concerned, Cicaplast (or Bioderma’s Cicabio) should be a staple in everyone’s medicine cabinet. It’s SO good!

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Yan 21 November 2010 at 8:05 am

Cicaplast is totally awesome! Trust me! I had a bad fall from my bike about 3 years ago, incurring really horrible wounds on my arms and chin (can you imagine?!). My doctor gave me some basic medication for healing but after that, I was on the lookout for scar removing stuff, and I found Cicaplast. I can’t imagine the speed at which Cicaplast removed the scars on my face and arms! It’s crazily awesome.

I have slight eczema too and just last year, I had an outbreak cos of some really strong body washes that I brought on travel. My doctor prescribed me with antibiotics and the breakout subsided. But after a while, the stuff (the outbreak) got infected terribly again and started having puss ooze out. it was crazy. Once again, I used our saviour Cicaplast! It created wonders again, though the scars could not be permanently removed. Well, but at least it is soo much lighter now.

By the way, I’m Asian, so just to assure all the Asian readers out there that it works wonders on Asian skin too. Sadly, I dont seem to be able to find Cicaplast from La Roche Posay counters in China. Will try those in Singapore though.

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Janine 21 November 2010 at 9:36 pm

Wow, what a comment, Yan! From what I know of Cicaplast, the sooner you use it after your skin is compromised, the less chance you have of scarring. You must have got it in time after your bike accident — well done! Sounds like it was tremendous with your skin irritation, as well. Thanks for your story!

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Kamille 21 December 2010 at 10:44 pm

Cicaplast saved my face! A few years back I dropped a curling iron while doing my hair and it managed to just hit the tip of my nose and fall to the floor. This resulted in extreme red scarring on the tip of my nose. Yes I was called Rudolph for many months! A joy for a grade 9 girl. After months of it not healing and thinking it never would, the local Shoppers Drug Mart gave me a Cicaplast sample, and with just the sample my burn started to heal. Since then it has always been in my house. My family is shocked at the results as you can’t even see a thing on my nose. I never was told what the cream was for as the label was all French, I just knew it worked! HAVE IT AROUND!!!

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Janine 21 December 2010 at 11:08 pm

The more stories I hear about Cicaplast, the more I marvel, Kamille. Thanks so much for this. I keep it around for dang sure!

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Jennifer 1 January 2011 at 4:47 pm

hey Janine – do you think this product would work for post waxing/threading/plucking? i tend to break out after hair removal and am SO red and go straight home. :P what do you think?

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Janine 2 January 2011 at 2:03 am

Hi Jennifer — I think it’s worth a try, actually. Cicaplast was so amazing at calming the shrieking red of my poor, welty, post-microdermabrasion-nightmare skin that surely it can handle the red ouchy post waxing.

You might also keep watch for a new product coming soon from La Roche-Posay. Toleriane Ultra is a soothing lotion designed to reduce mild skin inflammation. It doesn’t contain madecassoside like Cicaplast; instead its star ingredient is an anti-inflammatory peptide they call Neurosine, designed to calm aggravated nerve endings. You might like to check in with a beauty advisor or even a derm about whether there might be samples available. I’m checking on whether it’s due out later this month or sometime in Feb or March…

Happy to report Toleriane Ultra hit stores December 30th.

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Jennifer 5 January 2011 at 10:05 pm

wow – thanks so much Janine! :D

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Janine 5 January 2011 at 10:25 pm

My pleasure, Jennifer!

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Lola7 23 January 2011 at 8:23 pm

Used it on bad sunburn in Mexico and the next day the pain was gone and I didnt peel.

Also used it my daughters severe chapped lips under her bottom lip. It healed it in 2 days flat from only applying at night time.

I just love this stuff. I tell anyone who will listen about it.

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Janine 26 January 2011 at 7:07 pm

Thanks for telling beautygeeks readers, Lola!

I hadn’t thought of it for sunburn help, but of course, it makes sense!

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Blissfit 26 February 2011 at 11:28 am

Just stumbled here and loving your blog. I had major abdominal surgery a couple of weeks ago, leaving me with an almost 2′ long scar. I’m up for trying this or another suggestion if you have a better one. Is this in US drugstores too? Thanks.

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Janine 26 February 2011 at 11:44 am

Thanks, Blissfit! Yes, it’s available in the US and the best thing I know for post-surgery scars.

My friend had thyroid surgery and began putting it on the scar three days after she’d had it (the sooner the better; I’d had it sent to her — wish I’d put it in her hospital care package, actually!). At her appointment two weeks later, her doctor almost fell over because the scar looked as though she’d had the surgery months ago, it had healed so well already.

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Theresa R 27 February 2011 at 11:21 am

I had a full face lift 3 months ago and had a very bad reaction to the stitches. My face looked like something out of a Frankenstein movie. I used Cicaplast for two months ( unfortunately I didn’t hear about it right away). I am healed now but the doctor wants to do some scar revision. Should I use Cicaplast after the revision? Every time he sees me he eliminates revision on some areas that he originally though would scar! I also wonder if I need to keep using Cicaplast now that the wounds have all healed? If not, what other product would you recommend as a continual daily cream? Thanks Theresa PS I have two friends that are also using Cicaplast now since they have seen the success that I have had with it.

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Janine 27 February 2011 at 1:32 pm

Definitely use it after each revision! It’s not intended for use as a daily moisturizer, however, so once everything’s all healed up, you’re better off with a good moisturizer. What you use will depend on your skin type and what you want in your creams. There’s a lot of great stuff out there at a variety of price points, from Olay Pro-X to StriVectin, Weleda to AmorePacific, and Révive to La Mer. :-)

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Theresa R 27 February 2011 at 3:42 pm

Thank you very much for your response. It makes me feel better to have you confirm that I am safe to discontinue Cicaplast once my skin has healed. I will definitely get a new tube once the revisions are done.

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Janine 27 February 2011 at 4:06 pm

Happy to help, Theresa! You might like to check with an advisor for La Roche-Posay at your local drugstore for any other tips. Cosmetic dermatologists often suggest it for patients post cosmetic-procedure; La Roche-Posay was at one time available only via dermatologists.

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Leah 28 March 2011 at 10:00 pm

I was recommended this at a beauty supply shop for tattoo aftercare, apparently it works wonders, will be giving it a go in one more day.

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Janine 29 March 2011 at 5:00 am

You won’t be disappointed, Leah. The stuff is very nearly miracle-good.

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Nicki 20 August 2011 at 7:48 pm

Hey Janine!
Love your blog! I was wondering if Cicaplast would be good for healing tattoos? I heard its great for them, but wanted to hear what you think. I have lots of tats & getting another one this week but running out of the Tattoo Goo you can purchase at the Tattoo place so I was wondering if I could use this instead? Its not gonna damage the tat in any way will it? Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you. :)

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Janine 22 August 2011 at 8:52 am

Hi Nicki,

Thanks for the compliment! Yes, I think Cicaplast is a good choice post-tattoo. The “original formula” Tattoo Goo seems to be a mix of natural ingredients such as olive oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, and sunflower oil (all of which skin likes to be healthy), plus a hit of colour. The lotion version also contains dimethicone (a type of silicone common to moisturizers) and parabens.

Cicaplast is a paraben-free blend of silicones — they sit on top of the skin like a light invisible bandage to protect skin as they keep the ingredients in contact with the skin’s surface — and repair-boosting ingredients such as La Roche-Posay thermal water, minerals copper and zinc, and Centella Asiatica, its hero component. It’s so good at healing, that derms recommend it to patients for post-procedure use.

It doesn’t appear to contain anything that will harm the artwork either — it’s very gentle and has no exfoliating ingredients. It’s all about the healing. I say give it a go :-)

And let me know how it goes, okay?

Thanks for your question!

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Claire 21 February 2012 at 4:41 am

I just got a tattoo on my side/hip and the tattoo artist recommended I buy cicaplast to help and speed up the repair process. So far it’s proving really effective, and the texture is perfect too, not too thick so that you can apply it easily and without removing any scabs.

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marc 31 August 2011 at 3:01 pm

had a cat scratch on nose, after 4 months nothing seemed to take it off, was so frustrating, i thought it would just stay there. my deramtologist recommended me cicaplast, after 2 weeks it has three-quarters dissapeared. seems like a small scar may remain though, but the wound is much better. how long should i keep on using it?
thanks.

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Janine 31 August 2011 at 4:12 pm

Couldn’t hurt to use it another week, Marc — or until you feel it’s completely healed :-)

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marc 3 September 2011 at 8:56 am

whilst the majority of the wound is dissapearing, one bit kind of grew towards outside, and its red, like a hypertrophic scar. why did this happen? should i keep on using this product?
thank you!

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Janine 3 September 2011 at 12:55 pm

That’s something you might want to check with a doc or dermatologist, Marc. I doubt it’s related to using Cicaplast; something else may be going on.

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kidist minda 31 July 2012 at 7:05 am

i got iron burn and i started using it after three weeks and i am seeing result how long should i use it?

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scarlett 10 March 2013 at 2:20 pm

Hi.i had roaccutane treatment.my acne is completelly gone but unfortunetly there are some red places on my face from big pimples.its something like scar but its flat and it itches and the color is red..nothing seems heel that places :-/ should i try cicaplast?could it help?

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Janine 11 March 2013 at 10:47 pm

Hi Scarlett,

There’s no harm in trying — it might help. I’m such a fan of Cicaplast that I’d probably try it. If you do, keep us posted, okay? :-)

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jameela 30 April 2014 at 7:15 am

I had chemical peeling 3 months ago and it is left scars on my face,do you think Cicaplast can help me To get rid of peeling scars

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Janine 30 April 2014 at 1:45 pm

I think it’s worth a try ASAP, Jameela. You might want to check with a dermatologist to see what else can be done, but Cicaplast might help. There’s a Cicaplast Baume B5 to consider; it has more of a lotion texture so you can use it as moisturizer day and night. Or use it during the day, and this regular Cicaplast at night.

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