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).