La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5
I am the opposite of an impulse buyer, I am a planned purchaser. The process that comes before I buy a new product usually involves reading and thinking about it over several months and while this does suck all the fun out of it, it does mean I feel satisfied it is worth trying.
Which is what made La Roche Posay's Cicaplast Baume B5 an unusual purchase for me. I already had two products in my basket and a 3 for 2 offer at Boots meant I could buy a third of the same or ... try something new. Browsing the skincare aisles, it was hard to resist the claims that La Roche Posay make for Cicaplast: a fragrance free soothing repairing balm with an antibacterial-adhesion texture for dry skin irritations and cutaneous heating sensations by aiding skin recovery, soothing dry irritated areas and protecting skin to provide comfort. Yes bloody please.
When I read "balm" I expect a something thick and oily, like Bobbi Brown Extra Balm or Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, which is a texture I find really comforting. But Cicaplast comes out the tube as a white cream and if I apply to dry skin, it leaves behind a chalky and white cast which I put down to the titanium dioxide. I got a surprise when I looked in the mirror after first applying to my face and saw Casper the Friendly Ghost staring back at me. It accentuates every line and flake, and so I must rub it in really well and follow-up with moisturiser to sort out the texture issue and dilute the white cast. On more moisturised skin it blends in better with only a slight white cast. However, I still don't detect the so-called "adhesion texture", what I can feel is a slight silicone-primer texture from the dimethicone.
So far it sounds like I should hate this product, right? Cicaplast however is useful for treating irritation and hot skin despite the above issue. When I have a tingly itch, putting this on can stop it getting out of hand. And if I have scratched, putting this on does help to soothe the skin. It's not going to stop you rubbing your back against a tree if you have a full-blown itchy attack, this is for minor irritations, but it is an aid. As for repairing, I feel the soothing elements that can stop you damaging your skin, together with its anti-bacterial properties do aid repair but I can't say more than that. If you have been caught by the recent interest in Centella Asiatica (if not read Lab Muffin's guide here) you will be interested to know that Cicaplast contains a compound of that plant, Madecassoside, known for its healing properties.
I find I need to use Cicaplast quite liberally to get the best out of it but that brings me back to the chalky white cast problem. I wish it was more moisturising - that would be perfect. La Roche-Posay have now formulated a gel version without titanium dioxide, which I really want to try but they have unfortunately priced it the same as the balm but provided 60% less product. This annoys me so much that on principle I have not yet bought it but if I do give in, I will do the courtesy of letting you know. For now, I keep using Cicaplast to control itchy skin but with a mirror on hand.