This month, the brand launched Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream. Billed as an enhanced and efficacious solution to soothe wounded, compromised skin, the cream is formulated with proprietary C+ Restore complex, a postbiotic skin-repairing active ingredient.
According to Avène, this cream is clinically proven to accelerate skin’s recovery process by four times while maintaining an optimal healing environment.
The formulation is an updated version of the original Cicalfate, which launched in 2001 and is a leading skin repair cream prescribed by doctors and dermatologists. In fact, Avène says there’s one Cicalfate cream sold every five seconds globally.
C+ Restore is a biotechnological postbiotic ingredient and next-generation skin repair agent extracted from the Aqua. Dolomiae bacterium found deep in Avène’s thermal spring water.
Avène researchers utilized Aqua. Dolomiae to formulate an ingredient that yielded higher levels of flagellin, a protein found in the intestine which stimulates receptors to activate growth factors that then multiply on the surface of epithelial stem cells, inducing skin repair.
According to Avène, this approach to skin repair highlights the major role of the intestinal microbiota in the regeneration and healing processes of its epithelium (on average skin is renewed every 21 days, however the intestines epithelium renews itself every 4 to 5 days.)
This ingredient allows Cicalfate+ to aid in healing the skin 2.5x faster than untreated skin after 24 hours, with 80% of panelists reporting a soothing effect within 48 hours of use, according to the brand,
Products that address the microbiome have risen in prominence within the skin care sector during the past several years.
Board certified dermatologist Dr. Mona Gohara, whowas on-hand during the online launch event, saidshe backs products that are gentle to the microbiome. But she admitted to being skeptical about some of what she has been seeing related to pre- and post-biotics within skin care.
“You need to have science behind it. There are lot of brands that promote it as marketing tool. I have been a big skeptic for a long time," she said.
“This product makes sense. It mimics something that is happening in our skin naturally,” Dr. Gohara said about Cicalfate+.
Additional ingredients in the formulation include copper sulphate and zinc sulphate, which limit the risk of bacterial proliferation by maintaining a healthy skin environment for optimal recovery.
“They help to keep bad bacteria out and good bacteria in,” said Dr. Gohara.
According to Avène, Cicalfate+ has more than 45 different uses—localized dryness, sunburn, scratches, cuts, diaper rash, post-superficial dermatological procedures and skin prone to eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. It also helps soothe skin irritations caused by personal protective equipment and acne caused by mask wearing, often referred to as "maskne."
Dr. Gohara said she is seeing increased acne from mask wearing as well as contact dermatitis from the detergents that people are using to wash their masks.
“Now more than ever, we are seeing so much from mask irritation. This is our new accessory,” said Dr. Gohara, noting that Avène's new Cicalfate+ cream can help without being overly greasy.