I Use This French Cream Every Night and My Skin Has Never Looked More Supple

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I Use This French Cream Every Night and My Skin Has Never Looked More Supple featured image
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One particular evening last winter my face felt extra sensitive and more irritated than usual. In lieu of my usual moisturizer, I grabbed the Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream ($28)— a go-to in my medicine cabinet for eczema flare-ups, rashes and dry patches. Since that first night, using the highly soothing barrier cream as a nighttime moisturizer has transformed my complexion from dull and dry to dewy and supple.

What is Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream?

The Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream is a French staple for adults, kids and infants. It’s designed to hydrate ultra-dry skin, protect skin from factors that compromise the skin barrier and relieve discomfort. The formula relies on postbiotics to restore the ever-important skin barrier, glycerin to attract and retain moisture and Avène’s proprietary thermal spring water to soothe redness and add an extra boost hydration. It’s fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, gets the stamp of approval from the National Eczema Association and is dermatologist-recommended for even the most sensitive skin types.




How to use Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream as a nighttime moisturizer

Based on its thicker texture, slathering on an ultra-rich cream may seem risky and daunting, but think of it like slugging, sans the sometimes pore-clogging petroleum jelly. Stick with it and your subsequent clear and baby-smooth skin will speak for itself. After cleansing and serums (this should be the last step of your skin-care routine), I apply a nickel-size amount on my face like I would a mask. And while it does leave a temporary white cast, the only place I’m off to is bed, so no issue here. (Fans of using in the morning recommend waiting a few minutes before applying any other product.) Come morning, the protective cream melts into skin, leaving it looking healthier, more plump and glowy then the night before.

What do shoppers think?

Avène’s Cicalfate+ cream truly does it all, and shoppers want you to know it. One reviewer unhappy with “long, deep wrinkles” from dehydrated skin said their skin is “elastic [and] healthy” and wrinkle-free after using Cicalfate+ for two weeks. A second credits it with relieving “chronic dry patches and itchiness.” A third customer says Cicalfate+ is “healing, calming, and doesn’t congest the skin.” More reviews say it works like “magic” to treat perioral dermatitis, “great to use after retinol” and “excellent for rosacea.”

More Avène products we love

There are few brands that can call themselves gentle, effective and affordable, while also so beloved by consumers, beauty editors, dermatologists and consumers alike. Avène is one of those rare brands. Scroll on for additional Avène favorites.



Anyone can use Avène’s Eau Thermal mist. It’s refreshing, suitable for all skin types and truly multi-purpose. Use it to reduce skin discomfort, between skin care steps, to calm redness and refresh midday makeup. This French pharmacy icon will be in my skin care routine forever.



While the search for the fountain of youth continues, the RetrinAl 0.1 Intensive Cream comes close. It’s an anti-aging moisturizer that smoothes skin, fills in lines and wrinkles and evens out tone with vitamin E and peptides. Use before your nighttime moisturizer, and remember to up your SPF while using.



The ultra-gentle Tolérance Extremely Gentle Cleanser is a milky formula that soothes and effectively cleans with postbiotics and thermal spring water—no rinsing needed. For anyone that loves a clean feeling sans skin-stripping ingredients commonly found in foaming cleansers.

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