Whether it’s the sun, using too strong products, treatments, acne, or food intolerances. It’s not uncommon to experience red, inflamed, and irritated skin. And sometimes even wounded.
If you have sensitive skin, like me, then you will be even more prone to be affected.
In this blog post, I’ll review two SOS creams that I’ve used myself for healing, calming, and to prevent scarring. Bioderma Cicabio Creme and Bioderma Cicabio Arnica +.
They are similar but also different. And I will explain exactly how they work, and how to use them.
This what I’ll cover:
- Bioderma Cicabio – who is this line for?
- Cicabio cream uses
- Cicabio cream for scars – which is most effective?
- How I personally use them
*Please note, this post contains affiliate links, and I may receive a small commission if you purchase through any of those links. It doesn’t cost you any extra and I only recommend products I truly love and use myself. You can read my full disclosure here.
Bioderma Cicabio – who is this line for?
The Bioderma Cicabio line is for both adults and children (even babies) and can be used when the skin is damaged or irritated.
The skin may be hurt from either too much sun, using too many active skincare products, allergies, or harsh treatments such as lasers. Or it can be injured in any other way, such as from an accident.
Either way, the skin needs some extra care and nourishment in order to heal as safely and quickly as possible. And that is when these creams come in handy.
The creams can be used on the face, body, and scalp. They are both non-comedogenic, free from fragrances, and suit every skin type.
Cicabio cream uses
Both Cicabio Creme and Cicabio Arnica + are made to speed up recovery of the skin and to relieve any discomfort.
They are both very soothing and both have glycerin as their main humectant. Which is an amazing skin-restoring ingredient for all skin types.
Both creams also contain their patented ingredient called Antalgicine which soothes itching and burning. For this reason both creams are effective to use on insects bites too.
Another patent they contain is the so-called D.A.F. complex. Which I wrote about when I reviewed my favorite moisturizer (Bioderma light cream). This complex helps increase your skin’s tolerance threshold.
Both creams also contain zinc (one of my favorite ingredients) which improves healing and reduces the risk of infection.
But besides their common qualities, it’s not easy to know which one to choose and how they differ. Especially when you compare the two tubes side by side
They look almost the same. And you need to explore the ingredients a bit more in detail to understand how they differ. And to try them out too.
I have done both. And will tell you about it in the next sections.
On top of what’s mentioned above, Bioderma Cicabio Creme is said to be specially made to restore the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin), moisturize, and purify the skin.
In other words, created for irritated skin, flaky skin, sun burns, scrapes, and to speed up healing after acne. And according to many reviews it seems to help with rosacea and dermatitis too.
It forms a healing and breathable film over the skin, which the company calls the “dressing effect”. And is completely free from any silicones. Which is great if you are sensitive to silicones.
(In my post about my favorite retinol serum you can learn more about how certain silicones may be bad for some skin types).
Cicabio Creme does not just have zinc as a healing and purifying agent. It also has copper which improves wound healing and prevents infections even further.
Both copper and zinc are also great anti-aging agents since they stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.
Personally, I seem to be a bit sensitive to this product. Even though I love most of the ingredients. So I only use it on certain parts. Which I’ll get back to.
The full ingredient list of Bioderma Cicabio Creme is here:
Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Fructooligosaccharides, Zinc Oxide, Octyldodecanol, Butylene Gly- Col, Polyacrylamide, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Copper Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Vine Extract, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Octyldode- Cyl Xyloside, Peg-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Laureth-7, Laureth-3, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Potassium Sorbate.
Cicabio Arnica +
What mostly separates Cicabio Arnica + from Cicabio Creme is that it doesn’t contain copper (but it does contain zinc), or hyaluronic acid. But instead, it has the ingredients Arnica and Apigenine. Two super interesting skincare ingredients that I’ll come back to.
Update. Unfortunately, Bioderma Cicabio Arnica is not available in the US (yet). But Bioderma Cicabio creme is.
Bioderma Cicabio Arnica is promoted to be created for skin that experiences knocks, bumps, and bruises of any kind. Even ecchymosis and hematomas. Since it contains ingredients that are specifically good at reducing swelling and altered skin color. Especially the pigments responsible for bruising.
But it does a lot more. And has become my favorite of these two.
Firstly, I like it because it is the most soothing and effective for any redness that I may have. My skin seems to prefer this one over cicabio creme.
And secondly, I am intrigued by the ingredient-mixture. I’ve talked a lot about why I love zinc so much in other blog posts already (see my post about the toner and the mist I use with zinc). So here is a brief summary of what science says about Apigenin and Arnica.
Apigenin is a flavonoid that is found in many plants. And it’s also one of the most researched flavonoids at this time.
Studies have shown that Apigenin has many interesting benefits both pharmacological and nutraceutical. For example it is a powerful antioxidant. And it has also been shown to reduce and overcome inflammation.
In studies that specifically looked at skin benefits there was shown an increased collagen density after topical use with Apigenin.
Apigenin also improves the skin barrier and the epidermal lipid synthesis. And has been proposed to be an efficient ingredient for treating atopic dermatitis.
For those reasons, I understand why my skin reacts so well to this cream. And I wonder why Bioderma doesn’t mention this more in their description. I personally found that Cicabio Arnica is better for restoring the epidermis.
Now let’s talk about Arnica.
Arnica has for a long time been used to treat bruises. And is known to reduce inflammation.
I did a search for recent studies regarding Arnicas effect on skin and found two really interesting ones.
One study from 2020 showed that Arnica reduces inflammation from UV exposure. And that it also reduces sun damages such as lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation. And at the same time increase the antioxidant capacity and glutathione levels in the skin (glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant we have).
That definitely sounds like a cream you want to have underneath your sunscreen during sunny days. At least I will from now on.
Another recent study showed that arnica was very effective in wound healing when done with microcurrent. (If you missed my post about microcurrent, you find it here).
The full ingredient list of Bioderma Cicabio Arnica is here:
Aqua (water), glycerin, dicaprylyl carbonate, caprylic (capric triglyceride), propylene glycol, behenyl alcohol, capryloyl glycine, cetyl palmitate, arachidyl alcohol, sodium acrylates copolymer, titanium dioxide (CI 77891), arnica montana flower extract, apigenin, acetyl dipeptide-1, cetyl ester, zinc sulfate, mannitol, xylitol rhamnose, laminaria ochroleuca extract, fructooligosaccharides, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, phospholipids, tocopherol, sodium citrate, arachidyl glucoside, polyglyceryl-10 stearate, xanthan gum, laureth-3, hydroxyethylcellulose, hydrogenated polyisobutene, butylene glycol, pentylene glycol, sodium hydroxide.
Tip: See my post about thermal spring waters to learn how these natural salt waters can help improve your skin’s microbiome.
Cicabio cream for scars – which is most effective?
The most common way to get a scar in your face is from acne. Especially from those deep cystic ones. Or if you’ve been squeezing and scratching on your pimples.
But you also risk getting scars from burns, peels, laser treatments and more. And despite the cause, you want to optimize the skin repair process. In which both Cicabio Creme and Cicabio Arnica can help.
I personally prefer Cicabio Arnica since it has more powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oedema effect. And that will help with any acne healing. I also personally get a more soothing effect and reduced redness from using Cicabio Arnica, compared to Cicabio Creme.
With that said, I still think Cicabio Creme is a great option. And the copper has great healing effects too.
Both creams reduce itching (and itching can increase the risk of scars) and reduce the risk of infections (infections can lead to deeper wounds and higher risk of scars. So both creams are good options.
How I personally use them
Personally, I find Bioderma Cicabio Arnica to be the best option for my skin. It reduces redness like nothing else. It calms whatever irritation I might have. And it reduces the healing time from any acne I might experience.
In other words, I, use it whenever I feel any irritations at all. And if I experience any acne I make sure to add the cream on that too. Sometimes, as when the climate can be really dry and harsh. I also just use it as an extra moisturizer on top of this one that I have as my base.
After reading the studies on apigenin, I definitely think I will start to use this during the summer months too. Since this flavonoid has shown some remarkable effects when it comes to saving the skin from UV damage. Not that it will replace any sunscreen I use (this post explains all about anti aging sunscreens). But rather as an extra bonus.
I have not had any bruises to try it out on. But if I get one I will sure see how effective it is.
When it comes to Bioderma Cicabio Creme I found it to sting my skin a little bit when used over larger areas, and especially over my cheeks. So for some reason, my skin doesn’t like it that much.
I have used it as a spot treatment instead. Over post-acne-marks. And on my hands. Cicabio Creme actually works as a wonderful hand cream. Since it has anti-aging properties too, it does a lot more than just soothe the hands.
- Bioderma Cicabio Creme and Cicabio Arnica are both created for damaged and irritated skin. They both protect the skin, improve healing, reduce the urge to scratch, and prevent bacterial infections.
- They are both fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and made for every skin type, including acne prone skin.
- Bioderma Cicabio Creme includes the humectant Hyaluronic acid. But also the ingredients zinc and copper that are effective in increasing healing, fight inflammation, and preventing bacterial growth. Both these ingredients are also great anti-aging agents.
- Bioderma Cicabio Arnica also includes zinc. As well as the flavonoid Apigenin that also reduces inflammation, protects from UV-damage, restore epidermis, and increase collagen production. And Arnica that is extra powerful against inflammation and oedema.
- I personally think both creams are great options for improving the healing time of your skin and decrease the risk of getting a scar. But I seem to be a bit sensitive towards Bioderma Cicabio Creme. While Cicabio Arnica reduces redness extremely effectively on my face.
- I also like the ingredient mix in Cicabio Arnica better. So I simply prefer to use that one on my face. And use Cicabio Creme om my hands.
If you’re interested in trying these creams, you find Cicabio Arnica at Feelunique this link.
Cicabio Creme can be found at Dermstore using this link.
Hope you enjoyed this review! Let me know in the comments below if you have any further questions about these two creams. Or if you’ve tried any of them yourself.
If you are experiencing a damaged skin barrier I recommend you also check out my post about skin barrier repair. That post gives you a complete guide on how to restore a damaged skin barrier as quickly as possible. Including the products to use and nutrients to look for.
Both Cicabio Creme and Cicabio Arnica can be a great help. But there are some more things you need to do and be careful with in order to let your skin barrier heal completely and long term. My next blog post will guide you step by step.
Until next time, love your skin!
This Post Has 18 Comments
Hi Anna! I love your blog!! I was wondering if you had any suggestions on a skin cream for skiing. To prevent wind burn and also to help retain moisture in skin. Does not necessarily have to have spf as I can add that on top.
Thank you so much 🙂 For skiing I would recommend this product from Avene https://fave.co/3cX7zDr . Hope that helps!
Great review, thanks for explaining the difference. I’ve just bought the creme (I’m in Ireland) . Used it for oven burn and am just astounded at the effectiveness.
I use the shower oil too. It’s brilliant, it might seem spendy but lasts ages.
So glad to hear that! 🙂
thank you so much for this review! I’ve been treating my acne and started using the cicabio creme (as recommended by my dermatologist) but went to the store today and accidentally bought the arnica! I was so nervous about perhaps having a completely wrong / different product but it seems I might be alright. this review has put me at ease 🙂
Glad to hear that Nandi! 🙂 I personally prefer the one with arnica so hope you like it! Also, if you have acne, I recommend you read my post about how to shrink a cystic acne. It gives a lot of general advice regarding all types of acne too 🙂 Good luck!
You have a beautiful skin. Ive always struggled with my skin, always having trouble and not blessed with a smooth and acne less skin but thank you for this., Such a valuable post!
Thank you so much Ali! But rest assured that I have had problems with my skin too. I have even experienced cystic acne but have that under control now since learning what my triggers were. So glad you liked my post! 🙂
I appreciate your thorough review! Skin care is so important and I need to do a better job of finding products that work well for my skin. I’ll definitely check these out. Thank you for the recommendations.
You’re very welcome Ana! 🙂
I had used arnica in different products, and I saw the effect on the skin. I’ll have a look at this brand as well. Again, I’m in awe at your flawless skin!
Thank you so much Mihaela! 🙂
I love everything bioderma. They have the best skincare products for all skin types and this review is well detailed especially for those whose skin tend to react differently due to changes in weather conditions.
Thank you Kris! I love Bioderma too! 🙂
I love how you break down the ingredients for us because I don’t know much about them. Thank you so much! This may just be what I need for my rosie cheeks.
You’re so welcome Lisa! And the cicabio arnica is fantastic for rosie cheeks 🙂
Thanks for sharing, as summer ends and fall is here with us, I find that I need new skincare products as my skin gets really dry in the winter months.I do have normal skin, but come winter, it`s so dry I can sometimes swear it`s scaly, and your post is just what I needed, well explained, product pros and cons and what to expect explained.
I really appreciate
Thank you for your comment Roamy??