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Winter’s not over yet, folks.

The South may be going through a warm front, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to bust out the sundresses and espadrilles. We’re still bound for at least a few more chilly days and nights, which means we can’t switch to those light-as-air gel lotions just yet. We’re in full-on, face-slathering, give-me-a-tub-o-moisture mode, which is why we were pleased as punch to find a new (to us) term in the language of hydration: cica. Since we knew so very little about this equally tiny word, we decided to reach out to Austin-based dermatologist Dr. Ted Lain of Sanova Dermatology. He gave us the skinny on what we need to know about the buzz-worthy moisturizer and provided a couple picks that get his stamp of approval.

The first thing we asked was why the sudden boost in popularity? As Dr. Lain put it, the recent resurgence is in part due to the interest in “all natural” skin solutions. Cica creams are named after one of its primary ingredients centella asiatica, a plant that’s been used for millennia for its moisturizing properties, to treat inflammation, and heal wounds. As such, cica creams are being lauded for their ability to heal and moisturize irritated or sensitive skin—i.e. cica’s the winter skin soother you’ve been looking for.

One more thing Dr. Lain cleared up for us was exactly what’s to blame for our super dry skin the past few months. Hint: It’s not the cold air. It turns out, indoor heating sucks the moisture from our skin and low humidity levels outside do nothing to add it back in. So, we’re left with dry, dull derma that’s in need of a moisture boost. He recommends giving a one of the double-duty cicas below a try—after all, we’re expected to be multitaskers so why shouldn’t our skincare? You took the words right out of our mouths, Dr. Lain.  

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L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Cicacream Anti-Wrinkle + Skin Barrier Repair

Dr. Lain’s Rx: “This product has Pro-Retinol, a version of tretinoin, the most studied and powerful ingredient to grow collagen and rejuvenate the skin. Pre-Retinol can be irritating, however, so the inclusion of cica to help reduce the inflammation and maintain the skin barrier is both logical and necessary.”

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La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Soothing Repairing Balm

Dr. Lain’s Rx: “Panthenol, derived from Vitamin B5, is a natural humectant, bringing water into the skin and increasing hydration; couple that with cica and this balm hydrates, moisturizers, protects, and serves as an anti-inflammatory. I recommend this balm for those with sensitive skin, after a procedure, or in dryer climates.”

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