Is This Chemical Sunscreen Gentle Enough For Sensitive Skin?

by Gio
bioderma cicabio spf 50+ review

How do you protect sensitive skin on holiday?

That’s a good question. I rely on zinc oxide, but I know a lot of you HATE the white cast it leaves behind.

Chemical sunscreens are always a bit of a lottery. Some chemical UV filters are ok, others trigger the alarm immediately.

Bioderma Cicabio SPF 50+ doesn’t use any of the worst culprits, like Avobenzone and Oxybenzone. But, is it safe as it claims? Let’s find out:

What’s In Bioderma Cicabio SPF 50+?

UV FILTERS TO PROTECT YOUR SKIN FROM UV HARM

If I had to create a sunscreen for damaged skin, I’d sneak zinc oxide in there. It’s a gentle UV filter that doubles up as skin protectant, keeping your skin safe from the sun, germ and all kinds of enemies until it’s all healthy and patched up again.

Problem is, zinc oxide often leaves a thick, white cast behind. Even if it’s the best thing for you, you may not want to use it. That’s why Bioderma Cicabio SPF 50+ took a different approach: chemical UV filters + soothing agents.

Here’s what gives it its sun protection superpowers:

  • Homosalate: weak UVB filter. If it were used alone, the sunscreen would be useless!
  • Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate: A.k.a. Octyl Methoxycinnamate. It protects skin from UVB rays and helps other UV filters last longer, too.
  • Ethylhexyl Salicylate: A.k.a. Octyl Salicylate, an UVB filter with a slightly oily consistency and a mild floral scent.
  • Ethylhexyl Triazone: Another UVB filter (how many are there?!).
  • Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine: Finally, some UVA protection. Tinosorb S protects from both kinds of UV rays.

Related: What Are The Best UV Filters?


How effective is your sunscreen? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Sunscreen Audit” Worksheet and find out if your sunscreen is really up to the job:


SODIUM HYALURONATE TO HYDRATE SKIN

Sodium hyaluronate its a form of hyaluronic acid that attracts and binds to the skin up to 1000 times its weight in water. Plus, it works well both in high and low humidity conditions.

When skin has that much moisture, it plumps up. This alone is enough to make your fine lines look smaller – temporarily. Hydration also makes skin soft and gives the complexion a dewy glow (think Korean skin).

P.S. Glycerin is here too. It does the same thing, but on a smaller scale.

Related: Why You Need Hyaluronic Acid In Your Skincare Routine, No Matter Your Skin Type

CENTELLA ASIATICA TO SOOTHE SKIN

You won’t find Centella Asiatica on the ingredient list. Instead, Bioderma Cicabio SPF 50+ uses 3 of the components that give it its soothing properties: Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, and Madecassis Acid.

Together, they calm down redness and irritations and nurse your skin back to health.

P.S. Asiaticoside goes a step further. A small study on real skin in humans found it helps to reduce crow’s feet.

Texture

Lightweight and fast-absorbing.

Fragrance

It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

It’s the last step of your skincare routine in the morning. Apply it generously and reapply it every few hours as needed.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Light green in colour, Bioderma Cicabio SPF 50+ has a lightweight texture that sinks into my skin fairly quickly. My dry cheeks lap it up immediately.

My oily t-zone is another matter entirely. I’m lucky my skin isn’t too oily, but still this sunscreen makes it look shiny for an hour or so. If you have very oily skin, that oily-shiny look will last a lot longer. If that bothers you, better look for something else. 🙁

Either way, its lightweight texture makes it easy to build up, even when you’re wearing makeup. If you have dry skin, Cicabio doubles up as a good primer to add some hydration and tone down redness.

If you’re not allergic to any of the UV filters, I’d say this Cicabio is a nice way to protect skin from UV harm and soothe the damage if you’ve lingered in the sun too long.

Related: What Can You Do If You’re Allergic To Sunscreen?

bioderma cicabio spf 50

Who Is This For?

  • Dry skin
  • Sensitive skin

Who Is This NOT For?

Oily skin.

Packaging

A white and purple tube. It’s sleek and practical, if small.

Does Bioderma Cicabio SPF 50+ Live Up To Its Claims?

CLAIMTRUE?
The very high sun protection repairing cream prevents scar marks for whole family.Mostly true, but it can’t prevent scars.
Restores the epidermis.Not sure what it means. There are ingredients that can soothe irritations here, but it can’t single-handedly heal wounds.
Protects against the sun thanks to the very high SPF 50+ UV protection to limit the risk of post-scarring hyperpigmentation (brown spots)True.
Relieves discomfort and reduces the urge to scratch.True.
Purifies thanks to the copper and zinc antibacterial agents.Purifies is one of those words that doesn’t mean anything.
Moisturises.It’s a little hydrating.

Price & Available

£10.00 at Bioderma and Look Fantastic

Do You Need It?

If you’re looking for a gentle sunscreen, this is a good option to consider.

Dupes & Alternatives

Ingredients

Aqua, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Homosalate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Glycerin, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Butylene Glycol, Nylon 6/12, Cyclopentasiloxane, Caprylyl Methicone, Silica, Sodium Citrate, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Copper Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Vine Extract, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassis Acid, Ectoin, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclomethicone, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Laureth-3, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Isostearate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Propylene Carbonate, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, BHT, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopherol, Citric Acid. [BI 689]

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