A Dermatologist Calls This $26 Drugstore Cream the ‘Olympic All Star’ of Scar Treatments

There's no single "best" way to treat a scar. In order to successfully make one disappear, you need to create the perfect environment for wound healing, collagen production, and hydration, which has traditionally required layering on multiple different products to target each factor individually. But with Avène's new Cicalfate+ Scar Gel ($26), you can now get the trifecta of scar treatments in the form of a single, $26 moisturizer.

"You know how there’s an Olympic All-Star team that has all the best players on one team? Well, this is just like that, because it has all the best scar treatments in one cream," says Mona Gohara, MD, board-certified dermatologist based in Connecticut. It's formulated with four superstar ingredients that work to diminish the appearance of scars at every level. "You essentially have one element that’s accelerating wound healing, one element that is regulating and perfecting collagen production, one element that is creating the optimal environment for the first step of healing, which is hydration, and one element that helps with any potential symptoms associated with scarring," she adds.

First up is Ciclafate+, which uses proprietary postbiotics to trigger wound healing in your skin. "It makes the wound heal four times faster than it would on its own, which is essential because the second your skin is re-epithelialized —which means it's no longer an open wound—is when you can actually start the scar treatment," says Dr. Gohara. "And the quicker you start the treatment, the less obvious the scar will be."

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After the wound has started to heal, silicone comes in to kick your skin's collagen production into high gear to stave off scarring before it really starts. "Collagen is one of the primary things in scars, but you don't want there to be too much or too little of it," says Dr. Gohara. "Silicone is able to regulate the collagen so that it's just right."

Next comes hyaluronic acid, which Dr. Gohara says is "essential" because it acts as a humectant to draw water into your skin, and we know that hydration and moisture are important for optimal wound healing. "When there’s a wound you have to keep it hydrated, dryness decelerates the healing process and makes the scar more irritated and noticeable," she says. And finally, there's the brand's signature spring water, which acts as an anti-inflammatory to soothe any of the tight, itchy, or painful symptoms that scars tend to bring about.

"Usually, we'd be telling you to use one serum for this step and one serum for that step of a scar treatment, but this is a multi-factorial approach," says Dr. Gohara. "Avéne put all of those steps together to make a superstar scar cream."

For best results, simply massage the cream into your skin for five minutes, twice a day, which will help to speed up the healing process. "Massage, which is also known as 'skin mobilization,' will help to break up any potential collagen clumps, which will make scars flat instead of raised," says Dr. Gohara. You can start using it immediately after your skin experiences any trauma—for example, after you've picked at a pimple you probably shouldn't have—and could purportedly expect to see results faster than you would otherwise. Your old acne scars don't stand a chance.

For additional tips on how to treat scarring, check out the video below. 

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