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The French Drugstore Fave That Derms *Really* Wish You Knew About

Zoe Weiner

Zoe WeinerJuly 1, 2020

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Photo: Getty/lechatnoir

When it comes to French drugstore favorites, we could wax poetic about all of the many favorites we’ve acquired over the years, but the one that dermatologists really want you to know about? Biafine Cream Emulsion ($30).

The healing lotion is a French drugstore staple, and is about as common in Parisian women’s vanities as a bottle of micellar water or a tube of red lipstick. Skin pros swear by the stuff for treating everything from sunburns to abrasions, and board-certified dermatologist Shereene Idriss, MD, revealed on Instagram that she never leaves Paris without packing a bottle or two of the stuff in her suitcase. “It is amazing because if you have any burn cut, it can heal your skin in half the time,” she recently said on her IG story. This is particularly helpful for people with darker skin tones, since abrasions and inflammation are more likely to leave longterm hyperpigmentation in more melanin-rich skin.

The cream contains ingredients like trolamine and sodium alginate, which board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD, says “promotes healing of damaged skin by recruiting macrophages.” Macrophages are white blood cells that help with wound healing, so the more of them you have at a particular skin site, the faster the process can happen. Biafine Cream Emulsion works on everything from wounds to dermatitis to first- and second-degree burns. “It is often used after procedures on the face such as chemical peels and laser treatments to help with healing,” says Dr. King.

Wounded and abraded skin of all kinds is bettered by Biafine, but it’s particularly effective when it comes to treating sunburns. For best results, the brand recommends applying a thick layer to the sunburn every 10 minutes until it stops penetrating the skin, and then gently massage that final layer until the skin laps it up. ” Biafine is a go-to product for my patients because it is effective and non-irritating to the skin,” says board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner MD. He uses it to treat inflamed skin conditions ranging from burns to laser treatments, and as far as cream for sunburns go, this stuff is the best of the best.

The cream has traditionally been hard to get your hands on stateside—hence why Dr. Idriss has had to stuff her suitcases with the stuff on her trips to France—but now you can have it delivered to your doorstep with the click of a button (thanks, Internet).

Photo: Biafine

Dealing with a sunburn? Here’s what else you an do to help remedy the sitch: 

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