Normally when I travel, my skin is at its best (I put this down to reduced stress, more sleep and often, lots of salt water). But right now, at the tail end of a 3-week jaunt in Sicily, my complexion has seen better days. It’s beyond dehydrated, irritated, rough and textured, and my pigmentation (that I’ve spent the last two years suppressing) has made its way to the surface.

I know a lot of it will calm down when I’m not flying, swimming, and constantly applying SPF in 35+ temperatures, but in the interim I wanted my face to at least feel and look comfortable — I am on vacation, after all.

Admittedly I didn’t pack very well, beauty-wise (I ran out of my regular moisturiser 10 days in), but I did bring La Roche-Posay’s Cicaplast Baume B5. I like it because it’s great in a carry-on, and my current tube was three quarters empty – meaning I could probably get rid of it and save space on the way home. I didn’t really intend to use it daily but when it because obvious my barrier was destroyed, I slathered it on. Fortunately, it worked as well as they say (it’s a cult formula for a reason) and my face went from red and sandpaper-y to soft and comfortable.

read more: 10 CULT FRENCH PRODUCTS YOU NEED TO TRY AT LEAST ONCE

As for the formula, a leading ingredient is shea butter, a known occlusive that nourishes and prevents water loss. It’s known to be somewhat congesting for pimple-prone skin (such as my own), but so far I haven’t noticed anything that would cause me to stop using it. The shea butter is also what’s able to prevent water loss and reinforce the skin barrier – two very important features. The B5 in the name is indicative of panthenol, a hydrator that attracts and retains moisture. It’s also wonderfully soothing, hence why Cicaplast Baume is touted as a stellar formula for anyone who is experiencing irritation, redness, roughness or dryness.

It’s become the unsung hero of this holiday, and now that I’m en route to Paris (my final stop before I fly home), I’ll be sure to grab a few tubes at a French pharmacy. But it’s also $20 in Australia — a fitting drugstore addition to any skincare kit, in my opinion.

Shop La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 below: 

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Balm, $20. SHOP NOW

thoughts?