Products Similar to the AI Cream
AI cream manufactured by Stiefel Laboratories and sold under the Physiogel brand emerged as the preeminent product to deal with dry/sensitive/irritated skin in Hong Kong after the lab’s aggressive marketing. I have some comments on it here. There is so much hype all of a sudden on this product. This is a perfect example of how good marketing makes people forget about the vast range of similar products available.
The following post will compare the following drugstore products. They are all designed for dry/sensitive/irritated skin with moisturising properties (albeit varying in degree of moisture), but they aim for slightly different results; some protect, some relieve, some heal, and some a combination of them. While you may be planning to purchase only one, it is, however, noteworthy that these products may be viewed as complements to each other rather than substitutes.
1, Ezerra Cream
I obtained a few samples of this cream from my dermatologist. It is light and absorbs readily into the skin. It feels like water on the skin after a few seconds. When gently rubbed into skin after cleansing, skin irritation is reduced. While it claims to be a moisturiser, its moisturising properties are not strong enough; my skin feels a little tight after 5 minutes. For this reason, more frequent applications are needed. It’s definitely not a moisturiser you want to use under makeup. It is great as a regular cream for skin slightly itchy but without visible rash. It is a good multi-purpose cream to have in your handbag just in case your face, your body or your hand needs a comfort agent.
If you are experiencing eczema flare-ups or is sun-burnt, however, you will find yourself reapplying it every 15 minutes. Well, I can do without the hassle with other creams.
Ezerra Cream is manufactured by HOE Pharmaceuticals and is sold at HKD120 for a 25g tube if you buy it through clinics. Some pharmacies do carry it at a much cheaper price, around HKD100, but you’ll have to do some searching. You can get it at the best price, 20-30 ringgit in Malaysia.
2, Cetaphil Moisturising Cream
This sample came with my Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. Similar to Ezerra, it is light and absorbs readily into the skin. Still, it’s not moisturising enough to sit through an entire day, with or without makeup on top.It does help in lessening the itchiness caused by eczema, but it doesn’t do more than an average moisturiser.
It is less moisturising than the AI cream, but again, the upside is that it doesn’t leave a slippery film.
To buy or not to buy ? Well, it doesn’t hurt having an inexpensive tube of cream for your chapped skin.
Cetaphil is manufactured by Galderma and is available worldwide. In Hong Kong, its retail price ranges from HKD60 to 90 for a 100g tube.
3, Sebamed Baby Protective Facial Cream
Every now and then I pay attention to creams designed for babies and I came across this one that claims to protect the skin by retaining moisture, enhances barrier function and promotes healing of irritation. Any cream that claims to promote healing interests me, for my sensitive skin is vulnerable to wounds resulted from scratching and the effects of UV rays.
The cream proves soundly that it promotes healing; waking up from an 8-hour sleep after applying the cream to my sun-burnt skin, the redness and flaking has died down, leaving the skin only slightly tight, which is what the skin should look like at the last stage of healing.
Similar to Cetaphil and Ezerra, its moisturising property does not compare to the AI cream. On the other hand, it’s an alternative for people who dislikes the slippery film left behind by the AI Cream. Its thicker consistency makes it suitable to apply to rougher skin.
Sebamed is manufactured by Sebapharma and is available worldwide and sold in a 50ml container at HKD 130.
Euderm contains parrafin; it applies with a distinctive waxy feel to the skin and is not as easy to spread thinly. Its texture is ideal to soften rough and patchy skin, ideal as a hand cream for people with rough eczema patches on fingers. However, it may not feel as comfortable to wear on the face.
Euderm is manufactured by Xepa-soul Pattinson. I got this from my dermatologist. So far I haven’t seen it being retailed in Hong Kong.
5, Oilatum cream
Oilatum is the most unique out of the lineup. It squirts out as a soft cream but gives a slight waxy matte finish when spreaded on skin due to its main ingredient being parrafin. Despite this, the cream still moisturises to a certain extent. What amazes me about Oilatum is its extraordinary calming and healing properties, without boasting on the box. Skin tightness and irritation is relieved as soon as you finish rubbing Oilatum on the entire face. Sun-burnt skin shows no sign of sunburn after sleeping on Oilatum.
You won’t feel that your skin is drenched with water after applying Oilatum, unlike with the AI cream. If comfort-to-wear is the primary thing you look for in a moisturiser, then you are better off with AI cream. However, the results delivered by Oilatum the next day is superior to the AI cream.
Oilatum is manufactured by Stiefel and is sold widely in independent pharmacies in Hong Kong for less than HKD 40 most of the time.