Neogen Dermalogy Cica Real Pad Review – Beautiful With Brains

“I never knew exfoliants could be so hydrating!” I had just swiped one of the Neogen Dermalogy Real Cica Pads on my face for the first time and now I couldn’t stop touching it. It was THAT soft. A couple of days later, I caught my reflection in the mirror. “Look at that glow,” I thought. “My skin’s behaving so well lately. Am I doing something different? Oh yeah, I’ve just started using the Neogen pads!” This is an exfoliant on steroids, I tell you. And, if you’re a regular here, you know I don’t say this lightly. If you’ve got dry skin, you’re in for a treat…

Key Ingredients In Neogen Dermatology Real Cica Pad: What Makes It Work?
Lactobionic acid and gluconolactone are two members of the Polyhydroxy Acids (PHA) family. Rumour has it, they’re as effective as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (think glycolic and lactic acids) but less irritating. Is that true? Like AHAs, PHAs dissolve the “glue” that hold skin cells together so they can slough off. Once those old cells are off your face, your whole complexion looks smoother and brighter.
The difference? PHAs have a larger molecular structure, so they can’t penetrate skin as deeply. That’s not a bad thing. Less penetration = less chance of irritation. FYI, Gluconolactone isn’t much smaller than glycolic acid. It’s a little less likely to cause irritation, but if your skin’s sensitive, that’s still a possibility.
I also don’t recommend PHAs for oily skin. I don’t care what Neogen says, your skin needs an exfoliant that can penetrate into your pores. That’s a job for salicylic acid. But if you’ve got dry skin and want something a little gentler than glycolic acid? PHAs – and Neogen Dermalogy Real Cica Pad – may just be your new BFF.
Related: How To Choose The Right Exfoliator For Your Skin Type
Cica is the Korean nickname for Centella Asiatica, also know as Gotu Kola and Indian pennyworth. Seriously, how many names does this plant have?! Centella Asiatica is loaded with antioxidants and healing agents. The main ones are:

Asiatic Acid
Madecassic Acid

These 4 ingredients give Cica its cicatrising and healing abilities. Studies show they help speed up wound healing, heal scars, prevent hyperpigmentation and reduce crow’s feet. They also help soothe any potential irritation from the exfoliation. Neogen Dermalogy Real Cica Pad contains a huge dollop of Centella Asiatica. It also gives you Asiaticoside & co. Look at the ingredient list. The whole crew is there!
Hyaluronic acid is a moisture magnet on steroids: it literally attracts moisture from the air and binds it to your skin. It’s so powerful, it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. Can you imagine how happy your skin is with all that extra moisture? It plumps up, so fine lines and wrinkles look smaller. It gets softer to the touch. And it just glows! Neogen Dermalogy Real Cica Pad has 3 forms of Hyaluronic Acid. That’s moisture galore!
Related: Why You Should Add Hyaluronic Acid To Your Skincare Routine, No Matter Your Skin Type

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that banishes dryness and makes your skin supple and dewy? Download your FREE “Best Skincare Routine For Dry Skin” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):

The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
Red: What is this doing here?!

Water: The main solvent in the product, it helps to dissolve other ingredients. And it’s hydrating, too.
Glycerin: A humectant that draws moisture from the air into your skin, thus keeping it hydrated for longer.
Butylene Glycol: It enhances the penetration of active ingredients and adds extra moisture to your skin.
Dipropylene Glycol: It enhances the texture of skincare products.
1,2-Hexanediol: A preservative that extends the shelf life of skincare products. It also hydrates skin.
Octyldodecanol: It forms of protective layer on the skin that keeps moisture in, thus increasing its moisture level.
Ceramide NP(Ceramide 3): A type of wax that’s part of your skin’s protective barrier. It keeps moisture in and protects it from environmental aggressors.
Hydrogenated Lecithin: An emollient and emulsifier. It makes skin softer and keeps the ingredients well-blended together.
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: Derived from coconut oil, it moisturises skin without clogging pores.
Allantoin: It has soothing properties that reduce redness and irritations.
Betaine: An osmolyte, a fancy way of calling ingredients that help skin adapt to moisture losses and gains, balancing its hydration levels.
Panthenol: A humectant with soothing properties. It hydrates skin and reduces redness and irritations.
Cetearyl Olivate: Together with Sorbitan Olivate, it forms the  natural emulsifier trade named Olivem 1000. It prevents the oily and watery ingredients in the formula from separating.
Sorbitan Olivate: Together with Cetearyl Olivate, it forms the  natural emulsifier trade named Olivem 1000. It prevents the oily and watery ingredients in the formula from separating.
Glyceryl Caprylate: A preservative that inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi in your skincare products.
Ethylhexylglycerin: A preservative with hydrating properties.
Tromethamine: It adjusts the pH of skincare products.
Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer: It enhances the texture of skincare products.
Xanthan Gum: It thickens skincare products.
Propanediol: It helps skincare ingredients better penetrate skin.
Diglycerin: It prevents water from evaporating out of your skin, thus keeping it hydrated for longer.
Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil: It makes skincare products smell divine. But it can irritate sensitive skin.
Disodium EDTA: A chelating agent that neutralises the metal ions in the water that would otherwise spoil the formula.

Neogen Dermalogy Real Cica Pad are just that: textured pads soaked in hydrating essence. One side is slightly more textured than the other but they’re literally dripping with so much essence, you’ll hardly notice the difference. The essence itself is thick and gel-like. It takes a minute or so to absorb, but once it does, it leaves no sticky residue behind.
Technically, they’re fragrance-free. But there’s a drop of bergamot oil here that gives them a slight citrusy scent. It smells nice, but can irritate sensitive skin.
How To Use Them
Two or three nights a week, after cleansing. Simply massage the pads onto your skin without rinsing off afterwards. The solution won’t work if you remove it a few minutes later! Don’t use on the same days as retinoids.
The white and fuchsia jar is huge. You’ll find 90 pads inside! That’s enough to last you for 3 months if you use them daily – way longer if you don’t. Just make sure you close that lid well after taking a pad out or they’ll dry out and become useless.

Performance & Personal Opinion
Neogen Dermalogy Real Cica Pad are textured, but you won’t feel it. The pads feel so smooth when I swipe them all over my face. FYI, I’m using the plural here, but you only need one pad for each application. They’re not too big but more than enough to cover the entire face. I can tell the difference immediately. Straight after application my skin feels super soft and intensely hydrated. Then I go to bed (for me, exfoliation is a night job only).
When I wake up in the morning, my skin has a dewy glow that lasts well into the evening. I just look healthy and radiant for the whole day. And that’s just the exfoliation part! These pads are so gentle, you can use them daily (I alternate them with retinol because I don’t like to use too many actives at once). While I wouldn’t recommend them for acne-prone skin (get salicylic acid!), they’re great for soothing post-breakout redness… or any type of redness, for that matter.

How Does Neogen Dermatology Real Cica Pad Compare To The Other Neogen Dermatology Exfoliating Pad?
Neogen Dermalogy makes a gazillion versions of these pads. So which one is better? Which one should you choose? Let’s take a look at each of them, shall we?

Neogen Dermalogy Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Lemon (£24.53): I’m not a fan of lemons or citrus fruits in skincare. They brightens skin to an extent, but they irritate skin too. Not worth it for the limited results you get.
Neogen Dermatology Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Green Tea ($27.00): These are great anti-aging pads infused with green tea and Centella asiatica to make your skin look younger. But they don’t exfoliate skin well. Available at Soko Glam, Stylevana, Yes Style.
Neogen Dermalogy Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine ($27.00): A hydrating formula loaded with antioxidants to make skin softer and prevent premature aging. But it doesn’t exfoliate well. Available at Soko Glam, Stylevana, and Yes Style.
Neogen Dermalogy Calming Cica Tree Pad (£18.24): It exfoliates less well than this one, but it’s hydrating and has more antioxidants for younger-looking skin. Available at Yes Style.
Neogen Dermalogy Green Tea Moist PHA Gauze Peeling (£21.97): A great exfoliant for combination skin, it has PHA to brighten skin, Salicylic Acid to unclog pores, and plenty of antioxidants to prevent wrinkles. Available at Stylevana and Yes Style.
Neogen Dermatology Lemon Bright PHA Gauze Peeling ($27.00): I don’t recommend this. It’s loaded with irritating citrusy extracts and doesn’t even exfoliate that well.
Neogen Dermatology Poreraser Clear BHA Pad (£21.70): It uses derivatives of Salicylic Acid to unclog pores and prevent breakouts. It doesn’t work as well as Salicylic Acid, but as that’s not available in Asia, this is still your best bet from Neogen for acne-prone skin. Available at Stylevana and Yes Style.
Neogen Dermalogy Real Charcoal Pad ($22.00): Not a fan. It doesn’t exfoliate skin much and has too many irritating essential oils.
Neogen Dermatology Wine Lift PHA Gauze Peeling (£21.87): I have mixed feelings about it. It’s a gentle exfoliant with antioxidants that can brighten skin and prevent wrinkles. But it’s loaded with too many essential oils that can irritate sensitive skin. Available at Stylevana and Yes Style.

What I Like About Neogen Dermatology Real Cica Pad

Super hydrating, leaves skin softer and smoother
Exfoliates well
Brightens the complexion
Jar is huge and will last you for a long time
Soothing, helps to reduce redness and irritations

What I DON’T Like About Neogen Dermatology Real Cica Pad

Texture is a little thick and takes a minute to absorb
Citrusy essential oil can irritate sensitive skin
Won’t help prevent or treat breakouts

Who Should Use This?
They’re best suitable for dry skin. If you’ve got oily skin, acne, or blackheads, you’re better off with a salicylic acid exfoliant.
Related: Why Salicylic Acid Is A Must For Acne-Prone Skin
Does Neogen Dermatology Real Cica Pad Live Up To Its Claims?


NEOGEN DERMALOGY A fine microfiber pad that contains abundant highly enriching essence containing cica complex and tea tree leaf extract that aids irritated skin resulting from the external environment.

It provides gentle exfoliation while soothing the exfoliated skin leaving it moist and smooth.

Price & Availability
Available at: $20.00/£19.01 at Soko Glam and Yes Style
The Verdict: Should You Buy?
Yes. If you’re looking for exfoliating pads that get the job done and make you wakeup to that “my-skin-but-better” look, you’ll love these as much as I did.
Dupes & Alternatives
I haven’t found a good dupe/alternative for this yet.

Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Centella Asiatica Extract, Dipropylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid, Madecassoside, Lactobionic Acid, Gluconolactone, Hyaluronic Acid, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Octyldodecanol, Ceramide NP(Ceramide 3), Hydrogenated Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Allantoin, Betaine, Panthenol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tromethamine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Propanediol, Diglycerin, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Disodium EDTA

About Gio
Hi, I’m Gio. I’m a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is skin coach and writer on a mission to help you achieve your best skin day ever – every day. I bust skincare myths and debunk marketing jargon to help you figure out what’s worth the splurge and what’s best left on the shelf – using science, not hype. I also offer skincare consultations to help you create the best skincare routine for your unique needs.

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