Monthly Skincare Review: Avène / by Didier Young

It’s common knowledge by now that I am a bit of a skincare junkie. Skin is our biggest organ and it is fully exposed to the outside world so we definitely need to protect and nurture it to the best of our abilities. Skincare laboratories around the world are always working on brand new technologies to help us achieve our skin goals and I am always eager to give them a try. However, unlike makeup, I simply cannot offer you a concrete answer on how much I love a new product within the span of 16 hours. While our skin does absorb quite a fair bit of the products that we put on it, it does take some time for it to truly show any form of improvement. As such, I decided to start a new monthly series on the blog where I’ll be trying a specific skincare regiment or product for the duration of a full month before offering you my opinion on them. For the first segment in this series, I’d like to showcase a brand that has been a favourite of mine for years: Avène.

The brand owes its name to the town of Avène, a small village in the south of France. The brand’s history is quite peculiar: one of the Marquis of Rocozels’ horse, who was suffering from a severe skin disease, found a thermal spring near the village and after drinking the water and having it’s skin exposed to it, the horse’s skin was cured. The Marquis then decided to build the first thermal spring facilities on the site in 1743 to treat patients suffering from eczema, psoriasis, burns and atopic dermatitis. In 1871, the brand made its appearance in America after bottles of the precious liquid were sent to sooth the burn victims of the Great Chicago Fire and by 1990, a full line of skincare products were created and commercialised. Almost 30 years later, the brand can be found worldwide and is still known for its miraculous source ingredient.    

As previously mentioned, the brand has been one of my favourites since my dermatologist prescribed it to me during my teenage years. The one product that has remained in my routine since then is the Cleanance cleanser gel. The soap-free formula is super gentle on the skin and is very faintly scented. The cleanser is recommended for oily and blemish-prone skin but I find that it doesn’t dry out my skin, a side effect that I’ve often noticed from products targeting that specific skin type. Another one of my holy grails from the brand is the Thermal Spring water. The spray can consists mostly of the famed water and it is perfect for sensitive skin. I’ve also noticed that whenever my eyes are tired, a quick spritz of the water can really help to sooth them. 

Now let’s get to the newer products that I’ve tried for the month. The Soothing moisture mask has been an absolute blessing during this prolonged dry winter. A hydrating mask is usually a glorified moisturizer: it packs more of a punch and you are meant to apply a slightly thicker coat to your face, leave it on for about fifteen minutes and wipe off the excess. In my case, I don’t usually wipe it off and I simply use it as an overnight mask. After using this mask, I find myself waking up to hydrated and glowing skin and I love that the texture of the product is neither sticky nor overly thick. I also made use of the soothing eye contour cream for half of the month and to be quite honest, it isn’t my favourite product. I did not have any horrible side effects from using it but I did find it to be a tad too runny for my personal taste.

Since I am fast approaching my thirtieth birthday, I decided to give YsthéAL, the brand’s anti-aging line, a try. The Anti-wrinkle skin renewal concentrate is suitable for all skin type and it was quite a lovely product. The texture is thicker than their usual moisturizers without feeling heavy or sticky upon application. Over the month, I did notice that my skin looked less dull and I am happy to say that I didn't encounter any breakout issues. I also gave the Eye and Lip Contour Care a try. The key ingredients in the product (retinaldehyde ,Glycylglycine oleamide ,pre-tocophery) aim to smooth away the appearance of wrinkles, brighten the skin, boast elasticity and provide anti- oxidant protection. Texture wise, it was thicker than the above mentioned eye cream and I did notice that my under-eye area got slightly brighter after using it for a couple of weeks.

I am happy to say that Avène passed the test once again. I love that their skincare line is hypoallergenic, fragrance free and paraben-free which makes it ideal for people with sensitive skin like me and I’ll be sure to add a couple of their products to my daily routine.

-Didier