Eau Thermale Avène is a skincare brand that really appeals to my penchant for simplicity. The range is streamlined so that only the most effective and efficient ingredients are included, plus each product is infused with soothing Avene Thermal Spring Water, which is a veritable goldmine of protective minerals and trace elements.
Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser
I have never considered my skin to be particularly sensitive, but in recent years it’s become a lot more unpredictable. I’ve managed to control my random bouts of dryness and redness with a range of different moisturisers and serums, but I’m still on the lookout for a great cleanser. On paper, the Extremely Gentle Cleanser promised to sooth my irritable complexion, and I was keen to see if it would deliver.
I’ve been using the cleanser for about three weeks solid as of writing this post, and my skin is holding up very nicely indeed. The texture takes a little bit of getting used to; it’s a gellified cream/sorbet, and it’s very runny (although that does mean that a very small amount covers a large area). It’s a massage on and wipe off formula, which suits me very nicely. I’m not the biggest fan of water cleansers, and I know many people with sensitive skin would rather avoid water, too.
As expected, it’s a streamlined formula: scent-free, oil-free, and colour-free. This is a nice change from some other cleansers I’ve used in the past, which are packed full of highly fragranced, lathering detergents. The whole process of massaging the sorbet into the skin and gently wiping away with a cotton pad is just lovely, and it leaves the complexion clear and soft in no time at all. As I wear the highly pigmented Vichy Dermablend foundation, I need more cotton pads than most to remove every last trace of make-up, but the Extremely Gentle Cleanser deals with this surprisingly well.
All in all, I highly recommend this cleanser. It’s refreshing, lightweight and respectful to skin, without compromising on efficacy; and that’s a rare combination!
Avene Thermale Spring Water Spray
In conjunction with the Extremely Gentle Cleanser, I trialled the much-lauded Avene Thermale Spring Water Spray. I must admit that I was at first a little wary of water sprays. And now? Well, I use them every day, and in a variety of ways.
The Thermal Spring Water Spray is one of the best, as it’s just so soothing. Its pH is very close to neutral and it’s free from bacteria, providing optimum tolerance and gentleness for even the most sensitive of skin. At first I used the spray on clean and dry skin before moisturising, which made my cream sink into the skin more easily. I then expanded into spraying areas of my body that experienced dryness, like my shoulders and the tops of my arms for some instant relief from the tightness. Now I use it for everything, from setting my make-up to boosting lifeless hair (honestly!). I’ve heard of the Thermal Spring Water Spray being used for many things – it’s just so versatile. If you’re curious about it, try a small can and see how you get on. Chances are you’ll use it for something entirely unexpected too!
Avene Cleanance Mask
I have a visceral reaction to face masks. I’m not sure why I love them quite so much. It must be from watching stereotypical teen dramas as a nipper, where the girls were on perpetual sleepovers wearing rollers and masks. Obviously a desirable thing! The Cleanance Mask is a treatment and a pampering session all in one, and it’s such a pleasure to apply. Cooling, soothing and lightweight, it doesn’t feel cumbersome on skin that is already used to feeling clogged from excess oiliness.
Made with kaolin white clay which is ideal for mattifying skin, plus lots of Avène’s ultra-soothing thermale spring water, it absorbs oil but doesn’t strip the skin of its softness. I pop it on my skin while I’m in the shower before washing my hair, and then rinse it off as I’m rinsing my hair out. After showering, I rehydrate my skin with a quick spritz of the Thermale Spring Water Spray and some moisturiser, and my complexion is left feeling balanced and smooth. If your skin type is combination (like mine) and you don’t require intensive daily mattifying, then using the mask once a week should be enough. Use 2-3 times a week if your skin is oily.