Asking me to convert from Neutrogena to another skin care brand would be a tall order indeed. After searching for so many years to finally find an excellent and inexpensive skin care regime that works perfectly for me, I would be hesitant to change it.
However in an attempt to be a ‘proper’ blogger I accepted I would need to give up my beloved Neutrogena and test at least one other brand. I had heard great things about a French make (surprise, surprise) called Avène so got in touch with their PR company and requested some samples to try. I asked for the Cleanance range for oily, blemish prone skin remembering that it had been pretty good after I cheekily borrowed it from a French girlfriend’s bathroom.
I have always made it clear with PR’s (being one myself) that I will only ever write up a review if I think that the products I have been sent actually do work. Honesty has always been my policy. So here it is… I LOVE Avène. I am converted.
Neutrogena, I will always love you and highly recommend you but for the time being, I am an all-singing-all-dancing Avène convert. I have been using the range for just over two weeks and whilst normally I would give a new regime a good month to take effect, the results have been so instant that I feel ready to write up my review now. I will re–cap in a month’s time to let you know if I am still raving liking a lunatic, however only a few moments ago I was complimented on my skin… something I crave yet rarely feel I deserve. I must admit, it is certainly looking the clearest it ever has, belmish-free and much cleaner pores.
Even after a savage night of drinking a week ago, the range passed the ultimate test. I was fully prepared the next morning to see my skin’s usual response to alcohol – obscenely dehydrated resulting in breakouts. Whilst I still had that general hint of green and those dilated pupils which will always give you away, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my skin looked clear.
So how is it that the French do sexy men, great cheese and amazing skin care? What can’t they do other than British manners? (Sorry to all my French friends but nothing beats the polite reserve of an English gentlemen). In order to get to the bottom of the technology and innovation of Avène as a company, the first thing I did was google map them.
Yes, I am geographically savvy enough to realise that Avène is an actual place. It was nothing to do with the fact that it was a complete stab in the dark because the name sounded like ‘Evian’. Anyhow, you only need to look at the satellite map and see the grassy, green mountains and crystal clear blue lakes to know that this stuff is coming from a pretty special source. I feel hydrated just looking at it! As early as 1874, the Avène spring thermal water, located in a small town in the South of France, has been renowned for its soothing properties and treating skin infections.
After removing all traces of make-up, I begin my strict cleanse, tone, moisturise routine (TWICE a day ladies!). I have always been a wash-off cleanser kind of gal… not only is it refreshing to splash your face with fresh water to remove the daily grime but it gets to the route of my oilier skin. Using a pea size amount of the Cleanance Soapless Gel Cleanser and a couple of drops of water I lather it up between my hands and gently massage into damp skin taking time on the oilier parts of my face such as the cheeks and nose. After a few splashes of water, my face feels squeaky clean and fresh. Moreover, it has that lovely, clean, comforting smell that make you want to sigh a big ‘ahhhhh’. A bit like when you get into a bed that has freshly laundered sheets!
After a nice deep clean, I use the Cleanance Toner. I shake the solution up and down to activate the matifying powder and then gently sweep a load cotton pad over my face, concentrating on the t-zone and taking it right down to the neck. This product is my new favourite trick for making my make-up last all day. This crafty mix of Avène thermal water and powder has a long-lasting anti-shine effect which creates an excellent, clean base.
In the mornings, I finish of this process with the Cleanance Emulsion Gel. Its oil-free formula creates the silkiest yet matt base. The general feeling is so smooth and clean that I actually found myself stroking my face the other morning. Combined with the rest of the regime this gel-moisturiser creates the perfect base for applying make-up to.
At night, I prefer a little more intense hydration and am still neurotically obsessed with fading the marks on my face. Thus I am continuing to sumptuously massage Bio Oil in so the blood is encouraged to pump around my face. Together the deeply cleansing Avène mixed with the ultra-nourishing Bio Oil works towards my goal of flawless, perfect skin.
Combined with a tan (fake or real – I can’t be without some colour), I would now say I feel confident enough to venture out completely make-upless which for those who know me is quite a big deal (tragic I know).
For ladies with an oilier or combination complexion that have mild or frequent breakouts, this is the range for you. It is very reasonably priced, starting at £8.25 (200ml) for the Soapless Gel Cleanser, and seems to be lasting forever! It’s tough enough to tackle oil and blemishes whilst being sensitive enough to not irritate the skin – a common problem for those who have heavy–breakouts.
A friend of mine has similar skin concerns to me however she has also always been incredibly sensitive with drier patches so I recommended the standard Avène gentle toner for sensitive and dry skin mixed with the Cleanance Soapless Gel. So far, so good. She has also noticed a visible difference in the condition of her skin.
It really is about working out what is right for your skin. Everyone is different, which is why it really does just boil down to trial and error. For those with sensitive and dryer skin, I can only expect very good things from the other ranges of the Avène brand. Available at Boots stores nationwide.