Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Beauty Review: Eau Thermale Avène Products

                                  1950s Dior photographed by Walde Huth

I’m having a French love affair. It’s intensely passionate and all-consuming. Unfortunately it’s not with a mysterious vineyard owner from Bordeaux called Jean-Pierre or with a suave bearded Parisian by the name of Jacques. It’s with the whole country – the language, the fashion, the food. I’ve never even been to France but I’ve just finished a basic French language course so here’s hoping I’ll get to visit soon. Naturally I’ll meet the aforementioned men and be swept off my feet, especially now that I have the lingo. Parle plus lentement s'il vous plait!

But what I absolutely love is the effortless natural beauty of French women. There must be something in the water. No, there IS something in the water! France's many springs and unique geological environment produces thermal water, water which is perfectly balanced and rich in trace elements. This water is the basis of many French skin care brands including pharmacy favourites Vichy and La Roche-Posay. However, the number one skin care brand in French pharmacies is in fact Eau Thermale Avène, a brand that has just become widely available here.

Avène is a unique dermo-cosmetic brand dedicated to every skin concern be it sensitive, oily, dehydrated, blemish prone or ageing. Each product is fragrance and paraben preservative-free and contains the Avène thermal spring water.

Extremely Gentle Cleanser:
This cleanser is a no rinse, tissue-off formula specifically designed for sensitive and irritated skin. The consistency is very fluid as it contains a high percentage of thermal spring water. I found this cleanser to be light and soothing, instantly hydrating my skin. It effectively removes makeup apart from heavy eye makeup so you will need to use a separate eye makeup remover. This doesn't bother me as I always use a seperate eye makeup remover, usually a bi-phase one, but it might bother some people. It's also oil-free so it would be suitable for blemished skin. I apply this cleanser by massaging a walnut size of it onto my face and removing with cotton pads. I can't find the receipt for this but I think it was approximately €11

Thermal Spring Water Spray:
This is a miracle multitasker! It soothes various irritations such as sunburn and razor burn, can be used as a toner; reduces facial redness, sets makeup and is the perfect travel companion – promptly quenching parched holiday skin. The 50ml bottle fits snugly into handbags but it’s also available in 150ml bottles. I love to use this spray as a toner; it works really well with the Extremely Gentle Cleanser. Just spray a fine mist on your skin and then gently pat dry after a few minutes. Price: €4.77 for 50mls

        Guillaume Canet: Another reason hot & bothered females reach for the thermal water spray!

Hydrance Optimale UV Riche SPF 20 Rich Hydrating Cream:
Hydrance Optimale is Avène’s range for dry to very dry sensitive skin. This day cream is formulated to hydrate and protect the skin from daily aggressions and help prevent skin ageing caused by the sun. Despite its name, this cream is quite light and sinks into my skin quickly with no greasiness. This makes it a perfect base for makeup. I also love that it has a SPF of 20 as most pharmacy brands only go up to SPF 15. It has effectively hydrated my skin over the summer but its real test has yet to come. Winter wreaks havoc on my skin and I’m not too sure if this moisturiser is up to dealing with the dry patches I tend to get from icy wind and central heating. I have a feeling something more intense will be needed. Also, at €21.25 it's not very purse friendly for those on a budget.
Cold Cream Lip Cream:
I absolutely adore this! It is without a doubt the best lip balm I have ever used. It provides immediate relief and protection against chapped, flaky and cracked lips. It literally heals lips overnight. The tube lasts for ages and it also has very little shine so it’s a fantastic base for lipstick. This little wonder is definitely one of my favourite products of the year. Price: €10.17