17 Feb 2016

Avene is one of very few skincare brands that actually pay attention to sensitive to exceptionally sensitive skin. The brand is famous for its thermal spring water, which is the main ingredient in most of Avene's products. Thermal spring water is claimed to have the calming and healing ability on the skin, especially benefits those who have sensitive skin. Although there is not much of the published evidence that proof the fame, according to Paula's Choice, thermal spring water is safe and doesn't do any harms to the skin. 
I personally do enjoy using these two products, even though they are in the pricier side. They doesn't do much to the skin's texture or hyper-pigmentation but for sensitive, post-acne skin like mine, it's enough that they are moisturising and not irritating. The two are both free of irritating ingredients like fragrance and alcohol, and both have very basic formulas with the backbone ingredient of thermal spring water. 


Avene Skin Recovery Cream is the very first product I bought from Avene. Unfortunately, the calming formula seems to be discontinued as I can't find it on Avene website anymore. Anyway, it claims to calm the irritation, restore and heal the hydrolipidic film while provide the long-lasting moisturisation (read full claims and ingredients). I am not sure if it actually heal my hydrolipid but it's very pleasant to use. The cream has very light texture that is spread easily and absorbed very quickly. It also stays beautifully under makeup and sunscreen.
The main moisturising ingredients are mineral oil and glycerin. While we all know about glycerin as a natural fat that has amazing moisturising power since high school Chemistry class, some people might be turned off by mineral oil. Many who have acne-prone skin are scared away when an oil is included in the ingredient list, and many are misled that mineral oil is bad for the skin. But the fact is that cosmetics-grade mineral oil is the best and safest moisturising agent ever found. It never becomes solid, thus never clogs pores and causes pimples or worsens your acne skin. Additional to thermal spring water, both mineral oil and glycerin do restore the hydrolipidic layer, the shield that cover and protect the whole surface of the skin. Once the skin has better protection, it becomes less sensitive to irritating factors and thus you might say, the skin is calmer.
So does it provide long-lasting moisturisation? Not really, depend on your skin and your location. I have relatively dry skin and I lived in a very dry climate, this product works on me well in summer but it wouldn't do me in winter. Does this cream do the healing and restoring thing? I can't really tell. I don't have that of sensitive skin, only redness and few pimples here and there. So if it actually does the job, it not gonna show much of the difference on my skin. But I do enjoy this product because it doesn't irritate or break me out. It also feels really gentle and quite moisturising.


Avene Tolerance Extreme Cream more or less has the same formula and do the same things as Avene Skin Recovery Cream does (read full claims and ingredients). Packed with glycerin and mineral oil, Avene Tolerance Extreme Cream also features plan oil (Safflower Seed oil) and natural fat (Squalane). Indeed this cream is more moisturising than the Recovery Cream. It looks and feels thicker, and lasts longer on the skin. Its moisturising power is so great that it actually works on me during the Finnish winter time. Although the cream doesn't sink into the skin as fast as the previous one does, it still sits nicely under makeup. Formula-wise, if I have to pick one between the two, I would go with the Tolerance Cream as it does better job at keeping the skin protected and hydrated.
The only downside I found is that its packaging is very confusing. It is tube with a hard, round rubber pad on top of the orifice. As you squeeze the tube, the pad comes up and releases the cream. But most of the time it squirts out too much product. The tube itself is also very hard to squeeze as the air is blocked by the rubber pad. Therefore it's hard to control how much cream coming out and to take out the last bit of cream in the tube.


Bottom line, I do recommend these products for people with hypersensitive skin. Because their skin is so easily irritated and it can't absorb all the fancy ingredients from anti-aging or whitening skincare, a good moisturiser for them should just does a good job of hydrating, healing the skin while not causing any other irritations. This is probably also the downside of these two, that is they do not provide anything beside moisturisation, no anti-aging, antioxidant, sun protection or even anti-irritation. So if you have super sensitive skin and just want a safe-to-use basic face cream that will keep your skin smooth and hydrated, these might be for you. 

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