Clean-AC Hydrating Cream

by Avène  
Price:
$20 - 1.35 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:
5/21/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

According to Avene, this moisturizer was created for those whose skin is irritated or dehydrated from acne treatments. Although great acne treatments shouldn't cause excess irritation or dehydration, sadly, many do, because their formulas contain drying, irritating ingredients (and, of course, you shouldn't be using those). But, you can treat acne without causing undue stress to your skin, and when you do that you won't need a special moisturizer to deal with the side effects from problematic anti-acne products; any well-formulated moisturizer will do.

Regrettably, this moisturizer doesn't make the grade in terms of being well formulated. Although the unnecessarily fragranced formula contains some notable emollients and an anti-irritant, there are better moisturizers that offer a range of antioxidants, more anti-irritants, proven skin-repairing ingredients, and cell-communicating ingredients to help normalize healthy cell production. This is an OK option for normal to dry skin, although the emollients and the amount of plant oil make it potentially problematic for breakout-prone skin.

Pros:
  • Contains some notable emollients and non-fragrant plant oils.
  • Covers the basics for making dry skin look and feel better.
Cons:
  • "Special" moisturizers like this aren't needed if you are using gentle yet effective anti-acne products (products to treat acne shouldn't cause excess irritation or dryness).
  • Formula lacks a range of state-of-the-art skin-repairing and soothing ingredients.

A hydrating and soothing moisturizer to complement skin that is irritated or dehydrated by acne treatments. Adjunctive care to dermatological medications and treatments.

Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Sucrose Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sucrose Distearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Acrylates C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, BHT, Bisabolol, Butylparaben, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Xanthan Gum, Zinc Gluconate

Building an entire skin-care line on a single concept, however meaningless that concept may be, is often all it takes to capture the attention of consumers, just because it sounds so convincing. Such is the case with Eau Thermale Avene, a France-based line whose claim to fame is the thermal spring water in its products.

The company's history is laced with romanticized folklore of the allegedly restorative power of this water, with some tales dating back to the 1700s. Building a skin-care line around what was known (or, more accurately, unknown) about skin 300 years ago doesn't make sense, because 300 years ago no one knew anything about skin care or how skin functions; certainly no one knew about sun damage or free-radical damage. For goodness sakes, women in the 1700s were using face powders laced with lead, and who would want to emulate that? Still, the stories Eau Thermale Avene concocts must be convincing some people to buy their products or we wouldn't have been contacted several times per week by readers asking me to review this line.

Avene maintains that their thermal spring water is curative not only because of its historical proof (more anecdotes than proof), but also scientifically because of its low mineral content and pure, pristine source. The company's owner (Pierre Fabre Laboratories) claims to have conducted over 150 clinical studies. However, as you might suspect, there only a handful of published studies, and they all are related to the supposed healing power of Avene's thermal spring water when applied to skin that's been compromised by exposure to radiation or by cosmetic corrective procedures, such as light-emitting devices. Their studies showed that the water has soothing properties and that it helped damaged skin heal faster when compared with the effects of another type of spring water, the standard post-burn treatment, or randomly selected skin-care products.

As convincing as that sounds, the studies don't hold water for several reasons: first, the improvement seen from Avene's thermal spring water was nominal compared with the control; second, the studies were sponsored by Avene; and third, the studies didn't show how the spring water may have fared against numerous established topical anti-irritants or other FDA-approved skin protectants (Sources: Annals of Dermatology and Venereology, Special Edition, January 2008, pages 5–10; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2007, pages 31–35; and Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, September 2007, pages 924–928).

Avene offers additional studies on their Web site, but the majority again are published in the company's own publications; and none were peer-reviewed. Bottom line: There is absolutely no evidence that any type of thermal spring water allows skin to resist or correct signs of aging. Helping skin maintain its barrier is great, but there is abundant research showing that substances such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin do a far better job.

To its credit, Avene does offer some worthwhile products for sensitive skin. Yet they also offer products that can be problematic for sensitive skin because they contain fragrance and other potentially harmful ingredients. More important is the lack of significant anti-irritants that could have been extremely helpful for those with sensitive skin.

For the most part, unless you're a believer in the company's thermal spring water, there is little reason to get excited about their products. They offer some good cleansers, alternatives to retinol (using a similar ingredient known as retinal and retinaldehyde, which is one of the more effective derivatives of retinol), and some basic yet effective moisturizers for sensitive skin that's also dry.

Given this line's penchant for extolling antiquated skin-care fables, it shouldn't be surprising that their products lack an impressive selection of state-of-the-art ingredients whose benefits for skin are substantiated by reams of research. Interestingly, many of the claims prevalent throughout the cosmetics industry are found here, too, but without the formulas to support them and to actually deliver remarkable antiwrinkle results.

For more information about Eau Thermale Avene, call (866) 412-8363 or visit www.aveneusa.com.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
Page of 1
  1. Kat
    Reviewed on Friday, January 04, 2013
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Recommend
      2 / 4
    • Results
      2 / 4
    Quite Nice
    • Hello Everyone, My dermatologist recommended this to me when she started me on Tactuo (I believe it is called something else in the United States) which is a blend of Adapalene and Benzoyl Peroxide. Prescription topcial medication Tactuo works great for me however I get dry patches with skin peeling off (I know, I know it sounds gross) around my mouth and nose area, which is also where I break out the most! This cream smells absolutely divine. The texture is so luxurius when I spread it on my hand and when applied, it sinks in beautifully. What I did was rub it in my hands (but not so much that my hands absorb all the product) and then I pat it gently on to my face concentrating on the driest spots. When applied this way (and I only used it in the winter) my face is not greasy at all. My face felt incredibly smooth and velvety and generally felt healthy. The reason I gave it 2 stars was the fact that they included fragrance which was really dumb because it is never a good idea to put fragrance on break out skin. It is also on the expensive side.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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