The French Drugstore Brand Shoppers Rely on for “Luminous Skin” Is Having a Black Friday-Level Sale

Gwyneth Paltrow and Kendall Jenner are also fans of the anti-aging line.

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Avene Sale

Avene/ InStyle

Black Friday is technically nearly two months away, but let me tell you, the sales have already begun, starting with the Amazon Prime Early Access Sale on October 11 and 12. But there is always a sort of sale-pregame before these events, and tons of brands (on Amazon or not) are slashing their prices. One is celebrity-favorite, French drugstore brand Avène; everything on its site is 25 percent off until October 11 for its Friends and Family sale with the code FRIENDS25

The brand’s ethos is centered around the power of the thermal water that can be found in most — if not all — of its products. This includes the aptly named Thermal Spring Water, a hit with celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, but Avène’s celebrity fan base extends far beyond the founder of Goop; Lucy Hale, Diane Kruger, Kendall Jenner, and more are also fans. 

Thanks to its affordable prices and gentle yet effective formulas, Avène is also a rare brand that has several (possibly dozens) of products with hundreds of glowing five-star reviews. That being said, honing in on what to add to your cart can be vexing, so I’ve curated a list of nine hero products with a few highlighted further. 

Shop 9 Must-Haves From the Avène Sale: 

Cold Cream Concentrated Hand Cream

Avène Eau Thermale Cold Cream Concentrated Hand Cream

Shop now: $11 with code FRIENDS25 (Originally $15),

Having dry hands during the winter is one of the worst sensory experiences — like rubbing two pieces of sandpaper together. The key to keeping your hands hydrated and soft instead of tight and scaly is to slather on an effective hand cream the minute the temperature dips. 

This cold cream provides instant and intense hydration, without any residue or oiliness that makes grabbing things difficult for the next couple of hours. A reviewer who says they’re a “surgical nurse” wrote that because of work, their “hands are extremely dry by the end of the day. This cream absorbs well and I wake up with soft, hydrated hands the next morning.”

PhysioLift Serum Smoothing, Plumping Serum

Avene PhysioLift Serum


Shop now: $41 with code FRIENDS25 (Originally $54),

If you’re looking for a product that targets the general aspects of anti-aging, this serum is a good bet. Two types of  of hyaluronic acids, ascofilline (moisturizing agents found in algae) and vitamin E, smooth, plump, lift, luminize, and deeply hydrate the skin. 

Reviewers praise a number of benefits, but some highlights include that “it seems to help with wrinkles, especially on [the] neck,” one shopper wrote. Another said, “[It] absorbs quickly and my face looks more luminous and firm.” One final reviewer said that it “really made a difference in the suppleness of [her] face.” 

Hydrance Aqua-Gel Mask

avene gel cream


Shop now: $29 with code FRIENDS25 (Originally $38),

Somewhere in between a mask and a nightly treatment is Avène’s Hydrance Aqua-Gel. It’s an overnight beauty sleep solution to the tight, itchy, dull skin that often accompanies cold, dry weather. 

The light gel uses hyaluronic acid, cohederm (a trio of lipids), and pre-tocopheryl (an antioxidant). The result is a restored, soothed, strengthened skin barrier thanks to hydration that penetrates deep into the skin — it isn’t just surface-level. 

Like all other Avène products, reviewers rave about it. It’s “an excellent product… if you’re prone to dry skin in the winter months,” one reviewer said. Many reviewers claim to be repeat buyers; one of whom wrote, “It plumps [your skin] and hides fine lines.” They added that it’s “wonderful under makeup” for imparting a “nice glow.” 

RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream

facial serum

Shop now: $56 with code FRIENDS25 (Originally $74),

RetrinAl is among Avène’s most impressive and efficacious skincare products. It swaps out typical retinol for retinaldehyde, its more potent cousin, to boost benefits like reduced wrinkle and furrow depth and brightened skin. The ingredient is complimented by a type of peptide, relastide, that firms, plumps, and makes skin more elastic, in addition to antioxidant vitamin E, which retains moisture and fades discoloration. 

There are hundreds of five-star reviews; one from a 72-year-old shopper who didn’t experience any irritation from the retinaldehyde said, “My skin seems to be smoothing out and it is helping the marionette lines around the corners of my mouth.” Another reviewer said they started noticing “an improvement in the texture of [their skin] and darker areas of hyperpigmentation.” 

Shop More French Skincare Products: 

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