After eczema that was dormant for years popped back up on my face, my skincare routine got a dramatic makeover. The anti-aging serums, essences, and active-filled creams I used to love became the recipe for disaster. I actually stopped moisturizing the portion of my face with sensitivities because I was scared of reactions. Enough became enough, and I visited my dermatologist to try to get to the bottom of the issue, and I left with almost an entirely new product lineup. The one thing I was doing right for my dry, sensitive skin? Using Avene moisturizer.
A French drugstore favorite, Avene’s moisturizers are known to be basically godsends for anyone with skin sensitivities or weakened skin barriers, thanks to its formula infused with thermal spring water. There’s several different versions, but my favorites are currently Avene Skin Recovery Cream ($35; dermstore.com) and Avene Tolerance Extreme Cream ($38; dermstore.com), two sensitive skin-specific moisturizers in the $30 range.
"I typically recommend a skincare regimen with gentle moisturizers such as Avene for inflammatory skin conditions such as dry, sensitive, and eczema-prone skin, but also in all skin types," Dr. Melissa K. Levin, a board-certified NYC dermatologist and clinical instructor at NYU Langone and Mount Sinai Hospital, tells me.
"There has been a trend in skincare towards formulating skincare products with water, but not all waters are made equal."
In Avene's case, she says the moisturizers combine humectants (which draw water into themselves to hydrate the skin) and occlusives (what keeps the water from leaving the surface), as well as the backbone of thermal spring water. "Avene's thermal spring water has a low mineral count with a low sodium count, which does not dry out the skin and rich in silica, which makes the water soft and soothing."
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It's one of the only moisturizers I can press into my skin without seeing a flush of redness after or experiencing any stinging. It absorbs quickly, layers well under products, but leaves behind a dewy, fresh-faced finish. Sometimes I only tap on a little concealer after so that I can wear the dew all day.
Hopefully my skin issues clear up completely someday soon, but even if they do, you can bet there will be one part of my skincare routine I won't switching.