This Summer, we were introduced to Avène. Eau Thermale Avène is dedicated to care for all types of sensitive skin: From acne to sun care, from eczema to rosacea, from face care to body care.
They have a complete range of products to answer all these needs. We spoke with Maxine Ryan, Ontario Training Manager, Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique Canada to learn more about the french beauty brand.
Tell us about the Avène brand
The Eau Thermale Avène brand was launched in 1990, it is part of the Laboratoires Pierre Fabre, France’s 3rd largest pharmaceutical laboratory. It was one of the first dermo-Cosmetics brand on the market, actually Mr. Pierre Fabre coined the term dermo-cosmetics: “A principle that all products are developed and tested in the spirit of our medical background and formulated to guarantee pleasure of use.”
Our products are sold only in drugstores. Our founder believed that to get the most of our products you needed to be counselled by a professional, whether a Beauty Advisor or Pharmacist. We have a team of medical representatives across Canada that visit Doctors, Dermatologists, Pediatricians and Pharmacists to be educated on our products, which in many cases can be used alternatively with prescription drugs. This is the case with eczema, acne and rosacea products to name a few.
All our products are made with the thermal water that emerges in the village of Avène hence the name of the brand.
Where are Avène products made?
All the products are made in the small village of Avène in the Southwestern part of France, directly where the water emerges! This means that the water is not being tampered with or transported to another site. This also means that people from the village and the area can work close to where they live. This was very important to Mr. Pierre Fabre who wanted to develop the economy of his native region, the Southwestern part of France. This is why most of the Laboratory’s activities are concentrated in that region.
The Thermal Spring Water Spray is one of Avène’s most popular products. What makes the thermal water so special?
The water has anti-irritant, soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits which makes it ideal for a range of skincare products dedicated to sensitive skin. Throughout the years there have been many studies, over 150, which have proven these benefits. Out of those studies, 50 of them have been published in prestigious Dermatological publications, such as, the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology.
The first discovery of the water’s benefits came almost 300 years ago. Legend has it that a horse with itchy skin swam in the stream and a few days later the itch was gone! Word spread and people started to come to Avène to heal their skin.
The Avène thermal water is mostly rain water that travels through the mountains for over 50 years before arriving in Avène where it is harnessed below the ground. Through this journey the water picks up various elements such as Calcium, Magnesium, trace elements, etc., this is what gives it its special qualities.
To me the most amazing thing is that through the years, despite pollution, industrialization, global warming, etc. the water has remained unchanged: Its composition hasn’t changed in 300 years, same for the temperature at which it comes out!
We love the sunscreen line, especially the High Protection SPF50+ Spray. What makes this sunscreen so light and easy to apply?
We know that sunscreen aerosols sprays are popular these days and some people prefer light textures, Avène wanted to offer a high protection sunscreen that was lightweight. Our SPF 50+ Spray is a fluid texture that spreads easily but more importantly, it allows for better coating of the skin (versus aerosols) for maximum protection.
It’s important to note that to have the SPF value indicated on the bottle, you must apply 2mg every cm squared. With our SPF 50+ Spray, you can see how much you’re applying and have more control yet have the lightweight texture you desire. You get the best of both worlds!
I would also highlight the fact the our SPF 50+ Spray has a high concentration of Avène thermal spring water to soothe and reduce inflammation induced by the sun and Pre-tocopheryl, our patented Vitamin E precursor that protects the cells from free-radicals produced by the UVA. This is important because we know that even with the maximum protection of SPF 50+, it absorbs about 98.5% of the UV rays so there is a small quantity of free radicals that enter the skin. We call it our “triple protection” sunscreen!
For our readers who are just discovering Avène, what product would you suggest they try first?
I always suggest that people start with the Avène thermal spring water. There are so many ways you can use it (skin irritations, rash, eczema, psoriasis, after waxing / shaving, hot flashes, mosquito bites, radiation burns, sore throats etc.). It is the inspiration that the brand is based upon and the main ingredient at the heart of all the Eau Thermale Avène products. Once people try it, and see the results immediately they understand how effective the thermal water is and all of the products under the Avène brand. It becomes an indispensable part of their skin care routine.
Tip: Keep an extra bottle of Avène thermal spring water in your fridge for an extra soothing and cooling effect.
Taking care of your skin is so important. What is your number one tip for healthy skin?
In my opinion, apart from cleansing your skin every night, if you want healthy, beautiful skin, you must protect it. Sunscreen to me, is the most important element in your skincare routine. If you think of all of the main issues people have with their skin, fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, uneven complexion and loss of radiance, most of it is caused by sun exposure over the years. It damages your skin more than anything else. It’s easier to prevent the damage then it is to correct it.
Images courtesy of Avène and by Style Calling