Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser

I have been using Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser ($22), marketed for intolerant skin, for just over three months, so I feel I can evaluate it fairly and impartially. Although I rotate a few other products in and out of my evening ritual, like Bioderma Crealine H2O Ultra-Mild Non-Rinse Face and Eyes Cleanser (which I can see using more often as the temps heat up and my skin starts producing more oil), I reach for this most often. I am halfway through the bottle, and I just ordered a backup because this is something I do not want to run out of.

I still have oily skin, such that I use a blotting tissue most days, and since my late teens, I have been trying to beat my skin into submission. No matter what I did, I'd have major oil breakthrough by 10:00 AM and it would just keep on going and going. I even went on a short course of Accutane many years ago to curb oil production, but it worked too well at drying things up. I ended up with nosebleeds and practically farted dust. 

A few months ago I decided to see what would happen if I used a gentler product, instead of continuing with my squeaky-clean cleansing ritual. I love the idea of a tissue-off cleanser because, as much as I enjoy removing my makeup at night, I often feel too lazy or pressed for time to do anything overly time consuming. I'd tried Ponds and Albolene, but after around the 11th day, I'd start to notice flakes on my skin. The goopy oil cleansers were actually drying my skin.

I was hopeful but skeptical about Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser, as I was afraid it would also dry my skin with long-term use. The cleansing process was as simple as I expected: Massage in, wipe off with a cotton pad (I use Swisspers), and then remove any residue with a warm facecloth. I don't actually need to do the final step with the washcloth; I do it because the moist warmth feels good on my face and opens my pores for post-cleansing serums  I was quite surprised at how well this cleanser removes eye makeup, too—even gel eyeliner and cream eyeshadows that tend to be bulletproof on me.

At around the two week mark I noticed that my skin was not becoming flaky, like it did with Ponds and Albolene cleansing creams, but for all their oil, not even one flake. Even better, it doesn't bother my eyes, which I have been using to remove all makeup, even mascara. No stinging or redness and no cloudy residue left behind causing my vision to blur.

Bottom line:  Gentle and effective skincare that even oily skins can use.


  1. I'm glad you found something that works!

  2. Between you and Lisa Eldridge, I am really interested in trying Avene. Can you tell me where you order yours from? Since you found a site that's reliable,this helps me from having to search thru the net. Thank you for a another great post, zuzu!

  3. @Susanna, Thank you for the complimentary words. Since Avene products neverseem to be included in discounts, I just buy it where I can get free shipping, like Dermstore, which has free shipping all the time: An order there should get to you really fast. I have also ordered it from SkinStore, SkinCareRX, and, but I can definitely vouch for Dermstore, where I am a VIB. ;D

  4. Great review. I've tried and loved quite a few products from the Avene range. I've only tried one product from the Intolerant line (rich skin recovery cream) and was surprised at how well it worked on my acne prone/oily skin.

    Also, I wasn't aware Accutane could cause nosebleeds! The drug has been mentioned by my GP on a couple of occasions recently but there seems to be so many side effects with it. I used to suffer with horrendous nosebleeds up until a few years ago and it's not something I'd really want to deal with again.

  5. Nat, I can't be sure there was a direct correlation between Accutane and the nosebleeds, but I had never experienced one in my life until the short time I took it, and I had several during my treatment, which stopped when I stopped taking the drug. You might ask your GP about it. I had also recently moved to a new state shortly before starting the A (later developed allergies) so it could have been that.


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