This bottle has popped up in many a favourites post and skincare diary over the past few months and is long overdue a review of its own. If there's one thing that the French have got right (besides macarons), it's skincare. I have sensitive, blemish prone skin which would probably be labelled as combination. It tends to be drier in the winter and oilier in the summer, but never especially one way or the other. Over the past few years I've found that French skincare just seems to work with my skin. I can't say this for every product out there but they tend to be a lot more gentle and nourishing than the majority of British or American skincare products are. Ingredients lists are usually kept short, containing only what needs to be included, with quality ingredients, and (usually) the inclusion of thermal spring water - which reduces inflammation and bacteria. They also feel high quality, even if they retail for under £10, and in some way just seem to embody the phrase 'less is more'. Whilst I could go on for hours about my French favourites (La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo + and Bioderma H20 Micelle Solution to name just two), today is all about this bottle of goodness, the Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser*. Needless to say, this product is exactly what it says on the tin. No less, and no more. It won't miraculously clear up your blemishes or fade scars and wrinkles overnight, but equally it won't break you out or cause your skin to resemble an oil slick/desert the morning after use. If your aim is clear, balanced skin, then this is the cleanser for you. A cool, completely odour-free lotion with more of a gel-like than milky texture, which leaves a light, invisible residue upon the skin at application. I massage this into my skin with my fingertips before removing it with a toner soaked cotton pad. I think the only way to describe the feel of this product would be that if nothing was a thing, it would be this (keep reading - I haven't gone mad, promise). Despite this, this cleanser's makeup removing abilities are extraordinary. Okay, not quite Bioderma - I wouldn't rely solely on this to remove makeup, but it clears up any traces left behind, and would be perfect for a second cleanse as well as an everyday night-time cleanser. I have really (and I mean really) sensitive eyes, but this doesn't irritate them in the slightest, removing the last traces of my mascara with a prowess unimaginable from such a gentle product.
I think what does it for me is the fact that this product will work great with any skin type, and is one of the few products that I use continuously and regardless of the condition my skin is in. When asked for skincare advice this is always the first product that I recommend, and if I could hand out bottles of the stuff then I would skip down the street doing so in a very Disney-esque manner. I sincerely urge everyone to give it a try, especially if your skin is sensitive or easily irritated, or if you've ever been advised to take a 'less is more' approach to skincare.
As if you needed anymore convincing, this cleanser is only £8 and can be found in most Boots stores as well as online at escentual.com where French skincare brands are always reduced, and currently 1/3 off! Do let me know what your French skincare staples are in the comments below. To stay updated on future posts you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Bloglovin - and there's still time to enter my latest giveaway!