If You Open a French Girl's Medicine Cabinet, You'll Find This Skincare Brand

If you’ve ever been to Paris, you know the absolute joy that is a French pharmacy. While there are plenty of sights to see and cafés to people-watch at, a stop at a French pharmacy is an absolute must for anyone who’s interested in skincare. The shelves inside any French pharmacy are lined from ceiling to floor with the absolute best products for simple, straightforward, and affordable skincare.



Many cult-favorite products and brands, like Biafine and A313, aren’t available in the United States without a prescription. There are a few French pharmacy brands, however, that are readily available stateside. One of those brands is the beloved, thermal water-infused skincare brand Avène.

Avène has been around since 1736—nearly 300 years ago. The brand all started with a thermal spring in the town of Avène, when a horse with alopecia would roll in the water to soothe its skin. From there, people began to realize the thermal water’s healing properties for skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and eczema. 

Now, Avène makes products that everyone can use to unlock their best skin. Each of the brand’s products is laced with the thermal water that put it on the map. Avène makes products for everyone, but it's especially beneficial for anyone with sensitive or otherwise irritated skin. The brand has become such a staple that every single beauty editor at Who What Wear has a favorite—keep reading to see which Avène products we simply couldn’t live without.



Katie Berohn, Associate Beauty Editor



If I had to pick five products that I absolutely couldn't live without, this thermal water would undoubtedly be one of them. It's so soothing on the skin, and it's the perfect base for applying a humectant like hyaluronic acid on top of. 

Pop this serum on whenever you're in need of a lightweight hit of hydration. A triple lipid blend provides tons of hydration.

Every day before I go to bed, I double cleanse my face. This soothing and hydrating cleansing oil removes all makeup and grime without making your skin feel stripped. 

A high-quality eye cream for under $30 is a major steal, IMO. Infused with spring water, antioxidants, and vitamin E, this eye cream soothes the delicate eye area while hydrating it. 

I have really dry skin, and in the winter when it's at its driest, this rich cream is a godsend. It relieves itchiness while calming and moisturizing even the driest skin.

Erin Jahns, Beauty Director



This cream is formulated with a complex called C+ Restore, which works to replenish your skin's natural barrier. It's an occlusive, which means it locks water in so your skin has a chance to rehydrate. 

If you're after the major moisture that a rich cream gives but don't want the heavy texture, this is the product for you. Hyaluronic acid plumps skin while thermal water soothes. 

This is basically the ideal cleanser for anyone on the oily side. It removes dirt and impurities and mattifies your face, all without stripping the skin.

Shawna Hudson, Associate Beauty Editor

This retinol is tough to beat. It's made with relastide, which is a pro-elastin peptide that works to fill in fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin E also works to nourish the skin.

As beauty editors, we always wear sunscreen, even if all we'll be doing is sitting near a window. This sunscreen protects skin from the sun without leaving a white cast or feeling heavy. 

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