If you are familiar with Avène, you know this brand focuses mainly on the needs of sensitive skin. What you may not know, however, is that not all sensitive skin is the same. Accordingly, not all sensitive skin should be using the same products. Keep reading to learn the subtle differences between some of Avène’s most popular ranges, including the ever-popular Skin Recovery, Tolérance Control, Tolérance Extrême, and Tolérance Hydra-10.
But first, let’s talk sensitive skin.
On this post:
- How does Avène define sensitive skin?
- Managing sensitive and intolerant skin with Avène
- Avène Tolérance: A product guide
- Skin Recovery (discontinued)
- Tolérance Control
- Tolérance Extrême (discontinued)
- Tolérance Hydra-10
How does Avène define sensitive skin?
Avène recognizes two types of sensitive skin: skin that’s sensitive “by nature”, and skin that develops sensitivity through external factors. Think weather-related conditions, dermatological treatments, or even medical interventions.
Sensitive skin of either type is usually fine and dry. It may show redness and visible blood vessels, or it may peel off slightly on the surface. Sensitive skin types are finicky and react excessively to stimuli—whether that is something you ate, a particularly stressful day at work, or excessive sun exposure. Irritation is commonplace with this type of skin, as well as feelings of itching and stinging.
Over time, sensitive skin may become intolerant after repeated exposure to external aggressions. At this stage, the skin feels uncomfortable and hostile; even something as simple as wearing perfume or jewelry can trigger an episode of allergy-like symptoms. Intolerant skin may show visible signs such as redness and eczema, as well as exacerbated itching and burning.
Intolerant skin can be damaging to both your well-being as your self-esteem; because of this, Avène recommends that you care for it using only specific products.
Managing sensitive and intolerant skin with Avène
Ever since its creation, in 1990, the Avène brand has focused all of its know-how on the needs of sensitive and intolerant skin. Every product in the Avène range contains Avène Thermal Spring Water, a uniquely calming ingredient that soothes even highly reactive skin. Sensitive skin will always be in good hands with Avène, but some ranges will be a better match to specific skin concerns.
In body care, Avène offers the Trixéra Nutrition range for dry skin and the XeraCalm A.D range for atopic skin. The popular Cicalfate range, which offers options for both face and body, is specially formulated for compromised and wounded skin.
It’s in facial care that the lines blur a little. While the Hydrance range offers hydration and luminosity to sensitive skin, the Antirougeurs range is perfect for sensitive skin that suffers from redness and irritation. The Cleanance range is specifically designed for sensitive skin that struggles with acne.
That leaves the Avène Tolérance range which, as of 2023, is all about minimal, no-fuss hydration for extremely sensitive skin types.
Avène Tolérance: A product guide
The Avène Tolérance range has had many sub-ranges over the years: Tolérance Extrême, Tolérance Control, and Tolérance Hydra-10. A few years ago, you would have found the hyper popular Avène Skin Recovery range next to these products too.
In order to preserve the integrity and effectiveness of the Tolérance formulas even after opening, Avène uses an exclusive airtight D.E.F.I (Device for Exclusive Formula Integrity) packaging system that ensures the product never comes into contact with the air. This unique type of airtight tube keeps the formula inside the tube sterile. Thanks to this system, Avène has made “no-preservative” formulas a reality, all the while ensuring optimal tolerance even on very sensitive and intolerant skin.
Avène Skin Recovery
2023 Status: Discontinued
Unfortunately for many Avène lovers, Avène Skin Recovery has been discontinued. Skin Recovery was a rebalancing range for irritated and sensitized skin. It calmed irritation and redness, while repairing and restoring the skin to its normal, healthy state. If your skin was irritated or sensitized after a medical procedure, for example, you’d use Avène Skin Recovery. (Although we understand plenty of people used it as a daily moisturizer.)
In 2021, Avène Skin Recovery became Avène Tolérance Control, and the brand launched two new products designed to soothe hypersensitivity and restore balance to intolerant skin. In short: if you’re looking for an alternative to your beloved Avène Skin Recovery, you’ll find its replacement in the Avène Tolérance Control range.
|If you liked:||Try instead:|
|Avène Skin Recovery Cream||Avène Tolérance Control Soothing Skin Recovery Cream|
|Avène Skin Recovery Rich Cream||Avène Tolérance Control Soothing Skin Recovery Balm|
Avène Tolérance Control
2023 Status: Available
Avène Tolérance Control is a duo of soothing moisturizers for hypersensitive, reactive, intolerant or allergic skin. By using an ultra-soothing patented active, D-Sensinose, these moisturizers soothe the skin in 30 seconds, reducing sensations of heat and tightness, tingling and discomfort. After application, the skin is hydrated for 24 hours, and the skin barrier is repaired in 48 hours. When used long-term, these moisturizers help to control and reduce the skin’s hyper-reactivity, leaving it feeling more comfortable on a day-to-day basis.
Avène Tolérance Control moisturizers are available in two different formulas: a cream and a balm. Both textures are suitable for sensitive and reactive skin; the balm has a richer texture, so it’s better suited to dry or very dry skin.
Avène Tolérance Extrême
2023 Status: Discontinued
As of 2023, Avène Tolérance Extrême is discontinued. Tolérance Extrême was a line of extremely minimal products that offered essential hydration and protection to extremely sensitive, intolerant, and allergy-prone skin. The range was developed through a strict manufacturing process that ensured sterility from start to finish, according to standards used in the pharmaceutical industry. If your skin was just sensitive by nature, then you’d use Avène Tolérance Extrême.
If you were a fan of the original Tolérance Extrême products, you’ll find their new replacements in the Avène Tolérance Hydra-10 line.
|If you liked:||Try instead:|
|Avène Tolèrance Extrême Cream Rich Texture||Avène Tolérance Hydra-10 Hydrating Cream|
|Avène Tolèrance Extreme Emulsion Light Texture||Avène Tolérance Hydra-10 Hydrating Fluid|
Avène Tolérance Hydra-10
2023 Status: Available
Avène Tolérance Hydra-10 is a new range composed of only two products: a hydrating cream and a hydrating fluid. These are biomimetic moisturizers that promote the skin’s natural hydration and preserve the natural balance of the microbiome. With minimalist formulas that contain only nine ingredients (all of which are 100% natural), these creams adapt to even the most sensitive skin. Indeed, they can be used by the whole family, including babies (starting at 1 month old). The extremely minimal formulas are the secret to optimal tolerance; after all, the fewer ingredients there are in a formula, the fewer triggers there are for sensitive skin to react to.
The formula contains two key ingredients: Avène Thermal Spring Water, which provides a calming effect, and 100% natural hyaluronic acid, which stimulates the skin’s natural hydration. Avène Tolérance Hydra-10 moisturizers are available in two different formulas: a cream for dry skin, and a fluid for normal to combination skin. The cream has a richer texture than the fluid, so pick accordingly.
If you’re struggling to see how these four skincare ranges fit together, here’s a little summary table we’ve put together for you:
|Avène Skin Recovery||Avène Tolérance Control||Calming and soothing care for irritated and sensitized skin|
|Avène Tolérance Extrême||Avène Tolérance HYDRA-10||Daily hydration for hypersensitive, reactive or intolerant skin|
Now that you’re an expert on sensitive skin according to Avène, we hope you’ll have an easier time navigating the many many products available from this iconic French brand. Browse our full selection of Avène products in the shop, and find your new moisturizer!
Beauty Writer & Editor