Ever since I started paying attention to skincare, I've had a thing for French pharmacy products. It’s probably got something to do with the allure of French girl beauty in general, but also the fact that their products are gentle, reasonably priced, and formulated without common irritants.
Truth be told, I’ll try anything on the shelves at le pharmacie once, but the Avène Thermal Spring Water ($9) mist is one product I’ve been using and buying (and rebuying) for years. It’s like the blue denim of beauty—a hard-working staple that everyone should own. It’s also a multi-tasker in the truest sense of the word. And I would know, considering I use it at every given opportunity.
So if you’re looking for a simple, soothing spritz to integrate into your own routine, let me map out 12 very convincing reasons why this iconic French buy should be the one you choose. Keep scrolling to read them all.
- Restores the skin’s barrier
- Hmm… None I can think of? You could definitely live without it, but I’d prefer not to.
The Avène Thermal Spring Water is hydrating, soothing and has so many uses. It’s definitely an integral part of my skincare routine (thus why I’ve got about six bottles of it in my apartment at any given time).
Avène Thermal Spring Water
Best for: All skin types, including sensitized skin or those prone to redness, eczema, and rosacea.
Uses: This product can be used to hydrate, soothe, refresh the skin, set makeup or dampen the complexion in between product applications.
About the brand: Originating in 1736, Avène is a French skincare brand that’s built on the healing powers of thermal spring water from the South of France. It was first discovered when a horse suffering from alopecia rolled in the spring regularly to soothe its itching skin. It’s since been used to treat patients suffering from atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and burns.
About My Skin: Fairly easy going
My skin is generally pretty good, but very easily thrown off course (diet, stress and too many active products all play a part). Irritation and breakouts are typical manifestations, so I’ll often lean on simple, soothing products to bring things back into balance. It’s probably also worth mentioning I like my skin to look dewy and super fresh (sweat and shine, come at me).
Ingredients: A simple yet effective formula
This product only contains one active ingredient—thermal spring water. The water is sourced from the aforementioned spring in the South of France, recognized for its high mineral concentration and ability to treat certain skin conditioners like atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and burns. This mist is a biologically pure form of the water within an atomizer. The first time it’s exposed to air is actually when you spritz it (fancy, I know).
How to Apply
Okay! The fun part! The Avène Thermal Spring Water is a favorite of mine because of its many uses. I’ll run through my top 12 below:
- As part of your skincare regimen: I often use a mist between each step in my routine because an aesthetician once told me products tend to absorb better on a damp complexion. I also find it makes my face extra dewy. The Avène Thermal Spring Water is a light and soothing option that won’t mess with your other products.
- To refresh during the day: A no-brainer, but you can use this product to pep up tired skin during the day (a great one to keep on your desk).
- To soothe redness or irritation: Thanks to its unique mineral composition, the Thermal Spring Water works to soften and calm sensitive skin. Just apply directly and pat dry after a few minutes.
- To set makeup: I love a lightweight mist to set my makeup and add a final layer of hydration.
- To blend out makeup: If you’ve gone too hard on the foundation, use the Thermal Water like a thinning agent, spraying all over and buffing things out with a foundation brush. You can thank me for this one later.
- To dampen makeup sponges: Normal water definitely works here, but there’s something very special about using Avène to wet my makeup sponge. It feels very… French.
- At the beach: The perfect way to cool off between dips in the ocean (and offset some of the drying saltwater).
- In-flight: This one feels a little less relevant these days, but if you do find yourself at 40,000 feet, this product is the perfect moment of respite from all that recycled air.
- To soothe sunburn: I’ll spare you the lecture and instead share that misting chilled Avène Thermal Spring Water all over red, inflamed skin will hydrate and reduce redness.
- To balance the skin’s pH: This product is actually clinically proven to restore the skin’s moisture barrier, thanks to a high concentration of postbiotic microflora. I find it particularly useful if I’ve overdone it on the actives and need to give my skin a chance to repair.
- To cool down when it's scorching outside: One of my main tips is to keep a bottle in the fridge to deploy on hot, sticky, humid days for an instant moisture hit.
- To soften the look of flyaways: In a pinch, I’ve actually used this product to tame frizzy bits along my part line.
The Value: Worth the money
French pharmacy products usually offer quite good value, and this is no exception, especially given its plethora of uses. The larger the atomizer size, the better the pricing as well.
Similar products: You have options
While no other brands source from the same thermal springs, there are definitely similar picks out there.
Evian Brumisateur Natural Mineral Water Facial Spray ($14): Think of this like Evian in a can. While it’s not from the same French outpost, it is still pure mineral water and perfect for dry, red, sensitive skin types.
La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water ($18): This French mist also claims to be mineral-rich, making it a worthy competitor.
Final verdict: An everyday must-have
Honestly, I just love the Avène Thermal Spring Water mist. It’s simple, effective, soothing, and affordable. I use it every single day, sometimes more than once. And I can’t really envision my skincare routine without it. If you’re looking for a gentle, effective mist to incorporate into your own routine, you really can’t go wrong here.