review avene physiolift day smoothing cream

Since I’ve moved to London, I have a newfound appreciation for moisturisers.

Back when my skin was behaving, I demanded creams full of bells and whistles. Like plenty of antioxidants, Vitamin C, retinol, and all that jazz..

I wanted a moisturiser that left my skin silky soft while fighting wrinkles, reducing dark spots, and firming skin.

But now my skin’s considerably drier and more sensitive to the harsh weather, I do appreciate a basic formula that only does one thing: moisturises skin.

Retinol & co are awesome, and there’s definitely a place for them in your skincare routine – and that’s not when skin is dry and sensitive. Any form of redness, itching, and tightness is a sign to go back to basics.

A rich, frills-free moisturiser like Avene Physiolift Day Smoothing Cream fits the bill here. Here’s why:

What’s In Avene Physiolift Day Smoothing Cream?


I’m sure you’ve heard of Hyaluronic Acid. It’s a moisture magnet on steroids.

Its job is to draw much-needed moisture from the environment into the skin. It does it so well, it holds 1000 times its weight in water, and works well both in high and low humidity conditions.

Can you imagine how happy all the extra moisture makes your skin? It plumps it up, softens it, and brightens it.

P.S. Glycerin, another moisture magnet in this cream, does the same thing. But on a smaller scale.

Related: Why You Need Hyaluronic Acid In Your Skincare Routine, No Matter Your Skin Type


The base of this moisturiser is made up of silicones. It’s not as bad as you think. Silicones do a lot of good things in skincare:

  • Enhance texture: They allow the cream to glide on smoothly, without tugging or pulling.
  • Fill in fine lines and wrinkles: It’s a trick to make them look temporarily smaller.
  • Softens skin: It makes it feel silky soft to the touch.

They don’t even cause pimples: silicones have a particular molecular structure made up of larger molecules with wider spaces between each molecule. They create a barrier that keeps moisture in but still allows skin to perspire.

But if you use anything comedogenic before this moisturiser, then yes, silicones can trap them underneath their protective barrier and cause breakouts.

Bottom line: don’t use comedogenic ingredients in your skincare and you’ll be fine.

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Shea butter is a skincare hero. Very moisturizing, shea butter creates a barrier on the skin that locks moisture in. Its effects last for 8 hours or more, so there’s no risk your skin will start to feel all dry and tight again within a couple of hours.

Studies have also shown that shea butter works even better than mineral oil, which dermatologists consider to be the gold standard for moisturization. I know a lot of you don’t like mineral oil (even if there isn’t absolutely anything wrong with it), so isn’t it great we have a better option, anyway?

Oh, and I was almost forgetting to mention that shea butter may also have antioxidant properties that help us stay wrinkle-free for longer.

Related: The Complete Guide To Shea Butter In Skincare


Rich, but not so thick it takes ages to absorb. Dry skin soaks it up pretty quickly.


Fresh and subtle.

How To Use It

In the AM, between serum and moisturiser. In the evening, it’s the last step of your skincare routine.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Avene Physiolift Day Smoothing Cream does what any good moisturizer is supposed to: it moisturises skin and improves its appearance.

It works like this: moisture plumps up skin, so fine lines and wrinkles look smaller. Moistures also keeps skin soft and supple and gives the complexion a dewy glow.

The effects last all day. I apply it in the morning, and then venture out into the chilly London air. Rather than red and itchy, my skin stays hydrated and soft till I come home in the evening.

What it doesn’t do? The cream doesn’t have anti-aging properties. I have serums for that, so I don’t mind too much. But if this is a dealbreaker for you, leave it on the shelf.

P.S. Oily or combination skin? Avene has a lighter version of this cream for you.

Related: Do You Need Do Worry About Anti-Aging If Your Skin Is Perfectly Hydrated?

avene physiolift day smoothing cream review

Who Is This For?

Dry skin.

Who Is This Not For?

  • Combination skin
  • Oily skin
  • If you’re looking for a moisturiser with antiaging benefits, this isn’t it


A white tube with a pump applicator. Sleek and practical.

Does Avene Physiolift Day Smoothing Cream Live Up To Its Claims?

Rediscover smoother-looking skin with your daily moisturiser PhysioLift DAY Smoothing Cream for dry skin.True.
Helps to replenish collagen.
No topical skincare ingredient can replenish collagen. Some can help skin produce more collagen, but there’s nothing here that can do that. What collagen does in skincare is just moisturise skin.
Help smooth the appearance of deep wrinkles and firm the skin.
Hyaluronic Acid plumps up skin, so that fine lines and wrinkles look smaller.
An antioxidant, boosts the skin’s luminosity. The emulsion also targets dull skin and signs of fatigue.
There’s not enough of it here to do anything.

Price & Availability

$48.00 at Blue Mercury, Dermstore, and Escentual

Do You Need It?

If you’re looking for a basic, no-frills cream for your dry skin, this is a good option to consider.


Dupes & Alternatives


Avene Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, BIS-PEG-12 Dimethicone Beeswax, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ammonium Acryloyl Dimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Mica, PVP, Silica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Titanium Dioxide, (CI 77891), Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopheryl Glucoside, Water (Aqua), Xanthan Gum