review avene physiolift day smoothing emulsion

Combination skin can get sensitive, too – especially during the colder winter months.

When that happens, you need to go back to basics. Pick a moisturiser that’s free of all fancy actives like retinol and glycolic acid that could irritate skin at this time, but still provides enough moisture – without clogging pores.

It’s a tall order. Avene Physiolift Day Smoothing Emulsion claims to be up to the job. Does it deliver?

What’s In Avene Physiolift Day Smoothing Emulsion?


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.

Related: Are Silicones Really Bad For Skin?

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Don’t let the name scare you! Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is derived from coconut and glycerin.

Coconut oil is very moisturising – and very comedogenic. So scientists turn it into Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, an ingredient that retains all its moisturising powers in a lighter texture that doesn’t clog pores or gives you acne.

These moisturising powers come from fatty acids: they strengthen the skin’s protective barrier so that moisture stays in and germs, pollutants and other enemies of your skin stay out.

Related: The Complete Guide To Coconut Oil In Skincare


Lightweight and fast-absorbing.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

In the AM, after serum and before sunscreen. At night, it’s the last step of your skincare routine.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Avene Physiolift Day Smoothing Emulsion is a lightweight moisturiser for combination and oily skin types. My combo skin would have loved it once, but now it’s become dry and sensitive (thank you, London), I need something richer. Luckily, Avene has created a richer cream version for us dry-skinned gals, too.

If your skin still produces too much oil, you’ll like the emulsion. It sinks in really quickly, leaving skin softer and smoother. Plus, it helps to give it that extra layer of protection against environmental aggressors.

For this skin type, the emulsion is enough to keep skin hydrated from morning till night. No tightness in the middle of the day to let you know that you need a top up.

I was also pleased to discover it makes a great base for makeup, too.

Related: The Best Skincare Routine For Combination Skin

avene physiolift day smoothing emulsion review

Who Is This For?

  • Combination skin
  • Oily skin

Who Is This Not For?

  • Dry skin
  • If you’re looking for an anti-aging moisturiser, this isn’t it


A white tube with a pump applicator. Practical and hygienic.

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

Rediscover smoother-looking skin with your daily moisturiser PhysioLift DAY Smoothing Emulsion for normal to combination skin.It does make skin smoother.
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.
79% of the women observed a lifting/firming effect*

*Satisfaction test – 100 women – 6 weeks’ use

The keyword here is “observed”. Avene didn’t carry out any tests to find out if the cream firmed skin. They just asked women if they thought their skin was firmer. Anything that makes your skin smoother can give the impression of firmness, but once skin has sagged, nothing can firm/lift it.

Price & Availability

£26.50 at Dermstore and Escentual

Do You Need It?

If you combination skin that gets sensitive (especially in winter), this is a good option to consider.


Dupes & Alternatives


Avene Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua), Isododecane, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Arachidyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract, Behenyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Mica, PVP, Silica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Tocopheryl Glucoside, Water (Aqua).