avene skin recovery cream review

Dry, intolerant skin is a nightmare. It gets all red, starts to flake, and becomes prone to all kinds of irritations – for no reason at all. Sometimes, it seems everything you put on it will do more harm than good. *sighs*

Avene wants to come to the rescue. Its Skin Recovery Cream claims to be able to quickly calm irritations, help restore the skin’s protective barrier and provide long-lasting protection. Does it deliver?

What’s In Avene Skin Recovery Cream?


Are you put off? Lots of people are. Mineral oil is derived from oil, which is enough to put it on the avoid list. They’re scared it’ll give them cancer or other health problems.

The truth is, it doesn’t. Cosmetic grade mineral oil – the only kind of mineral oil allowed for use in cosmetics – undergoes a rigorous purifying process to remove all toxins. The end product is safe.

But is it effective? Yep. One of the most moisturing ingredients available today, mineral oil works by creating a protective barrier on the skin. Skin already has its own protective barrier. When it is intact, skin is soft, supple, and hydrated.

But when it is broken (harsh weather, sun damage, drying cleansers, and overexfoliation are just some of the things that can damage it), it allows water to evaporate and bacteria to penetrate inside the body. It’s this that leads to dryness and causes irritations.

That’s when mineral oil comes in. The barrier it creates prevents water loss, restoring the hydrolipidic film of the skin, and offers protection from external agents that are now unable to get in. Now that the skin’s barrier function is restored, irritations calm down.

Related: 5 Myths About Mineral Oil You Need To Stop Believing Right Now


Sealing moisture in is all well and good. But what if your skin doesn’t have enough in the first place? That’s where glycerin comes in.

Glycerin is a humectant, a fancy way of saying it attracts water from the environment into the skin and binds it there. All that extra moisture makes skin softer, suppler, and a little dewy.

Related: What Are Humectants And Why Do You Need Them?


Like all Avene skincare products, Skin Recovery Cream proudly boasts to contain Avene thermal water.

Avene Thermal Water is has 4.8 ppm sodium, 42.7 calcium and 21.2 magnesium. They’re said to give the water plenty of skincare benefits:

The catch? All the research on Avene Thermal Water comes from the brand itself. Take it with a pinch of salt.

Related: Thermal Water: What Is It And Can It Really Help Skin?


Lightweight and fast-absorbing.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

In the morning, use it in between serum and sunscreen. At night, it’s the last step of your skincare routine.

Performance & Personal Opinion

To tell you the truth, I’m surprised by how lightweight the texture of Avene Skin Recovery Cream is. Barrier repair moisturisers usually have rich textures that deeply nourish skin.

This one is a pleasure to use, but leaves a little to be desired in the hydrating department. Oh, it does the usual moisturising tricks: it makes skin softer and smoother, plumps it up, and strengthens the skin’s protective barrier to protect it from environmental aggressors.

But it works better for normal to dry or combination skin. If yours is very dry and damaged, I recommend something more heavy duty, like CeraVe PM Facial Moisturising Lotion or Bioderma Sensibio AR.

For the same reason, this works better in the summer than in the colder winter months, when the harsh temperature continually try to suck all the moisture out of your skin.

But hey, at least it doesn’t give you a breakout or a rash.

Related: 5 Best Moisturisers For Seriously Dry Skin

avene skin recovery cream 01

Who Is This For?

  • Combination skin
  • Normal to dry skin
  • Sensitive skin

Who Is This NOT For?

  • Acne-prone skin
  • Oily skin
  • Dry skin


Avene Skin Recovery Cream comes in a sleek white tube. It’s practical and hygienic.

Does Avene Skin Recovery Cream Lives Up To Its Claims?

Rapidly calms irritations and gives long-lasting protection to naturally sensitive skin or skin that has become irritable. It’s true it offers protection to sensitive skin and it does provide some relief, but not as rapidly as it claims.
Provides a long lasting barrier against external factors. True.
Parcerine combined with the soothing and anti-irritating Avène Thermal Spring Water softens your skin while reducing skin reactivity, thus eliminating sensations of tightness. Depends on how dry your skin is. if it’s very dry and irritated, this isn’t enough.
Feels soft when applied, allowing the skin to regain comfort and balance day after day. It does feel soft and comfortable on.

Price & Availability

$35.00/£17.50 at Dermstore and Escentual

Do You Need It?

If you have combination skin that gets easily irritated and need a basic moisturiser that keeps it soft and supple without irritating it, Avene Skin Recovery Cream is a good option to consider.


Dupes & Alternatives


Avene Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua), Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Squalane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Serine, Carbomer, Tetrasodium EDTA, Triethanolamine, Water (Aqua).