I’ve done some mildly crazy things in the name of beauty, but there’s one particular habit that always elicits a raised eyebrow from…well, most people I meet. To those who merely flirt with skincare, I have no doubt it sounds downright ridiculous. Do I care? No. Because ever since my mom handed me my first, miniature Avéne Eau Thermale back in middle school (and she wonders how my skincare obsession began, I mean honestly), I’ve bought the chic white bottles more times than I can count—although my latest one was a much-appreciated delivery.
Now I know what you’re thinking if you haven’t tried this for yourself: this is $18. For a can of water. Are you crazy?
While we won’t be addressing the second part of that question today, let’s talk about that price tag. Are there other ingredients in there? you might wonder, Is it sprinkled with unicorn dust? The answer is a simple no; it’s really just water.
Oh, but the water. Trickling down from the Cévennes Mountains, it absorbs precious minerals and trace elements for 50 years before reaching the mouth of the ancient Sainte-Odile spring. It’s French, it’s drawn from thermal springs, and it’s so gentle that you can use it on open or healing wounds (something I had the opportunity to test out many, many times over the course of high school. My ER-visits-due-to-clumsiness record is almost unprecedented). According to the company, it’s the only thermal spring water bottled directly at the source and packaged in a sterile environment, meaning the contents won’t be contaminated in any way. The water itself sits at a non-irritating pH of 7.5 and a constant temperature of 75°F, beautifully cooling but never too cold. It’s low in mineral content (translation: it won’t dry out your skin) and rich in softening silica, making it perfect for treating even the most of extreme skin conditions—think eczema or psoriasis.
So how to use this wonder water? I find it works best as an “in-between” step: replenish the moisture that evaporates off the skin post-shower or morning cleanse, then seal it in with a layer of serum or lotion. It’s also great as a light mist atop makeup, for the dewiest blush or undereye concealer imaginable. And if you find yourself nodding off at your desk or struggling to get out of bed, I promise a single spritz of this will wake you up instantly. And you’re not actually going to crawl back under the covers after sacrificing part of your $18 bottle of water, are you? Didn’t think so.
For those hesitant to shell out, Avène also offers 150 mL ($12.50) and 50 mL ($9) versions. While I have a soft spot for my super-sized spray, the latter is perfect for (gently) throwing into your bag before you head out the door.
Full Disclosure: The bottle pictured in this post is a press sample. But trust me, I’ve amassed piles of the stuff over the years. For more information on my review policy, please refer to my disclaimer.