Review – Avène Hydrance Optimale Légère

It’s hard for me to find a good moisturizing cream for everyday use. Some days my skin looks shiny, and on others – flaky. I find it gets even worse when I try something new and instead of a promised matte effect, I get a layer of fat on top of my skin that makes my foundation crumble. To this day, I have yet to find an ideal day cream for myself, but have come quite close with Avène Hydrance Optimale Légère (Light).


I have the common combination skin type and sometimes get breakouts. I’ve learned that my skin problems are typically caused by hormonal swings rather than the cosmetics I use, thus, I don’t see why I should use comedogenic products. I usually spend a considerable amount of time digging into ingredient lists: anything oil-based is a bad choice for my skin type.

I’ve tried tons of different moisturizers. One time during my visit to a local drug store, I spotted Avène Hydrance Optimale Légère, which looked familiar, so I decided to give it a shot. I purchased the “summer” version with SPF 20. A couple of months later I also bought one without SPF.

So here are my thoughts on it:

It has a very light and runny texture, so it looks more like a lotion than a cream. SPF one is a bit more yellow than non-SPF cream, but otherwise they are pretty similar. It doesn’t feel heavy on your skin, yet it does a good job keeping it moisturized. However, I’ve noticed that during the winter months it’s not quite enough since my skin demands more nutrition, so I’m considering purchasing Avène Hydrance Optimale Riche.

I don’t normally use foundation that often, but sometimes you just have to, and Optimale Légère makes a good base for your daily make-up: your powders or fluid foundations apply more evenly and blushes, such as Benefit‘s tint Benetint blend perfectly into your skin without leaving any streaks.

I also took it upon myself to test the strength of its SPF factor: on a sunny summer morning I mixed up two creams and applied non-SPF one. By night time, I was surprised when I found that both my cheeks and nose were burnt. Note to self: use SPF one to avoid such troubles.

On the ingredients list you’ll find Avène Thermal Spring Water and as promised, not a trace of Parabens. Nevertheless, they put in Chlorphenesin instead, so if you’re hyper sensitive or allergic, test the cream on a small part of your skin first. Also, watch out for ingredient #4 Cyclomethicone, especially if you’re not too fond of silicones.

A nice bonus for me is that the product is quite cheap, depending on where you buy it, it costs around 15-17€. On the other hand, I go through a 40ml tube every two months with daily use, so it isn’t the most economic. It’s also nice that you can buy it in pretty much any drug store anywhere in the world.

So let’s summarize: Avène Hydrance Optimale Légère is a good fit for combination skin types: it gets moisturized, without appearing shiny or flaky. It’s also an ideal base for your everyday make-up. However, if your skin tends to get dry during the winter, this solution might not be enough for you.

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