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  • Stella Lee

Review - Avène Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum

Updated: Jul 13, 2020


A texture with high diffusion of Avène Thermal Spring Water, which provides the skin wit optimal hydration and intense soothing. This serum diffuses Avène Thermal Spring Water liposomes in a targeted, prolonged manner within the core of the epidermal cells; adjusts the hydration level and fixes Avène Thermal Spring Water on the skin's surface thanks to its 3D gel formula; calms sensations of discomfort with soothing and anti-irritating Avène Thermal Spring Water.

Sensations of tightness are relieved immediately after application. The skin feels silky smooth. Intensely and lastingly hydrated, it regains comfort and suppleness. Fine lines caused by dehydration are smoothed.


Thermal spring water

Thermal spring water literally means water from hot spring. In my book it is a glamorous term for mineral water. Cosmetic companies that use thermal spring water have done studies to show that it calms inflammation. I can see how some minerals (with the right composition and at the right concentration) can be beneficial to the skin, but by no means I worship this ingredient.

In this serum, thermal spring water is delivered by "liposomes".


For this serum, you are really paying for the liposomes (see notable ingredients in the list at the bottom of this post - there aren't many). As opposed to an "active" ingredient, liposomes serve as a delivery system. Each liposome is a vesicle made up of phospholipids. Phospholipid is a component of cell membrane. Liposomes deliver active ingredients by encapsulating those active ingredients (cargo) with phospholipids. When liposomes meet cell membrane, the phospholipids in liposomes fuse with the cell membrane. This "opens up" the liposome, releasing the cargo from the liposome to the cell.

Liposomes have been used in the cosmetics industry for quite some time. However, a recent study in 2016 showed that liposomes do not actually penetrate human skin barrier; rather, they break open when they meet the skin's surface. The article did suggest that the bursting open of liposomes may trigger another pathway for the skin to take up the cargo, but the mechanism is not well-understood.


Glycerin is a humectant, meaning that it binds water to skin. It is a very common (and rather cheap) ingredient found in many serums and moisturisers.

My experience

For background, I have normal skin, although it is prone to dehydration in winter when I am not careful with my water intake. This winter I have been spending quite some time in air-conditioned environment which is quite drying for the skin.

I started this serum in mid-autumn by using it just once a day. I continue to use it in winter and have increased my usage to twice a day; 1.5 pumps each application. I have almost finished this serum with just a few uses left.


The texture of the serum is what I like most. The consistency is perfect - it is thin enough to be absorbed quite quickly, and I can feel that it has a lot of water content embedded in the gel (not sure if this is what it means by the "3D gel formula"). Other skincare and/or makeup can be layered almost immediately.


It is lightly fragranced but it smells clean and soothing. The fragrance is subtle and disperses quickly.


Throughout the first half of the bottle my skin felt quite comfortable. It was hydrating enough for me even without layering a facial oil on top of the serum (but I seldom skip moisturiser). However, now that we are in winter, this serum is not heavy-duty enough, especially when I spend a long time in air-conditioned environment. The only ingredient that I consider to be "active" in this serum is glycerine, whereas my skin is accustomed to a combination of glycerin and hyaluronic acid for hydration.

My skin is not reactive so I can't comment on whether this is suitable for sensitive skin.


Overall, I actually quite like this serum (based mainly on the UX as opposed to the ingredients) but I think I have used it in the wrong season. It is suitable for those who are looking for a lightweight serum that is easily absorbed.

Overall rating 3.5/5

Ingredient list

Avène thermal spring water (Avène aqua). Methyl gluceth-20. PEG-12. Cyclopentasiloxane. Glycerin. Propylene glycol. Ceteth-3 acetate. Water (aqua). Polyacrylamide. Alcohol. Benzoic acid. C13-14 isoparaffin. Fragrance (parfum). Hydroxyethylcellulose. Laurteh-7. PEG/PPG-18/18. Dimethicone. Phenoxyethanol. Phospholipids. Sodium acetate. Sodium DNA. Tetrasodium EDTA.

*Notable/active ingredients highlighted in green


About me

Makeup artist and hair stylist based in Sydney. Founder of the well-known award-winning bridal specialist team Faces Makeup & Hair. Beauty junkie with an obsession for skincare.

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