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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Review: Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm*

I've mentioned a few times on this 'ere blog that I struggle quite badly with eczema; I've had it since I was a child and, although I grew out of it for quite a few years, I kind of grew back into it around the age of nineteen. My main problem is my hands, which are often dry and flakey or red and sore. I also occasionally struggle with the insides of my elbows and the backs of my knees, although this is much better since switching to SLS-free shampoo & body wash; however, my legs in generally are still extremely dry and itchy, to the point where I've woken myself up in the night scratching til they bleed - not ideal. 
Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm Review
So, you can probably guess why when I was offered the opportunity to try a couple of products from Eau Thermale Avène's new XeraCalm range, which is aimed at skin prone to severe dryness and itching, I jumped at the chance! I was very kindly sent the Lipid-Replenishing Balm* and Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil* to try out. This is going to be a long post, so I apologise for that, but I wanted to give a comprehensive review of these products.
Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm Lipid Replenishing Balm
"Lipid Replenishing Balm specifically formulated for severe dryness in the skin of infants, children and adults • Skin prone to atopic dermatitis • Skin prone to irritations, redness and itching caused by skin dryness • Naturally dry skin. The formula for XeraCalm AD Lipid Replenishing Balm was created using a minimum of ingredients: • The I-Modulia complex, the result of 12 years of scientific development, reduces itching sensations caused by skin dryness and soothes redness and irritations caused by the skin's hyper-reactivity. • CER-OMEGA lipids which resemble those found in the skin help to repair, nourish and strengthen the protective film, giving the skin better resistance against external aggressions. • Avène Thermal Spring Water with its soothing, anti-irritating properties reduces sensations of discomfort and softens the skin. • This formula is from the "sterile cosmetics" generation and combines "high technology" actives with Avène Thermal Spring Water, and contains absolutely no fragrance, alcohol or colourants; skin is therefore soothed, comforted and softened in complete safety. Apply XeraCalm AD Lipid Replenishing Balm once or twice a day to dry areas of the face and/or body, after cleansing. After use, remove all excess product and close bottle."
Avene Xeracalm Balm
I really like the opening of this tube which doesn't allow air to enter the tube, meaning the product is kept sterile and will last well without the need for excessive preservatives; it's a little bit harder to squeeze product from the tube than with a traditional tube, but that doesn't concern me personally. The box containing the balm also provides a leaflet which gives a little background on Eau Thermale Avène, its properties and the kind of symptoms it can help to ease.
XeraCalm Balm
I was a little worried about the inclusion of Paraffinum Liquidum in the ingredients list, as I have in the past found that products containing Liquid Paraffin (also known as Mineral Oil) have a tendency to really dry my skin out, which obviously isn't what I'm looking for. The thick, white balm is a creamy texture which is easy to spread over the skin and takes a few minutes to absorb, which I absolutely don't mind if a product works well; I know a lot of people hate waiting for body lotions and the like to soak in, but when you've suffered dry skin to the extent I have, trust me - you don't mind. This seems to do a reasonable job of treating dryness on my legs when used daily, but unfortunately I've found that, despite its claims, it doesn't really soothe itching upon application. I'm also in two minds about it as I have found it needs re-applying at least once a day and sometimes twice to keep my skin feeling happy - which isn't the case with other products I've tried, leading me to think it may be down to the Paraffin. This is not a product I'd consider buying again for those reasons - there are just products that work better for me and do more to keep my skin hydrated and happy.
Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm Lipid Replenishing Cleansing Oil
"Lipid Replenishing Cleansing Oil gently cleanses & soothes itching sensations. The formula for XeraCalm AD Cleansing Oil was created using a minimum of ingredients • A very gentle soap-free cleansing base cleanses the skin and protects it against the drying effects of water. • The I-Modulia complex, result of 12 years of scientific development, reduces itching sensations caused by skin dryness and and soothes redness and irritations caused by skin's hyper-reactivity. • CER-OMEGA lipids, which resemble those found in the skin, help to repair, nourish and strengthen the protective film, giving the skin better resistance against external aggressions. • Skin feels comfortable and smooth. Rich in Avène Thermal Spring Water. Very good cutaneous and ocular tolerance - Does not sting the eyes. Directions for use; In the shower, lather onto wet hands before applying to the skin. In the bath, pour the equivalent of five pumps into bathwater while filling the tub. Rinse thoroughly and dry without rubbing, then apply the Cream or XeraCalm AD Lipid Replenishing Balm."
Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm Cleansing Oil
The large bottle of Cleansing Oil features a pump which makes for really easy dispensation of product, a definite bonus as I'm forever dropping bottles on my feet in the shower and they're always more painful than you'd think! Despite being described as an oil, I wouldn't say this product is at all oil-like in texture or consistency; it's actually a pretty standard body wash kind of product which I've been using in the shower with my exfoliating gloves. It lathers quite nicely and does leave my skin feeling clean without being stripped or irritated. There's no strong scent to it which is obviously a bonus if you're sensitive to fragranced products. Personally, I haven't found my skin to react to this any differently than it has to other SLS-free body washes, many of which smell much nicer. For that reason, I can't see myself repurchasing, particularly when there are other much more purse-friendly options available.
Overall, I've found both of these products work okay with my skin - but for the price I want more than okay. The Lipid Replenishing Balm doesn't seem to keep my skin from getting dry for as long as I'd like, so this isn't one I'll be buying again. The Cleansing Oil does a good job and hasn't irritated my skin, but as I said it doesn't seem anything special compared to other, much cheaper, SLS-free body washes. If you're sensitive to scented products or haven't found anything that works well with your eczema-prone skin, I'd definitely recommend giving these a try, but for me I don't think they're worth the price-point. The Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm range is available in Boots, with the XeraCalm Lipid Replenishing Balm being priced at £18.50 for 200ml of product, and the XeraCalm Lipid Replenishing Cleansing Oil at £15.50 for 400ml; also available in the range is a XeraCalm Lipid Replenishing Cream which is priced at £16.50 for 200ml. What are the best products you've found for keeping eczema or other dry skin conditions under control? Have you tried Eau Thermale Avène's XeraCalm range?

[*These products were provided in return for an honest review; as always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.]


  1. I've been lucky enough to not experience eczema myself, but I know how hard it can be to find products which work for you :(
    It's a shame that this product wasn't amazing for the price! x

  2. I hope you get rid of this skin issue soon:)

  3. I'm sorry they didn't work that well for you! It doesn't seem like it was worth its money. I used to suffer eczema when I was younger so I know how you feel! x

    Angela | The Sunday Chapter

  4. Shame that these didn't work for you :( I hate body lotion which don't do a great job! Thanks for sharing! xo's

    Pink Frenzy

  5. Ah what a pain they didnt work so well on your skin x

  6. This is such a detailed post but it's a shame they didn't work for you. Hopefully, you'll find some products that can help soon. I get quite bad spots and I think it's a bit trial and error with skincare a lot of the time to find what works for you! Alice xx

  7. Not a product I have tried but it is a brand I have heard of because the wife has the water spray x

  8. I'm sorry they didn't work that well for you ... thanks for sharing your honest opinion

    Shumaila Jaffer
    Beauty Redefined

  9. I am always looking for products that moisturize and deal with dry skin, as I have that too. I will be interested in what other things you find that are amazing!


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