From the French Pharmacie: Avibon Pommade

14 Mar

Over the course of my French pharmacie essentials research, I came across this on several blogs, most noticably Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, Goop. She did a post about her favourite French pharmacie products, and this was one of them. According to her, it’s an anti-aging miracle used by an “older movie star” who has amazing skin every night.

It’s got retinol and a really high dose of vitamin A, so it’s good for healing blemishes (and preventing new ones), as well as helping to reduce fine lines. According to some of the blog reviews I read, it’s hard to get a product with this much vitamin A in it without a prescription in North America, and the prescription products are pretty pricey. This is available over the counter in France, and it’s also pretty cheap, which is another plus.

The product itself is a thick ointment – think vaseline, but thicker. Here’s what it looks like:

Because of the consistency, it’s difficult to spread on the skin. I recommend taking a few dabs, smearing them on a the cheeks and forehead, and leaving them for a few seconds before spreading. This allows the product to warm and soften to avoid pulling at the skin and to get a thinner layer. Put it on right before bed and by morning it will be entirely absorbed. Because of the retinol and vitamin A, it can be used on combination and oily skin and won’t cause breakouts.

I’ve only used this a couple of times so far, but it does seem to help skin appear healthy and hydrated – I actually went foundation-free for the first time in ages the day after using it!

There are a couple of down sides. One is the scent – it’s strong and floral, almost grandmothery. It fades a bit as you wear it, but still, not my favourite. It’s also a bit sticky on the skin, so if you have pets (long-haired cats in particular) it’s kind of a magnet for stray fur. Not the best experience, hence my recommendation to put it on right before bed!

Despite the thick consistency, it’s actually not as uncomfortable to wear as you might think. I hate anything heavy or oily on my skin, but despite some initial discomfort, the feeling of this on the skin really isn’t that bad. And if it’s good enough for Gwyneth…

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