Wetness Is The Essence of Beauty

Eau Thermale Avene ($9/1.76 oz) is water. It’s literally just water, aka that stuff you drink. (Or the stuff you don’t drink, if you’re me and don’t like the taste of plain water despite my neighborhood’s tap water literally winning the “Best of Show” award in nationwide water taste-testing competitions, which are real things.)

Where were we? Oh yeah, water. As skincare. We all know that moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty; but do you REALLY need to spend $9 on a tiny bottle of aerosolized water? Let’s deconstruct this.

First, this is not just ANY water. It’s “Thermal Spring Water,” or, as Avene puts it, “a biologically pure, naturally occurring hydrating mist” with “trace minerals and silica.” “Trace minerals” could be good. Sulfur is good for acne. Copper is important in collagen production.  Zinc protects against sun damage. But since Avene doesn’t specify exactly what ‘trace minerals’ are in their spring water, they could also be bad. ‘Minerals’ could refer to crocidolite (aka blue asbestos). To be fair, this was mostly mined in Australia, Bolivia, and South Africa; but if it can occur on those three continents, I don’t see why it couldn’t exist in France. Potassium feldspar (which IS found in France) contains traces of uranium. Chrysotile (white asbestos) was most recently mined in Quebec, but both Quebec and France speak French so there could be a connection there. Silica (which Avene specifically mentions) may refer to quartz, particulate exposure to which can cause lung cancer. Just sayin’. (I kind of want to start a pseudo-science fear-mongering blog now. Collier, you in?) [Ed.: I’m pretty sure there are PLEENNNNNTY of those already, alas. And while I enjoy yanking the chains of effing willfully-ignorant morons, I would lament further polluting the minds of the gullible with believably-written trash. OTOH, screw it, let’s scare some dipshits. “OMG HAVE YOU HEARD, BREATHING TOO FAST WHILE PUTTING YOUR MASCARA ON CAN GIVE YOU A STROKE, ITS TRUE THERE WAS A STUDY.”]

However, one would presume that uranium and asbestos are not safe for “sensitive skin,” and Avene’s bottle helpfully explains that this bottle of pure water is appropriate “for sensitive skin.” Unless you are allergic to water — which is also a real thing — I’m not sure why that disclaimer is necessary.

Yep, 1.76 ounces.

So, if this is just water, why not just splash water on your face? This is one area in which this Avene product has an advantage over, well, water:  the nozzle sprays a fine, soothing mist — enough to refresh and cool your face for about forty-five seconds, but not enough to mess with your makeup or soak your hair. (Plus, tap water isn’t French and thus isn’t ~chic~. Unless you live in France, I guess.) I can see this product providing short-lived post-sunburn relief, or keeping your skin refreshed on an international flight if you’re too shy to wear a sheet mask, or … yep, that’s about it. I am not a supermodel. I do not need an aerosol spray bottle of Evian to refresh me as I fly from New York City’s fashion week to London’s fashion week.

IN CONCLUSION, this product is for supermodels who want to simultaneously destroy the ozone layer while hydrating their skin. (Because what’s the fun in being powerful if you can’t use it to create maximum destruction? This is what I learned from James Bond villains, and by James Bond villains I mostly mean Syndrome from “The Incredibles.”) If you are ABSOLUTELY DETERMINED to spend $9 on water, you might consider spending that $9 here.

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Yes, this review was a little tongue-in-cheek, maybe because I lived for a couple years in a rural village where I was the only one with clean running water in my house. (And by “clean,” I mean it was only brown a couple of times a week; and by “running,” I mean that water came through my tap about half of the time.)

BUT I do really like how a fine hydrating mist feels on my very very dry skin during the summer desert heat, so if y’all have a suggestion for another face spray — preferably one including nice skincare ingredients, no irritants, and a very fine-mist spritz nozzle (no aerosol; I don’t want my short-term cooling mist to contribute to long-term warming, which is also a real thing), please let me know. It’d also be nice if it were cheap.

Have you tried any kind of “hydrating mist”? Got a favorite? Share!