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The 4 Products That Saved My Skin

December 2021 was the worst month I can remember in terms of my skin. My face went BERZERK. (Lips too!) Tight, red, flaky, swollen, flushed, you name it…my skin was so unhappy.

It was the perfect storm of many factors – dry, winter weather, perimenopausal skin, an allergic reaction to SLS…and none of my old favorites were helping at all. My skin was so angry – take a look for yourself!

Ugh. It was a rough month. So I started from scratch and purchased 4 products from Avène (my son uses Avène for his eczema with great success so I decided to give it a try).

You all, within a few days, the improvement in my skin was shocking. I couldn’t believe my eyes and I’ve become the world’s biggest Avène fan. (And if you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I don’t gush unless I’ve been beyond wowed by a product line.) Here was my skin after using the Avène products exclusively for a week:

I delved into the details about my skincare freakout and the products that saved the day in a video yesterday on Instagram Stories – you can watch it here in my SOS highlight. (Also, take notice of my much happier skin!)

When my skin is freaking out like the above photos, I use these 4 products and nothing else – no serums, no actives.

Cicalfate+ Restorative and Protective Cream (night)

Tolerance Control Soothing Skin Recovery Cream (morning)

Soothing Eye Contour Cream

Cicalfate Restorative Lip Cream

I use the Vanicream Gentle Cleanser to cleanse during this time. After 48-72 hours, I start adding/substituting other products and my sensitive skin list of favorites can be found here.

I simply cannot express how incredible these products are for conditions like rosacea, eczema, perioral dermatitis, flushing, hypersensitivity, and/or perimenopausal dryness. I am forever a fan.

Happy skincare buying and I hope these products bring you the same relief.

Other Posts You Might Like:

My Perioral Dermatitis Tips

Clean Beauty Picks of 2021

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8 comments
  1. Jamie Serran

    January 6, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Sarah, I just found your blog and am really enjoying all of the amazing information you share here! Just wanted to say that I love Avene too – I also suffer from eczema, as well as dry winter skin, and I love how gentle and effective this line is for those issues. I’ve never tried the eye cream but just picked some up today to see if it will help with fine lines and puffiness. Thanks for this in-depth review!

    • whoorl

      January 7, 2022 at 4:45 pm

      You are so welcome! The eye cream is fantastic.

  2. Amelia Treinen

    January 7, 2022 at 4:33 pm

    AH, so glad I saw this! My skin started freaking out last month as well. It was/is itchy red, burning, dry scaly patches, bumpy, all of it. A hot mess! I have never had anything like this, not even close. My skin has never been sensitive, I can peel, retinol, laser, you name it and it has always been fine. This literally came out of nowhere, although, the stress I’ve been under may be a culprit. And age, 49. And sugar/alcohol due to stress/holidays. But still. I am ordered these products ASAP. My face burns with excitement! No joke. Thank you!

    • whoorl

      January 7, 2022 at 4:46 pm

      Haha! #feeltheburn

      Hope these products make your skin as calm and happy as mine!!

  3. Liz

    January 7, 2022 at 8:29 pm

    I developed rosacea that looks like this about 10 years ago after the birth of my second child. It is bad now only during the winter months. I use sea buckthorn oil topically and layer a rich moisturizer over it. It is the only thing I have found that works.

  4. JP

    January 12, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    Hi – thank you for sharing your experience! What does your son use for his eczema? My poor girl suffers from eczema all year around (we live in the mountains in Colorado). Thank you in advance!

    • whoorl

      January 13, 2022 at 8:22 am

      He uses all four of the products above. :)

  5. Katie

    January 20, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    Hi, Sarah! I’ve been having similar issues with dry/red skin – winter blues :( So I ordered all 4 Avene products that you recommended. They arrived today and I’m so excited to try them! Two questions: if these are the only products you’re using now, are you applying the face creams to dry skin? And how are you cleansing? Thanks again for all of your skincare wisdom. You’ve saved me many a time and I value your research/knowledge so much!