FEMMENORDIC .COM

Both Avene and Clinique are well-known and have a cult-like following of loyal supporters. But which should you choose?

Today we will compare two of the brands' most popular facial cleansers and their most popular moisturizers. Fair warning: if you’re looking for cruelty-free and vegan brands, neither of these brands is for you. If that's an instant deal breaker for you, check out our latest articles to see our other popular brand comparisons!

Skip to "Cleansers" section

> For acne-prone skin

> For normal to oily skin

Skip to "Moisturizers" section

Skip to "Conclusion" section

Avène is a well-known and trusted French skincare brand. While the actual skincare brand wasn’t established until 1990, the brand has a rich history spanning back to the mid-1700s. The heart of the brand’s product lineup prioritizes the use of Avène Thermal Spring Water. This spring water has natural forming microflora that is beneficial to sensitive skin. The water was used throughout history to help patients suffering from dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and burns.

Clinique was launched in 1968. While it was technically on the market for 22 years more than Avène, it doesn’t have an extensive history like Avène. While Clinique is sold in over 140 countries, it’s a household name in the United States. It’s an American manufacturer and is a subsidiary of Estée Lauder Companies. Many American women view going to the Clinique counter at their local department store almost as a “coming of age” celebration. The white coat that the employees wear mimics that of medical professionals, which inspires feelings of confidence in their clients.

This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon Associate we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

Avene vs Clinique Cleanser

When it comes to cleansers, Avene and Clinique boast a large array of cleansers to choose from. For the sake of summarization, we're just going to focus on their most popular products here; more specifically, their cleansers targeted towards those with acne, and their cleansers targeted for normal to oily skin.

Best cleanser for acne prone skin

If you suffer from acne-prone skin, it’s crucial to be diligent and balanced with your skincare routine. Many things can cause acne, such as bacteria, hormones, and excess sebum.

A good cleanser with active ingredients to treat the inflammation without stripping the skin is the first step in reducing or eliminating outbreaks.

Both Avène’s Cleanance Cleansing Gel and Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam have active ingredients to reduce excess sebum production and eliminate blemishes. However, there are some key differences to note.

Avène’s Cleanance Cleansing Gel is designed to be gentle on the skin. The gel is composed of milder surfactants such as Lauryl Betaine and Zinc Coceth Sulfate to cleanse the skin effectively and gently. It contains Monolaurin, a patent-pending ingredient that helps regulate the skin’s sebum production.

Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam is the first step of the brand’s comprehensive Anti-Blemish Solutions Clear Skin System. It’s advertised as a mild cleanser that contains active ingredients that have been proven to assist in the reduction of acne. Salicylic Acid and Acetyl Glycosamine work together to unclog the pores, and Laminaria Sacharina Extract acts as an oil control agent. Other ingredients also help soothe redness and inflammation.

If your skin is uber-sensitive, Avène’s Cleanance Cleansing Gel is a more suitable option. It has fewer active ingredients and soothing Avène Thermal Spring Water that will help to cleanse the skin gently.

Find the best Avene cleanser prices on Amazon

However, if you’re looking for something more powerful and works a little more quickly, Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam is a better option. That said, it may be a bit stripping because it contains many active ingredients.

Find the best Clinique cleanser prices on Amazon

Cleanance Cleansing Gel by Avene, one of the best cleansers for oily skin.

Cleanance Cleansing Gel by Avene

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A gentle cleansing gel for oily, blemish prone skin.

What makes it special? Soap-free and concentrated with Avène Thermal Spring Water, this gel cleanses your skin gently leaving it feeling soothed and refreshed whilst regulating excess sebum and mattifying your skin. The simple dispenser cap ensures that you use the perfect amount every time.

Which skin types? Oily, acne-prone skin.

Find the best price on Amazon

Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam by Clinique, a daily medicated cleanser powered by 2% salicylic acid.

Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam by Clinique

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A daily medicated cleanser powered by 2% salicylic acid.

What makes it special? This mild cleansing foam helps clear and prevent blemishes by effectively removing dirt and excess oil, and more importantly: unclogging pores. It calms, soothes, reduces the look of redness, and leaves the skin feeling soft, smooth, comfortable.

Which skin types? Formulated for blemish-prone skin.

Find the best price on Amazon

Best cleanser for normal to oily skin

If your skin tends to be oily or combination-oily but not acne-prone, you’ll need a cleanser that helps to reduce excess sebum without stripping away all the skin’s protective sebum. Both Avène and Clinique have great options for your skin type. Neither cleanser contain an excessive number of oils or butter, but there are some critical differences in the formulas that may sway your decision between the two.

Avène’s Mattifying Cleansing Foam is a fantastic foaming cleaning that will mattify the complexion by absorbing excess sebum. It also can remove lightweight makeup. It’s a soap-free cleanser that is non-stripping and gentle. It also has a blend of glutamic and lactic acids that will gently exfoliate the skin to unclog pores and regulate sebum production.

Clinique’s All About Clean Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser is also a gentle cleanser with a silky cream-mousse texture that can remove long-wear makeup and sunscreen. It’s also formulated with glycerin and hyaluronic acid to moisturize the skin.

If dull and uneven skin tone or texture is of concern, Avène’s cleanser will be a better choice for you. The incorporation of gentle acids will gently exfoliate dead skin cells revealing a more even and glowing complexion over time.

Find the best Avene cleanser prices on Amazon

If you find that your skin usually feels tight after washing, Clinique’s cleanser will be a better fit. While it doesn’t have nearly as much exfoliation as Avène’s cleanser, the added hyaluronic acid and glycerin will help to keep the skin hydrated and plump.

Find the best Clinique cleanser prices on Amazon

Mattifying Cleansing Foam by Avene; cleanses, mattifies, and removes make-up.

Mattifying Cleansing Foam by Avene

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Cleanses, mattifies, and removes make-up.

What makes it special? Creamy and lightweight, this soap-free foam tightens pores thanks to its gentle cleansing base. Glutamic acid rebalances excess sebum. Rich in Avène Thermal Spring Water, which provides its softening, soothing and anti-irritating properties. As the days go by, skin balance is restored and the skin regains its full clarity and radiance.

Which skin types? For normal to combination (or sensitive) skin.

Find the best price on Amazon

All About Clean Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser by Clinique, cream-mousse foaming cleanser that gently and effectively rinses away impurities.

All About Clean Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser by Clinique

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Cream-mousse foaming cleanser that gently and effectively rinses away impurities.

What makes it special? This purifying cleanser lathers into a rich foam to rinse away pollution, dirt, excess oil, long-wearing makeup and sunscreen quickly, gently, and effectively. It leaves oily skin feeling fresh and clean without drying or stripping your skin.

Which skin types? For oilier skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Avene vs Clinique Moisturizer

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, moisturizing may seem counterproductive. After all, won’t more oil cause more breakouts? Well, not necessarily.

Moisturizing is an essential step in your skincare routine regardless of your skin type. When you deprive your skin of the moisture it needs, the skin compensates for this dryness by producing more oil. Consistency will allow the skin to recognize that it is no longer in crisis control, and patience will be vital as the skin begins to rebalance itself.

Best daily moisturizer

Both brands make excellent daily moisturizers, especially for oily and acne-prone skin types. Keep scrolling to learn more!

Avène’s Hydrance Light Hydrating Emulsion is a 24-hour moisturizer that softens the skin and doesn’t leave behind a sticky residue. It contains Cohederm, a patented hydrating complex that creates a micro-reservoir of water on the skin’s surface. The skin can draw from the reservoir to stay hydrated. It also contains glycerin, which is an excellent humectant to draw water into the skin further.

However, it does contain fragrance, or parfum, a common irritant in skincare.

While Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion doesn’t contain fragrances like Avène’s lotion, it also has another ingredient that might make you hesitate before purchasing–mineral oil.

While both brands’ moisturizers have strikes against them, we recommend choosing Avène’s daily moisturizer. The ingredient list is, in general, cleaner than Clinique’s and has more hydrating ingredients.

Hydrance Light Hydrating Emulsion by Avene, the best daily moisturiser.

Hydrance Light Hydrating Emulsion by Avene

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A lightweight moisturizer in the form of an emulsion.

What makes it special? This absolute gem of a moisturizer has a non-sticky, oil-absorbing, lightweight texture that leaves your skin feeling soft, supple and radiant all day long. Its custom 'Cohederm' complex guarantees 24-hour hydration & soothing relief by locking in micro-reservoirs of Avene Thermal Spring Water deep beneath the skin's surface, releasing quenching bursts of hydration over time.

Which skin types? Normal, combination, oily, and/or sensitive skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion by Clinique, a dermatologist-developed face moisturiser which softens, smooths, and improves.

Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion by Clinique

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A dermatologist-developed face moisturiser which softens, smooths, and improves.

What makes it special? Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel provides intense hydration without causing oil buildup. It’ll leave you glowing, but in the way you desire. The formula contains natural properties like Sunflower Seed Cake, Barley Extract and Cucumber Fruit Extract which help to strengthen the barrier of the skin. These easy-to-understand ingredients improve the skin’s resiliency and help to keep its natural moisture levels. Clinique’s moisturizer is also dermatologist-developed and contains hyaluronic acid which helps to retain the skin’s natural moisture.

Which skin types? Oily Combination and Oily Skin.

Find the best price on Amazon

Avene vs Clinique Conclusion

Both Avène and Clinique are excellent brands with a long-standing reputation and a loyal fanbase.

If your skin is uber-sensitive, Avène’s products will be your best bet due to their use of Avène Thermal Spring Water in all their formulas and their philosophy that less is more.

If your skin is not super sensitive and you’re looking for quick results, Clinique’s products will better fit you.

Regardless of which brand you choose to try, it’s crucial to pay attention to how your skin feels or reacts. The rush to see results may cause more harm than good if your skin feels raw or sensitive. If you notice an increase in your skin’s sensitivity, you should consider something gentler with fewer active ingredients.

Best Avene Ranges

For very sensitive skin:
Try the Tolérance Range


For redness or rosacea:
Try the Antirougeurs Range


For acne and oily, blemish-prone skin:
Try the Cleanance Range

Best Clinique Ranges

For the eyes:
Try All About Eyes


For redness:
Try Redness Solutions


For extra moisture:
Try Moisture Surge

Stay up to date with our posts

We are on a mission to help you discover the secrets to achieving the ultimate, healthy, glowing radiance that French women are envied the world over for.

With over 10+ years of experience in skincare, you can rest assured that our curation is accurate, fact-checked and most importantly: we will only ever recommend products that truly work.

Click here to subscribe

Related articles

Mary Kay vs Clinique 2022 (The Definitive Guide)

Clinique vs Estee Lauder 2022 (The Definitive Guide)

Lancome vs Clinique 2022 (The Definitive Guide)

Clinique vs Clarins 2022 (The Definitive Guide)

Clinique Moisture Surge vs Neutrogena Hydro Boost (The Definitive Guide)

Clinique Moisture Surge vs Dramatically Different (The Definitive Guide)

Best Clinique Products 2022 (Our Top 12 Picks)

Avene vs La Roche Posay 2022 (The Definitive Guide)

Avene vs Vichy 2021 (The Definitive Guide)

Avene vs Eucerin 2022 (The Definitive Guide)

Nuxe vs Avene 2022 (The Definitive Guide)

Best Avene Products 2022 (Our Top 11 Picks)

Read more

Clinique vs Clarins 2022 (The Definitive Guide)

Avene vs Eucerin 2022 (The Definitive Guide)