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Competition is healthy. Without it, brands get comfortable; they stagnate. With it, they drive each other to constantly innovate in a bid for the title of the best. This means much better, much more affordable, and much longer-lasting products for the consumer, and fortunately for us, Avene and La Roche Posay are no strangers to this race.

The tricky part, though, is figuring out who exactly is leading that race. But fret not; in this guide, we comprehensively compare all of Avene's and La Roche Posay's best-selling products, definitively concluding which of these French pharmacy titans has the better option for each category.

Skip to "Moisturizers" section

Skip to "Cleansers" section

Skip to "Eye Creams" section

Skip to "Serums" section

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Avene vs La Roche Posay Moisturizer

Both priding themselves in extreme tolerance for sensitive and problematic skin, you would be hard-pressed not to find a moisturizer by Avene or La Roche Posay that your skin absolutely *loves*.

With that said, there are some notable differences between their moisturizers that can - and should - influence your purchasing decisions; keep scrolling to learn more.

Best daily moisturizer

If you need a daily moisturizer, two of the most popular products to check out from each brand are the Avene Hydrance Hydrating Emulsion and the La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer.

Both of these cult-favourite products boast thousands of rave reviews and a whole host of benefits for your skin. However, one important distinction is that La Roche Posay's cream has a tendency to pill easily; we can only recommend it to those with naturally smooth and problem-free skin. Avene's Hydrating Emulsion, on the other hand, applies gloriously well on all skin types.

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

Hydrance Light Hydrating Emulsion by Avene

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

What is it? 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 to combination sensitive skin.

Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer by La Roche Posay, one of the best daily moisturisers.

Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer by La Roche Posay

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

What is it? A prebiotic infused moisturizing cream.

What makes it special? Formulated with a high concentration of La Roche-Posay prebiotic thermal water and a trio of delightful moisture barrier replenishing ingredients, this dermatologist-tested moisturizer immediately comforts and hydrates your skin from the very first application. In theory, its lightweight cream texture absorbs as easily into the skin as its Avene counterpart, but please be aware that there are several reports of pilling, leading us to deduce that this product would best suit those with naturally smooth skin.

Which skin types? All skin types, including the most sensitive.

Best moisturizer for skin recovery

For damaged skin requiring a little bit of extra nourishment or tender care, look no further than Avene and La Roche Posay. They both offer a phenomenal range of solutions, and to be frank, almost too many. We've narrowed it down to the best of the best, though, and will be comparing the Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion and the La Roche Posay Cicaplast Balm B5 Cream.

You may wonder why we have opted for Avene's Tolerance Extreme Emulsion over their Skin Recovery Cream to compete against La Roche Posay's balm; unfortunately, the newer formulations of their Skin Recovery Cream have had reports of exacerbating irritation, and this is exactly NOT what you would want while dealing with inflamed skin. The Tolerance Extreme Emulsion, on the other hand, is lovely; the Cicaplast Balm still just takes the edge though as it has been *specifically* formulated to be protective (an emollient), and gentle enough for even a newborn's skin.

Cicaplast Balm B5 Cream by La Roche Posay, the best moisturiser for skin recovery.

Cicaplast Balm B5 Cream by La Roche Posay

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

What is it? A multi-purpose soothing repairing balm.

What makes it special? Emollients have a terrible reputation of feeling greasy; not this balm, though, as it has an uber-light, non-sticky texture that is a dream to apply. Five fundamental soothing & protective (see: anti-bacterial!) ingredients comprise the balm's dual-functionality, ensuring that sensitive, irritated, and inflamed skin is soothed and skin comfort is restored, granting you the relief you have been longing for.

Which skin types? All skin types, especially the most sensitive.

Tolerance Extreme Emulsion by Avene, one of the best moisturisers for skin recovery.

Tolerance Extreme Emulsion by Avene

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

What is it? A light, soothing and hydrating daily moisturiser.

What makes it special? This emulsion is a divine daily moisturizer that doubles up as your next best friend when your skin needs that little bit of extra care. It contains only 6 essential ingredients to leave your skin feeling nourished & replenished and most crucially gives your skin plenty of breathing room. It feels like silk when it goes on, and it begins to calm inflammation and redness almost instantly.

Which skin types? Normal to combination sensitive skin.

Avene vs La Roche Posay Cleanser

When it comes to cleansers, La Roche Posay and Avene have a wide variety of fantastic options from which to choose. Those without a counterpart to compare with include the Avene Tolerance Extreme Cleanser that we highly recommend for hypersensitive skin types; and the La Roche Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel that we highly recommend for acne-prone skin types.

Choosing a daily cleanser specifically for dry or oily skin types, though, is much less straightforward. Keep scrolling to see our picks and La Roche Posay vs Avene comparisons.

Best cleanser for dry skin

When you have dry skin, you need to maximise the number of hydration boosting ingredients in your daily cleanser and minimise the number of stripping ones. Avene's Gentle Milk Cleanser and La Roche Posay's Toleriane Gentle Cleanser do exactly this for you and more!

Another pairing with an eye-watering number of rave reviews, it is rather tricky to set these two apart. To be honest, whichever you choose between the two your skin will *love* you for it. Ultimately, though, we have opted for Avene's - favouring simplicity over complexity - as we are hyper-cognisant of the fact that more ingredients increase the odds of your skin not agreeing with one of them.

Gentle Milk Cleanser by Avene, the best cleanser for dry skin.

Gentle Milk Cleanser by Avene

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

What is it? A gentle cleanser that eliminates skin impurities without risk of irritation.

What makes it special? Its fluid and velvety texture pleasantly melts on your skin, wrapping your face in a fresh and soft veil. The simple, no-nonsense, non-drying formula, enriched with vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, provides your skin with a true feeling of soothing comfort. Your search for the perfect cleanser will end here, as you will never need to try anything else once you've tried this!

Which skin types? Formulated for sensitive & dry to very dry skin.

Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser by La Roche Posay, one of the best cleansers for dry skin.

Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser by La Roche Posay

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Our rating: ★★★★

Price: $$$$

What is it? A gentle daily face wash.

What makes it special? This gentle creamy face wash cleanses skin of impurities, respecting your skin's natural moisture barrier and pH, helping to restore skin comfort and retain essential moisture. Formulated with the skin nourishing trio of prebiotic thermal spring water, niacinamide, and ceramide, it ensures your skin looks healthy and radiant day after day.

Which skin types? Normal to dry, sensitive skin.

Best cleanser for oily skin

Picking a quality cleanser designed for oily skin is critical, as otherwise, you can unintentionally force yourself into vicious perpetuity of stripping your skin and needing to cleanse more and more to deal with the further-exacerbated oiliness. Avene's Cleanance Cleansing Gel and La Roche Posay's Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser are two such quality cleansers that we shall be comparing.

Despite their other products living up to their hypoallergenic claims, Avene's new formulation of their Cleanance Gel contains benzoic acid and derivates which, unfortunately, is a rather common allergy. It seems like they dropped the ball there, although I am sure they are already working hard on an updated version. In the meantime, the cult-favourite Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel by La Roche Posay is the definite way to go!

Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser by La Roche Posay, the best cleanser for oily skin.

Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser by La Roche Posay

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

What is it? A fresh, foaming, gel facial wash specially formulated for oily, blemish-prone skin.

What makes it special? This minimalist formula contains the best of La Roche Posay's creations – designed, tested and re-tested for its efficacy and mildness on sensitive skin. It gently cleanses your skin thanks to its high tolerance foam enriched with Zinc PCA, lifting dirt, grime and sebum away from the surface of the skin without disrupting its delicate balance.

Which skin types? Oily, blemish-prone skin, even suitable for ultra sensitive, intolerant and allergy-prone skin.

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

Cleanance Cleansing Gel by Avene

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Our rating: ★★★★

Price: $$$$

What is it? 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. Unfortunately, the newest formula contains known allergens so please be wary if you have allergy-prone or intolerant skin!

Which skin types? Oily skin.

Avene vs La Roche Posay Eye Cream

High-quality eye cream is the *ultimate* solution to dark circles, puffiness and fine lines around the eyes. We have already covered a couple of such eye creams from Avene and La Roche Posay in our Best French Eye Cream article, both of which currently share our title of 'best for sensitive skin'.

In this article, we will dive deeper and conclusively decide the best for even more categories. Keep scrolling!

Best eye cream for tired eyes

Tired eyes usually present as puffiness and dark circles, the best ingredients to tackle this each morning and evening are caffeine, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants. Avene's Refreshing Eye Contour Care and La Roche Posay's Pigmentclar Eye Cream are two of the absolute best French pharmacy options.

The crucial distinction between them is their differing approaches to resolving the issue. Whilst Avene's eye cream tackles the root of the problem, La Roche Posay's tackles the symptoms (i.e. dark circles, puffiness, etc.). Both approaches are perfectly valid, but we much prefer Avene's as it yields longer-lasting, less superficial results.

Refreshing Eye Contour Care by Avene, the best eye cream for tired eyes.

Refreshing Eye Contour Care by Avene

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

What is it? A daily antioxidant and refreshing eye cream.

What makes it special? Enhanced with red-fruit extracts to brighten, anti-oxidant pre-vitamin E to defend from daily free radical damage, and dextran sulphate to target dark circles and puffiness, this cult-favourite eye cream visibly reveals youthful illuminated eyes. ~90% of women in testing found that their eye contour looked brighter and fine lines were reduced after just three weeks of use.

Which skin types? Suitable for all skin types.

Pigmentclar Eye Cream by La Roche Posay, one of the best eye creams for tired eyes.

Pigmentclar Eye Cream by La Roche Posay

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

What is it? A brightening eye cream with caffeine.

What makes it special? Specifically formulated for tired-looking eyes, this melt-in cream is enriched with light-reflecting pigments that illuminate the eye area. The eye contour looks smoother, suppler and feels more comfortable with just one application. While this is a very appealing prospect, we believe that the long term solution provided by Avene is superior - but if you're looking for a quick fix, this is the one!

Which skin types? Suitable for all skin types.

Best eye cream for anti-ageing

Anti-ageing is practically synonymous with retinol in this day and age, and this fact is no different when it comes to eye skincare. We've already covered Avene's and La Roche Posay's retinol collections rather extensively in our Best French Retinol 2021 article, but it would be a disservice not to at least mention them again here.

The RetrinAL Eyes Cream by Avene and the Redermic R Eyes Cream by La Roche Posay are arguably the best of any French pharmacy brand. It is very, very difficult to separate these two in any domain; if we had to choose, though, we would go for Avene's. This is simply due to the inclusion of several short-term concealing and wrinkle-smoothing qualities that aren't present in La Roche Posay's.

Retrinal Eyes by Avene, the best French retinaldehyde eye cream, available in the USA.

Retrinal Eyes by Avene

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

What is it? An incredible multi-tasking eye cream concentrated with retinaldehyde. (UK alternative: Avene Physiolift Eyes)

What makes it special? This 3-in-1 eye cream minimizes the appearance of all visible signs of ageing while providing hydration, nourishment and a smoothing effect around the delicate eye contour. Pro tip: Soak two cotton pads in Thermal Spring Water; place them on your eyelids for 10 minutes for a wonderfully spa-like, refreshing sensation. Afterwards, gently apply this eye treatment with your ring finger. Consistent use will yield youthful, firm, luminous and soft skin around the eyes.

Which skin types? Suitable for all skin types.

Redermic R Eye Cream by La Roche Posay, the best French retinol eye cream, available worldwide.

Redermic R Eye Cream by La Roche Posay

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

What is it? A retinol eye cream.

What makes it special? Akin to its sister products, this clinically proven eye cream contains the same pure retinol ingredient that makes the Redermic products so effective. No other product has helped to combat dark circles for me quite like this cream; it is enriched with caffeine and a retinol booster complex, which—combined with the pure retinol—intensively smoothes and sculpts the eye contour for a luminous, refreshed look.

Which skin types? Suitable for all skin types.

Avene vs La Roche Posay Serum

The pièce de résistance of any Parisienne-approved skincare routine is a delightfully skin-nourishing French serum. We've already covered what constitutes the best French serums, with Avene and La Roche Posay featuring heavily, but here, we will pit them against each other to determine the absolute *best*.

Best serum for hydration

Due to their nature as potent concentrations of skin-quenching ingredients, serums provide the perfect opportunity to give your skin an extra burst of much-needed hydration within your routine. Avene's Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum and La Roche Posay's Hydraphase Intense Hyaluronic Acid Serum are top-tier in this department.

Although incredibly similar on paper, ultimately, it is easy to favour Avene's serum as they have been comparatively transparent with their clinical testing and results. I suppose that isn't surprising, though, once you discover that the results were that "98% of consumers felt their skin was softer, smoother, soothed and comfortable all day [long]"!

Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum by Avene, the best hydrating serum.

Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum by Avene

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

What is it? A unique hydrating serum.

What makes it special? Formulated with Cohederm, a unique active proven to form water reservoirs in dehydrated skin and replenish the skin barrier, this serum delivers some seriously intense hydration. It boasts a light, melt-in texture which is easily absorbed and non-sticky, and the result is a jaw-droppingly radiant glow.

Which skin types? Sensitive to normal skin types.

Hydraphase Intense Hyaluronic Acid Serum by La Roche Posay, one of the best hydrating serums.

Hydraphase Intense Hyaluronic Acid Serum by La Roche Posay

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

What is it? An intense hydrating serum.

What makes it special? With hyaluronic acid, arginine and serine amongst the ingredients (three powerful water captors), this cult-favourite serum - endorsed by 1000s of women globally - intensely rehydrates by infusing the skin with water. Your skin looks smoother, softer and more radiant from the very first application.

Which skin types? All sensitive skin types.

Work in progress

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