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This post will be reviewing the Avene Triacneal Expert Emulsion.
I bought this product last year when I was looking to dabble into the world of Retinals. I had built my tolerance for Retinol up to 1%, and I was ready to move to Retinal. For those that are not familiar with the Retinoid family, Retinaldehyde only requires one step to convert to Retinoic Acid which is the gold standard while Retinol requires two steps. So Retinal is more potent than Retinol. You have:
Retinyl Ester >>>> Retinol >>>> Retinaldehyde >>>> Retinoic Acid
There aren’t that many brands formulating products with Retinal. in fact, there are still so few and far between. That’s why when you have a great product like the Geek And Gorgeous Retinal 0.1%, it gains popularity. Unfortunately, it’s only available in the EU as I’m not quite sure they ship worldwide.
So, when I discovered the Avene Triacneal Expert, I was pleased to learn that a French Pharmacy brand formulating with Retinal. Of course, I had to try it. Plus, I got it for a steal on a sale for a ridiculous price. I didn’t have that much expectation for its anti-ageing benefits. I just wanted to see what improvements it can provide for my acne scars.
So, I used it for a bit and I’m ready to talk about it.
First Impressions of the Avene Triacneal Expert Emulsion
According to Avene:
TriAcnéal EXPERT is an anti-blemish skincare product that reduces blemishes and residual marks. Suitable for people with oily, blemish-prone skin. Thanks to Retinaldehyde, an anti-blemish active ingredient, and Diolényl®*, a patented active ingredient with cleansing action resulting from Pierre Fabre research, TriAcnéal EXPERT helps reduce the appearance of redness and imperfections for smoother, clearer skin. Its gentle texture moisturises and envelops the skin with a delicate fragrance and offers excellent skin tolerance.
Ingredient List & Fragrance
This a super simple formulation with just Glycerin, Retinal, Diolényl®; a patented ingredient and other buffering ingredients. I’m not sure why they didn’t disclose the percentage of Retinal. But if there’s anything we know about Big Pharma brands, it is that undisclosed percentages are usually super low. On the other hand, indie brands that use high percentages love to scream it out to anyone that wants to hear.
It doesn’t even help that it has fragrance which is definitely noticeable. It’s not overpowering or anything but it is definitely there. So, if you are someone who is very triggered or affected by fragrance in skincare, I would skip this.
For those that are not familiar with the benefits of Retinal; it helps cell turnover which in the process builds collagen and fades hyperpigmentation. But as always the results you’ll get depends on the percentage of Retinal. I don’t think this is that high to make any difference on your wrinkles. But it should help with hyperpigmentation if you’re patient enough.
Texture & Consistency
This has a lightweight creamy orange consistency that is non-greasy, non-sticky and very easy to apply. It’s a mild formula so it won’t sting your skin or cause any further pigmentation. It is packaged in an airless pump bottle which dispenses the exact amount of product you need at a time. This means that the product is not exposed to air or moisture which can cause it to degrade and lose its potency overtime. So, it’s A+ for packaging.
It is a non-drying formula which means all skin types can use it. While some skin types might conveniently skip the moisturizer afterwards, if you have dry skin, I don’t recommend you follow suit. It has a lovely consistency quite alright but it definitely not moisturizing enough, Either follow up with an emollient moisturizer or an occlusive to prevent dehydration overnight.
Pricing & Avaliability
As far as I know, this product is mostly available in the EU and it retails between £18 – 23. If I didn’t get this on sale, I probably won’t be buying it on my own. Yes, Retinal is great but for 30ml worth of product, it’s on the pricey side. Also, Differin Adapalene gel which does a much better job is way more affordable. It just doesn’t make sense paying that much for a product that you’re not even sure of the percentage of the only active. If it had other soothing or just generally beneficial ingredients, the pricing would have been justified.
Review of the Avene Triacneal Expert Emulsion
I used this product for about two – three months before getting bored with it. I wasn’t seeing any visible results as quick as I thought I would so I just picked up Differin instead. But for those that want to try it, I’ll summarize the benefits in a few key points.
Who is it for?
Anyone with oily, combination or dry acne-prone skin struggling with fresh scarring, redness and hyperpigmentation. For old scars, it might not be enough for you or you might need to use it for a longer period to see results.
How often should you use it?
Daily at night for a minimum of three months to see results. It can also be layered with other supporting ingredients including Niacinamide, Alpha Arbutin, Azelaic Acid, Kojic Acid or Tranexamic Acid to speed things up.
What does it conflict with?
Avoid using it with Vitamin C or any exfoliating acids to prevent irritation. It goes without saying that you should always use sunscreen during the day when using this product.
I feel like I purged a bit because I kept breaking out and it just kept interrupting its job. At various times I had to focus on getting rid of my breakouts to prevent even more scarring. Which is why my verdict is, this product is better for fresh scars especially if you want to see results quicker. I have some pretty old scars that did not shift at all. At this point, I was convinced to just go to the main source which was either Adapalene or Tretinoin.
There’s no doubt that the Avene Triacneal Expert is a great product for anyone with acne-prone skin that is struggling with hyperpigmentation. It depends on what level of scarring you have. Also, like most Retinoids, it takes a while to see results so try to wait it out as much as possible. Or at least finish an entire bottle.