If you know about Avant, you’re probably a subscriber of a monthly beauty box. I don’t know anyone who has purchased directly from Avant, mainly due to the absurd price, but in case you’re considering getting a beauty box with an Avant product in it and you’re wondering if t’s any good, this post is for you. Avant: the luxury skincare brand that nobody ever paid full price for.
This brand is surprisingly young – it was founded in 2016, in London. Researching a bit through their website, I see they claim to combine natural skincare with scientific formulations. I couldn’t tell you what that means, because all skincare is a scientific formulation and “natural” has the same meaning here that it can have in any other brand of anything ever, which is no meaning at all (everything comes, ultimately, from nature, and “natural” isn’t a regulated term by any official entity).
They do make it a point to highlight the fact that they utilise design to promote transparency, and I agree with that. Avant’s packaging focuses less on marketing terms (radiance, young, boosting, perfecting, etc) and more on ingredients – in fact, the first thing you notice are the main ingredients that are printed in a bigger font than the actual product’s name. I commend them for that. And to their credit, I find that most luxury skincare brands focus on user experience in detriment of ingredients, and a common factor is the heavy use of fragrant components even though they do nothing for the skin and actually pose a risk for sensitivity, and that’s not the case with Avant. They dedicate more attention to effective formulas than the “luxury experience”.
That isn’t to say they formulations are all that – certainly not for the price. I wouldn’t get any – not a single one – product for the full price. It’s not just that, currently, expensive ingredients are made available through more affordable brands (like The Inkey List and The Ordinary), it’s also that Avant’s formulas are not particularly groundbreaking or costly to make. We don’t need to spend money on unjustifiably expensive skincare. We save those senseless expenses for Chanel bags. Every product from this brand I’ve either gotten on a beauty subscription box or an advent calendar, and I often see it in outlet stores, so if you intend to try anything from them, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding the products at a big discount.
Avant has multiple ranges, but I’m not going to go into them or distinguish the products I own per range they belong to. It’s time consuming and ingredients are still ingredients, plus all of them have “age” in the name (Age Defy+, Age Protect, Age Radiance) so just assume that everything is for aging skin, I guess.
Ultimate Hyaluronic Acid Resurfacing DUO Moisturiser (50ml – 115€)
The first thing I tried. It was a lovely moisturising cream. It felt rich without being thick on the skin or difficult to spread. The second ingredient is shea butter, so that contributes to its density and moisturising power. There are other great ingredients in this list, but they come after phenoxyethanol (which is a preservative that can have a maximum concentration of 1% in beauty products) which mean they all have a concentration of less than 1% in this cream. That’s the case with niacinamide (a superstar ingredient that improves a multitude of skin issues); less than 1% is not that much of an amount for niacinamide in particular. There’s also lactic acid (a good chemical exfoliant), sodium hyaluronate (which is a synonym for hyaluronic acid, a good humectant) and tocopherol (vitamin E, a nice antioxidant).
This does contain a bit of fragrance, but the scent was very faint. Parfum is closer to the bottom of this list, so I believe it’s there more to cover any unpleasant smells for other ingredients than to actually became fragrant – this to say, I don’t think it will become bothersome for sensitive skin types.
All in all not a bad product, but consider it more of a basic, safe and effective moisturiser for dry skin types and less of a powerhouse of active ingredients that will completely transform your skin.
Ultimate Hyaluronic Acid DUO Moisturiser Ingredients: Aqua (water), butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, glycerin, cetyl alcohol, dicaprylyl ether, propylheptyl caprylate, glyceryl stearate, dimethicone, phenoxyethanol, peg-75 stearate, cera alba (beeswax), prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, niacinamide, maris aqua (sea water), sodium polyacrylate, steareth-20, ceteth-20, parfum (fragrance), ethylhexylglycerin, tocopheryl acetate, allantoin, potassium sorbate, disodium edta, xanthan gum, lactic acid, propylene glycol, sodium hyaluronate, tocopherol, rosa hybrid flower extract, ci 15985 (fd&c yellow no. 6), citric acid, ci 17200 (red 33).
Pink Orchid Subtle Restoring Overnight Serum (30ml – 99€)
My version of the Pink Orchid serum has hyaluronic acid listed has the third ingredient, plus I like the use of peptides in the formula (they’re good for moisture and skin restoring). I couldn’t find information about the effectiveness or usefulness of pink orchid when used in skincare, and couldn’t tell you either why this is an “overnight” serum because I see no ingredients that can’t be used during the day, but overall, this is a nice, hydrating serum, very fluid and easy to spread, and works well with other skin products layered on top. Curiously enough, my serum has phenoxyethanol listed as the last ingredient, while on Avant’s website, currently, this serum has it listed as the 3rd ingredient.
The ingredients on both lists are exactly the same (trust me, I strained my eyes by exhaustingly checking both versions), but the order is different. With the list currently on the website, we are guaranteed that every ingredient on the serum apart from the first three (water, glycerin and phenoxyethanol) is present in concentrations less than 1%, because they come after phenoxyethanol. With the serum I own, I don’t have a way to infer that – which doesn’t mean it’s not true either. My serum might just have a lesser amount of phenoxyethanol. I honestly couldn’t tell you which version is better, because for all I know my serum could have really minuscule amounts of the good ingredients.
Pink Orchid Subtle Restoring Overnight Serum Ingredients: aqua (water), glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, carbomer, glyceryl caprylate, paeonia lactiflora root extract, malva sylvestris (mallow) leaf extract, dendrobium nobile extract, citric acid, sodium hydroxide, caprylyl glycol, bis-peg-18 methyl ether dimethyl silane, ethylhexylglycerin, xanthan gum, acetyl hexapeptide-8, pentapeptide-18, propylene glycol, ci 7789 (titanium dioxide), mica – ci 77019, tetrasodium glutamate diacetate, phenoxyethanol.
Harmonious Rose Quartz Revitalising & Firming Mask (50ml – 85€)
Probably my favourite product that I tried from them. This has a thicker, harder to spread consistency and it’s packed with moisturising and softening ingredients. Sweet almond oil, avocado oil, betaine, hyaluronic acid – all very dry-skin friendly. This formula does contains a few fragrant ingredients, but they are all in a less than 1% concentration and just by smelling the product I don’t believe they are present in sufficient amounts to irritate sensitive skin. Last but not least, this contains lactic acid, which is a skin-hydrating exfoliant, and tocopherol, a nice antioxidant.
Again, my version and the website’s have slightly different ingredient lists: they’re the same up until halfway (more precisely, up until the ethylhexylglycerin ingredient) and from there on the ingredients are the same but in a different order. Those ingredients, due to their position in the list, have very low concentrations anyway, so I believe both versions might be very similar. The website’s version contains just one more ingredient, Pentylene Glycol, which is a skin-conditioning solvent.
I’m not sure about the “firming” claims, but this is certainly a good mask for dry skin. As with most moisturising masks, this can be considered just a heavier moisturiser, and you can use it overnight if you prefer. But if you need a quicker moisture boost, apply a thicker layer on the skin for about 30 min and then remove and follow with your regular skincare routine.
Harmonious Rose Quartz Revitalising & Firming Mask Ingredients: aqua (water), prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, persea gratissima (avocado) oil, cetyl alcohol, glycerin, stearyl alcohol, methyl glucose sesquistearate, betaine, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer, peg-20 methyl glucose sesquistearate, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, tocopheryl acetate, disodium edta, lecithin, propylene glycol, sodium hyaluronate, lactic acid, coumarin, hydrolyzed elastin, tocopherol, ascorbyl palmitate, linalool, hexyl cinnamal, soluble collagen, polyacrylamide, citric acid, ci 17200 (red 33), laureth-7, caprylyl glycol, c13-14 isoparaffin, 1,2-hexanediol, quartz, tropolone, parfum (fragrance), benzyl salicylate, benzyl benzoate.
Glycolic Acid Rejuvenating Face Exfoliator (50ml – 107€)
This is actually a really well formulated exfoliator. Not enough for me to repurchase (at least not without a huge discount), but I have certainly enjoy using it. There is a grittiness to it, from really small white beads, so it’s a physical as well as a chemical exfoliator. I recommend using it only once a week, because I don’t have particularly dry skin but using this more frequently than that really dried it out.
Anyway, this has a nice amount of skin-identical ingredients (urea, serine, alanine, proline) and glycolic acid is a great chemical exfoliant. It does contain fragrance ( citronellol, linalool, parfum) but on a product that’s meant to be washed way right after use it’s not really a concern.
There is no difference between my version’s ingredient list and the one on the website.
Glycolic Acid Rejuvenating Face Exfoliator Ingredients: aqua (water), glycerin, cellulose acetate, cocamidopropyl betaine, peg-7 glyceryl cocoate, sodium trideceth sulfate, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, acrylates copolymer, glycol distearate, Rosa Hybrid flower extract, urea, papain, serine, alanine, proline, glycolic acid, calcium pantothenate, magnesium lactate, potassium lactate, magnesium chloride, sodium citrate, maltodextrin, steareth-4, sodium lauroamphoacetate, sodium lauroyl glutamate, cocamide mea, peg/ppg-14/4 dimethicone, xanthan gum, triethanolamine, citric acid, sodium chloride, citronellol, linalool, parfum (fragrance), sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, caprylyl glycol, ethylhexylglycerin.
Pro-Radiance Brightening Eye Final Touch (10ml – 112€)
Extremely pricey for what it is, I’ll take the chance to reiterate what I’ve said before in basically all my skincare brand reviews: eye creams are just overpriced, repackaged moisturisers, because there is nothing specific in this product that wouldn’t make sense to use in the rest of your face either. This one in particular has a gel like consistency that dries somewhat sticky. The star ingredients in my version of the eye cream are hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid and hydrolyzed collagen (another good humectant). It does not contain any type of fragrance, which for an eye cream is nice to see (ha!) in case the skin is more sensitive around that area.
My version is quite different from the one on the website though. I think the website’s might be a bit better, it has a few skin-identical ingredients added to it. The website itself mentions that “…ingredient lists may slightly vary. Please refer to the ingredient list on the product package you receive for the most up-to-date list of ingredients.” So no guarantee that’ll be the one you end up with.
Pro-Radiance Brightening Eye Final Touch Ingredients: aqua (water), propanediol, mica, peg-8 dimethicone, maris aqua (sea water), sodium hyaluronate, hydrolyzed collagen, glycolic acid, vp/va copolymer, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, peg/ppg-20/6 dimethicone, sodium hydroxide, ethylhexylglycerin, phenoxyethanol.
Although not my first choice when it comes to getting a new skincare product, I was always glad when I saw an Avant product in my Lookfantastic monthly beauty box. Yes, the prices are absurd, but once I wouldn’t have to pay them, the formulas themselves are nice enough for me to want to use them, and my personal experience with them has been positive. That being said, nothing is that innovative (nor delivered amazing results) for me to want to repurchase any of the products.
I want to end this post by making a note about formula variation. I know this is not uncommon for brands to do, but I hate it. They keep the name, the packaging, and the amount, and yet they change the ingredient list. If you love a product and it works for you wonderfully, it’s really annoying if when you go to repurchase it’s already a different formula – for all you know, you can be allergic to the new one! If I was in charge I would force companies to change the name of a product when they change the ingredients list (could be something as simple as adding a 2.0 in front of it, whatever), because this way, as consumers, we can’t trust to be buying what we already know.