Skincare Review: Avene Triacneal (the new Diacneal)

Triacneal purchased from France

Avene‘s one of French brands sold at drugstores and hospital pharmacies that has pretty decent and effective skincare.

This is one product that I’ve been using for the past 2 years or so, the Avene Triacneal. The Triacneal is a slightly reformulated version of the Avene Diacneal, which has been discontinued in Europe, but still retails in Singapore.

It still comes in the same 30 ml squeeze tube packaging. The Avene Diacneal retails at Guardian Pharmacy at a ridiculously high price of SGD$50.90. Avene Triacneal and the old Diacneal retails in Europe between 11 euros – 16 euros. This gives an approximate 300% markup in Singapore. You know how they say, items are priced to sell not at a reasonable markup, but at what people are willing to pay for them. This certainly holds true for this product, since it effectively helps with acne, which afflicts a substantial number of people in hot & humid lands.

The Triacneal has been reformulated to include Undecyl Rhamnoside (Efectiose), which helps to prevent the initial purging that many new users of Diacneal report as well as irritation which accompanies many anti-blemish products. Personally, I’ve not experienced any initial purging, so I can’t attest to that nor the efficacy of Triacneal in this regard. However, from the local forum that I frequent, purging can take up to 2 months before your skin becomes conditioned to Diacneal/Triacneal. Purging is not a Diacneal/Triacneal-only factor and you might also come across that in any other acne medication prescribed by doctors. I remember myself purging for the first 6 – 7 weeks when on Roaccutane a decade ago, before my skin almost miraculously recovered in quicktime and became way better. So hang in there and persist with the treatment!

Ingredients: Water, cetyl alcohol, cyclomethicone. polysorbate 60, Glycolic acid. Avene thermal spring water (AVENE AQUA), SD alcolhol 39c (alcohol denat). polymethyl methacrylate, sodium hydroxide, cetearyl alcohol. arginine HCL, BHT, ceteareth-33, dimethiconol, parfum, potasium sorbate, red 33 (ci17200), retinal (Retinaldehyde), undecyl rhamnoside (Efectiose).

*(My comment) I believe it is the presence of Glycolic Acid, Retinal & Efectiose that gave rise to the moniker “Triacneal”. Tri.*

The following information is taken off

Retinoids are a form of Vitamin A. One well-known retinoid is Retin-A, or tretinoin, which is available only by prescription. Retinoids have long been considered a staple in many skin care programs, including anti-aging, pigment correction and acne prevention. Unfortunately, retinoids are notorious for the irritation they often create and retinol, while often touted as a repacement for Retin A, simply does not deliver the same results. Now, however, there is a new retinoid, Retinaldehyde (Retinal) , which provides all of the benefits of Retin A without the irritation.

Our skin’s cell turnover process naturally slows down with age. As a result , skin looks dull and thick, pores look large and sun-related damage such as age spots and blotchiness appear. As we age, skin cells start to become slightly misshapen and altered in appearance.
Retinaldehyde works to rejuvenate skin by increasing cell turnover and stimulating cell production underneath the skin. This acceleration of cell turnover allows healthier cells to appear. Skin will appear smoother and softer, pores will appear smaller and less noticeable, and signs of aging will start to diminish.

Even more interesting, studies have also found that this cell rejuvenation produces healthier, plumper skin cells. The new skin cells stimulated by use of vitamin A start to more closely resemble the younger, healthier skin cells of our younger skin

Use of vitamin A derivates have also been shown to stimulate new collagen production, which results in diminshed facial lines.

TriAcneal visibly and is scientifically proven to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles (in 12 weeks), mottled pigmentation, skin texture and smoothness, and skin texture and color within 4 weeks.

TriAcneal is also scientifically proven to reduce acne and blackheads, much like Retin-A.

And most importantly, TriAcneal is virtually non-irritating for most people and can even be used on delicate areas like the neck. This product is excellent for those with mature skin who also still suffer from blackheads or acne, although an additional moisturizer may be needed on top.

***(My comment) Because of the retinal in Triacneal, this is strictly a night usage product. Sunscreen in the day is compulsory when you’re on retinal/retin-a/retinoid products, as your treated skin tends to be thinner and more sensitive. Without sunscreen, the acne marks and scars healing might darken into harder-to-fade marks.***

I store my tubes in the fridge/ wine chiller, hence the condensed water droplets
: Use two to three times a week for two to four weeks as skin acclimates to the retinaldehyde. Thereafter, most persons will be able to tolerate nightly use although it is perfectly acceptable to use this product every other night if it is producing the desired effect. Some people prefer to rotate this product nightly with an acid of their choice, while others use an acid immediately before application of TriAcnceal on a nightly basis. (Kathleen does this, using the Gentle 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliator or the 15% Mandelic-Lactic Acid followed by TriAcneal.) For best results, if not using an acid nightly or every other night, the skin should be exfoliated at least weekly to eliminate dead skin cells, which will allow effective penetration of the TriAcneal and your other skincare products. Use a higher strength acid exfoliator for this purpose, such as the 20% Gentle Lactic Acid or the 15% Mandelic-Lactic Acid.

When I first started out on Diacneal, I was using it almost everynight on my temples, where I used to get large hormonal acne. It took about 2 – 3 months before I really saw results and the pimples substantially flattened. The marks and scars, however, did take a couple more months to fade, coupled with religious use of sunscreen. This is truly great stuff for my face. While I did not see any reduction in blackheads, it has helped to keep my complexion under control with smaller zits rather than the large pus-filled ones I used to get on a regular basis.

While it is fragranced, I do not really smell any strong scent that I can identify. It’s an ambivalent sort of scent. It is, however, coloured yellow and will stain white pillow cases, so take note. The texture is light as a lotion and rubs in very easily. You only need this on areas where you have zits/marks & scars you’re trying to fade so a thin coat certainly goes a long way. A 30 ml tube can last about 5 – 6 months for me. Sometimes longer.

Ever since my acne improved, I’ve relegated the usage of Triacneal from nightly to every alternate night, as a form of maintenance. If I plan to go on a holiday where I’ll be exposed or doing some sun tanning, I’ll make it a point to lay off Triacneal for a week before and a week post-holiday.

Rating out of 10
Price: 8 (I’m rating this based on the price I got in France for this. But I certainly wouldn’t pay SGD$50.90 in Singapore.)
Quality: 9 (It works. With time)
Packaging: 8 (Good narrow nozzle that doesn’t overdispense)
Ease of usage: 7.5 (The yellow stains finger nails so some care in washing this off is required. Also, you’ll need to have on sunscreen in the day.)
Overall score: 8.1 (it’s a great product)
*Item reviewed purchased by me*

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45 Responses to Skincare Review: Avene Triacneal (the new Diacneal)

  1. Victoria says:


    I just ordered avene tricaneal and was wondering exactly how you used it? Do you apply it all over the face or do you just apply it to the pimples, marks and troubled areas of your skin? I’ve just been putting it on the troubled spots, but was curious if you put it all over the face? There’s nothing on the box, tube, little booklet or website. Can you help me out? Lol thank you!

    • I’d put it on the spots, old acne marks I wish to fade, as well as acne prone areas.
      Wash your face, wait about 30 minutes (for the PH to stabilise), before applying Avene triacneal. Remember to wash it off in the morning and put on a good and stable sunblock!

  2. Tina says:

    Thanks for reviewing this product. Just wondering when you would apply night cream? I’ve got acne on both sides of my cheeks but I have dry skin. So would i just avoid my cheeks and moisturise everywhere else?

    • Hi, hmm, if my cheeks need moisturising badly, I’ll wait maybe a couple of hours after applying the Triacneal to apply moisturiser atop. It decreases the efficacy of Triacneal but will still work over a longer time, since your skin requires moisture.

  3. tanya says:

    Hi, can you please tell me which sunscreens you’ve had success with? I have very oily, acne-prone skin, and most spfs break me out.

  4. Christine says:

    I am glad that this product really good as you wrote in your review. I am a bit concern about the sunscreen. I purchased Avene Triacneal along with samples of the soap, cleneance set with total of small 4 bottles. The seller did not mention about using the sunscreen. Honestly I never apply sunscreen before. I used maybeline BB Cream with SPF 26 PA+++ on daily basis. ( Is this BB cream considered sunscreen? Honestly my skin is super-sensitive, oily though blemishes are not very severe.. I need to take care seriously and most importantly to stop further breakouts. I have tried nutrogena set and eucerine set before. They cannot work well on me. Thank you. Have an amazing day.

    • No, makeup with SPF (BB cream, foundations) is NOT the same as sunscreen! It’s never too late to start with sunscreen to stave off pigmentation. Sun damage takes about 15 – 20 years to manifest so while we in our 20s and 30s don’t get it that badly, wait till we advance into our 40s… and we’ll regret not putting sunscreen. Always, always layer on sunscreen under your foundation, bb creams etc.! My skin thins with constant Avene Triacneal usage, which makes it even more imperative to have sunscreen on in the day. I also use Avene Triacneal about 1 – 2x/week only as it’s pretty potent.

      • Christine says:

        Thank you for your prompt reply to my comment. I have been always to have paradigm that applying sunscreen only need for those who are like to go to the beach. I have been wrong. I have no idea the concept of the effect of sun exposure to the pigmentation. Your reply has been very informative. Thanks a lot! Have an amazing day! 😀 cheers.

  5. Rubeena says:

    Hello. I had recently started using triacneal at night. Can i apply a moisteriser first before applying triacneal?

  6. Gem says:


    I ive been using this for 1 week now,and the acne marks on my face becomes flattened but then my skin more visibly red,and i dont know if its the effect of the cream or did i use it wrongly?please do help im so shy that my face becomes more visible from the redness.. Your help are highly appreciated.thank u so much..

    • Do only use it at night. In the daytime, a good sunblock is vital, as this will thin out your skin slightly and cause some photosensitivity. If the dosage is too strong for you, reduce your usage of this. You have to experiment,either 1x every 2 days, 3 days or even longer. If the skin is still red, then this might just be too strong for you and you should discontinue use…

      • Gem says:

        Im just using it every night.and when im using it my fce are so itchy and hurt like as is some kinda burn.shud i discontinue using it?thank u so much for the reply..

      • If your face itches, it sounds like an allergy. You might be allergic or sensitive to something in the ingredients… if it’s causing you that much pain, you should discontinue use.

  7. Debbie says:

    My doctor gave me a small sample just in passing conversation because its not what I went in for. Therefore he didnt give me alot of information. We were talking about plumping up eye area. Fine lines, puffiness (bags) and drooping eyelids. Im 48 yrs old. Trying to hold on before the botox, laser, surgery etc. Whats your take on TriAcneal and these conditions? Thanks

  8. kanishka says:

    when ever i apply dis creame i feel itching and iritation on d effected area after some time d iritation settles..can i still continue or discontinue

    • Try to use it less often. Maybe 1x every 2 or 3 days, until the skin gets accustomed. If that doesn’t work and your skin is still irritated, you might be allergic to the ingredient/s.

  9. Arundhati says:

    hi, I have been recommended the Diacneal lotion by my skin doctor. I have started finding myself with acne only recently since I have a hormonal issue. That being said, I cant stand the zits and the scars they leave.
    My question is: Most of my skin is clear and I only get acne in certain zones, since Diacneal is so strong. Should I use it only on the affected spots or apply a thin film all over my face?

    thank you in advance for your help!

  10. lIIII says:


  11. Maja says:

    Hi. Thank you for this extensive review. I do have a question that you might know the answer to, though. Do you know if it’s ok to transfer the Triacneal to a small container, will it not compromise its effectiveness?

  12. andu says:

    God, I loved your review. Thank you! :*

  13. If you have such conditions to begin with, you might be better off checking with your doctor. Especially on the rashes. Triacneal is not supposed to be used for that!

  14. JL says:

    Have you tried their Avene Cleanance range specifically the Cleanance Soapless Gel Cleanser & Cleanser K(Similar to triacneal but with salicylic acid?)

    If you tried them, please share your opinions. Thanks

    • The Cleanance Soapless Gel Cleanser I went through 2 – 3 full sized bottles. Worked fine in the beginning but gradually dried my skin too much, felt pretty tight after washing. Not tried Cleanser K. Suggest you get samples from the sales assistant before committing to full sizes?

  15. Lan Anh says:

    I have blackheads on my jawline area (due to hormones problems) I applied Triaceal once a day, at night. I can see that it help the dark spots become much lighter, soothing the acnes but I’m not sure about the purging process of the acnes. I have the tendency to pop out the blackheads with a tool (since they usually don’t come out if I don’t pop it). Should I do it anymore? Will the acnes can be dismished by themselves after a few months of using Triaceal?
    Thank you

    • Have you tried clay masks as well? If you’re looking for a faster way of getting the blackheads out, I find clay masks to work better and faster. You can try Moroccan Red Clay (with toner or water) or Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay (with apple cider, makes an effective AHA mask) from

      Once or twice a week ought to do the trick.

      Triacneal, from my personal experience works better on pimples than on blackheads.


      • Lan Anh says:

        Thank you! I only reply now after 4 months using Avene Triacneal. I noticed huge difference on my acne area. Those acne are not completly disappear, but they’re definitely less visible, no more redness, itchy acne for me. That’s a great improvement for me. I’ve reduced the frequency of using Avene Tricaneal to 3 times a week instead of applying it every night. And one more thing, I guess it’s the bonus of the product, my skin got brighter, more radiant and a little bit glowing
        Thanks again for your great review

      • That’s good to know! As your skin improves you might want to reduce the usage (which you’re currently doing), as the compound thins the skin with prolonged usage, so good to give the skin a break to regenerate. Also remember to use sunscreen in the day, very important!

      • Lan Anh says:

        I have bad news, this product made my skin condition worse. The acne is still there and my skin is dried out badly. I went to the dermatologist and been diagnosed with eczema. Now my skin is thinner, dried, itchy, red. Totally a big mess (*crying*crying)

      • If the original condition is eczema, then this isn’t the right product to use as it treats acne not eczema. Better just stick to what your dermatologist recommends!

  16. Koppula says:

    Hi, I got avene diacneal recently and started using it, I used it over night for couple of days, later I used it in the day time, I dint wait for long after washing my face to apply on the effected area. I have acne between my eye brows , on either side of nose n little on cheeks. I applied on the acne and when I applied it on the either side of nose I had little irritation, later in the day I found the area got dry rough and patchy,I have open pores too in the effected area,my question is should I continue to use it? its been a week and I hardly saw changes. I suffer from hypothyroidism ,could this be the reason for acne, I am using my doctors prescribed medicine.

    • Hi, if you are on medication, please consult your doctor on the Avene diacneal as well (bring the tube and ingredient list along/box). I’m unable to advise as I’m not in a similar position nor in the medical profession, best to play it safe since you have other underlying factors.

  17. SL says:

    Oh ya, my intention is more on the usage of vit A derivative for the anti-aging purpose & reduce pore size….

  18. SL says:

    Thank you for your comment. In fact I use 6 finger knuckles volume of cream, for the entire face. The cream is dense and not easy to spread it evenly. Do you think it is too much?

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