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 http://www.skin-beautiful.com/diacneal.html:
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.***
Directions: 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.
Quality: 9 (It works. With time)
Packaging: 8 (Good narrow nozzle that doesn’t overdispense)