I’m sat here on board my easyjet flight to Montpellier – lols at writing a sentence that sounds so unbelievably sponsored but promise it isn’t – Pret popcorn bar in one hand, fruit in the other (because we all know a fruit bowl means you can eat all the saturated fats and it’s definitely OK because balance…) quinoa crumbs dropped down my front and aircon that I can only imagine is as cold as Jack and Rose lying in the ocean – please don’t tell me that it isn’t real, I’m not about that kind of life wrecking attitude – but I’m so, so incredibly grateful.
I’m en route to Avene, France for 3 days (followed by a night in Montpellier) with the skincare brand Avene, with some mega babes in tow, and I genuinely just had to remind myself that this is actually work. I don’t want my blog to turn into a running ode of my gratitude but I suppose I just wanted to say that despite the endless oceans, rolling hills, beautiful scenery and possibly slightly smug captions on my instagram – subtly enhanced by the Aden filter i.e BAE – I am genuinely incredibly grateful for every opportunity, every journey and every experience.
So as you BAE’s – mentally shot myself in the face for that one – are pretty much the reason that I’m even sat on this Easyjet bad boy, I thought I would document my 4 days in the south of France for you, to see what we got up to, to absolutely rave about what actually goes in to making Avene products, share some facts that makes me feel like Sheldon from the Big Bang theory and generally just entertain you.
If you can read that and not hear Robbie Williams Let me entertain you then you’re a better person than I am!
After arriving at Montpellier airport, we had one of those two hour winding road journeys to Avene that at first feels like an adventure but then you’re like “death might actually be more fun than this”. But oh my god it was so worth it for the views that greeted us. The tallest, greenest, plushest mountains and just an abundance of green everywhere, Avene is one of those picturesque, postcard perfect places that looks photoshopped at every angle. We arrived at our apartments to find champagne, chocolate, a robe and a huge array of Avene products and I pretty much labelled my life goals at that very moment.
And then saw the blisters on my feet and sweat patches and realised I am anything but goals…
Obvs we had dinner and wine and cheese and more wine, but to be totally honest, I very nearly fell asleep in my camembert so photo’s definitely didn’t happen. The next morning I awoke to the dreamiest, most instagrammable (vom) sunrise from my terrace – so bloody fancy, you may as well call me Beyonce [insert cry laughter emoji here] – and headed out for a day at the Avene centre to learn all about the benefits of Thermalism/the thermal water. From being an amazing base before applying your lotions and potions over the top, to the Avene water aiding digestion, treating nappy rash, using as aftershave and aiding sunburn, it kinda just does everything. Clinical studies also show that it’s the best in terms of mineral content too etc. I just basically feel like if the Avene water was an emoji, it would be the sassy hand girl and angel emoji combined. Now that is one hell of a combo!
We also got to see the factory which any beauty/skincare lover would’ve lost their sh*t over but unfortunately we wasn’t allowed to take photo’s in there. The thing that blew me away the most was the lengths that Avene go to make sure every product is completely sterile and up to scratch.
It’s so incredibly hard to put it into words when a) you’re extremely forgetful and awful with technical terms and b) when you don’t have the slides with examples in front of you but after seeing the most amazing presentation and hearing about what they do at the centre and before and afters of the patients, it’s absolutely no wonder that people with eczema, psoriasis and various other skin problems travel all over the world to come here. In the last year the centre has seen Koreans, Australians, Argentinians and Brits for example, most coming back for further treatment and looking and feeling like totally new people.
After the dreamiest lunch at Les Muriers where we actually ate many times and never had a bad meal – although the desserts looked absolutely insane but the sad coeliac could only eat fruit, sucked to be right then – we got to experience the hydrotherapy treatments for ourselves and it left me all like omg this jacuzzi-esque/massaging bath is the best thing ever and oooh this shower tickles… until the cold mist came and girlfriend legged it out of there quicker than you can say nippy. But it was seriously incredible and even though we had one round of treatments and the patients actually have it twice a day for 3 weeks straight, you could already tell how soft and smooth and soothing it would be for them after just one go. Again, no snaps were allowed/appropriate but I did talk about it in detail in my Avene vlog, so if you’re interested that vlog will be up on sunday.
The thing is, there is so, so much information I could give you about ingredients and what different product would be amazing for each different problem, but that’s not really where I want this post to go. I guess because I don’t want to bore you to death and my rendition would definitely do that. But I do feel like my job is to tell you just how incredible Avene is as a brand and hopefully that’s what I’m getting across today. Beautiful ingredients, completely ethical in the way that the products are made and sourced… they just work whilst also being totally gentle and perfect for sensitive and problem skin. Another reason why I’m not giving too much details is that you will no doubt be seeing so many of their products crop up on this blog and my Youtube channel because they are genuinely amazing.
We had an amazing blogger Lex, on our trip who suffers with Rosacea and Avene is one of the few brands that she’s used for years and really works on her skin. I also had an extreme dry patch on my face and arm and after just two frickin days of using the Cold cream and Skin recovery cream, they were totally gone.
OK, waffle over, if you’re like “CBA to read that shiz”, basically, the Avene centre is an absolute gem of a place and the products are like no other. And if you have severe eczema and psoriasis, this might just be a game changer! There will be posts coming soon discussing my favourite products so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Now it’s time to explore to the Avene village and head to Montpellier…
After blinking and missing the village – lols just kidding Avene, love ya really – we had wandered through the streets until we arrived at this beast of a view and I kinda fell in love with it a bit. You see, Avene is pretty tiny with a ridiculously small population and a handful of shops… but it’s actually untouched perfection. It’s the kind of place you need to go to for a few days if you really need to escape the world, and I think without knowing, I kinda did. So thank you Avene for bringing me ultimate piece, and a sh*t tonne of knowledge about your beautiful products that will be in my skincare routine for a very long time.
And then it was time for Ellie and Everyone to take Montpellier #KardashianWannabeForLife
Arriving in Montpellier after 3 days of total silence, barely seeing anybody else but our group around and all atmosphere being based around birdsong, was extremely strange. All of a sudden there was people everywhere – it’s still not a huge place but after Avene it seemed so buzzing in comparison – more than just 1 restaurant within 5 minutes from our hotel, and shops. Like, actual shops. Like, Sephora. And it really was the perfect way to end of our trip. We spent the few hours we had that day wandering the shops – I may have made a Sephora haul and omg I’m so excited to show you – eating Ice cream at Amorino (the pistachio and dulce de leche flavours were actually better than sex Harry Potter marathons – and taking in Montpellier before getting ready for our final night with the gang.
Outfit snaps done – Gemma and Adie showing you all how it’s done there – red lipstick on (yep, totally still feel like a clown in red lippie) we had our final meal in our hotel, the Crowne Plaza, which was absolutely stunning. It included gluten free bread rolls which actually tasted like normal bread [insert party popper/happy tears emoji here] and just a lot of story telling and laughs and just thinking about the group puts a smile on my face because I really did luck out with such an amazing bunch of girls!
So yeah, before you’re all typing “kj.bv a`awejklv bh`jalfa” because you’ve fallen asleep on your keyboards, I’ll wrap this up. In short (or shorter than this short novel I’ve written) if you have sensitive skin or skin conditions, you need to check out Avene and the hydrotherapy centre. Each product is made of the gentlest ingredients and most of the products in the range contain no more than 7 of the ingredients in them (pretty darn incredible, right?). I can’t wait to tell you more about my favourite products but for now, just be rest assured that you’re about to hear some serious fangirling about this brand for the foreseeable future.
A huge thank you to Avene for taking me on the dreamiest trip, and Montpellier for satisfying my Sephora cravings 😉 Have you been to Avene or the South of France? Have you ever tried Avene products before? I’d love to hear you thoughts!
As always, thanks so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!