For every product, we evaluate the safety of the raw ingredients and also
of the finished product.
Firstly, we analyse the composition of the formula and calculate the margins of
safety for the concentration of each ingredient. Then, we set up preclinical
tests (in vitro), clinical tolerance tests (in vivo on healthy skin and then the target),
sensitisation tests and finally skin and/or ocular tolerance tests.
When developing our formulas, if we encounter any problem during
these tests then, without question, the product is not marketed and is started again from square one. At
Eau Thermale Avène, safety comes first and foremost. Every product is therefore placed on the
market with the absolute guarantee that it is safe under normal conditions of use.
Two details on the packaging of your cosmetic products allow you to
check whether they are still in date.
First, you can go by the expiration date. Until then, we
guarantee the efficiency and stability of our products. This mention is compulsory in Europe
for hygiene and grooming products whose expiry is less than 30 months. You
can then refer to the PAO (Period After Opening), symbolised by an open jar
containing a number and the letter M, for “month”. The number corresponds to the number of months
the product can be used without risk after opening it. Vacuum-packed
treatments (airless dispensers or Sterile Cosmetics) do not feature a PAO, as they can
be used for use as long as desired, within a recommended 3-year limit.
From finding an active ingredient to placing the finished product on the market, our research takes on,
average, three years. But this process can take up to 10 years!
Our 72 experts design and carry out clinical studies in-house or in partnership with
experts from around the world.
The group, Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetics, of which we are part of, conducts 750
to 1050 microbiology, physico-chemistry, compatibility and stability clinical studies on all
of its products every year.
We conduct 4 to 5 clinical tolerance and effectiveness tests on each of our
formulas before approving them.
We systematically control ingredients, packaging and products on every
After marketing products, we also monitor them in the long term
with clinical studies submitted to ethical committees.
Finally, we review our products regularly, in line with
cosmetovigilance feedback and quality as well as scientific and regulatory advances.
Backed by a pharmaceutical laboratory, the foundation of our scientific ethics, our
absolute priority is to guarantee your safety. To do this, we work with teams of
highly qualified toxicologists to rigorously test all our products,
in compliance with current European regulations, considered one of the most
strict in the world.
In accordance with current European regulations, we assess every
ingredient in our products, taking into account its physicochemical properties, its
toxicology profile, its level of exposure (face, body), contact time, the product target
(sensitive skin, babies, children, pregnant women, skin condition) as well as the
packaging and application method.
For every raw material used, a safety evaluation produces a study and a
summary document based on available data, possibly supplemented by a
series of tests and analyses. This then gives us a positive or negative opinion on the use of
the ingredient depending on the product.
We rigorously evaluate the potential risk of a Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or
Reprotoxic (CMR) substance. In fact, CMR-classified substances are covered by
extremely strict regulations in cosmetics.
Every product contains a batch number in a specific format that identifies its
origin. This allows us to recover its date of manufacture, its raw materials, etc. These
details allow us to make batch recalls if needed.
If you think there is an issue with your product, you can contact our quality
complaints department, who will invite you to send the product to them for
testing. If the product turns out to be defective, a new product would be sent out
to you. Contact customer service.
The idea for a new product may come from the product manager, from
consumer demand, or even studies demonstrating the need for it.
We then follow a precise process, from writing the specifications to
clinical studies on the finished product, through to approving the formula and stability tests
on the product in its packaging. Once all the steps have been validated, we launch the new
product to the market.
Due to our status as a health business, we have chosen to have our own
cosmetovigilance service within our laboratories for 25 years, to ensure
consumer safety when using our products after they are placed on the market
and in all the countries where they are sold. This international organisation also relies on
external and independent expertise. This network of experts monitors and constantly
reassesses the safety of Eau Thermale Avène products: following stringent and recognised methodologies,
it collects, validates and analyses potential undesirable effects related to the use of our
products and puts forward any element likely to improve the product.
Available by phone at +33(0) 800 811 001 (toll-free number), our team of pharmacists
answer your questions concerning product tolerance. If necessary, an investigation is
carried out with the patient’s doctor or dermatologist to detect possible drug
interactions with other products.
We collect your personal details for a specific purpose (for example, competition,
loyalty, information, etc.) As a general rule, we do not retain them, once this
objective is achieved.
Unless you object to it, we will keep your details for three years for
We sometimes need to archive your details for a longer time to comply with our legal obligations (for example,
cosmetovigilance, quality service, etc.).
In any case, when we no longer need your details, we make sure that they
As our products are for sensitive skin, we rigorously select the
ingredients used and carry out many clinical studies. This focus on the quality
of the products may have an impact on their sales prices.
Moreover, the price of the products are set by our distributors, they may vary from one point
of sale to another.
Unfortunately, due to many requests, we are unable to send you samples. We invite you to visit a store to discover our skincare products.
Solidarity is close to our hearts and we are partnering with a number of organisations.
We give them our scientific contribution, our operational and financial support,
and even therapeutic education tools. These partnerships include one we have been cultivating with the European Skin Cancer Foundation for several years. The goal this time around is to help with awareness, education and prevention of skin cancer in children.
To limit our plastic waste, we have opted for OPEN/STOP technology on our sun sprays. Have you ever lost the cap on your bottle of sunscreen? With your Eau Thermale Avène Spray, that will never happen again and the planet will thank you!
Our Production Plant upgrades 90% of its waste through partnerships with
Also, because our Hydrotherapy Centre, Production Plant and Water Research Centre
are grouped in one place, we contribute to local development.
We have partnered with Pur Projet, a charity that has set itself the task of restoring seabeds. We are working to rebuild coral reefs in Indonesia, while also involving local populations. Taking part in this intense human and ecological project makes us proud!
Our group, Pierre Fabre, obtained AFAQ 26000 certification in 2012 with the confirmed
level. This voluntary assessment process, developed by AFNOR Certification on the
ISO 26000 standard, allows organisations to measure their level of maturity and
performance in terms of social responsibility. This certification was a first
for a pharmaceutical laboratory and for a company with more than 10,000 employees.
We put our formulas and packaging at the cutting edge of eco-design,
all while maintaining our quality, safety and ethics standards.
To control our footprint upstream, we have developed a responsible purchasing
policy, by signing the “ 10 commitments for responsible purchasing”
In terms of our Production Plant, we are pursuing an energy efficiency
programme which considerably reduces our CO2 emissions; we also
consume 100% hydroelectric renewable energy.
More than 90% of our production waste is recovered through voluntary and constant sorting
Finally, we minimise the impact of our products in the long term: our sprays, aerosols, aluminium
tubes, plastic bottles, glass jars, cases and instructions are all recyclable.
Our dermo-cosmetic treatments do not escape the fundamental rules of medical and pharmaceutical diligence,
which makes it impossible to assert anything without having proved it. To guarantee
the safety and harmlessness of all our formulas, we carry out particularly strict
testing, beyond European requirements: preclinical in vitro tests; in vivo tests,
clinical tolerance: (sensitisation test and skin and/or eye tolerance tests under
dermatological and/or ophthalmological and/or paediatric control).
Only Pédiatril, TriXera NUTRITION, Cicalfate, XeraCalm A.D, and the SPF50+ sun lotion for children
a 100 ml format have been tested on infants and children.
Under European cosmetic regulations (Regulation EC 1223/2009),
manufacturers must use the alternative methods to animal testing
available to test new raw ingredients and finished products.
Pioneers in this approach, we have implemented an alternative programme and have,
for several years, stopped all animal testing.
We test our products under dermatological and/or ophthalmological control and/or
paediatric control to make sure that they are effective and do not trigger allergies or
intolerance reactions. Throughout their development, every product goes through
a series of rigorous tests (bacteriology, packaging compatibility, tolerance, use,
etc.). Any claim on our packaging is subject to clinical studies to verify its
Any skincare products not specifically designed for pregnant women are not tested on
pregnant women. Using our products during pregnancy and breastfeeding depends
of their formulation. Please contact us for any request.
Every year, 8,000 volunteers, whether healthy or the product’s target audience, take part in product testing.
For the launch of every Pierre Fabre dermo-cosmetic product, we recruit between 300 and 1000
volunteers. Some of these tests are carried out in assessment centres located
To evaluate the safety of our cosmetic products without using
animals, we have created an alternative programme:
- development of substitution tests on cell cultures in our own
skin culture laboratory, created over 20 years ago,
- implementation methods available on the market,
- active participation in the testing programmes implemented by official
French and European organisations.
We also support the development of alternative methods for experimentation
by financially participating in research programs led
jointly by the European Commission and Cosmetics Europe, a
European organisation of cosmetics professionals, of which we are a member.
We market our products in China, where tests are imposed by the
local regulations. Some of these tests carried out by laboratories accredited by
Chinese authorities are made on animals, methods that we do not approve.
Cosmetics Europe, an organisation of which we are a member, as well as other
international cosmetics industry professional associations are interacting with the
Chinese authorities to put an end to mandatory animal testing and encourage them to use
alternative methods, as is already the case in Europe. And we believe that it’s
by working with the Chinese government that we will be able to move things forward.
Our ingredients rigorously meet the European cosmetics regulatory
standards in force. These are updated very regularly, five to six times a year, to take into
account advances in science.
For every product, all the ingredients used are listed on the packaging. This
description of the formulas follows the INCI international standard (International Nomenclature of
In cosmetics, the role of antioxidants is to protect the product’s formula from oxidation
and, in particular, to prevent plant-based fats from becoming rancid.
Mineral oils are raw materials made up of only carbon and
hydrogen molecules. They are used in cosmetics and also
in the pharmaceutical and food industries, as coating and hermetic packaging
Their main quality is to stay on the surface of the skin, creating a protective film
without penetrating the skin layers. Emollient and hydrating, they soften dry skin
while protecting it from environmental irritation. Perfectly
stable, they remain effective over time.
All of our formulas containing mineral oils meet the rigorous standards of
cosmetic regulations and ensure a high level of purity according to pharmaceutical
standards. We demand that our suppliers provide us with raw materials that have been manufactured
in accordance with the standards set out by the European Pharmacopoeia. Finally, we monitor the quality
and dosage internally.
The risk-free nature of these oils was recently confirmed by the German Federal Institute
for Risk Assessment (BFR). They are absolutely safe for the health of
consumers and are also known for their excellent tolerance and their protective
and hydrating properties.
In our scrubs, we use cellulose micro-beads. Plastic microbeads
are prohibited by the environmental law known as the Biodiversity Law, passed following the COP 21.
Used for decades in cosmetic products, liquid paraffin belongs to
the mineral oil family. According to the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BFR),
prolonged use of cosmetic products containing mineral oils does not pose
any health risk.
Liquid paraffin is an inert and non-comedogenic compound that has very good
skin tolerance. It’s a hydrating agent that softens the skin and protects it from environmental
The criteria for defining endocrine disruptors, proposed on 4 July 2017 by the
Member States of the European Union, were rejected by the European Parliament on 4 October
2017. To date, there is still no official list of endocrine disruptors
provided by Europe.
We remain alert to take into account changes in scientific knowledge
and the European Cosmetics Regulations, so we can offer formulas that guarantee a great deal
For people with hypersensitive or intolerant skin who wish to avoid
preservatives completely, Sterile Cosmetics invented by the Pierre Fabre Group is
a unique alternative in the world. The manufacturing process of products with these formulas
eliminates the need for preservatives thanks to an exclusive and perfectly hermetic
If an ingredient is incorporated into a product formula in
nanometric form, the term [NANO] is specified after its name in the list of ingredients
on the packaging.
Nanoparticles are widely used in the food and cosmetic industries.
They have, for example, been included in sun care products for nearly 20 years. In fact, the
nanometric form of an ingredient ensures that the photoprotective active ingredient spreads well,
improving the efficiency of the finished product.
The safety of nanoparticles has been confirmed by European and international health authorities,
which have established rigorous testing programmes required before they can be
Studies have shown that the particles included in a formula interact with each other
to form groups of a size of 100 nm, which do not pass the skin
barrier. We have also tested our products to demonstrate that the nanoparticles
do not penetrate the skin.
BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) is an antioxidant that prevents fatty compounds
in a formula from becoming rancid.
Based on the studies available, the CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review) expert panel
concluded that BHT does not cause significant irritation, sensitisation or
In addition, since the concentration of this ingredient is very weak in cosmetic formulations (from
0.0002% to 0.5%), its use does not present any risk.
Worries associated with controversial ingredients are at the heart of our concerns. Cosmetic
ingredients contribute to the efficiency, preservation, texture, colour and
fragrance of products. Their nature and percentage in the formulas are not chosen
at random, each ingredient plays its part in the formula.
Petroleum is a natural material whose purification allows us to obtain cosmetic and
pharmaceutical grade mineral oils. Evaluations guarantee that the petrochemical
ingredients that we buy have a high safety level as well as beneficial
properties for the skin (thickness, texture, protection). Our laboratory also ensures
the quality of these raw materials internally as well as with our suppliers.
We have good toxicological experience and in-depth cosmetovigilance on this type
of ingredient. These neutral and inert fatty substances have excellent tolerance and are
not irritating. Their use is therefore perfectly suited to sensitive skin.
We make the safety of our consumers our absolute priority.
In accordance with European legislation, an expert toxicologist evaluates each of our
products before they are placed on the market.
The safety evaluation of our products is based on three tests: assessment of the
safety of raw ingredients, assessment of the safety of finished products and
cosmetovigilance, which consists of monitoring the tolerance of products
on the market and collecting any information likely to improve them.
The emollient properties of the polyethylene glycol give treatments
a hydrating effect. This is an emulsifying ingredient that gives creams texture and
Every cosmetic product is subject to a safety file. As a manufacturer, we
are responsible for placing it on the market and are obliged to guarantee its safety.
In line with the pharmaceutical requirements of the Pierre Fabre Group, which we are
part of, our products are produced and inspected in line with the strictest standards.
All our formulas are developed with the highest respect for current
regulations. Our products have excellent efficacy and tolerance results on
all skin types, including hypersensitive or atopic skin for some of them.
Titanium dioxide is a cosmetic colourant that we use to whiten some of
In nano form, it is also a sun filter. Sun filters helps protect the skin
effectively from the dangers of the sun and, above all, help prevent
skin cancer. To date, there is no proven scientific evidence of their risk to
health. Controversy in the media has cast doubt on the importance
of protecting yourself from UV rays: according to OMS in 2017, one in three cancers was skin cancer linked to
exposure to the sun. Our studies have shown that titanium dioxide does not penetrate
significantly into the skin and does not present an inhalation risk. So it is safe,
even when used in the form of a spray.
We choose to use only four sun filters with reduced concentration to
ensure optimal sun protection while limiting the impact on
the marine environment. We have also improved the biodegradability of our formulas
by removing silicones and sun filters that become soluble in water.
In cosmetic products, silicones (CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, DIMETHICONE,
CYCLOMETHICONE, etc.) have excellent sensory properties: they improve the
feel (slippery, smooth sensation) and finish (powder, drier, mattifying). This encourages,
in particular, long-term use of the treatment.
Silicones are considered to be safe ingredients by international regulatory
authorities, including the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety
(SCCS). They are chemically inert materials, well tolerated by the skin, non-comedogenic,
non-irritant and non-allergenic.
Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that helps to ensure the durability and
expiry date of our products. Our expertise in this substance
allows us to use it safely. According to the CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient
Review) expert committee, this ingredient is safe as used in cosmetic products applied to the
skin, for all age groups, including babies, except for applications on the
bottom. It is not irritating, sensitising, phototoxic, or mutagenic.
It is found naturally in green tea and chicory, for example.
You want your products to be effective and safe for as long as you use them.
That’s why we usually need to add preservatives to the formulas,
thus preventing contamination and product deterioration. It is thanks to these
preservatives that we can guarantee the durability and expiry date of our
For example, the use of preservatives such as parabens is much less of a risk
for health than any potential bacterial contamination.
Parabens are naturally derived preservatives that are also found in
fruit and vegetables (strawberries, carrots, onions). There are different types of parabens, and they have
Been used for many years in cosmetic products to prevent the development
of bad bacteria and fungi. Only four are used in cosmetics:
METHYLPARABEN, ETHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPYLPARABEN and BUTYLPARABEN. In a formula,
each type of paraben cannot exceed 0.4% for a maximum of 0.8%
in accordance with EU regulations.
We have comprehensive toxicological data, which is being updated
along with scientific advances in chemical assessments.
Our expertise in these substances allows us to use them safely. They
are very effective and not very allergenic. However, in response to the concerns of our
consumers, we are removing them as our formulations are reworked.