Avene Cleanance K bites the dust.

Once I’d found a good cleansing routine, I started to look into exfoliation. I knew that scrubbing my skin really wasn’t helping, so I started looking into chemical exfoliation. There are two types of chemical exfoliators:

  • AHAs (Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid & Mandelic Acid) are prefered dry skin because they exfoliate on the surface of skin and have the added benefit of being hydrating. They work best at concentrations of 5% to 10% with a pH of 3 to 4, and their effectiveness diminishes as you go above a pH of 4.5.
  • BHA (Salicylic Acid) is preferred for oily, acne-prone skin and for treating blackheads and white bumps because it can get through the oil that’s clogging pores. It works best at concentrations of between 1% and 2%, and at an optimal pH of 3, diminishing in effectiveness as you go past a pH of 4.

I initially tried just a BHA because I have oily skin, but when I read the both could be effective I tried an AHA. When using both became too clumsy, I searched for a combo product. Despite some faults, I love my Avene Cleanance K.



Daily skincare for oily, blemish prone skin, Avene Cleanance K cleanses the pores in depth. By encouraging the elimination of spots, blackheads and blemishes with 6% Glycolic Acid, 2% Lactic Acid, and 1% Salicylic Acid.


Avene Thermal Spring Water, Glycolic Acid (6%), Cyclomethicone, Water, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Propylene Glycol, GlycerinLactic Acid (2%), Polymethyl Methacrylate, Propylene Glycol Ceteth-3 Acetate, Sodium Hydroxide, Cetyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Alcohol PolyCrylate-13, Clyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Salicylic Acid (1%), Arachidyl Glucoside, Behenyl Alcohol, BHT, Bisabolol (L-Alpha), Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil, Dimethiconol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Polyisobutane, Polysorbate 20, Pyridoxine HCL, Sorbitan Isostearate,  Zinc Gluconate.

The ingredients in bold are the ingredients that really excited me about this product.

  • Glycolic Acid & Lactic Acid are AHA chemical exfoliators, that helps shed skin cells by breaking down the substance in skin that binds the cells together.
  • Glycerin a skin-identical (found naturally in the body) ingredient that is a humectant. Meaning, it has the ability to attract water from the environment, and from the lower layers of skin.
  •  Salicylic Acid a BHA chemical exfoliator, that reaches deep into pores.
  • Bisabolol is an antioxidant derived from chamomile.
  • Zinc Gluconate is an anti-inflammatory.
My Experience


Cleanance K is a Cream-Gel, but that’s just a nice way of saying light cream. I was expecting more of an opaque gel, so right off the bat I was a little disappointed. At a pH of 3.6, it’s a little too high for the salicylic acid to really exfoliate optimally, but enough for me to see some anti-inflammatory benefits from it. My skin has no problems with glycols or alcohol of any kind so none of the other ingredients irritated me.

Here you can see what the product looks like when I squeeze it out of the tube, and when I’ve rubbed it in.

My worries about it not being gel like were premature, because it sinks in really well and easily spreads into a light layer. But oh my gosh the smell, a weird overly clinical smell. Thankfully it doesn’t linger too long and doesn’t travel, but I would rather it smelled of nothing than this! As AHAs thin the skin, I applied it only at night. I guess you could use it during the daytime, but you’d have to use sunscreen! I don’t use it as a final moisturiser, I layer other products on top of it.

I used it as my main exfoliator for about a month to good results, but ultimately I felt like my skin needed something much stronger as a regular exfoliator. I still occasionally use it, about once or twice a week when I’m really too tired to do my full routine. It is especially useful when I’m travelling, as my new AHA is in a very breakable container! So when I’m on the go, or have had a long day I reach for the Cleanance K without worrying that my skin will freak out!

When I found out it was being discontinued and replaced with a new product Cleanance Expert I was pretty disappointed.


Expert contains no chemical exfoliators, instead opting to use enzyme exfoliation. I can understand why, Avene position themselves to be a brand that caters to sensitive skin, and enzyme not chemical exfoliation is recommended for people with rosacea skin. It’s just frustrating for people like me with tough skin, who’ve found a product

Unfortunately for me, by the time I found this out, Boots had already stopped stocking Cleanance K. Thankfully, I’m only 2/3rds of the way through my original tube (bought in early July) that expires in 12/2016 and I managed to buy another tube from a trusted retailer that expires around the same time. Cleanance K was my HG travel product, if it’s your HG product you probably should stock up because once it’s gone it’s likely to be gone for good. I wish Avene kept the two products as they aren’t really that conflicting, but I guess there is some other executive decision driving this.

I am interested in trying this out as I’ve never used an enzyme exfoliator before, but for now, I’m just really sad that one of the products I really enjoyed is discontinued!

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary B says:

    great post:)


  2. moi sanom says:

    Have you tried Nip and Fabs exfoliating wipes?


  3. adoredee says:

    I have! They were the first AHA I tried and what made me realise my skin adores glycolic acid.

    The packaging is a little clumsy and not travel friendly (no way to really depot it either), plus the percentage is really low at 2.8%. The addition of hyaluronic acid in the formula also made my skin feel overly hydrated which is weird because my skin loves my separate hada labo lotions!

    It was a great intro to AHA and I recommend it to everyone I can!


  4. Manu Gmz says:

    Did you find anything to replace Cleanance K with? They just discontinued it here and I can’t find anything…. :(((

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      Ahh, nope. No cream to replace it with. I use two toners instead. Neutrogena (that you cant find in the UK 😥😥) in the AM and Pixi Glow Tonic in the PM.


  5. Suraya G on YouTube says:

    not only was Cleanance K discontinued but the Peter Thomas Roth 10% Glycolic moisturiser was discontinued too around the same time! and they were my two dupes for each other! they were holy grail travel items for me too : (
    sometimes I use the Indeed Labs Retinol Reface for travel or overnight. and now I use the KS Exfolikate or Ren glycolactic mask and also just started trying the FAB wipes but I have dry skin that clogs up fast and nothing compares to a glycolic moisturiser.
    cry…. the search for a replacement continues…


    1. adoredee says:

      Ugh, oh no how frustrating! I hope you find something you like to use well enough soon!


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