How to age gracefully according to Avène’s product specialist with 20 years of experience

12 June 2024
By Fashion Quarterly

Avène’s Sarah Mahler talks style, self-care, and skincare.

Avène product specialist and trainer Sarah Mahler.

After spending more than 20 years in the glamorous world of five-star hotels and spas in Paris, Sarah Mahler decided to pivot slightly and explore the field of dermatology. Now as the product specialist and trainer of Eau Thermale Avène, she tells us about being backstage at Givenchy catwalks in her youth, her beauty icons, and why Avène’s Vitamin Activ Cg is the perfect partner to boost your radiance and smooth fine lines. 

Growing up, my aunt worked for Hubert de Givenchy. I vividly remember sitting backstage during Givenchy catwalks — watching make-up artists and hairdressers work their magic. They transformed tired party girls into breathtakingly confident top models. It wasn’t just about aesthetics; it was about self-confidence, feeling good in your own skin, and embracing your unique beauty. This ignited my passion for the beauty industry, leading me to pursue this career. 

My grandmother always told me to take care of my skin. I remember she kept her eye cream in the fridge for a cool sensation and hand cream on her bedside table so she wouldn’t forget to use it. Beauty is deeply personal and diverse. There is no singular definition. Beauty embraces the uniqueness of each individual. Whether someone prefers minimalistic routines or lavishes attention on their skincare. To me, beauty is truly about celebrating the authenticity of oneself and others. 

I’ve always wanted to make a real difference in people’s lives — Avène has given me that opportunity. Being an ambassador for this iconic French skincare brand, which I remember from my childhood, has been incredibly fulfilling for me. My favourite aspect of the job is engaging in discussions with dermatologists, surgeons, GPs, nurses, and pharmacists’ staff. We talk about how we can educate Kiwis about the different solutions available for various skin concerns.

Questions I get asked about most often revolve around tiredness and premature ageing. Many feel that the demands of trying to excel in multiple roles — whether it’s being a super mom, partner, friend, or professional — take a toll on their skin, leaving it tired and showing signs of early ageing. However, it’s important to emphasise these consequences aren’t inevitable, and there are solutions. 

The Avène Vitamin Activ Cg range is the perfect partner to boost your radiance and to smooth the fine lines that always arrive too soon. Our latest innovation is Avène Vitamin Activ Cg Radiance Concentrated Serum and Radiance Intensive Cream. These are designed for sensitive skin, to target the first signs of ageing, restoring the skin’s radiance and reducing the appearance of dark spots. Featuring an exclusive trio of expert active ingredients (Vitamin Cg, Niacinamide, and Bakuchiol), the range is an effective treatment designed to boost skin radiance and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and lighten the superficial dark spots on the skin.

My advice to my younger self would be to drink plenty of water, and make sure to cleanse your skin every night, regardless of when you go to bed. Additionally, it’s essential to apply body moisturiser daily and wear sunscreen year-round to prevent premature ageing.

My beauty icons are diverse and inspiring. From Catherine Deneuve’s classic French elegance to the radiant confidence of Halle Berry, the infectious smile of Julia Roberts, and the graceful presence of Michelle Yeoh, each embodies both natural beauty and confidence. What I admire most is their ability to effortlessly portray a range of roles on-screen, all while exuding timeless charm.

Taking care of our skin is paramount — it’s like our heritage, unique to each of us but ultimately ours to preserve. Nurturing and protecting our skin is essential. I recommend a simple daily routine: cleanse and treat your skin at night, then moisturise and protect it during the day.

Sarah's top product picks:

Imagery: Supplied

This article originally appeared in Fashion Quarterly’s winter 2024 issue.

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