Monday, 16 March 2015

Clarins: Cleansing Milk with Gentian, Toning Lotion with Iris, Ultra-Matte Rebalancing Lotion and Lotus Face Treatment Oil

Rating: 5/5

Now that almost feels like an unjustifiably long title. And it is. But I had a lot to fit in and the Clarins regime really qualifies itself as a 'treatment', so it did feel necessary that these products would be collated into one monster title.

Clarins is a brand that I only recently discovered in the past few months. Has it gone on some sort of promotional reboot - because I've seen that somewhere between just red with bad maroon and serif font plastered everywhere lately. It's not a pretty brand to look at. 

Browsing through their catalogue, they have a range of skincare specifically catered towards the needs of oily skin. My dream come true! Literally. And they claim that these products are actually more of a treatment, with their products gradually becoming more effective over time. Yeah, make me buy in? Actually, I found that to be quite true. 

Price: £19.50 / 200ML
Category: CLEANSER

Now, there's a selection of cleansers catered towards oily skin, and for no particular reason (other than the fact that it comes in a ridiculously valuable value kit with the toner I was interested in), I opted for the gentian milk cleanser. This is just really a delight to apply, it's creamy and soft texture is incredibly kind to skin. My skin feels super healthy and super clean in a 'genuine', non-stripped sort of way.

I simply squeeze a large hazelnut sized amount of product into my hand, spread it between my fingertips then massage it into my skin. I can quite literally feel any dirt smoothing away at my touch. Now this is a rather heavyweight cleanser, so it's crucial to actually wash this off with water after use, as a toner alone just won't cut it.

For a product that likes to name drop the fact that it's with gentian, I had to look up just exactly what gentian even is. On the site's ingredients click-through, it defines gentian as "In cosmetology, Gentian is particularly useful in skin-toning formulations". And it's extraordinary just how not helpful that is. This was proving to be quite a difficult ingredient to find any kind of relevant information on, especially when it's primary effects are achieved through ingestion. The only moderately useful piece of information I could find was posted here, which suggested that gentian is an antioxidant. Mystery solved! ... We think?  

Price: £19.50 / 200ML
Category: TONER

Toning has always been a middle step that I really wish was redundant, but with the Clarins toning lotion, I can't say I really mind all that much. It is a very refreshing toner, which feels delightfully cool on skin and it's ideal for removing that pesky milk cleanser.

I actually like to apply - what's probably double what I usually apply - when it comes to this toner, as it really absorbs into the skin and leaves me looking fresh and vibrant.

Once again, a product that mentions its key ingredient in the title, but this time Clarins provided me with a very suitable answer: "An excellent astringent with normalising properties, Orris extract is found in beauty care products for skin prone to oiliness". It's worth noting that orris root is actually iris florentina, or something. But with effects like those, it's definitely an ingredient I will be keeping an eye out for in future... unless it calls itself something different. 

Price: £26.00 / 50ML

It took me a very long time to get on board with this moisturiser. But moisturising and oily skin has always been a catch 22. It really is an essential part to our skincare routines, but it's also feeding the beast. And this one is no different.

Or so I thought.

After several weeks of use, this moisturiser really came into its element. My skin feels clean and hydrated but is not nearly as prone to the slick greasy residue. I do honestly feel fresh-face. I feel like I've experienced a moisturiser for the real first time. 

I pump x3 in the mornings and x5-7 in the evenings. I always apply this moisturiser while my toner is still wet on my face so it can benefit from the same absorption effects as the toner. It sinks straight into the skin for that real deep down hydration. 

This product is in opaque packaging (officially becoming an honest peeve), so it's impossible to tell how much you have left... until it's too late, of course! 

Price: £32.00 / 30ML

Face oil is a thing I probably never would have looked twice at, but now, I won't look back! I adore this product. I actually gain a small amount of pleasure from using this product, both for the fact that, yes, it works and yes, it is divine on skin. 

The aim of this product is to rebalance the skin's natural oil production by providing it with essential oils and teaching it how it needs to be treated (ie. treat me). 

Using the little pipette, I simply squeeze 3-5 drops into my palm and quickly dab+rub onto my face, paying close attention to my forehead, nose and cheeks. 

Now remember, this is oil, so this will quite happily just sit on your face. Which is why this should only really be done before bed, and when you wake up in the morning, it will still be right where you left it.

After a few weeks of use, I noticed that the oil production in my face slowed right down. It takes a much longer time in the day before my skin pumps out oil. This really is something that you need to stick at. 

Once more we find a key ingredient in the product title. So what does this little number do? According to the Clarins directory: "In cosmetics, extract of lotus japonicus zymbiosome is used for its brightening properties". That isn't actually the answer I was expecting to find but I can't deny the fact that my skin has been looking more radiant lately. Thank you, lotus! 

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