Clarins Hydraquench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase & Clarins Smoothing Gel

by Paris B on · 25 comments

in Moisturiser,Product Reviews,Treatment

The weather’s been hot and dry recently here in Kuala Lumpur and its taken a bit of a toll on my skin, leaving it feeling parched. I’ve been using the Clarins Hydraquench Cream Mask quite often and regular spritzing of Vichy Thermal Spa Water which helps some. I was also using some samples of the Clarins Hydraquench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase and the new Clarins Smoothing Gel since they are after all “Hydraquench”!

Clarins Hydraquench Serum and smoothing gel

Clarins Hydraquench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase – RM225 /30ml

This serum comes in a spray glass bottle. I have a sample but I’m assuming the full size is the same. Clarins calls it an SOS essence to help with dehydrated skin to leave skin looking soft and young.

I must say that I rather like how it feels when I use it at night. 2 squirts of essence in my palm and it goes on my skin and does its job like a SWAT team, getting in deep to plump up my skin, leaving it looking firm and hydrated. I wake up and my skin looks rested and lovely.

BUT… but but but… the scent! Its too strong and floral for me – is that jasmine I smell? :(

So yes my skin drinks up this essence and loves me when I use it, but I cannot quite get over the strong floral scent to use it long term. If you have dry or dehydrated skin, this is a seriously effective serum and works with all moisturizers. I like it especially with my Lancome Primordiale Nuit cream but please sniff it at the counter to see how you like it. I might just have an over sensitive nose :) If the scent was not so strong, I’d get it in a heartbeat. It actually works well with the Smoothing Gel too…

Clarins Hydraquench Smoothing Gel – RM205/50ml

The new addition to the Clarins Hydraquench range is the Smoothing Gel moisturizer for normal/combination skin or for those in hot climates. That’s us!

Mine is a sample and comes in a tube. The full size Smoothing Gel comes in a pump. The gel squirts out opaque but when you spread it between your hands, the warmth from your hands turns it liquid. So you don’t need a lot – I reckon 1/2 (half) to 1 pump is enough for the whole face.

I always make the mistake thinking it will be thick but in fact, when it turns thin and liquid I find I have too much on my hands so the rest goes on my neck. Don’t make the same mistake I do – its expensive 😛

It does feel nice on the skin and does add moisture and even claims to control sebum to keep you looking less oily throughout the day. I must say it does help keep my skin looking plump and soft but for some strange reason, is not quite sufficient when used alone at night. Might it be my skin turning drier? I’m not sure. Used together with the Bi-Phase Serum, it works well. On its own, it lacks a certain oomph! Oh and it has the same floral jasmine scent too. So, yes, its nice to use but do take a healthy sniff at the counter before making a purchase.

Does fragrance in products bother you?

Does fragrance in skincare products bother you? I thought I was quite immune to fragrance or scent in skincare products. It never usually bothers me – heaven knows I’ve used apple cider vinegar as a toner and that smells!! Lancome Primordiale Nuit cream has strong fragrance too but I’m fine with it. I think its just the hint of jasmine in the Clarins Hydraquench range that bothers me. Its not a favourite scent of mine.

I’m fine with the Clarins Hydraquench Cream Mask because that washes off but because the rest stay on my skin, I’m less likely to be able to tolerate the scent. How about you? Are you bothered by certain scents in products?

Stay beautiful,

Paris B

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[ 23 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

July 30, 2009 at 10:44 am

I actually don’t mind fragrance in my skincare products (unless it’s an offensive smell!)… in fact, i’m a devoted Lancome user and everybody knows that Lancome products are heavily fragranced!! hehehe!!

And oh, i LOVE the Lancome Primordiale Nuit!! i just wish it wasn’t so expensive! I’m really hoping that the H20 cream works as well as this one so that i don’t have to buy a jar when my samples run out! hehehe! 😛


ParisB July 30, 2009 at 10:46 am

Hi Jenn

I must agree with you about Lancome’s scent in their products but it strangely works for me 😀 As for the Primordiale Nuit to be perfectly honest, I went round the block looking for a substitute and in the end, went back to it. I found none.


Sylvia July 30, 2009 at 11:53 am

I have some skincare sample from Clarins too and the fragrance was overwhelming. In fact when I first saw the picture above of the 2 blue bottles of Clarins Hydraquench, my mind immediately started to picture the strong scent. I don’t think I am bothered much of the fragrance though. However I do love the unique scent of Clarins Body Lotion (green bottle). I can’t quite make up what it is but I think they smell nice on me. Teehee!


ParisB July 30, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Hi Sylvia

I’m usually fine with flower scents but perhaps jasmine just pushed it a little heh… I haven’t smelt the Body Lotion but hey so long as it smells good… 😉


Shay July 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm

I don’t like fragrance if it lingers. But if it goes off, its ok.


ParisB July 30, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Hi Shay

The Clarins one doesn’t last all that long, thank goodness but yeah I’m fine too when the scent goes away after a while.


Shorty July 30, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I definitely prefer nicely scented skincare to fragrance-free types, especially those with aromatherapy properties; some of L’Occitane and Guerlain stuff smells heavenly, I feel like I’m in some posh spa or facial parlor *bliss* Somehow I’ve never tried Clarins, but I’ve heard they smell lovely … I think most of the French beauty brands like to ‘scentify’ their products :)


ParisB July 30, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Hey Shorty

You’re right about French brands. It must be all their perfume history 😀 You like Guerlain scents? I find them a little strong too but yeah aromatherapy scents are so lovely and relaxing…


jojoba July 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm

you know other than MUFE, Clarins is also a killer for me? I think i gotta try these out in person. Scent might be a problem. but it’s no harm for trying. can’t believe you are trying out Clarins, one of my favourite brands. This is why I love reading your blog, FULL of surprises!!!

And I love your writing style. So well versed!


ParisB August 3, 2009 at 10:47 am

Hi Jojoba

Thank you! 😀


July 30, 2009 at 4:48 pm

As much as possible, I’d prefer to not have fragrance in my skincare products. If I were to use one with fragrance, then it had better smell good 😛 I can’t stand anything strong either.


ParisB August 3, 2009 at 10:47 am

Hi Tine

Usually I’m not sensitive to scent but jasmine kills me 😛 I like something that smells fresh and not as floral


Nikki July 30, 2009 at 11:26 pm

too much fragrance on skincare bothers me too much! I just light a hint of fragrance nothing more!!!


ParisB August 3, 2009 at 10:48 am

Hi Nikki

I’m usually not quite fussed – perhaps this time it was just that one particular scent. Still its a great product!


abby July 31, 2009 at 2:56 am

Have not come across one with an overly strong scent. Was wondering, do these control oil during the day time? With and without makeup? These sound so nice. I must try them out! I like the HydraQuench itle


ParisB August 3, 2009 at 10:51 am

Hi Abby

The Clarins Smoothing Gel is supposed to help with oil control. I dont’ have very oily skin so I cannot quite say but I do like how hydrated my skin feels with this on and it does not make me any oilier. Perhaps you could see if you could pick up a sample at the counter to try?


Babybubblz July 31, 2009 at 3:16 am

We are getting a big heat wave on the West Coast in the US as well. These products sound like a great way to keep the skin hydrated…I better switch to something like them.

Lavender oil is a tough scent for me – the one in Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar. I was appalled by the very strong smell! It stings the eyes when I put it on my cheeks. Sadly I did not try it before buying so I’m trying to use it up slowly.


ParisB August 3, 2009 at 10:52 am

Hi Babybubblz

Ah so its worldwide then! I haven’t tried Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar – I read lots of people like it but I’m not liking your reaction to it! Thanks for sharing.


July 31, 2009 at 8:54 am

hmmmm….i do smell something from the serum, but is it floral? i am still ok with the scent 😀 this serum + moisturizer work like magic at night for me. awesome!


ParisB August 3, 2009 at 10:53 am

Hi prettybeautiful

Guess I’m just more sensitive hehe… I do agree the serum is awesome for the skin!


Connie July 31, 2009 at 3:05 pm

I can literally see my skin plump up with the serum but but but… *sighs* I think I’m getting a rash from it so I’ve stopped :( I only use it again if I feel lucky enough. I got a an itty bitty sample of the hydraquench cream, heavenly stuff! Lol.


ParisB August 3, 2009 at 10:54 am

Hi Connie

Eeps! Rash is no good :( Perhaps its the fragrance? If you can tolerate everything else in the line I mean :)


August 2, 2009 at 3:06 am

A cheaper alternative is Clara’s Hydratant Concentrate. RM139? If not mistaken. It looks/ feels like water. Intensive hydration that doesn’t clog pores and shoots immediately into your skincells. Awesome.

Don’t get anything else from Clara though. Their products/ services are NOT good.


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