Alrighty then, I think a bunch of you have been waiting for this post to go up – I sure have gotten a lot of inquiries after I gave you the overview of the new Clarins Treatment Essences about 2 weeks back! If you’d like to know a little more about the Treatment Essence, I’d suggest reading the previous post – it’s very comprehensive.
In this one, I’m focusing on what I think of them, having had them in my skincare rotation for almost 2 months (I had a jumpstart on them cos the media launch in Malaysia was way before I went to Paris! LOL!).
Because many of you lovely international beauties asked if you can get this in Europe or North America soon, I checked and the answer I received from Clarins Paris is an unfortunate, not now. These Clarins Treatment Essences will be Asia-exclusive for a while, until they figure out how well it’s doing. So, if you’re travelling through Asia or have friends or family in Asia, now’s the time to ask for a favour! 😀
Being a Treatment Essence that is supposed to “unlock” the skin barrier to allow your skincare to penetrate better into your skin, Clarins has positioned this product as a pre-skincare product.
Cleansing -> Acid toner (if using) -> Clarins Treatment Essence -> rest of skincare
There are 3 different essences formulated for 3 different skincare concerns. While Clarins uses age as a gauge (Multi-Active for those in their 20’s, Extra-Firming for those in their 30’s and Super Restorative for those in their 40’s – more detail on which to choose in my previous introductory post) I prefer to classify them according to your skin concerns.
Because I had the opportunity to try all 3 (no, you do not need all 3 – perish the thought and protect your wallet!) I’ll tell you what I think of each, and how I feel they fit for different skins 🙂 I know many of you had gone out to get samples so now’s your time to share YOUR review below! 😀
Just a note that these would be suitable for all skin types, as the textures are very light and they absorb into the skin without leaving a residue (except for the Super Restorative Treatment Essence which is heavier and more suited for drier skin but you would have that in that age group anyway!) so it is quite comfortable to use. Besides, all skin, oily to dry could always do with more hydration!
Clarins Multi Active Treatment Essence – Vitality (RM200 for 200ml)
The Multi-Active Treatment Essence comes in a pink bottle and is the one targeted at those in their 20’s to early 30’s to address younger skin and the first signs of skin aging. It is at this time that many people start their first jobs and get a little giddy with personal independence, so late nights and excesses tend to kick in about now. This is supposed to help bring back the glow and vitality to your skin, to address those first signs of aging.
The texture is very light to be almost like water. If you look at the comparison below, this has the lightest texture. It absorbs very quickly into the skin and if you’d like to use it as a mask (soak a paper sheet mask in the essence) this one works very well because it is so liquid.
There is however, one fly in the ointment and that’s the scent. I found it strong (but not as strong as the other 2) and floral and I do wish they’d done without the scent. It just doesn’t serve any purpose to me.
Naturally, I found that this was a little light for me, since I left my 20’s years ago. I did give it to someone else, who told me they liked how it made their skin feel softer and more hydrated. It wasn’t enough time to see if it added any glow to the skin, but she liked how her skin felt better and more hydrated. That is after all, the first step to more radiant skin!
Clarins Extra-Firming Treatment Essence – RM215 for 200ml
The Extra-Firming Treatment Essence is targeted at those in their 30’s and early 40’s who already have some signs of aging – in particular, dehydrated skin that is more prone to fine lines.
This is the one I was told I should use (hurrah! no one told me to go for the Super Restorative which is made for my age group! LOL! 😀 ) and this is my favourite of the three and the one I took to the most. The texture is still a little watery, but a little more viscous than the Multi-Active Treatment Essence.
I only use 1 drop, shaken into the palm of my hand, spread out to warm and then pressed on my skin. 1 drop. That’s all I need. This 200ml will last me quite a while! The immediate effect was that I found that the serums I applied on my skin thereafter absorbed more quickly. The slightly longer term effect I found was that my skin felt much more hydrated and a little bouncier. I cannot say it’s firmer due just to this product, as I do use serums and other treatment products. But it did help with boosting skin hydration.
It does not mean that I stop using my hydrating serums altogether. What it means is that my hydrating serums seem to go on and absorb better and maybe even be a little more effective. For this reason, I quite like this. I am used to the concept of using a pre-serum or essence product, and use them in various brands, so this isn’t new to me. If you want to use it as a mask, this one works as well, as it is liquid enough to soak a paper sheet mask or cotton pad.
But if it’s a new concept to you, then it might take a little while to get used to this extra step. I like it, but again, the scent bothers me. It’s floral and rather stronger than in Multi-Active, and for me, strong floral scents in skincare is a major no-no 🙁
Clarins Super Restorative Treatment Essence – RM285 for 200ml
This one targets those in their mid-40s or those who have skin that is very dehydrated, thickened, damaged or clearly shows age. The texture is significantly thicker, being almost like that of an emulsion. I found that the texture meant it was a little harder to shake out of the bottle. If you want to use it as a mask, sorry. This sucks because it’s so hard to get the product out of the bottle. Clarins says they have a special mask for this, but honestly, I wouldn’t bother.
Again though, 1 drop (or splotch) in your palm is about sufficient per use. I tried this, but wasn’t sold on the thicker texture. This also had the strongest fragrance that I’m afraid, put me off because it lingers, unlike the other 2. For an intensive treatment, I do have to agree that it did quite a job at giving skin that major kick up its bum in terms of softness and hydration. I used it for about a week and then gave up, because of the scent. So, I will recommend that you take a healthy sniff before you commit to this one.
That said, I did like the idea of this Super Restorative Treatment Essence helping to soften and exfoliate skin, in order to help skin absorb product better. If Clarins had removed the scent I would have taken to it like fish to water.
How to use Clarins Treatment Essence
I hate repeating myself but there are 3 ways you can use these essences:-
- Use a cotton pad – Drop some of the treatment essence on a cotton pad to saturate it, and pat it over your skin. This takes the least amount of time and is good for those who are in a hurry.
- Use your hands – Drop 1-2 drops of the treatment essence in your palm, warm it up between your palms, and pat it on your skin, tapping with your finger tips. This takes a little more time, and is good for your evening routine, or for those who are used to making a little more effort with their skincare routine. I use this method as I abhor wastage 😛
- Use it as a mask – Get a paper mask capsule (you can easily get these at Daiso – Clarins will have some available, but it isn’t their mainstay right now) soak it with the treatment essence and then lay it on skin for about 10 minutes for an intensive treatment.
I use my hands – less wastage and quicker!
Clarins Treatment Essence Textures
By way of reference, here are the 3 different Treatment Essences so you can have an idea of the textures of each.
On left is the Multi-Active Treatment Essence which is very watery. The middle is the Extra-Firming Treatment Essence, which is thicker in viscosity but still fairly liquid. The Super Restorative Treatment Essence has the heaviest texture of all, and is almost like that of an emulsion.
Think of these rather like a skin softening lotion cum hydration booster intensive pre-serum essence. If you’re used to Asian skincare, these terms would not be unfamiliar to you. This is NOT a replacement for toner and if you use an acid toner (glycolic, salicylic, AHA, BHA etc) please continue using it, and use this AFTER your acid toner. This is what the trainer at Clarins Paris specifically pointed out, as Clarins themselves make an acid toner as well.
But if you’re coming in from using a basic 3-step skincare routine, you may wonder if this does anything more.
The answer is that it does. It gives you that hydration sandwich your skin will love, and if you use no serum you will notice effects almost immediately in skin hydration. If you regularly use hydrating products, you may not notice an immediate effect, but you may notice that your skin will feel softer and more supple with regular use. Personally, I’d say, go get your samples (until end of Aug 2016) and give it a shot.
My personal favourite is the Extra-Firming Treatment Essence and I have a feeling that since so many of you here care so well for your skin, that would be the one you’d be looking to use as well, or even Multi-Active Treatment Essence! 😀 My Super Restorative Treatment Essence will go to my Mom 😀
IN A NUTSHELL
The Clarins Treatment Essence is a new product that serves as a skin softening lotion, as well as a pre-serum product. There are 3 different versions to suit 3 different skincare concerns, which is roughly grouped by age. The textures and purposes of each are different, which is admirable because we mostly get just 1 pre-serum or essence in any brand. My personal favourite is the Extra Firming Treatment Essence which I only use 1 drop each time as I find it sufficient for my use. I do however find that the essences are far too scented to be comfortable, especially the Super Restorative Treatment Essence. If you aren’t into floral scents (like me) then you may have to rethink using this. It would be far better if Clarins had made these fragrance free, or toned down the scent. That is the biggest flaw in the product, in my view and it will be the reason I cannot see myself using this in the long term once I’m done with my bottle. Truth. Sorry.
PROS: Lightweight texture that absorbs easily into the skin without leaving a residue, Boosts skin hydration quite noticeably, Only little is needed, Multi-purpose, Different essence to address different skin concerns
CONS: Very heavily scented, Some people may find it a little pricey initially, Could be confusing for anyone unfamiliar with a complicated skincare routine or with pre-serums or essences
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone already familiar with using pre-serum essences to boost skin moisture
PRICE: Multi-Active: RM200; Extra-Firming: RM215; Super Restorative: RM285 for 200ml
WHERE TO BUY: Available only in Asia for now at all Clarins counters and spa boutiques
For those curious, here are the ingredient lists for all 3 of the Treatment Essences. They do vary slightly as the products are essentially different products that serve different purposes.
Now, it’s your turn! Did you get a sample and if you did, how do you like these Treatment Essences?
Which Treatment Essence were you matched with to try and did you like trying it? I’d love to hear what you think – you’ve had 2 weeks since I told you about the sampling eh? 😉 So, come on, share! 😀