Gonna be honest about the new Clarins Extra-Firming creams range. I wasn’t expecting very much. I don’t remember ever trying their previous version, but that’s water under the bridge, because Clarins has just released their newly reformulated Extra-Firming cream range with 5 different variants to suit different skin types. How about that for dedication to customization!
Why wasn’t I prepared to like this one? Well, not because it’s not any good – on the contrary, Clarins skincare products are pretty effective and generally well-formulated.
The primary reason was due to the fragrance. Like most French skincare brands, Clarins products tend to fall on the side of being over-fragranced. While my skin is not too bothered, my nose is. I’m just a little more sensitive that way. The secondary reason is texture. I tend to be troubled by the heavier, silicone feel of many department store creams out there.
And that was how I felt during the launch of the Clarins Extra-Firming creams about 2 months ago. Still, in the spirit of experimentation, I dug into the creams. And much to my surprise, they’ve really grown on me! 😀
The Clarins Extra-Firming Cream range is, as the name implies, targeted towards skin-firming. As you age, and gravity takes its toll, everything starts heading south. So the Extra-Firming range works to boost the production of collagen, elastic fibers and fibroblasts, to prop up and hold your skin up. To, in their little way, try to defy gravity as long as they can 😛
As I said, I had not used their previous iterations, so I can’t possibly tell you how that was. But what I do know is that 2018 heralds their 4th generation of the Clarins Extra-Firming cream, and this promises to be a better formula than before.
Clarins says that they have identified what they call “youth reservoirs” which are clusters of young cells that promote skin regeneration and which, when they leave their reservoir, evolve into mature fibroblasts. As we age, these cells degrade and weaken. So, to boost their efficacy and regeneration, the key ingredient used is the “kangaroo flower” which helps maintain the fibroblasts and therefore skin firmness.
But you don’t want to know all that technical stuff right? You just want to know what it’s like as a face cream. (And that’s what I’d look for too in a product review!)
There are 5 variants of the cream available:-
- All Skin Types (Day and Night) – Meant for all skin types
- All Skin Types Day Cream with SPF15 – includes SPF15 (which is patently insufficient so I don’t know why they bother when Clarins makes a credible sunscreen)
- Dry Skin (Day and Night) – Meant for dry skin and has a significantly thicker texture
I came away from the press preview with the Clarins Extra-Firming Creams for Day and Night in the formula for all skin types. Having dry skin, this was another reason I was prepared for this not to work for me.
However, I was very pleasantly mistaken, as I found out about one and a half months into using these creams.
The Clarins Extra-Firming Day Cream (All Skin Types) has a pale peach colour and a fairly light gel-cream texture. I use this in the day, and although I do have skin that tends to dry, I was surprised that it worked well for me. It sinks into my skin nicely, and importantly, my skin did not feel dehydrated during the day and it wore well under makeup. I do employ the moisture sandwich method, so perhaps that’s helped to boost my hydration levels.
The Clarins Extra-Firming Night Cream (All Skin Types) is a white cream texture, that is thicker than the day cream, but not as thick as the one for Dry Skin. Based on memory, I do think that perhaps the Dry Skin version might be a little heavy even for me. This one is creamy, yet light, and absorbs nicely into my skin, keeping it moisturised through the night. I would note however, that I do use other serums and lotions alongside, but as a cream that seals my products in, it is very comfortable.
So what about the fragrance? Yes, it is most certainly fragranced with a floral, almost fruity scent. Truth to tell, I’m not sold on the fragrance. But, and this is rich coming from me, it isn’t as strong as I expected it to be, once you apply it onto your skin. The Night Cream does smell stronger than the Day Cream. I found it less obtrusive than I first expected, and it did eventually dissipate, so I let it slide a little. I do still wish they’d not put as much fragrance in there – but ah, the French, they love their perfume! 😛
Does the Clarins Extra-Firming Cream work?
What about efficacy? Is my skin firmer? Is it more elastic? Are my cheeks lifted and my jowls gone? What do you mean by “work”?
Well, not quite. To be perfectly honest, to the naked eye, I don’t see a lot of difference to my skin in terms of firming. I can’t even quite tell, when I touch my skin LOL! 😀 I must say that I do have less of a problem with skin elasticity than many women of my age, so it’s hard to measure these things. I don’t have a handy-dandy machine at home where I can zap my skin and tell you what it looks like underneath. I don’t know if the fibroblasts are renewed. I don’t know if my youth reservoirs are replenished. It certainly doesn’t feel like the beautifully elastic, bouncy skin of my 2 year old nephew! Oh for baby skin! 😛
What I do know however, is that my skin is well moisturised throughout this period that I’ve been using these creams, and it feels soft and smooth (again remember, I use other products alongside). They absorb easily into the skin without leaving a residue, and in fact, feel very comfortable. I have not broken out while using this, and my skin seems to quite like it. The heavy, silicone feel of department store creams is gone, and these creams almost seem to melt into my skin. My dry skin is quite happy with the formula for All Skin Types, so I’d warn you that if you have oily skin, you might find the Night Cream a little heavy. What you can do is just use the Day Cream for night as well. I don’t think there’s any reason you shouldn’t! 🙂 I will say however, that I do prefer this cream – texture and performance – more than the one I was using immediately before this, which was one by The Herb Farm. This feels better formulated, more comfortable, and my skin is very happy with it.
If it is like a duck, working hard under the surface, regenerating my fibroblasts, boosting elasticity and just propping up my skin, while all the while appearing calm on top, I’m fine with that 😀
IN A NUTSHELL
The Clarins Extra-Firming Creams were reformulated in 2018 and are in their 4th generation. There are 5 different variants for different skin types and requirements. The ones I tested were for all skin types. I’d personally say to try this if you want a nicely formulated cream that melts into your skin, does not leave a residue, and keeps your skin moisturised and comfortable all day and night. Over time and with dedicated use, it might even give your skin that extra firmness and spring associated with youth. But if you are sensitive to fragrance, then be warned that it is fragranced and that is something I wish Clarins would do without in a future iteration.
PROS: Lightweight texture for All Skin Types is suitable even for my dry skin, Keeps skin comfortably moisturised all day and night, Absorbs easily without leaving a residue, Not heavy on skin
CONS: Pricey, Fragranced, Glass jar while aesthetically pleasing is rather bulky
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who can tolerate fragrance in their creams, Anyone who wants a light textured cream moisturiser that absorbs well into skin, keeps it moisturised and potentially helps skin regain some elasticity
PRICE: RM345 | US$87 | £58 for 50ml
Here is the ingredient list for the Clarins Extra-Firming Day Cream and Night Cream (All Skin Types).
Does this Clarins Extra-Firming cream interest you?
If you’d like to try it, they also have a facial at the Clarins Facial Spa using these Extra-Firming creams. I haven’t yet tried it but hope to soon! Have you tried the previous version or do you use anything from Clarins?