I am now definitely of an age where I have become almost fanatical about caring for my skin. Once you hit the big 30 the necessity to hold off the ageing process hits you like a freight train and you tend to freak out at the mere suggestion of wrinkles. I am a big believer in religiously cleansing, toning and moisturising but I also place my faith in wonder serums that improve the texture and appearance of my skin. That's why I was incredibly excited to try Clarins Double Serum:
'More than just a serum, this is the only intensive anti-ageing treatment rich in 20 plant extracts that boosts the skin's vital functions. A unique formula that can be used in two ways for a visibly youthful look: - skin looks firmer, wrinkles appear smoother, - the complexion looks more even and regains its glow -pores appear less visible. Dermatologically tested, non-comedogenic.
Katafray bark extract, hyaluronic acid : moisturising.
Organic perilla and macadamia oils: nourish the skin.
Organic quinoa and green tea extract: protective action.
Maritime pine extract, organic rosehip oil: oxygenise the skin.
Organic green banana extract, thyme and bocoa: regenerating action'.
Now I cannot write this review without addressing the fact that there has been a lot of chat in the beauty blogging community that this product contains mineral oil. This is an ingredient which often causes a bit of a fuss because it's a very generic carrier oil to house plant extracts and such. It's also the cheapest oil to use in a beauty product. This in turn has made people question whether Clarins used mineral oil as a way of producing the serum in the most economical fashion.
I would like to dispel some common myths about mineral oil in this post though. Basically, mineral oil works as a barrier between the skin and the environment around it. It acts as an occlusive agent, which means it prevents water from leaving your body through your skin. Despite what you may have been told, it will not dry out your skin or cause premature ageing. The fact is that mineral oil is one of the best skin care ingredients available. Since many vitamins are oil based, it's often thought that mineral oil will actually extract them from your skin. There is no legitimate scientific evidence to support that belief. Mineral oil has no effect on the vitamin levels in your skin. It also does not prevent the absorption of collagen contained in your moisturiser. The collagen particles in your moisturiser are simply too big to penetrate your skin (and that's a good thing!). Therefore, mineral oil will have no effect on whether collagen gets absorbed or not.
The mineral oil that is used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry is highly refined and purified (its purity is stringently regulated). There is currently no evidence in any dermatological or medical journal indicating that cosmetic grade mineral oil isn't safe to use.
HOWEVER, my only warning to you is that mineral oil can sometimes exacerbate acne problems for some people but if you have problematic skin, you will be more than used to airing on the side of caution when it comes to skin care. Saying that, mineral doesn't clog pores, which can lead to blackheads and acne.
So now we have that technical bit out of the way, I can get on with telling you what I thought of the product. The formulation of this serum is a loose, almost runny liquid and you can clearly see the two-toned effect which is indicative of the Hydric (water) and Lipidic (oil) systems contains within the serum. The Hydric and Lipidic systems are incased in two separate vials within the bottle to maintain the potency of the ingredients and also to prevent incompatibility and instability. You only need one pump for the whole face and it's a generous amount at that. I have been applying it every night for almost three weeks now. It doesn't sink into the skin instantaneously but settles after five minutes or so. I tend to spend some time massaging it into my skin to get the full benefit of the ingredients and improve the circulation.
I can definitely see a difference in my skin after using this serum in that my usual dry areas around my nose and chin have cleared up completely (I have combination/sensitive skin) . Actually this is the best my skin has been in a while after the drudgery of the winter months. I haven't had any breakouts from this and my skin has been almost completely clear for the duration. I also love the smell of this skincare product - which is important to me in particular when it comes to a serum such as this.
As with all skin care I can't guarantee that this will work for everyone as skin type varies so widely between individuals but speaking as someone who suffers from dry skin and small patches of Psoriasis, this has really hydrated my skin and improved the texture and appearance after a long winter of cold winds and snow showers. It may not be a good product for those who suffer from oily skin though so bear that in mind when looking into this product.
The long and short of it is that my skin feels lovely, looks lovely and is very clear. What more could I ask for?
The Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate is priced at £55 for 30ml.