I received a deluxe sample of the One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser with a recent Clarins purchase, and have been using it twice a day for about 2 weeks now (and I still have about 1/3 of the bottle left!). I’m definitely at a point in my life where I’m sniffing around for a new facial cleanser to love since while I do have 2 different options at the moment, I just don’t love either one of them. I was definitely curious about trying this one out, as it’s labeled as appropriate for all skin types and includes orange extract which sounds fresh and energizing.
I feel that this product performs its cleansing duties really well. It doesn’t really lather, but has a consistency that is easily worked around on the skin and includes silica microbeads that exfoliate. I myself have combination skin with a nose that gets a little oily and congested but cheeks that get a little dry and are more easily irritated, and I found this to be an appropriate cleanser for all of the different areas on my face. It’s probably about as strong as I’d want to go for the more sensitive spots, but I haven’t had any issues with dryness or irritation.
The exfoliating beads are nice, as well. They don’t break down as I massage them, and they’re plentiful enough to feel like they’re doing something without feeling overly harsh for a daily cleanser. If you’re the kind of person who likes a daily scrub and doesn’t bother with more intensive weekly or twice-weekly exfoliation treatments, this could be a good option for you. Personally, I am the kind of person who bothers with additional exfoliation treatments, but I’ve drastically reduced my use of them while working through this cleanser.
One important thing to note about this product, though, is that it has a very strong smell. I was kind of looking forward to an orange zing, but that’s not what my nose picks up on here. It smells very perfume-like to me, and unfortunately this strong fragrance ends up cheapening the cleansing experience for me because it really reminds me of the kinds of cleansers you’d get in a hotel room.
Since starting to use this I have stopped back at a Clarins counter, mostly to chat about a couple of other products, and I mentioned offhand that I felt like this cleanser had an overly strong fragrance. The sales associate assured me that all of the fragrance in this product was completely natural and that there was no artificial fragrance added (which I wouldn’t know on my own because the sample doesn’t list ingredients, and the Clarins website doesn’t provide full ingredients lists either … only select ingredients are mentioned). To be honest, though, I’m not sure this really matters. Not to me, at least. My skin isn’t irritated by fragrance, whether natural or artificial, but I still don’t find cleansing with this product to be the most pleasant experience due to the scent.
A full size of this cleanser costs $35 for 4.2 fl. oz., and while that may seem steep, I can say that this is a product where a little goes a long way. I’ve been using the equivalent amount of around 2 baby peas for my whole face, which explains why this one sample is lasting me as long as it is.
Ultimately, I won’t be purchasing this. The biggest issue for me is the smell, but I’m also on the lookout for a cleanser that’s maybe a tad more gentle, and I also don’t need exfoliating beads in my daily cleanser as I use other treatments about twice a week (one of these treatments is another Clarins product that I’ve written about here). My search for a cleanser continues!