I recently worked my way through a 0.28 oz. deluxe sample of this serum from Clarins. I’ve collected a pretty good number of Clarins samples from recent gifts with purchases and I’m trying to wade through them in the most methodical and disciplined way that I can! The deluxe samples are pretty generous and can last me around 3 weeks or more, depending on the product, so they really do give you a good chance to try products out. The Extra-Firming Tightening Lift Botanical Serum is pretty much what it sounds like: a serum to help tighten skin, tone facial contours and minimize lines, and I tried it over the course of about 3 weeks.
First of all, I’m on a slow but ongoing quest to get Clarins to post their product ingredients online. While they print them on the actual full sized product packaging, they do not list them on the website or on many of the samples. They’re pretty good about answering questions in the comments section of the product webpage, so I’ve submitted a question there asking for the ingredients and will update this post when they reply. *Update! They responded, see the ingredients list below.
Ingredients: WATER – TAPIOCA STARCH – PENTYLENE GLYCOL- GLYCERIN – PPG-5-CETETH-20- AVENA SATIVA (OAT) KERNEL EXTRACT – CARBOMER- TROMETHAMINE – ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN- FRAGRANCE – TOCOPHERYL ACETATE – PANTHENOL – BUTYLENE GLYCOL – HIBISCUSNOL – ESCULENTUS SEED EXTRACT – METHYLSILANOL MANNURONATE – PLUKENETIA VOLUBILIS SEED EXTRACT – SODIUM COCOYL GLUTAMATE – CAPSICUM ANNUUM FRUIT EXTRACT – HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL – ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) LEAF EXTRACT – TOCOPHEROL – ACETYL TETRAPEPTIDE 2 – DEXTRAN – PHENOXYETHANL- SORBIC ACID – CARMEL.
This is advertised as a soothing botanical blend that includes oat sugar for its firming properties and hibiscus for it’s line minimizing properties. It’s a gel texture that’s a little sticky to apply but sinks into skin very quickly. I don’t detect any smell, and believe it would be appropriate for most skin types, from dry to combination and oily. Personally, I have combination skin and didn’t notice that the serum had any impact on the hydration or oiliness of my skin.
I applied this twice a day among my normal skincare and makeup routine. Serums are intended to be applied after cleansing and toning, but before any moisturizer, SPF or makeup. I found that it layered fine among my typical skincare products, but didn’t work very well under my makeup. The moment I’d use something that requires a little rubbing (usually, this started with my primer which I work into my skin with my fingers), it would pill and roll off of my skin. I felt like I had to be super conscious of what products I apply after using the serum and how I apply them. Not so fun.
Ultimately, I think that the serum helped contribute to a general radiance in my skin, which is nice, but I didn’t find it to be impressive in the firming and line-reducing department. I’m 27 and have a few fine lines around my eyes, and I really didn’t see any difference over the course of the few weeks that I used this. It may be that I’m not the target customer for this product and so I’m not able to appreciate the feats it’s capable of. It also may be that one should use it for longer than 3 weeks, but I have a harder time buying into this possibility because I did use almost a third of a full size (well, 28%). I would hope that by the time I had used one third of an $80 serum I’d be able to see some results.
I’m not impressed with this one. Furthermore, I didn’t find it very fun to use because of it’s texture and layering issues. I will say it’s difficult to understand the difference between a lot of Clarins’ products just from the names and descriptions (they all seem to advertise such similar properties), so trying ‘em out is the best way to discover the best products.
Have you tried it? Do you have a favorite serum?