I treated myself to a couple of Clarins products for normal-to-dry skin during the last Sephora sale, including the Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herbs and this moisturizer called the Hydra-Essentiel Silky Cream. It’s one of the heavier options from the Clarins library of creams, and I could swear I’ve tried a sample packet of it before, though quite a lot of time has passed since. I enjoy the look and feel of Clarins, and while not every product I try is a slam dunk I’m generally drawn to brand when I feel like buying something a little fancy.
Clarins says: Luxurious silky cream plumps thirsty skin with precious moisture—and keeps it there—for all-day hydration. Shields skin from the dehydrating effects of daily thermic shocks that can leave it looking dry and weathered: sudden temperature changes, indoor and outdoor pollutants and environmental stress. Quenches skin with Organic leaf of life extract—a succulent plant that enhances the skin’s ability to retain precious moisture—leaving it comfortable, radiant and perfectly hydrated.
My experience with this cream was not quite what I was expecting. I get on well with creams that adds watery hydration or oils to the skin, and this one doesn’t really feel like it has a lot of either of those. Instead, it has a thick texture but a more matte finish. So it absolutely adds that protective, occlusive layer over my other skincare and underneath my makeup, but I feel like I’m really relying on that underlying skincare for actual hydration providing plumping and elasticity, and then using this cream to just keep it there.
Honestly, I don’t like this as much as I thought I was going to, and it doesn’t seem to do as much for my skin as the cream I used prior to this, which was the Kiehl’s Creme D’Elegance Repairateur. That one sits in a thinner layer on the skin but is richer (read: heavier in oils). It’s also only $29, so much less of a splurge. For me, I most prefer the Hydra-Essentiel cream when I apply it over a face oil.
I think the matte finish and “silky” qualities of the Hydra-Essentiel cream really come from ingredients like dimethicone. That will work really well for some people – I really think different people’s skin will respond to different formulations, just depending on what the skin is lacking. I’m using up the jar and I’m not terribly unhappy, but I won’t buy it again. The cleansing milk, on the other hand, is an absolute favorite. Have you tried this cream before? Do you have any favorites from Clarins?