DIVINE X CLARINS
Of all the skincare brands I’ve covered in my career, I’ve recommended Clarins more than any other. Here’s why: I’ve been to the Research & Development Labs in Paris and interviewed the scientists and research director. I’ve interviewed almost every member of the Courtin-Clarins family. I’ve spent hours with Clarins’ Director of responsible innovation, Marie-Helene Lair. And I’ve traveled across the country hosting Twitter dinners with the brand. I believe Clarins offers really good value-for-money. The quality of the ingredients, the technology and the research that goes into every Clarins product is very good. It’s worth the price. That is my honest professional opinion.
For this reason, I get excited when the iconic French beauty brand announces a major skincare launch. For a global blockbuster product launch, the teams in Paris have usually been working on it for anywhere from three-to-five years, testing and re-testing the formula until it is perfect. That was the case with the 8th generation formula for Double Serum, a botanical-powered product that tackles the major signs of skin aging on the face. It helped kick-start the modern skin serum trend that has become news around the world.
What exactly is a serum?
“A serum is a concentrate of care, an efficiency booster,” explains Dr. Olivier Courtin-Clarins. “They are designed to target specialized needs, act according to the needs of the skin on the functions responsible for youth, or restore natural moisture or contribute to the firmness or skin balance mechanisms. They guarantee the beauty and strength of the epidermis.” He says serums are formulated with an extra-fine, instantly-penetrating nature to absorb deep into the skin. Think of them as skin problem solvers.
Does a serum replace a moisturizer?
“No, that’s because a serum does not replace the hydrating and protecting actions of your day or night cream, but serves to optimize them. If your serum has an anti-wrinkle control element such as Double Serum Eye, it is best to use it at night, because that is when cell regeneration is most active,” he says.
Typically, skincare serums contain the highest concentration of active ingredients – more than you would find in a day or night cream. They penetrate deeper into the skin because the molecules are smaller and the products tap advanced technology that helps transport the ingredients deep into the epidermis. One of the first questions I asked Olivier was “can you layer more than one serum at a time?”
“Absolutely,” he says. “Just give them a couple of minutes each to absorb into the skin before applying the next one. And because the skin is constantly renewing itself, your skin never ‘gets used to’ a product. You can use your favourite serums until you aren’t getting the results you want or find you have a new skincare concern.”
With the success of Clarins Double Serum, fans starting asking on Instagram and Facebook for a version for the eye. The research and development team had already started formulating with that idea in mind. But why create a separate formula just for the skin around the eye? For very good reason, it turns out.
“We blink 10,000 times per day utilizing 22 muscles.”
When it comes to the signs of skin aging, the skin around the eye shows aging first. That is because the skin in this area is four times thinner than the rest of the face. Compounding the problem is that there aren’t as many support fibres either. Add in the damage by UV rays and the effects of blue light from smartphones and laptops and you have skin that becomes fragile and easily damaged. Unlike the rest of our face, the skin around the eye has almost no hydrolipic film causing the eye contour to become dehydrated more quickly. This is skin that needs careful and consistent attention to keep it healthy and looking younger, longer.
Marie-Helene Lair, director of responsible innovation for the Clarins Group says the biggest mistake she sees people making with eye serums is improper application. “Most people underestimate how important it is to use a skincare product like an eye serum properly,” adds Lair. “You need to use it consistently morning and night – never skipping a day – to show the best results.” Your skin needs a regular, consistent supply of these plant actives every day to help it repair itself. And show healthy, radiant results.
How to Properly Apply An Eye Serum:
Lair says there is a simple application technique that will guarantee the best results from an eye serum. To start, mix the formula in the palm of your hand using your fingertips. Then apply by gently patting the product into the skin, both under the eyes and on the eyelids. Work from the inner corner out to the temples then press down gently between the eyebrows. You never want to rub an eye serum as that will just rub away the product from where your skin needs it most. Always gently pat.
The story of Double Serum Eye began five years ago deep inside Clarins’ Research and Development Centre on the outskirts of Paris. There, in the high-tech labs, Nathalie Issachar, Research and Development Director challenged her 95 R&D staff to formulate the next great skincare serum using the finest plant actives from around the world.
“At any one time, we are working on 460 formulas which allows us to launch 170 new products every year,” she tells me while giving me a tour of the high-tech labs. “It takes three-to-five years to develop and perfect a formula. And we are constantly travelling the world, through Peru, Brazil and China to discover new plants that have beneficial effects on our skin.” She points to a room to our right. “We even have our own phytochemistry lab which allows us to study different parts of plants such as the leaves, flowers and fruit. We don’t want to use the roots or stems because we only want sustainable ingredients that are good for the earth.”
“There are over 300,000 plants on earth and we only know a couple thousand of them. And that doesn’t include the multitude of ocean plant species. We’re only at the very beginning of understanding the remarkable power and benefits of plants.” Clarins scientists study and test 400 plants each year with approximately ten proving beneficial to skin.
Lair explains that this in-depth research of 196 plants specifically related to eye skin vitality led to a remarkable discovery. “We discovered the unique power of organic wild chervil extract to boost the production of alpha-v integrins which reinforces the proper cellular cohesion in the skin around the eye contour. This single ingredient increased alpha-v integrins by 119%.” What’s even more impressive that when paired with turmeric, it results in a double, complementary action on the five vital functions around the eye contour.”
The inhouse studies revealed that the product smoothed wrinkles instantly, reduced puffiness and dark circles, strengthened the skin around the eye contour, illuminated the eye area and thanks to an anti-pollution complex protected the skin from the harmful effects of blue light.
So, what else is in Double Serum Eye?
Along with the wild chervil and turmeric, you’ll find avocado for regeneration, horse chestnut for oxygenation, organic kiwi for added vitamins, Arabica coffee shrub to reduce puffiness, leaf of life for hydration and ginger lily for protection. All-in-all, the formula is 96% natural.
One final thought about eye serums:
They require patience. As with any anti-aging eye product, you need to give the formula time to work. You’ll see best results in 8-to-12 weeks of daily use. These serums take time to work so don’t give up too early. It will be worth the effort.