Clarins' Booster Detox is about as detoxing as downing a cup of coffee after having one too many cocktails! We don't want you driving or thinking the coffee is doing something healthy for your body, and we certainly don't want you using this booster as a way to take care of your skin after a night of partying, as the product claims.
Case in point, the fifth ingredient, Coffea robusta seed extract, is a source of caffeine; as we said, it won't sober you up or wake up your skin, either. Caffeine does have some good antioxidant properties but it also contains tannins which can be sensitizing when applied to skin.
Another claim that strikes us as disingenuous is the statement that this product is "highly concentrated, don't use alone." It's a strange statement for a few reasons but primarily because this product is not all that concentrated. In fact, it comes up short on all fronts including antioxidants, skin-restoring ingredients, and skin-replenishing ingredients which should be in abundance for a product claiming to be concentrated.
It's also important for us to point out that the entire issue of detoxifying skin is just nonsense. We know it sounds good and it is one of the bigger myths we try to bust (see More Info for details).
There really isn't much else to say except there are better ways to take care of your skin; in fact, hundreds of better ways, so move on and consider one or more of the other booster-type products or antioxidant-rich serums we've reviewed. They can't detoxify skin either, but the best ones can make a beautiful difference when skin isn't looking so great. You'll find them on our list of Best Serums & Boosters.
- Provides light hydration on its own or to complement a moisturizer.
- Fragrance free.
- Can't detoxify skin as claimed.
- Contains caffeine, which can be sensitizing for skin.
- Isn't concentrated.
- Won't undo the visible effects from a night of partying.
Why Beauty Products Can't Detoxify Your Skin: Despite the claims of many cosmetics company's make, you cannot "detox" your skin. In fact, brands making this claim never specify exactly which substances or toxins their products are supposed to eliminate, which makes sense, because your skin does not store toxins.
Toxins are classified as being produced by the body or introduced into the body, usually through eating or inhaling. They can be produced by plants, animals, insects, reptiles (think snake venom or bee stings), etc. They also can be inorganic, such as heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and others.
When it comes to your skin, toxins cannot leave your body vis-a-vis your skin or sebaceous gland. It is physiologically impossible. Other parts of your body, mainly your kidneys and liver, handle the process of "detoxifying" just fine as long as you have a healthy diet.
It should be pointed out that there are a handful of studies showing sweat can be a carrier of "detoxifying" certain trace heavy metals out of the body. However, the methodology of those studies is considered questionable. Nonetheless, if you choose to sauna, steam, or exercise to increase sweating that is a lifestyle option to discuss with your physician but that has absolutely nothing to do with skincare.
Skincare products are not going to detox your body or skin. As we always urge, stick to what the research says really works, and ignore the fantasy claims because they aren't helping your skin or your budget.
References for this information:
Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, December 2015, issue 6, pages 675-686
Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2012, volume 2012, pages 1-10
Strengths: Broad selection of effective, broad-spectrum sunscreens; some good self-tanning products; some good cleansers and gentle topical scrubs; a great foundation primer;superb foundations and powders; very good powder blush; wonderfully creamy lipsticks; great lip glosses and mascaras.
Weaknesses: Overpriced; pervasive reliance on jar packaging; most products have more fragrance than beneficial plant extracts; poor toners; an overabundance of average moisturizers; no effective products for fading discolorations or treating acne; no AHA or BHA products; disappointing eye pencils; average eyeshadows and makeup brushes.
Clarins is a distinctively French line whose beginnings go back to 1954. It was then that founder Jacques Courtin-Clarins began formulating plant-based treatments for his clients. He parlayed this into a Beauty Institute, and from there, with an all-natural mantra that was slightly ahead of its time, the business grew. Never wavering from its original marketing angle, Clarins has steadfastly held on to the belief that whatever grows from the ground and smells nice must be the cure for every skin ailment, from breakouts to loss of firmness to the dreaded "sponginess" of cellulite. A visit to today's white- and red-trimmed Clarins counter confirms that the plant-based, natural-extract rhetoric is still intact, and the counter staff is eager to discuss it (yet ask them what some of the non-plant, unnatural ingredients are doing in their products and you may be met with a blank stare).
You'll also find that Clarins routinely offers facial appointments at their counters, yet more often than not these appointments, which are done behind a privacy screen, are about selling products, not about performing a legitimate facial. (For example, cleansing, toning, and facial massage are included, while extractions are not.) One other point of difference you may hear about is the Clarins Anti-Pollution Complex. First added to their products in 1991, this Complex consists of a group of plant extracts though what they may be is a mystery, since all manner of plant extracts show up in these products, with few repeats. This "high-performing" protection is supposed to shield skin from pollutant gases, corrosive particles, and industrial emissions. Although that sounds good, it's not true and there isn't a shred of proof to the contrary (Clarins research is unpublished). Plant extracts, alone or in combination regardless of the remote locations they may come from cannot keep pollution off the skin. If anything, the amount of fragrance in these products can weaken the skin's defense mechanisms, resulting in more damage from the pollution our skin encounters daily.
This line is enormous, and is absolutely one of the most cumbersome around. Within it, the assortment of plant extracts ranges from the usual to the exotic and ultimately to the no-one-knows-what-in-the-heck-these-are! Clarins has something for every skin concern imaginable, from keeping pollution off the face (not possible) to lifting a sagging jaw line (not possible without surgery), and even protecting skin from electromagnetic waves. It would seem there is nothing these supposedly miraculous products can't do! And you'll find a horde of plants here with the promise that this can really all come true.
However, once you're armed with even a modicum of ingredient knowledge and a fair helping of myth-busting, you'll realize how ridiculously out of whack all of this hype is. That's not to imply that all of these products are bad, there are good ones; or that all of the plant extracts aren't good, because many are very good anti-irritants, antioxidants, emollients, or antibacterial agents. However, many plant extracts are also potential allergens or skin irritants. Clarins also has its fair share of ordinary, standard, and completely unnecessary products whose claims are at best misleading and at worst downright false, and overall the products are incredibly overpriced for what you get. What is most startling is the redundancy among the Clarins products. There are few differences, for example, between the moisturizers and the mask cleansers, and the oil-control products are more reruns than they are new alternatives for skin care.
Note: All Clarins products contain fragrance.
For more information about Clarins, call (866) 252-7467 or visit www.clarins.com.
Clarins showcases its prodigious skin-care products so prominently that you may not have noticed that their excellent makeup collection has become even more impressive. Evaluating Clarins makeup is 180 degrees different from evaluating the lackluster and confusing assortment of skin-care products they sell. When it comes to foundations, powders, and lipsticks, texture is critically important. Luckily, this is where Clarins color line excels, despite premium prices and going a bit overboard with fragrance. Their foundations are marvelous, the lone concealer is much better than their former attempts in this area, and every powder-based product feels incomparably silky while looking stunningly smooth on skin. (Keep in mind, however, that even the best makeup looks only as good as the skin on which it is applied.) Giving Lancome and Dior a run for their money, Clarins' mascaras are surprisingly good, and at least their lipsticks feel as rich as you'll need to be to afford repeat purchases. You don't need to spend this much money to get beautiful results and stellar products, but if your budget allows you to fill your makeup bag with department-store products, Clarins' nicely organized makeup display should be one of your first stops.
Clarins likes to promote that many of their foundations contain a special anti-pollution complex to safeguard your skin. Don't believe it for a second, because there is no way to completely shield skin from the effects of pollution and antioxidants. Besides, the kinds of ingredients that can reduce, not block or eliminate, pollution-based free-radical formation are rarely included in Clarins makeup.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.