Archive for the ‘WATCH THE INCI: BEST INGREDIENTS’ Category

FaceWorkshops Review: The New Clarins Double Serum

February 14, 2013 2 comments

The Clarins Double Serum; £55 for 30 ml


The Claims Clarins Make

  • Engineered by many years of plant science, the NEW Double Serum® [Hydric + Lipidic System] combines two powerful age-defying serums into one optimum balance to help fight all aspects of visible ageing.
  • The only intensive anti-ageing treatment rich in 20 plant extracts that revitalizes the skin’s 5 vital functions.
  • A unique formula that promises a visibly youthful look: firmer skin, visibly reduced wrinkles, more even complexion and less visible pores.


  • 90% of women agree that Double Serum is more effective than their regular serum*
  • After 1 week, skin is more radiant (Satisfaction test on 194 women)
  • After 4 weeks, skin looks firmer, wrinkles appear reduced and pores less visible (Satisfaction test on 194 women)

This is a “satisfaction test” on 126 women, i.e. a questionnaire measuring subjective views, primarily on the “feel of the product”.

Ingredients (INCI list)


The Main Active Ingredients

Mineral Oil. Glycerin. Oxydendron Arboreum Leaf/Stem Extract (Native American Sourwood tree). Sodium PCA (sodium salt of pyroglutamic acid)

The four ingredients above are present in quantities that are higher than perfume and preservative in the formulation. In my view, they form the basis of the product efficacy.

  • Mineral oil provides skin with an occlusive, protective film.
  • Glycerin and sodium PCA increase skin hydration and facilitate skin health.
  • Sourwood was used in Native American medicine for treating mouth sores and irritated skin.

The remaining active ingredients are present in smaller quantities, they are all listed below the perfume and preservative levels!

  • Plant seed oils nourishing the skin (macadamia, rosehip, avocado, perilla (Asian herb of mint family), mastic gum, sunflower) and vitamin E
  • Plant extracts with antioxidant (UV protective), soothing, exfoliating, brightening and moisturising properties (oat kernel, parsley, maritime pine extract, atractylodes lancea (Chinese herb), arnica, tomato, quinoa, green tea extract, banana, thyme, kiwi, hops, chestnut, burdock, Katrafay (bush from Madagascar), Bocoa (plant from South America), marshmallow)
  • Hydrating hyaluronic acid
  • Salicyloyl phytosphingosine, a ceramide (skin lipid identical) derivative for repair of sun-damaged skin
  • A tiny amount of brightening vitamin C and anti-ageing pentapeptide-31.

FaceWorkshops Opinion:

When reading the claims above, we feel we are looking at a nourishing plant-based product. Its fragrance is pleasant and strong. The serum feels silky and smooth on application.

However, it is a mineral-oil based serum with some hydrating and soothing ingredients and small quantities of local and exotic plant oils and extracts.

Research shows that mineral oil improves skin softness and barrier function better than many plant oils. It has physical effects on the skin – hydrating and occluding – which translate into biological effects.

But it is a petroleum derived ingredient that has been around since late 1800s. It is used in skincare due to its “cost to efficacy value” making the products profitable (this might be fine for a mass market moisturiser).

Expert Rating 3.5/5

I would like to see higher levels of plant oils and extracts as well as ceramides in premium skincare brand.

In A Nutshell: It is a smoothing, occlusive serum with fairly strong fragrance. Great for cold winter months and for mature, dry skin. Skin benefits will most likely be linked to occlusion and hydration – 1) improved skin texture and 2) reduced fine lines. Although classed as non-comedogenic, I would not recommend it for oily skin types (or T-zone of combination skin). Though the mineral oil and hydrating actives might be protective for sensitive skin, the high levels of fragrance are inappropriate.


Do You Like This Review? Subscribe to FaceWorkshops Blog below.

Best Skincare Ingredients: Watch the INCI of Your Moisturiser

July 4, 2012 2 comments

Natural oil from seeds of Camellia Japonica has been traditionally used for damaged hair to provide shine and protection in Japan and also for medicinal purposes (asthma, skin rash and inflammation) in Korea. BioSpectrum Inc. launched the oil produced by Korean traditional extraction methods as a moisturization, anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing ingredient. They claim that the anti-inflammatory properties are equivalent or greater to bisabolol (of equal concentration). Having always used Camellia oil for facial massage (for clients with sensitive skin types), this is not new. However, it is great that this active ingredient will be available in newly launched products. Check the INCI list of your new day and night moisturisers!

February 2015 – Chanel HYDRA BEAUTY MICRO SERUM £66
Chanel harnessed new skin car technology to suspend micro-droplets of camellia oil into this serum. The droplets break when applied to the face to hydrate the skin. Night care, underneath the moisturiser.

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 460 other followers