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Clarins is a brand I had wanted to try for a long time (their beauty flash balm has been on my wish list for over 10 years!) but for some reason I never got round to buying any of their products. A few months ago I was looking for a new cleanser, when I came across a duo pack of Clarins cleanser and toner for a fairly good price (well a good price for Clarins stuff anyway), so snapped it up.
The cleansing milk I have is the 'Cleansing milk with alpine herbs for normal or dry skin'. I believe there is also a version for combination/oily skin available. Clarins say that this cleanser contains a combination of Alpine herbs, Chinese violet orchid, sweet almond, mallow, linseed oil and vitamins A and E, to cleanse, soften, moisture, soothe and maintain suppleness. They say it will remove all make-up and impurities to leave the skin looking clear, pure and luminous, which sounded just what I needed!
The cleansing milk comes packaged in a clear, flattish bottle with a white flip top lid and dark red writing that is a feature of all Clarins products. The packaging is simple and understated, and no-where near as flashy as some other brands - only a subtle gold band around the top of the bottle gives any indication that this is a premium product. I should note that as I bought this as part of a duo, it came boxed with a leaflet giving instructions on how it should be used, I have no idea if it comes boxed when bought alone.
When I first purchased this, I couldn't wait to try it and dove straight in without reading the instructions. It was only a few days later when I actually bothered to read the leaflet that came with the product I realised Clarins have their own 'exclusive cleansing method' which should be used with this product, so I had been applying it incorrectly.The method you are supposed to apply this with is as follows:
First, you must apply some of the cleanser to the palms of your hands and rub together to warm the cleanser up to skin temperature.
Secondly, rather than rubbing this onto the skin as I had been doing, you should lay your hands flat onto your face and lift and press back on 5-6 times, in quick succession.
Thirdly, rinse with water or remove with a paper tissue.
Also, if you have it, they say you should follow with their toning lotion to remove any traces of cleanser left on the skin. This whole process seemed a little unusual to me, but the idea behind step two, the lifting a patting part, is that the cleanser should thicken up and create a suction effect, which will lift off make-up and impurities without dragging or irritating your skin.The actual 'milk' is not like a milk at all, it's more of a light lotion and is mint green in colour. Given the fact that it is called 'cleansing milk with Alpine herbs' I had expected it to have a herbal scent, but in fact I feel it has a creamy scent with a hint of what smells to me like ginger. It's very soft and pleasant, whatever it is!
I find the whole 'pat and lift' method very quick, but whilst it's easy to do this on my cheeks and forehead, I do have to make sure that areas such as my nose, eyes and chin have been covered. Also, I can't say I have noticed the cleanser thickening on my skin at all, as they say it will.
To remove the cleanser, I have used both the rinse with water method, and have also used a cotton wool pad, as well as both of these methods together. I know it says rinse or tissue off and does not mention cotton wool, but I'm not a fan of using tissues to remove cleanser, as inevitably I get bits of disintegrated tissue stuck all over me - not a good look! I find that the best way to remove it is with cotton wool, and then a splash of water before toning if I feel I need it. It comes off easily and I can see the make-up and grime on the pad, which reassures me that it's doing it's job.
Whilst I do find this effective at removing foundation and eye shadow, mascara is another issue. It really seems to struggle at removing mascara, whether it is waterproof or not. I find that some black will come off onto the pad, but I can still see that I have mascara on my lashes, so I need to use a separate eye-make up remover.
After using this, I have to admit, the way it leaves my skin both looking and feeling is quite impressive. I have quite dry skin and find that this seems to gently hydrate my skin -not enough so that I can go without moisturiser, but enough to make it feel more comfortable. Also since using this (and the matching toner), my skin looks brighter and dewier - just a little healthier altogether.
I have to admit, I don't use this every single day, I get up at about 5am for work and sometimes I'm so tired I just use a cleansing wipe instead. On the days that I do find the time to cleanse and tone properly with this though, I do notice the difference to the appearance of my skin.
Being a Clarins product this is not particularly cheap, however I do feel I got a bargain. I paid £17.99 for the cleanser and toner duo pack, which is fantastic considering the same size (200ml) cleanser costs £17 on it's own from Boots. I have just checked www.cheapsmells.co.uk where I bought the product and they still do the duo, albeit at the slightly increased price of £19.99. You only need a really small amount of this per use, so one bottle should last well. I've been using mine 2-3 months and there are still two thirds left.
Overall I have been very pleased with this product, and although I'm now on a budget and might not be able to afford another bottle in the near future, it is one I will be happy to use again when I'm feeling a bit more flush. If you have dry skin I would thoroughly recommend this, it brightened my skin and left it looking healthier and more radiant.
Clarins Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herbs (Dry/Normal