ClarinsMen Line-Control Balm

by Clarins  ClarinsMen
Price:
$53 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:
6/9/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

If not for the high amount of fragrance this contains, ClarinsMen Line-Control Balm would be a great moisturizer for those with normal to dry skin. Although it cannot tighten or lift sagging skin around the jaw line or on the neck (see More Info to find out why), it can make skin smoother and softer, plus the formula contains a good mix of beneficial ingredients, some of which can fight signs of aging (just not like a face-lift).

You may be wondering what the problem with fragrance is, and we detail that in the More Info section. But simply put, fragrance isn't skin care, and any skin-care product that contains a high amount of it puts skin at risk of irritation—the type that can impair skin's ability to heal and potentially damage healthy collagen production, a key factor in skin that looks and acts younger.

Pros:
  • Contains some very good moisturizing ingredients.
  • Most of the plant extracts have beneficial properties for skin, including antioxidant ability.
Cons:
  • Cannot lift sagging skin around the jaw line or on the neck.
  • Contains a high amount of fragrance, which puts skin at risk of irritation.
More Info:

Lifting Sagging Skin: Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn't possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that's exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. Remember, no single product can do it all; it's the combination of products that has extensive research showing it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You'll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.

Daily Use of Highly Fragrant Products:

Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).

Make smoothing-out the look of deep lines and wrinkles face and neck your goal — while tightening up sagging skin around your chin. ClarinsMen’s lightweight, line-fighting balm lifts and firms in all the right places. Helps block skin-damaging pollutants, too. Apply after ClarinsMen Active Face Wash. Non-greasy, fresh matte finish.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Caffeine, Butylene Glycol, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Parfum/Fragrance, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyacrylamide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hierochloe Odorata Extract, Palmitoyl Proline, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Disodium EDTA, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Magnesium Palmitoyl Glutamate, Sodium Palmitoyl Sarcosinate, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Laureth-7, Palmitic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Lapsana Communis Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Alpinia Officinarum Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Limonene, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Benzoate, Citral

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 (give me a break). 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 Makeup

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.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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