Intensive Treatment (Soin Intensif)

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Intensive Treatment (Soin Intensif) is sold as a weekly treatment to exfoliate and nourish skin instead of just using your usual nighttime skin-care lineup. The Lotion Intensive is an alcohol-laden toner with barely a dusting of intriguing ingredients for skin; the Essence Intensive is a slightly creamy moisturizer similar to most of those in the Cle de Peau line. It contains some antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients, but not in amounts that are likely to benefit skin, making them relatively useless. Last is the Intensive Mask, which is mostly slip agent and film-forming agents with a small amount of absorbents and alcohol. Nothing in these products exfoliates skin, nor are any of them “intensive.” It’s just another gimmicky, superfluous kit that is dressed up as a specialized solution for aging skin.

A weekly treatment that nurtures skin with perfect care as it recuperates. Lotion Intensive exfoliates and prepares skin for the revitalizing effect of Essence Intensive. Masque Intensif envelops skin in protective nourishment, allowing it to experience a most pleasurable recovery. Apply once a week in place of your usual nighttime skincare routine. After cleansing face, use lotion, essence and mask in this order.

Lotion Intensive (6 0.1-ounce bottles) Water, Alcohol, Dipropylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, PEG-6, PEG-32, Betaine, PPG-13 Decyltetradeceth-24, Trisodium EDTA, Ethylparaben, Sodium Citrate, Serine, Fragrance, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Citric Acid, Isostearic Acid, Potassium Isostearate, Sodium Acetylated, Hyaluronate, Lauryl Betaine, Yellow 6

Essence Intensive (6 0.06-ounce bottles) Water, Pentaerythrityl Tetraoctanoate, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Squalene, Xylitol, Jojoba Oil, Petrolatum, Cholesteryl, Hydroxystearate, Dihydrocholeth-30, Potassium Carbomer, Methylparaben, Rice Germ Oil, PEG-60 Hydrogenated, Castor Oil, Fagus Sylvatica Extract, Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol Acetate, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Fragrance Sodium, Hexametaphosphate, Potassium Ascorbyl, Tocopheryl Phosphate, Lysolecithin, Disodium Adenosine, Triphosphate, Sodium Acetylated, Hyaluronate, Whey Protein, Hypericum Perforatum, Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherol, Rosa Roxburghii Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherol, Rosa Roxburghii, Gambir Extract, Scutellaria, Baicalensis Extract, Iron Oxides

Intensive Mask (Masque Intensif) (6 Masks) Water, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Aluminum Silicate, Cellulose Gum, Carbomer, Alcohol Denat., Aluminum Hydroxide, Methylparaben, Fragrance, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Alcohol, Sodium Acetylated, Hyaluronate, Ginseng Extract, Prunus Persica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

Shiseido-owned Cle de Peau Beaute has a great French name that means "key to beautiful skin," but even a cursory overview shows that it is merely the key to the most inane waste of money. We wish there were a way we could bestow a sense of the truth about what women are really buying from this line with a swoop of a wand or a mind meld! The reality is, aside from having no sunscreen—which leaves skin completely vulnerable to the very damage this skin-care company makes every claim it can repair—these products contain nothing unique or out of the ordinary. While most of the products contain some amount of antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and anti-irritants, the amounts are so minuscule they are inconsequential for skin, and for this kind of money that’s offensive. Moreover, the formulations are repetitive, with few significant, bona fide differences among them, despite sometimes wide swings in prices.

Where Cle de Peau excels is in its propaganda of beauty at any cost, especially really expensive cost, regardless of fact or reality. Words such as "extraordinary" and "elegant" pepper the literature for this line, with the none-too-subtle message being that of luxury and obtaining the crème de la crème among skin-care products. Although several of their moisturizers have indulgent textures and are packaged in exquisite containers, it takes much more than that to create efficacious skin-care products whose substance equates to more than mere style. A few Cle de Peau products were reviewed favorably, but we can't in good conscience recommend this line given the prevalence of equal or better formulas from many other lines, most without the price tag that contributes immeasurably to the opulent image Cle de Peau has cultivated.

For more information about Shiseido-owned Cle de Peau, visit

Note: Many of Cle de Peau's formulations are variations on what Shiseido itself offers for much less money. Shiseido doesn't necessarily have better formulas (although their sun-care line is formidable and worth a look), but they offer proportionately more products we feel comfortable recommending.

Cle de Peau Beaute Makeup

Without question, this is absolutely one of the most expensive collections of makeup sold today. While the prices defy logic or reason, at least the majority of the products perform reliably well and most have beautiful, soft textures that are easy to work with. Of particular interest are the cream foundation and concealer, and the mascaras, pencils, blush, and eyeshadows have their strong points, too. However, when you consider that products costing considerably less share these strengths, the decision to purchase from Cle de Peau comes down to how large your cosmetics budget is and how important the image of ultra-high-end prestige is to you and your makeup bag.

The salespeople for this line go on and on about how each makeup item is an extension of the treatment benefits attained from their skin-care products, but a review of the ingredient lists for almost every cosmetic below clearly refutes that claim. Ironically, even if the makeup were an extension of the skin care, that would be bad news, because the skin-care products are some of the worst on the market.

Nothing in this makeup is special, unique, or even all that competitive with what the cosmetics industry's frontrunners are creating for you. Nevertheless, the main reason to consider Cle de Peau makeup is if you're looking for a selection of silky foundations that provide substantial coverage without the heavy, masklike look of days past. That attribute is one of the reasons celebrities often claim to use Cle de Peau's foundations and concealer.

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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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