Clarins Gentle Exfoliator

Describe the brand in three words.
French. Spa. Heritage.

Who is it for?
Anyone in need of liquid exfoliation.

Who should avoid?
Glycolic-intolerant, Fitzpatrick 6 would be better using other acids.

What’s in it?
Water, alcohol, glycerin, butylene glycol, tromethamine, glycolic acid, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, tartaric acid, cellulose gum, arginine, tamarindus indica extract, disodium edta, salicylic acid, lamium albium flower extract, parfum/fragrance, sambucus nigra flower extract, hydrolyzed opuntia ficus-indica flower extract, phenoxyethanol, sorbic acid, mimosa tenuiflora bark extract, sodium benzoate, ethylhexylglycerin, potassium sorbate, benzyl salicylate, geraniol, citronellol, benzyl benzoate, butylphenyl methylpropional, hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, limonene, hexyl cinnamal (V1963A)

What are the key acids?
glycolic, salicylic

What % are they?
Unknown, but the glycolic is higher than the salicylic.

What PH?
Around 3.5 – I’m measuring them myself going forward.

What skins are they best for?
Uneven, dull, spot-prone, dehydrated, pretty much all of them.

How strong do they feel on the skin?
Fairly ‘zingy’, they give good oomph.

What’s not in it?
vinegar, witch hazel

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
alcohol, fragrance

Suitable for pregnancy/breastfeeding?

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
Man-made with plants thrown in.

Tested on animals in home country/EU/sold in territories that require testing?

How does it smell?
Fresh. Definitely fragranced but not overly so.

How do you use it?
A few times a week on cotton, probably in the evenings, after cleansing.

Can it be taken around the eyes?

Best for winter or summer?
Either as long as you remember your SPF.

How long did I test it for?
I’ve had this for years.

How much is it? /Size?
£26.00/$33.15 for 125ml.

Works well with?
Anything – it’s used at the toner stage so I would follow with a hydrating essence/spritz and then your anti-aging serum.

What’s the website like?

It’s easy to navigate but there are no ingredients listed for any products. In fact, I could not find ingredients listed for Clarins on one single retail website worldwide. Beautypedia obviously has some, but have not reviewed this. I know I sound like a broken record but it’s 2017 and none of the big beauty brands list their ingredients. Clarins, Chanel, Estee Lauder, Lancome, Clinique (the entire Lauder family), none of them list their ingredients. Sort it out!

How’s the distribution? Available freely or limited?
Available everywhere in Europe and the UK, high-end spas and department stores worldwide.

What’s good about it?
This is a great exfoliating lotion that can be used around 3 times a week on a regular basis. A good working level of 3.5PH, it definitely exfoliates thoroughly, and leaves the skin extremely smooth.
Mainly glycolic, with some salicylic thrown in at what looks like preservative levels, this is best for signs of ageing and skins that need a boost. Encouraging cell renewal while making sure that your skin works at its optimum, it’s a great product.
As Clarins is widely available this is also a good option for those of you that find it hard to access other acids, but still absolutely stands strong on its own in the category.

What’s not so good about it?
It can be drying if over-used, and if you can’t tolerate fragrance (however mild) then avoid, but otherwise nothing, it’s a great exfoliator.

Would I purchase/repurchase?
Yes, have done multiple times.

Do you need it?
Yes, if you like acids and want to add one to your collection. No if you already have glycolics and are watching your budget.

Similar products?
Pixi Glow Tonic
Alpha H Liquid Gold
First Aid Beauty Radiance Facial Pads

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator is £26.00 from and $33.15 from