When I first really got into my skincare, Clarins was the brand I went to. They had, to my mind, the strongest history in skincare, they were unashamedly all about the skin, and the importance of taking full, considered care of your face – and they were as obsessed with cleansing as I was. Every skin was taken into consideration, and they didn’t make any wayward claims.
When you went to counter it was:
This is our product.
This is what it will do for you.
This is how we suggest you use it.
This is what else it will work with.
And here, have a load of samples. <- this was the best part. No-one samples like Clarins. It was sampling that first got me into Extra-Firming.

I would go and see Lorraine in Peter Jones – following her to Selfridges when she moved. She was one of their top consultants and it was easy to see why. She had the product knowledge, she was hysterically funny, she remembered you, and she gave away a ton of samples when you purchased something. I started as a Multi-Active girl, but being the demanding customer that I was, I was always after the next thing – the better cream, the latest innovation… newness.
In 1995 when Clarins brought out their second updated formula, Lorraine gave me a sample of Extra-Firming Day and Night Cream. And I was hooked.
Clarins is one of the brands that I have had in my arsenal since the beginning, and Extra-Firming, along with the entire cleansing range, is the range I’ve used for the longest time.
Extra-Firming has always acted on all elements involved on producing and supporting the firmness of the skin namely: elastic fibres, collagen fibres, fibroblasts and protein fibres. Think of all of them working together similarly to the way scaffolding holds up the side of a building. All are crucial in maintaining the structure of the skin, and all start to lose their mojo as you age.

Never ones to rest on their laurels – jump forward to 2018 and Extra-Firming has just been released in its 4th reformulation – and it’s better than ever. With each update, they utilise the latest scientific advances and improve their products accordingly.

The Extra-Firming range for 2018 presents itself as supporting two new discoveries:
kangaroo flower extract to support youth reservoirs during the daytime and moonstone hydrated silica to support the skin’s processes during the night.

Clarins Labs have identified “youth reservoirs” – clusters of young cells that promote skin regeneration and which, when they leave their reservoir, evolve into mature fibroblasts. These clusters of ‘baby’ cells ensure the normal function of fibroblasts and firm skin but obviously, as with most things, and rather rudely, their ability to function diminishes as we age.
Due to the natural degradation of the protective lining and weakening of links between cells, the number of “youth reservoirs” drop by around 55%* with age. Kangaroo flower has been proven to help with the regeneration of these clusters, maintaining the fibroblasts, and helping to keep the skin firm. A bit like adding more support to the scaffolding…

Although the previous version of the night cream obviously worked to help the skin renew and regenerate during the optimal ‘golden hours’, the new formula focuses on the impact of ageing due to the Circadian rhythm of the skin. As we age, the bond between the basement membrane (dermo-epidermal junction) and the epidermal cells weakens, leading to many of the structural changes associated with an older skin i.e.: sagging. Essentially, mother nature starts to remove pieces of your scaffolding, making things a little ‘looser’.
Hydrated silica of moonstone helps the skin’s regeneration at night by supporting the proteins in elastin fibres (the scaffolding) and communication between the epidermis and basement membrane*, two things that again, slow down with age.

There are five variations in the range – so depending on your skin and your needs, you can mix it up.
The Day Cream for all skin types is for you if you have anything except a dry skin. The Day Cream for Dry Skin is self-explanatory – and is for you if dry skin is something else you have found yourself struggling with as the years go by. Dry skin is an extremely common complaint as we age due to the skin losing its ability to retain moisture. There is an SPF option for day, and the same options for night distinguished by extra dry/all skin types.

Used as part of your Clarins routine it’s the perfect accompaniment to Double Serum and if you are particularly dehydrated, use it on top of Hydra-Essential Bi-Phase Serum for the extra boost of hyaluronic acid.

I love brands that constantly keep reformulating to keep up to speed with science, it would be much easier (and cheaper) to sit back and just play the ‘it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ game, but that’s not Clarins.

And they still know how to sample like no-one in the business. 😉


Extra-Firming for 2018 is available now on and at all Clarins stockists.



*in vitro testing