This March sees the launch of Clarins’s revamped sunscreen, Clarins UV Plus HP Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 PA+++ (30 ml/S$74).
Although it has the benefits of its predecessor, Clarins UV Plus SPF 40, it is formulated with cantaloupe (rock melon) extract which imbues the sunscreen with antioxidant action, unlike the older sunscreen which does not contain this ingredient.
The extract is derived only from organically-grown cantaloupes harvested from a specific region in Provence, France. According to the brand, this particular Provençal melon contains high levels of superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that fights toxic residues from oxygen, protecting the skin against visible signs of premature ageing.
This product has anti-pollution properties too, thanks to the white tea (camelia sinensis) and succory dock-cress (lampsana communis) extracts it contains. (These extracts are also found in Clarins Shaping Facial Lift Lipo-drain Serum.)
This sunscreen is available in two versions – Neutral (clear) and Tinted (lightly pink-tinged). As with most Clarins’s skincare products, they are allergy/ophthalmologist-tested and non-comedogenic.
I was recently given both to try and the only difference I can discern between them is that the latter has slightly more coverage than the transparent neutral version.
Below are my thoughts on this sunscreen.
- It has a good sun protection value
Formulated with a 100% mineral screen with titanium dioxide crystals to ensure an ultra-fine/even application, this sunscreen contains SPF 40 protection, not to mention a PA+++ rating.
The UVA-UVB protection* it affords targets photo-ageing and prevents sunburn and skin-reddening.
- It is lightweight
It glides on well; I love how light and comfortable it feels on the skin.
- It does not leave an unsightly white cast
The two versions of this sunscreen dry well and cast no unsightly pall. The neutral version is somewhat transparent (though it does seem to even out the skin tone), while the tinted version provides just a tad more coverage. Both seem to enhance the complexion with a touch of radiance.
- It dries to a smooth, velvety finish
Although Clarins says that it has an oil-free texture, its finish hints of dewiness. It might not give a fully-matte finish but it does make the skin look healthy and even-toned.
- It makes a good makeup base
I’ve used this as an effective makeup base – it works well with my foundation and though it doesn’t really seem to control sebum production very well (see below), it imbues my foundation with a nice degree of glowy dewiness that lasts and doesn’t degenerate into greasiness.
- It can be easily reapplied
Its light and fine texture allows reapplication without caking or streaking.
- It is portable
The petite bottle is perfect for portability. The choice to store the liquid in a small bottle stems from Clarins’s desire to minimise product wastage and is a cheery sign that the big brands are starting to take this into account, where packaging is concerned. (This also reminds me of Shiseido’s latest Perfect Refining Foundation SPF 16 which also comes in a compact bottle.)
- It doesn’t have exceptional oil control
When used alone, I do oil up somewhat along the course of the day. I’d imagine that people with oilier skin than mine might have to blot more frequently.
- It is scented
I wasn’t sure if this factor should be a pro or a con but I’m guessing that though I quite like the scent, the obvious whiff of titanium dioxide edged with fruity rock melon might not sit well with some. It dissipates after a while but if you’re leery of scented skincare products, it’s best to try this before purchasing.
- It might be pricey for many people
While the economy of the bottle is environmentally-friendly, many might baulk at how small the receptacle looks, in comparison to the price. If I hadn’t tried this sunscreen, I might be deterred from it just based on these two factors. Happily, the efficacy of the product is a push factor for me and this is something I’d certainly consider purchasing!
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Image source: Clarins Singapore
* UVA rays penetrate the skin and cause skin-ageing and wrinkling that might not show immediately but will manifest later in life, while UVB rays have a tendency to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers; i.e. the damage is more easily seen in sunburned skin.
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