Review | Clarins HydraQuench

Already popular within the Clarins family of skincare products, HydraQuench recently welcomed a trio of newly-reformulated products that is targeted at the Asian market; more specifically, people who live in hot and humid regions like Singapore.

A light texture coupled with strong hydrating properties characterises the products and though this hydrating range might not have the fanfare of newer products from other brands (Lancôme Visionnaire, for instance), its quiet re-launch belies its efficacy and the positive reviews it has garnered.

I really like the name – it makes me think of juicy moisture and the watering of parched skin…and no, not the slaking of thirst of that Greek mythological monster! ;)

Forming the focus of the range are:

  • HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase (S$94) – An oil-in-water emulsion to mimic the skin’s hydric and lipid components, its affinity to skin optimises absorption and moisture retention. For all skin types.
  • HydraQuench Cream-Melt (S$83) – A comfortable cream with the feel of a slightly dense lotion. For all skin types.
  • HydraQuench Cream-Gel (S$83) – A lighter version of the Cream-Melt with a cooling effect, it transforms into water upon application to impart a refreshing sensation. For normal to combination skin.

Still containing the key ingredient of Katafray bark extract (Cedrelopsis grevei) which encourages the production of natural moisturising factors (NMFs promote the skin’s ability to retain water and stay plump), the new formulas are lighter than the earlier versions and promise enhanced absorption into four dermal layers (the surface, the corneal layer, the epidermis and the dermis), thanks to the dual molecular weight of its hyaluronic acid content that draws moisture to the deeper layers of the skin.

They also contain Inca peanut extract (Plukenetia volubilis) to strengthen the skin’s barrier function, as well as Chondrus crispus extract to encourage the supply/retention of water at the heart of dehydrated epidermal cells.

All three have a light floral fragrance reminiscent of Elizabeth Arden Red Door, only much softer and less cloying. While I don’t mind the scent very much, I do wish the products would do without it. However, according to Clarins Singapore, fragrance is hard to remove from many of their products because of their inherent natural plant ingredients.

I received the trio from the brand some time back and have been diligently using the serum and the Cream-Melt for several weeks now.

The first thing that struck me was their texture. Both are lightweight and feel extremely smooth; the serum drying down to a satin-matte finish and the cream leaving a slightly silky sheen on my face. The lightness of texture is to be expected from products created for tropical climes but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that rather than the usual gel formula which can leave a sticky residue, these dry well…without compromising on efficacy. I had concerns for the occlusive ability of the cream but it seems to pair well with the serum – my skin looks and feels more supple after application and each morning I can discern a degree of firmness, no doubt attributed to their hydrating and moisturising properties.

Hydration is key to good skin and honestly, the first step one should take, before addressing other skin concerns and embarking on whitening and anti-ageing treatments. Hydrators and moisturisers will not remove spots and lines but they will enhance skin clarity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and other pesky ageing signs.

This pair that I’ve tried is undeniably a superior hydrating/moisturising duo, both in their light touch (I absolutely love that they don’t leave a greasy after-feel or a slick shine) and their skin-plumping effect. I like them for prepping my skin for makeup too – I’ve found that they not only aid foundation application and enhance its adherence to the skin, they also create a smooth canvas for my base makeup.

Image source: Clarins Singapore


  • Jamilla says:

    I think this formula is great for hot and humid climates! Thanks for the review!!

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Jamilla,

      This range is really worth a go. It came at the right time – my skin really needs the hydration right now, post-partum.

  • iheartkoreanbeauty says:

    I used to use Clarins for a couple of years but didn’t find that it did anything for my skin. On the plus side it never broke me out- my skin’s pretty sensitive- unlike Vichy and some other brands. I love their facials though! Very relaxing but pricey!

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Iheartkoreanbeauty,

      I was just thinking about that same fact yesterday – Clarins skincare has never caused my skin to break out either! :) The new Clarins Skin Spa is very popular. It is almost full house on a weekday afternoon, can you believe that?!

  • jy says:

    Hi Mag!

    Nothing to do with the Clarins product but i was wondering since you were doing a segment on Baby’s Bath and Body, could you also advise on what are some skincare products etc to avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding?


    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Jy,

      I’ll try but skincare can be quite subjective. More so, with hormonal changes. ;) In general, though – nothing too strong and essential oils should be avoided unless they’ve been proven to be pregnancy-safe. (In my experience, a little peppermint oil is wonderful for alleviating morning sickness~!)

      AHA/BHA products should also be used with caution because the skin is more sensitive during pregnancy, unless you’ve used it and it doesn’t affect your skin adversely.

      Sunscreen is a necessity, of course, as always but more so during pregnancy because of the increased pigmentation, or rather, the propensity of that happening, thanks to elevated hormonal levels. I’ll try to think of more. :)

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