Ask anyone who flaunts a dewy, radiant complexion and they’ll tell you that the key to their glow is none other than an essence.
For the uninitiated, essences are concentrated treatments with a watery, almost serum-like consistency. They often contain an impressively high dose of active ingredients, and some with gentle doses of skin-softening, exfoliating acids that prep your skin after cleansing.
While its aim is to amp up your skin’s hydration levels, an essence offers multiple benefits, including brightening and clarifying. It is able to deliver way more benefits than your standard toner, which makes it a worthy investment.
However, not all essences are created equal. I’ve tried plenty that took ages to absorb into my skin or have done the opposite of hydrate my skin. Many weren’t able to live up to their brightening and clarifying claims too.
This is why the Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence caught my attention. With a high rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Lancôme’s website as well as glowing customer reviews, it’s hard for this essence by Asia’s #1 skincare brand* to go unnoticed. 51 Asian women tested the essence too, and they all saw brighter, clearer skin with a reduced appearance of large pores in just four weeks.
And here’s a fun fact: Although it was launched just last year, the essence rose in the ranks of popularity in Asia, picking up the Cosme Grand Prize for the most favourable reviewed product. It even earned the #2 spot for Essence in Luxury Skincare in Singapore**.
*Lancôme’s calculation is based on data reported by Beauté Research SARL in February 2021 through its “Asia 8 Markets Consolidated – Quarterly Retail Sales Report – Q4 2020” in the Department Stores and Boutiques Prestige market. (Copyright ©2021 Beauté Research SARL)
**Based on Beaute Research 2020 ranking.
Pssst! Keep reading till the end to find out how you can redeem a complimentary deluxe 10ml sample of the Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence!
Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence review: First impressions
As I lifted the bottle of Clarifique Dual Essence out of its box, I grew excited. The product came in a beautiful glass bottle, which aligned with Lancôme’s aesthetic standard. Not to mention, there’s a patented in-bottle whisk that looked oh-so elegant and upped the essence’s luxe factor. The dual-essence formula also looked unique, and I looked forward to trying it out for the first time.
To clarify and provide hydration to the skin, the Clarifique Dual Essence features an innovative formula that contains 97% Clear Essence with French beech bud extract, along with 3% bi-phase essence with grapeseed oil. French beech bud extract actually acts on our skin enzymes to promote cell renewal, so it gently exfoliates the skin to reveal brighter, clearer skin.
As I shook the bottle, the in-bottle whisk mixed the two phases well and produced microbubbles (shown above).
I skipped my usual toner and used the Clarifique Dual Essence as my first post-cleanse step. Lightweight yet nourishing, the essence absorbed quickly into my skin after patting it on my face and neck with my hands. It didn’t feel heavy or greasy too, just hydrating and refreshing – my skin lapped it up like a glass of water.
My skin can often feel tight and dehydrated after cleansing, but this essence was able to provide immediate comfort and hydration to my skin. Despite being fragrance-free, the Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence had a pleasant, subtle rose scent too, which is probably thanks to a light touch of Damask rose essential oil in the formula.
Since my skin felt nourished and adequately hydrated, I decided to skip the serum and go straight in with a moisturiser, followed by sunscreen. My skin felt smooth and soft throughout the day, and I couldn’t wait to use it again.
To really find out if the Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence lives up to the hype, however, I decided to put it through three objective tests, comparing it against two essences from two different luxury brands – these essences will be referred to as Brand X and Brand Y from here.
Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence review: Test 1 – Rate of absorption
I like a quick and efficient morning routine, which is why I love skincare products that can be absorbed quickly into my skin, so I don’t have to wait around or fan my face to speed things up. To find out which essence gets absorbed faster, I laid out three sponges and poured the same amount of essence on each of them.
After a minute, I checked in to see the results. Brand Y had a richer, milky consistency that was stayed on the sponge for a full minute, while Brand X had a serum-like texture that absorbed slowly into the sponge.
Finally, the Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence takes the cake, and absorbed almost completely before the one-minute mark.
Conclusion: The Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence wins. A slow rate of absorption is my number 1 gripe when it comes to essences, and the Clarifique Dual Essence solves that concern.
Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence review: Test 2 – Hydration test
In order to test which essence was able to provide my skin with the most hydration, I swapped my regular toner for these three essences. The three readings you see on the left are the initial hydration levels of three different areas of my skin (right cheek, left cheek, and forehead) after I had just cleansed.
After applying the three essences on different areas of my face, I recorded my skin’s hydration levels once more to see just how stark the differences were. Brand X was able to bump up my skin’s moisture levels by 14.1%, which isn’t bad at all!
Brand Y, on the other hand, provided a little less moisture, clocking in a 13.1% increase in hydration.
To my surprise, the Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence delivered a whopping 26% increase in hydration, beating both Brand X and Y in the game.
Conclusion: The Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence wins! Although both Brand X and Y claimed to be hydrating essences, they couldn’t beat the hydrating effects of the Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence.
Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence review: Test 3 – Alcohol test
Alcohol is one of those ingredients that tends to show up in most skincare products as it helps to decrease the drying time and provide a matte finish. However, high percentages of simple alcohols like SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol could strip the skin of its natural oils.
To find out if the essences contained a high amount of alcohol, I brought out the alcohol meter to measure all three formulas.
I was shocked by the amount of alcohol that Brand Y contained. I’ve used it on my face once and while it was able to take away the shine, it did leave my skin feeling drier than usual. Brand X’s alcohol percentage was a little lower than Brand Y’s, but it doesn’t bode well for those with sensitive skin.
Although denatured alcohol is on Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence’s ingredient list, it wasn’t picked up by the alcohol meter, which is probably an indication of a small, negligible dose.
Conclusion: The Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence wins! Among the three essences, the Clarifique Dual Essence had the lowest amount of alcohol, which makes it gentler for all skin types.
Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence review: My verdict
Finding an essence that lives up to its raving reviews can be tough, but I think I may have found the one: Lancôme’s Clarifique Dual Essence. From its subtle rose scent to its sensorial, lightweight texture, the Clarifique Dual Essence was an absolute pleasure to use.
It’s easy to apply too. All you have to do is shake the bottle and watch the whisk blend the bi-phase solution to form thousands of microbubbles to achieve the perfect balance and sensation. You can pour some of the essence in your palm and apply it straight to your face and neck – there’s no need for cotton pads here!
The Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence was fast-absorbing and gave my skin a healthy glow instantly too – something not a lot of essences can do.
Watch this space, because I’ll be doing an in-depth review of the Clarifique Dual Essence very soon! If you’re as excited as I am to use the essence, you can start your day clear with Clarifique by signing up for a sample below!