Clarins Double Serum is the brand’s #1 best selling anti-aging serum that is said to visibly firm, smooth, and boost radiance in just seven days. It is claimed to be suitable for all ages, all ethnicities, and all skin types — even the most sensitive skin.
At $90 for just one fluid ounce, you may be wondering: is Clarins Double Serum worth it? To answer this question, we are going to evaluate the key ingredients in this serum while also considering Clarins Double Serum reviews from real customers. Let’s get started.
What is Clarins Double Serum?
Clarins Double Serum is an anti-aging facial serum that comes in a two-phase formula that is “inspired by the dual water and oil nature of the skin”. According to the brand, this dual-chamber houses the perfect ratio of water soluble (hydric) and oil soluble (lipidic) ingredients, similar to the skin’s hydrolipidic film. Once dispensed, the two concentrates combine together into one serum that is said to easily absorb into the skin and effectively target all visible signs of skin aging.
Honestly, we doubt that dispensing the ingredients separately really matters for the skin. Rather, what truly matters is whether or not the ingredients in this fancy bottle are beneficial for your skin. With that being said, let’s discuss the key ingredients you’ll find in Clarins Double Serum (Hint: they probably aren’t what you think!)
What Ingredients Are in Clarins Double Serum?
When it comes to evaluating the key ingredients in a formula, it’s important to look at the product’s ingredient list (which is in order of descending concentrations), rather than rely on what key ingredients the brand claims are in the product.
For example, the brand claims that the 21 plant extracts — such as turmeric, beautyberry, goji berry, horse chestnut, and others — are the key ingredients in Clarins Double Serum.
However, all of these “key” ingredients are used in very low concentrations (less than 1%). We know this by looking at the ingredient list. All of these ingredients are listed after the preservative phenoxyethanol, which cannot be used in concentrations more than 1% (according to the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety).
If you look at the ingredient list, the true key ingredients in Clarins Double Serum include:
- Synthetic emollients
- Dipsacus sylvestris (wild teasel) extract
Let’s discuss what research has to say about the use of these ingredients in skin care and how they will affect your skin.
There are high concentrations of several different synthetic emollients in Clarins Double Serum, including cetearyl isononanoate, isononyl isononanoate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, and more. According to a publication in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, “Emollients hydrate and improve the skin softness, flexibility, and smoothness.”
Glycerin is a type of humectant. In fact, it is one of the most common humectants used in skin care, so there’s really nothing special about this ingredient. It’s hard to find a skin care product that doesn’t contain glycerin!
With that being said, the glycerin in Clarins Double Serum can help to improve your skin’s hydration. This is because the structure of glycerin has three hydroxyl (OH) groups that are hydrophilic (water loving). These groups hydrogen bond with water, essentially “grabbing” it and holding it on the skin.
Dipsacus sylvestris (wild teasel) extract
Dipsacus sylvestris, also known as wild teasel, is a species of flowering plant that has traditionally been used to treat skin conditions such as warts, fistulae, and cancerous sores because of its anti-inflammatory effects.
The brand claims that wild teasel is used in the Clarins Double Serum formula “to help prevent fine lines and wrinkles resulting from daytime stress and lack of sleep.” Unfortunately, there isn’t any scientific research to back up this claim.
You know how we said that the brand claims that the 21 plant extracts are key ingredients in Clarins Double Serum? Well, it turns out that there’s a higher concentration of a synthetic fragrance blend than these plant extracts in this formula!
The problem with the use of synthetic fragrance ingredients in skin care products is that the brand uses a proprietary blend of chemicals to create the fragrance, and they do not have to disclose which chemicals they use on the label. They are allowed to list this blend as “Fragrance (Parfum)” on the ingredient list.
A 2018 study by Women’s Voices for the Earth discovered that in over 3,000 chemicals reportedly used for fragrances, 1,242 were chemicals of concern – and that included at least 7 possible carcinogenic (cancer-causing) agents. Fragrance ingredients also have the potential to cause skin irritation and sensitivity.
Are There Any Side Effects?
It’s possible that you may experience side effects such as skin dryness, redness, and/or irritation after using Clarins Double Serum. This is due to the synthetic fragrance blend in this formula.
Even if you don’t experience these side effects right away, you may experience them if you continue to use this product. This is because allergy to fragrance results from a combination of repeated environmental exposure and age‐related susceptibility factors, according to a publication in the British Journal of Dermatology.
In addition, there are 21 plant extracts in Clarins Double Serum. Even though most are used in very low concentrations, there’s still a possibility that you could have an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients.
How Effective is Clarins Double Serum?
Clarins Double Serum is claimed to visibly reduce wrinkles, promote skin firmness, revive radiance, hydrate and smooth, and visibly tighten pores. But can this serum live up to these claims? Below we’ll discuss whether or not Clarins Double Serum will provide these benefits.
Does it Reduce Wrinkles?
The only way that Clarins Double Serum may reduce wrinkles is due to the high concentration of the humectant glycerin in the formula. Humectants provide temporary anti-aging effects because the extra hydration is extra volume, which effectively plumps out the skin and makes lines and wrinkles less noticeable. However, this effect is transient – as soon as the moisture content in skin decreases, lines and wrinkles will return to normal size. Thus, you may think that this serum is working because your skin looks plump after use, but these effects are just from the humectant.
Does it Promote Skin Firmness?
The brand claims that banana, wild teasel, and oat will “visibly firm, lift, and fight lines and wrinkles”. Unfortunately, there isn’t any science to back up these claims. And remember that there are very low concentrations of these ingredients in the formula.
Does it Improve Radiance?
The brand claims that beautyberry, goji berry, and horse chestnut will “revive radiance”. These ingredients have the potential to improve radiance, but remember they are used in very low concentrations in Clarins Double Serum (less than 1%).
Does it Hydrate and Smooth?
Clarins Double Serum will help to hydrate and smooth your skin thanks to glycerin and the synthetic emollients that are used in high concentrations in this formula.
Does it Visibly Tighten Pores?
No, Clarins Double Serum will not visibly tighten pores because there aren’t any ingredients in the formula that will clear the pores.
How to Use Clarins Double Serum?
Clarins Double Serum can be used either in the morning or at night. You can turn the dial on the bottle to select a “customized dose” for your skin’s needs. After dispensing the serum, you have to mix both phases in the palm of your hands. Then, apply to your clean face and neck with light pressing motions, working from the center of your face outward. It is suggested to follow with a day or night cream.
How Much Does Clarins Double Serum Cost?
The current prices for Clarins Double Serum are as follows:
- $90 USD (1 fluid ounce)
- $127 USD (1.6 fluid ounces)
- $161 USD (2.5 fluid ounces)
We believe that Clarins Double Serum is very overpriced for what you get in the formula: basic emollients, humectants, and a hefty dose of synthetic fragrance. Even if the brand included higher concentrations of the plant extracts in this formula, we still don’t think Clarins Double Serum would be worth the price.
There are many other brands that formulate fragrance-free products with high concentrations of key beneficial ingredients at lower price points. (Don’t worry, we’ll give you a couple alternatives to consider below).
Where to Buy Clarins Double Serum?
Clarins Double Serum is sold on the brand’s website, as well as several third party online retailers, such as Sephora, Ulta, Amazon, Walmart, and more.
You can also purchase Clarins Double Serum in-person from department stores, Ulta, and Sephora. The brand has a store locator on their website so that you can find a location that sells Clarins skin care products near you.
What is The Clarins Return Policy?
The Clarins return policy states, “We wish to ensure your complete satisfaction while shopping on Clarins.com. and we will gladly accept your return purchased on Clarinsusa.com within 30 days of purchase. Unfortunately, we do not offer exchanges.”
Is Clarins Cruelty Free?
No. Clarins is not cruelty free because Clarins skin care products are sold in mainland China where animal testing is required by law.
Clarins Double Serum Reviews
Clarins Double Serum reviews on the brand’s website are a mix of positive and negative, with the product receiving an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars after nearly 9,000 customer reviews.
Positive Clarins Double Serum reviews mention that it moisturizes well and helps the skin to look smooth, firm, and dewy. For example, one review says, “I love the double serum product. I quickly incorporated it into my morning skincare routine and have really benefited from the outcome. Alongside moisturizer, this serum made my skin feel fresh and dewy, just what I needed!”
However, we noticed that there are quite a few Clarins Double Serum reviews from customers who saw no benefit from this serum, even after using it consistently. For example, one review says, “I have tried to use this for over a month, it did nothing that the rep at Ulta said it would do. It also made me break out.”
There are also several Clarins Double Serum reviews that mention it leaves the skin feeling oily and sticky, and that the scent is overwhelming. For example, one review says, “The serum was hard to get out of the package and it seemed like it was only coming out of one side instead of both. The smell is very strong like a perfume. The smell itself made me not want to use the product anymore. My face also felt a bit sticky after the first use.”
Overall, we don’t recommend Clarins Double Serum because the cons outweigh the pros of this serum.
- Emollients will help to hydrate and improve the skin softness, flexibility, and smoothness
- Contains very low concentrations of “key” ingredients
- Contains high concentration of synthetic fragrance blend
- High price point ($90 USD/fl oz)
What Are Some Alternatives to Clarins Double Serum?
Since we don’t recommend Clarins Double Serum, we wanted to suggest a couple alternatives for you to consider.
One anti-aging facial moisturizer we recommend is Formulyst’s Lifting and Wrinkle Smoothing Cream. This velvety smooth, fragrance-free cream contains high concentrations of beneficial plant extracts (unlike Clarins Double Serum). For example, Moringa seed oil provides intense moisturization, Evodia rutaecarpa fruit extract helps brighten and refine your complexion, and peony extract helps to improve the appearance of skin density for a smoother, recontoured look.
You may also want to consider Carrot & Stick, a brand that takes a tough love approach to skincare, perfectly balancing the power of plants with cutting edge science. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skin care products.
Fans of simple skincare should try Deep Science. Deep Science products are formulated with a few key ingredients that are the heavy lifters of skincare formulations.
1. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2019 Nov;33 Suppl 7:15-24.
2. Indian J Dermatol. 2016 May-Jun; 61(3): 279–287.
3. Women’s Voices for the Earth “Unpacking The Fragrance Industry” 2018
4. Br J Dermatol 2003 Nov;149(5):986-9.