Beauty trends come and go, but that ideal of smooth, even skin that’s coupled with a beautiful glow, with or without makeup? That’s something we’re constantly trying to achieve. As you do know though, clear skin, one that’s smooth with visibly refined pores, is a lot harder than we think. So when a brand as reputable as Lancôme is touting something as their #1 brightening essence, we’re all ears.
Behold, the Clarifique Dual Essence. Launched in March 2020, it gained swift popularity across the region, especially in Asia, earning high ratings and rave reviews along the way — we’re talking a solid 4.8 / 5 score after countless hard-earned consumer reviews. Impressive. That kind of excellence deserves a further deep-dive though, so here we are to answer some of your burning queries, as well as share what we think about the essence after trying it out.
What makes the Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence such a star product for glowing, clear skin? What ingredients go into its science-backed formula, what kind of results can we expect, and how does it actually feel on the skin? Read on then as we unpack the essence of this ultimate brightening formula, and find out how you can even redeem your own sample to try at home!
Why is this Lancôme #1 brightening essence, and what are some of its benefits?
The first thing you have to know about this new holy grail brightening product is that this is a multi-benefit formula — it doesn’t just give us brighter skin, it also smoothens and reduces the appearance of pores for even better skin.
As for the key to the formula, it lies in one super ingredient: organic French Beech Bud extract. This is an active derived from what’s known as the “forever young tree”, where precious beech buds are hand-harvested in the forests of Southern France, sustainably and in very limited quantities. When the natural ingredient is extracted and placed in the essence to be used in our skin, it gently exfoliates the skin, which then results in brighter, clearer skin where we see less visible pores.
Lancôme uses enzyme science in this particular innovation. How does that give us clear skin?
Lancôme has specifically dedicated 30 years of time and resources to the study of enzyme science, in order to discover the next breakthrough in skincare. And since the Clarifique is a result of that expertise, we want to understand exactly how this works.
As mentioned earlier, the essence contains French beech bud extract that’s vital to promoting enzyme activity within our skin — particularly desquamation, or the removal of dead skin cells, and melanin production. The former is especially important since dead skin cells often clog pores and cause the skin to appear dull.
Thankfully though, the essence counters that quite effectively, and that natural exfoliating action then leads to a smoother skin surface and brighter skin tone. Over time, our pores also become less clogged, and therefore less visible, which is when you’ll see the effects of clear, smooth skin. In fact, there’s proof that you’ll see the results of brighter and clearer skin in just 7 days, and visibly minimised appearance of pores in 4 weeks, based on a clinical study on 51 Asian women.
It also contains a water-in-oil formula. How is that good for our skin?
If you’ve been wondering, there’s a reason why this is called a “dual essence”. The Clarifique Dual Essence is a combination of two essences essentially, so we can reap its full benefits. Its make-up is as follows: 97% of clear essence that’s infused with the French Beech Bud extract, followed by 3% of a bi-phase essence containing grapeseed oil. The addition of this ingredient is to further nourish the skin while strengthening its ability to act as a barrier.
We’re told to “shake to unlock skin clarity” — why is that needed here?
It’s an absolutely necessary step that has to do with the way these essences are mixed together. Take a look at the clear bottle, and you’ll see a patented whisk that poetically takes on the form of a beech bud, though with an innovative function — when the Clarifique Dual Essence is shaken, the whisk within the bottle blends both phases better and faster, generating thousands of fresh micro-bubbles to ensure the formula is well mixed to feel comfortable and refreshing on the skin. That’s something I can definitely attest to.
How does the essence feel, and how should you apply it?
I love the way the formula is whisked into that fine texture, it feels therapeutic almost knowing that I just made this happen simply by shaking the bottle. I then pour the essence onto a cotton pad, which I pat across my forehead, cheeks, chin, and neck. You may also choose to pour the mix into the palm of your hands, followed by the same gentle patting motions on your face.
The essence is watery, as most essences are, which enabled it to be lightweight and quickly absorbed into the skin. It also feels cooling, and I love how it glides smoothly across instead of dragging uncomfortably. The result is that my skin feels immediately hydrated and soft to the touch — all that from just an essence! It left my skin ready and supple for any upcoming serums and moisturisers. For the best results, you may follow this with Lancôme’s iconic Advanced Génifique serum to boost the radiance and youthfulness of the skin.
Will the formula be too harsh for our skin?
For a formula so potent, it’s good to know that it’s gentle as well. While made in France, the clean formula was developed specifically for Asian skin and suits all skin types. It’s also made without ingredients that consumers these days might want to avoid, so the formula is free of silicones, parabens, mineral oils, colouring agents, and perfumes.
Despite how this provides gentle exfoliation, I never felt any stinging, not even the faint ones you might sometimes feel when using glycolic acid for the first time. As this has none of that, and is primarily a water-in-oil dual essence formula, all I felt was comfort instead, with zero redness or flare-ups along the way.
Tried and tested — did the Clarifique Dual Essence really improve my skin?
My personal experience here is this. After talking about that delightfully fresh texture, how effective is the formula in achieving clear skin? Since this is an essence, I immediately felt the boost of hydration it gave as it got absorbed into my skin, so that soft, supple feel from immediately-hydrated skin was obvious enough.
Across my t-zone area, I noticed after a week of use that there was less of that “unbalanced skin” shine, while my pores looked less obvious than before too! Several sun spots also appeared to be lighter than usual, which I will continue to monitor the more I use the product.
What’s significant here is that the Clarifique lived up to its claim of targeting both clear skin as well as tightened pores. Most essences I try tend to have just hydrating benefits for instance, so I was glad to discover one that’s more robust in its benefits. This gently exfoliates my skin, hydrates it at the same time, and brightens it over time.
If you’re looking for a solution to your current skincare woes of dull skin, visible pores, and uneven skin tone, this is a good place to start. And who doesn’t want skin that’s fresh and glowing! While I might be tempted to skip the essence step in my skincare regime once in a while, opting for the old “cleanser-serum-moisturiser” trio, I did notice how much of a difference this one made when I used it consistently. My skin was more balanced, better hydrated, and even just a week of use, I also saw diminished pores and faded pigmentation.
Those who desire skin clarity as a goal would stand to gain from this multi-benefit formula, especially if you’re currently already using other brightening serums and creams in your regime. For those thinking to finally start though, the Clarifique Dual Essence is a good entry point. It’s a gentle formula that’s not intimidating at all even for someone new to skincare, while incorporating just this essence into your regime will do wonders. It also helps that this one’s an effective, all-rounder skincare product that delivers on multiple benefits. Beyond clear skin, you’ll be getting a healthy and smooth complexion that will be glowing all day long.
Start your day clear with Clarifique! Sign up for your complimentary deluxe 10ml sample of the Clarifique Dual Essence and redeem it at any LÂncome counter here.
Lancôme Clarifique Dual Essence, $148 (150ml), and $205 (250ml). Available at Lancôme counters and online.