SkinCeuticals review: Clariflying Clay Masque, Gentle Cleanser and C E Ferulic Serum

SkinCeuticals is a brand that markets itself as “advanced skincare backed by science”. They divide their range in three major categories: Prevent, Protect and Correct. They’re a very clinical, no fluff no fuss brand, that doesn’t claim miracles and takes packaging into consideration to best preserve the active ingredients of their line – in this sense it reminds me of The Ordinary. In the price sense, it doesn’t. They ain’t cheap.

Gentle Cleanser Cream

For a gentle cleanser, it’s quite effective. Doesn’t remove 100% of my eyeliner and mascara, but then again, no cleanser has ever been able to accomplish that. I always have to go back with micellar water, and even still, unless I rub my skin raw, I still get a bit of panda eyes the next morning. I would say it would be great for very sensitive skin if it wasn’t for the light tangerine fragrance. It doesn’t bother my skin and I personally love that detail, but it seems contradictory with its “gentle” purpose. My skin doesn’t feel tight or stripped of moisture after use, but other than that, there’s not much to report. It’s very expensive, even for a 200 ml bottle – for 37 euros, it isn’t worth a repurchase. There are good, gentle cleansers like this on the market at a better price point.

Clarifying Clay Masque

This really feels like it’s cleansing the skin. My face always feels silky soft and rid of anything remotely oily after using this – however, the skin doesn’t feel depleted, and that’s the main difference from other pore cleansing masks I’ve tried. I will still use a moisturising product afterwards, but I don’t feel like I need to rush to do it before I try to smile again and end up ripping my skin. I also notice the pores look smaller, and it’s the most effective thing I’ve used for black heads – more than those pore strip things. Those do nothing for me: none of my many, many blackheads come out because although visible, they’re buried into my skin. However, I notice a reduction (not a complete elimination!) with this mask. It’s the next best thing to me squeezing them out myself, which I unfortunately end up doing most of the time (if you’re squeamish about blackhead removal, can’t relate, sorry) because I just can’t resist it. So anything that makes blackheads, aka temptation, less visible, it’s great for me, my self control and my skin.

This will last a good while. I would say at the time I took the photo above, I’ve used it 8 to 10 times, not sparingly, although it does recommend you to use a thin layer. I like ’em THICK though. I use it about once a week because I’m lazy, but they say it should be twice and I believe you could use it more often without drying your skin out. It’s over 50 euros, seems absurdly expensive for that size container, but given how much it will actually last, this is probably the strongest contestant for a repurchase.

C E Ferulic Serum

I love using this. I feel I shouldn’t. But I do. It seems to absorbs into the skin in no time (probably just dries or evaporates, but it feels like it absorbs) and there is no heavy after feeling. This is, however, insanely expensive (over 100 euros!) and I wouldn’t have gotten it if I didn’t have gift cards for it. A lot of people say they notice a difference within days. I wouldn’t go so far. No one commented on a difference (insert sad emoticon). It comes in a UV protective bottle with a dropper, it has a metallic, dusty sort of smell that’s not particularly bothersome, and a very thin watery consistency with nearly no viscosity, so beware when applying because it can literally escape through your fingers and you end up with a 2 euros stain on your pants.

Water-like consistency of the C E Ferulic serum.

This is a well formulated vitamin C serum. Vitamin C should be a staple in any skincare regimen because of the following abilities:

  • it acts as an anti-inflammatory and lightens post acne red marks -I find this to be true with this serum. I had a bright red mark for a few days from a pimple I couldn’t leave alone, and after applying this serum the mark basically disappeared at the end of the next day.;
  • it’s a potent antioxidant – I don’t know how or if this translates to the skin in short term. Antioxidants prevent damage of skin by serving as blockage for those damaging free-radicals. So this serves more to prevent than to reverse, and in this case, it becomes difficult to evaluate the efficacy because I’m not going to leave a patch of skin unprotected to serve as control group. But there’s enough research to back up this claim so I’ll believe it.
  • reduce sun spots – again, I can’t attest to that. My daily use of sunscreen prevents me from getting any spots to begin with. But my face is less dull and I think my skintone is all around more even.

Given that this has a 3 month lifespan, because vitamin C is unstable and looses efficiency when exposed to air and light, don’t use this sparingly. The bottle is big enough for you to apply a generous amount everyday.

I don’t know, maybe my skin isn’t the ideal candidate for this product but I don’t feel a major, 100 euros every 3 months worth, difference. I’ve been using it for about a month now, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this turns out to be the miracle the price promises. I’ll update when I use up the product entirely.

Since vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) used under a sunscreen potentiates the sun blocking effect, even if I don’t repurchase this specific one, I think I’ll always be using a vitamin C serum daily. Specially since I’m suspecting higher SPFs make me break out.

Conclusion (TL;DR): I believe the products are well formulated, in well thought out packaging to preserve their efficiency, but the cost is very prohibitive, so they should really address your main skin concerns. In this sense I think the gentle cleanser is a pass because it contains fragrance, the mask should be in any combination/oily skin person’s cabinet, and the C E Ferulic serum is a good product that is worth it if you have uneven skintone/sun spots/a lot of money. For an every day vitamin C serum where you basically just want to intensify your antioxidant protection, I think there might be other less expensive options.

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