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New Clarins Double Serum Proves it Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Right

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If there were a Richter scale to measure human stress levels, I’m pretty certain I would have tipped that metaphorical scale during the last month. Heck, if I had my own octane level, that number would’ve been so high that I may just have spontaneously combusted. Moving to a new apartment turned out to be insanely stressful — in part because I never realized how much junk I owned until it was time to pack it all up, and in part because there’s always so much preparation require (turn off the lights here and switch them on there, call the cable company so they can charge you an obscene amount for unreliable service at a new spot, change your mailing address, figure out who on Earth will help you lug your belongings from one place to the next, and so forth). And then, of course, there are the obscene amounts of money that seem to fly out of your pocket during every new trip to the store to buy “the essentials,” those tiny things you need to get settled in: mops and brooms, hangers, bathroom space savers, dish racks, shower curtains, trash cans, etc. Add to that the fact that the move happened just as my son was ending the school year, just as I was on deadline for about 4 freelance stories, and as I was wrapping up several TV segments and — voila— you have a formula for mammoth stress.

Given all the pressure and anxiety that dominated my days during this transitional time, I’m convinced I would have physically aged about 20 years had it not been for my secret weapon: the new Clarins Double Serum ($85 at ClarinsUSA.com and Sephora.com). This groundbeaking product relies on a two-prong system — one hydric (soluble in water) and one lipidic (oil soluble) — each packaged in a separate chamber, topped with its own pump dispenser, then positioned side-by-side and topped with a larger pump applicator that ensures the ingredients in each chamber only converge during the application process (and, moreover, that there’s a perfect 1-to-1 ratio during said process).

The Clarins Double Serum’s treatment relies on 20 plant extracts that together revitalize the skin’s five main functions: hydration, nutrition, oxygenation, protection, and regeneration.

Keeping the skin hydrated not only makes it appear smoother and more supple, but it delays the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. To boost the skin’s moisture levels, the serum includes double hyaluronic acid; katafray bark extract, commonly used in Madagascar medicine, which Clarins researchers discovered can improve the corneal layer and stimulate the skin’s own hydration mechanisms; burdock root extract, which boosts circulation and which contains antioxidants like quercetin, luteolin, and phenolic acids; and marshmallow root, often used to treat psoriasis, eczema, and chronically dry skin.

In terms of skin nutrition, the serum not only incorporates some star botanical extracts, but it features the perfect combination of them, a sweet spot ratio that allows the nutrients to penetrate the skin cells at a higher speed, thereby ultimately delivering visible results during a shorter time span. First, there’s macadamia nut extract, which has a composition that mimics that of the skin’s sebum, allowing it to penetrate the epidermis more effectively and not leave behind any greasy residue. Macadamia nuts actually have a monounsaturated fatty acid composition of over 80%, with  oleic acid accounting for the majority of this percentage, making it even more potent than olive oil. This seemingly magical nut also contains  the antioxidant squalane and palmitoleic acid, an omega-7 monounsaturated fatty acid that’s the most prominent in the human sebum and which makes for an ultra effective moisturizer. In addition to macadamia extract, the serum contains kiwi extract, which is rife with antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, along with vitamins C and E, which  work together to neutralize free radicals, boost the skin’s immune system, and kickstart the cellular regeneration process. Last but not least, there’s perilla extract, which boasts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make skin appear radiant.

The serum’s third mission is to enhance cell oxygenation, thereby ensuring they can produce the proper amount of energy and function at their top potential. To accomplish this feat, the formula relies on three plant extracts: musk rose oil, extracted from the seed of the rosehip and rife with vitamins A and C, as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids, which make this ingredient excellent for stimulating cellular regeneration, boosting hydration levels, and reducing inflammation; maritime pine bark extract, which features a high concentration of pycnogenol, an antioxidant that promotes a healthy circulatory system, stimulates the skin’s hyaluronic acid production, and regulates the immune system; and arnica, derived from a mountain daisy that grows in Europe and said to stimulate white blood cell activity, thereby reducing inflammation and promoting healing.

Next, there’s the fourth realm: protection. As most of us concerned with skin aging know, UV rays and environmental hazards can accelerate the skin aging process so it’s important to protect the skin against oxidative stress. The Clarins Double Serum addresses this issue by stimulating the activity of two genes involved in skin protection: OXR1, a gene that plays a part in the skin’s resistance to oxidation, and PARP1, a gene involved in DNA repair. The serum is said to boost the activity of these genes by over 140% thanks to antioxidant-rich ingredients like green tea, pistachio, quinoa, vitamin E, and oxydendron.

The fifth and final frontier: regeneration. To boost the production of collagen, which is essential to maintaining skin elasticity, and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which hold moisture within our skin cells, the serum relies on a powerful combination of ingredients: green banana, which has been found to reduce the damage wrought by UV-B light rays; oats, which contain saponins that gently remove dirt and impurities from pores, as well as polysaccharides that, when combined with water, create a protective film that prevents moisture loss and fortifies the skin’s natural barrier; lemon thyme, a natural tonic and moisturizer; hops, rich in antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage; avocado, which is rife with fatty acids that nourish and soften the skin; phytosphingosine, a natural constituent of ceramides in the hydrolipidic skin film; and Survixyl IS, designed to protect epidermal stem cells and regulate their environment so as to prevent any disturbance in their function.

Overwhelmed by the scientific facts? Don’t be! What you should take away from this post is simple: the Clarins Double Serum represents a new frontier in the realm of anti-aging since it manages to tackle so many concerns simultaneously. The serum is extremely lightweight and has a clear but brownish tint to it. To apply, you simply need to press down on the pump two to three times, until you’ve obtained the necessary amount of product, then rub your palms together and smooth the serum onto the complexion. In less than a minute, you’ll notice your skin is completely dry — so much so that you’ll forget you applied any product to begin with. But, of course, there’s the sigh of relief you’ll likely breathe after that short period of time elapses since your skin will feel so comfortable and smooth. In fact, even before you apply a moisturizer, your skin will feel hydrated, smooth, soft, and supple.

And that’s just the beginning. As the weeks pass and you dutifully use this product, you’ll start noticing other welcome changes — in my case, I saw a boost in overall radiance and I noticed that the pesky dark spots on my face were becoming less noticeable. I also noticed a decrease in breakouts (even during that time of the month, when they tend to be rampant). Plus, the tiny lines that are starting to creep up around my eyes seemed less visible, making me the ultimate happy camper.

Bottom line: I’ll be using this product to the very last drop and, when it finally runs out, I’ll invest in a brand new bottle since I’m pretty much remiss to consider a skincare routine that doesn’t incorporate this product. Forget Retinol-based serums — this is everything you need!

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