From plant to product

  1. Observation

    the number of ingredients
    (raw materials) available to
    Clarins researchers

    Observe nature and be inspired

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    “Biomimicry: bio (life) and mimicry (to copy). To be inspired by what occurs in nature, and see what applications we can apply to cosmetics.” Christian Courtin-Clarins.

    Clarins researchers have always based part of their work on this observation of nature to create plant-derived products that have innovative performances. Several Clarins products are based on biomimicry.


    Clarins researchers formulated Double Serum by observing nature and the skin’s hydrolipidic film. Double Serum is a unique treatment, certainly the most complete in the cosmetics industry, because it unites in the same bottle all of the ingredients known to fight skin aging and improve the skin’s appearance; ingredients that would otherwise not be able to coexist.
    The hydrolipidic film is characteristic of oily skin that has a tendency to look shiny due to the mixture of sebaceous (oil) glands and sweat glands. By imitating this combination of oil and water, the researchers created a product that united water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients. However, in cosmetics, it is impossible to mix together both these types of ingredients. The researchers found a solution: they created two separate ‘vials’ within the bottle. Upon application, the ingredients from each phase are mixed together in the palm of the hand before being applied to the skin. This is an example of biomimicry.

  2. Extraction

    The number of
    researchers who work in
    the Clarins Laboratories

    The best plants
    for optimal product results

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    Always searching for the most active plant extracts, Clarins Research works with a network of botanists who study traditional plant usage worldwide. Their work has been validated by rigorous scientific experiments, has opened the way towards innovation, and has allowed Clarins to become a renowned pioneer in skin care.
    Each plant is carefully analyzed and screened so that it delivers only the very best. The most active part of the plant (leaf, flower, stem or root) is selected based on strict performance criteria (including safety) and is used in the most effective concentration.
    • Jean-Pierre Nicolas

      Clarins Botanist
      This expert ethno-botanist works with Clarins teams researching new ingredients while respecting biodiversity.

    The best experts

    In the quest for plant-based extracts, Clarins brings together the best experts in the fields of chemistry, biology, pharmacology and dermatology. They share their knowledge and unite their efforts with one common goal: to ensure a finished product’s quality, safety and effectiveness.

    Together we are stronger

    Because one plant can boost the properties of another, Clarins biochemists are constantly looking to create the highest performing combination of vegetal ingredients.
    Pioneer products in the field of natural beauty - Clarins' AromaPhyto treatment oils are the best example of this art of dosage and mixing. They combine, in the same formula, aromatic essential oils and plant extracts with treatment benefits which were selected for their complementary and ideal synergetic actions.

  3. Formulation

    The amount of time
    needed to develop
    a new Clarins formula.

    Formulation: a mixture of intuition
    creativity and high-tech know-how

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    When plants have given us the best of themselves, Clarins researchers are faced with a new feat: to create a formula that gives the product all of its qualities and maximum comfort for the skin.
    For Clarins scientists, each criterion is essential: stability, ease of application, sensoriality and fragrance.

    Rigor and perserverence

    Several months of work and constant controls are required in order to find the most effective formula. And since the demand for quality is on-going, several analyses are required: physical, chemical and bacteriological. These analyses are carried out in a very controlled manner. The development of a new formula often takes 18 months, more than 100 trials and an average of 250 quality controls.

    Specialized experts

    The development of a Clarins product depends on the talent and experience of several teams of scientists; each one specialized in a different area: cleansers, day creams, sun products, make-up.


    For each raw material, the choice of supplier is essential. Each supplier is evaluated and audited to verify collaborators, their respect for the environment and to see if their methods are in keeping with the Clarins charter.
    Suppliers must provide the place and date of the gathering or harvest of the raw materials, the impact on the natural surroundings, transportation and storage. This policy applies not only to raw materials but to the packaging of the finished product as well.

  4. Tests

    The number
    necessary to develop
    a new product.

    Product effectiveness and safety -
    our top priorities

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    In Clarins' biometrology unit, measures of effectiveness are particularly strict and tolerance tests are always carried out under dermatologist supervision.
    Following a rigorous methodology, and thanks to high-performing techniques, each product is tested before, during and after its use. For each new product, at least 100 carefully selected volunteers give their opinion. If the results demonstrate optimal effectiveness, combined with perfect skin tolerance, the product will then be able to continue its path.
    • Proven effectiveness


      For the first time, Clarins research measured the changes in the way the skin diffuses light. 150 women ages 21 to 77 participated in this test. The study revealed a drop in the skin’s ability to diffuse light beginning at age 40. By age 50, the skin loses approximately 34% of its light ‘capital’, or ‘vital light’.
      Based on these results, Clarins created the Vital Light collection—three formulas that enhance and stimulate dermal functions to help restore the skin’s original luminosity.

    Test methods

    Each skin parameter requires a study protocol and perfectly reliable techniques that can be reproduced and are precise.

    Poly-sensoriality is a priority

    Tested sensoriality
    Pleasure, gentleness, colour, fragrance, glide-on ease, absorption rate—groups of volunteers, who have been specifically trained to use the measurement scale, test and retest the product texture until it is perfect.

    Cosmetic vigilance, ensuring product safety

    This is a procedure that makes it possible to follow the undesirable effects of a product after it is placed on the market. Working in close collaboration with the Clarins Client Relations department, this procedure makes it possible to track and analyze client comments: product identification, description of symptoms and conditions of appearance.


    That's how much product
    can be produced each year in

    An ultra-rigorous production process
    guarantees perfect quality

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    A formula takes on its definitive form in the production unit, before being stored and shipped. After being weighed, it is placed in a vat. This is the last step that requires extreme rigor in the pure respect of the ‘recipe’ developed in the lab: the order in which each ingredient is introduced, the temperature, length and speed of mixing, rest time—everything is verified and automated for a zero-fault result.
    Finally, the packaging process is an important step during which particular attention is paid to weight, volume, the recyclability of all the components and the selected transportation method. Clarins is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.