About a decade ago I was a devoted user of Clarins classic Huile Body Treatment Oil. I loved everything about it, but eventually got distracted by newer and shinier things. Now I'm using Clarins oil again, this time on my face. It's been seven weeks since I bought Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil and incorporated it into my nighttime skin care routine; so far I'm loving it.
Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil is a rich skin care product that feels and smells like an aromatherapy item. I guess that it is part of the calming and soothing package. The base is hazelnut oil with sandalwood, lavender and cardamom essential oils blended in. Those who hope for a face treatment that smells like Tam Dao might be disappointed, as the lavender and cardamom make this Clarins oil more herbal than creamy. But I'm here for the skin restoration and nourishment attributes of the oil, and they're here aplenty.
Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil feels and behaves as something between a face serum and a night cream. Sometimes I do use a regular serum right after cleansing and before the oil, but even I know it's somewhat redundant. The oil simplifies the process- it goes over clean skin (excluding your eye area) and that's all. There's an immediate plumping effect; if I have an irritated or red patch there's also a calming sensation. While the oil doesn't look greasy or sticky on the face it doesn't exactly disappear on the spot. My skin doesn't look shiny or sleeked but it feels... oiled, I guess. I got used to it after a few nights, especially realizing it doesn't leave any oil stains on the pillow and that I wake up with an extremely happy skin that responds well to my moisturizer and the rest of my morning skin regimen.
Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil targets dry to very dry skin. For me it's a perfect winter treatment. If your skin is oily, you might want to check out the Lotus oil (contains geranium, lotus and rosewood oils). There's also an anti-aging version, Blue Orchid, that I'm planning to try at some point, but for now my sandalwood and I are happy together.
Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil ($50) is available at the counters and from clarinsusa.com.