Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase review, photos | A weightless summer skin saviour?

Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase

The product: Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase

The formula

Designed to nourish the skin at multiple levels, Clarins’ approach to the HydraQuench serum is one that encompasses the best of both worlds, relying on both plant extracts and synthetics to achieve the best results possible.

Clarins bi-phase hydraquench review serum

With a focus on hyaluronic acid and fair trade, ethically sourced Katafray bark extract from Madagascar, this bi-phase blue liquid works to lock in water at the surface & restore hydration deeper in the dermis. It’s made to be suitable for all skintypes, from dry to oily, and has a very lightweight lipid phase — honestly, with the matte finish and weightless texture, I wouldn’t have thought there were any oils in the formula at all. It can be a little tacky, but isn’t greasy in the least.

To top it all off, the HydraQuench Intensive Serum is fragranced with a fresh, summery scent: not ever a company to do fragrance by halves, Clarins lists a green apple top note, a rose heart, and a woody base.

Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum review

My experience with the HydraQuench Serum 

In my own personal experience (the italics are totally necessary, because you have to remember that my skin is weird), I didn’t find the Clarins HydraQuench serum to be, well, intensive enough. However, I happen to have extremely dry skin that isn’t caused by systemic dehydration or over-stripping — it’s the kind of skin that takes well to night moisturizers being used during the day, and doesn’t even blink in the face of a Vaseline or Aquaphor “sealant” on dry winter days.

That said, though, I honestly believe I’m in the minority with this product. Wherever I go (on the internet; I don’t go places in real life), I hear nothing but raves for this serum. It’s a far cry from my personal experience (which is that I like this, and do use it, but it won’t make my dry patches disappear), but I think it’s much closer to the norm.

Clarins Hydra Quench review serum dual-phase

Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase – separated

Where the HydraQuench serum really excels is on combination oily/dehydrated skin. From what I’ve read, the people who really love it (and I mean who really, fanatically, all-out love it) tend to be the ones who find most serums too heavy or greasy, but still really need that boost of hydration.

It makes sense, with the incredibly lightweight formula and non-greasy finish, at least in my head! If you’ve loved (or hated) this one, tell me about it in the comments — I’d love to hear more about your skin type and results.

Clarins Hydra Quench serum mixed

Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase – shaken/mixed

Don’t believe me? Believe Lisa Eldridge. 

Like a lot of the makeup world, I take Lisa Eldridge’s word as gospel. With over two decades of experience, Lisa’s career is something out of a [makeup artistry] fairy tale: not only has she done countless celebrities, covers, and fashion shows, but she’s currently working as the Creative Director of No. 7, creates makeup tutorials for Chanel’s Make-Up Confidential, and writes ELLE UK’s monthly The Beauty Guru column.

When someone with that much experience calls a serum “the best product for hydrating the skin I’ve used in a long time,” well. You kind of have to give it its dues, you know?

(Sources: 1 / 2 / 3)

Clarins HydraQuench Serum dry skin review

The verdict?

I’m very hesitant to give a “verdict” for this one, but in the spirit of review-based beauty blogging: you’ll just have to take it with a grain of salt.

If you have normal to oily skin with dehydrated patches, I honestly think that this will work quite well for you. For extremely dry skin, however, it may not be enough! With its light, non-greasy finish and functional-luxurious packaging, I think the Clarins HydraQuench serum is a pretty darn good bet for anyone who needs an extra boost of weightless moisture in the hot summer months — but not if your skin is stubbornly dry.

Availability: $58 USD/$58 CAD for 1 oz; $70 USD for 1.6 oz.

Clarins Hydra Quench serum review

Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase ingredients:

Aqua, Glycerine, Isohexadecane, Isononyl Isononanoates, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Sodium PCA, Trehalose, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Benzophenone-4, Sodium Chloride, Parfum, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherylacetate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tromethamine, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Alcohol, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Carrageenan Extract, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Alfalfa Extract, Cedrelopsis Grevei Bark Extract, Pyrus Sorbus Bud Extract, Sorbic Acid, Tocopherol, CI 42090 (Blue 1), CI 60730 (Violet 2).

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  • I think opinions can go either way, depending on your skin type and your needs. I like this serum for an extra boost of hydration, especially in the winter ;)
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    • I'm glad to hear you're loving the Clarins HydraQuench serum, Kelly! Thanks for adding your two cents :)

  • Oh now this is interesting. I would have thought someone with dry skin would have been happy with this one. I've recieved a few samples of it and can't really use it atm. My skin is more on the oily side in Summer. Next Winter it may appreciate the extra boost of moisture but it will depend how much dryer it gets. Also, to me, it did feel a little oily reason why I've only tried it a few times.
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    • Hmmm, interesting! I definitely agree that this would be too much for truly oily skin types (oily-dehydrated combination skin not included), but it's unfortunately not enough for my skin.

      I do think I class as drier-than-dry, though! :( My skin sucks this up within seconds.

  • thebeautycollection

    I had a sample size of this and loved it, bought the full version and began to think that this might be the product behind my random skin flare ups. I really love the product so it's a shame if it is this product causing the flare ups, I'm still investigating at this point…
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    • Oh no!! I hope this isn't the cause of your flare ups! :( Do you know what might be causing them? (eg. a fragrance, oil, or extract?)

      • thebeautycollection

        I hope it isn't too, I'm still testing but I'm being very careful of using the Serum – I think it might just be a little too rich for my young skin, I'm hoping that's it rather than an allergy to a specific ingredient. I normally don't have reactions so I'm hoping it's just stress :)
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  • My Lucite Dreams

    Each persons skin is so different and it's so important to personally test-drive products, sampling is key. I have had many highly rated product fail on me so I hear you. I remember hearing about this on Lisa's blog though I took into account that her skin type is different than mine. A lot of the foundations she has praised don't personally work on my dry skin. My dry-skin saviors have been oils, Kahina's Argan Oil saved me this winter and RMS's Beauty Oil is doing wonders for me currently.

    • Thanks for sharing, Taylor! I haven't had any luck with oils either, personally (so far I've mainly tried jojoba), but to each their own :) I wouldn't trade my dry skin for an oily complexion, but sometimes it's still such a hassle!

  • toyarosie

    Urgh, perfume is listed so close to the beginning of the ingredient list! WHY do companies do this to me? The only saving grace here is that it mean less products to put on my wishlist LOL. It sounds quite lovely Rae, especially for skin types like mine (if of course, the fragrance was absent lol).
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    • Yep :( I'm sorry to hear you have so many difficulties with scented products, Toya — it must be such a nightmare! I think your perfume sensitivities pretty much rule out anything Clarins (:( :( :(), but I can't help but wonder if you could use all-natural scented products.

      Have you ever given any a try, just out of curiosity? :)

  • chloe4

    I use this Clarins Serum in the morning, and I night I use the Made from Earth Olive Night Creme. Both work well for a day / night type of deal.