Fun Facts:

Founded by the French medical student Jacques Courtin-Clarins in 1954, the company's leadership has stayed within the family. Christian Courtin-Clarins, the son of the founder, has been chairman of Clarins since 2000.

The first cosmetics brand to use 100% pure plant extracts, Clarins has expanded into makeup and fragrances through four prestige brands: Azzaro, Clarins, Thierry Mugler, and Stella Cosmetics.

In 2002, Clarins launched Clarins Men, its first range of skincare products for men, and in 2004, the first "ClarinsMen Environment" award is presented.

Clarins is the number one skincare company in France and Europe.

Dubbed a "citizen of the world" company by its chairman, Clarins finances arthritis research in more than 400 laboratories around the world and invests about $2.4 million per year in environmental and educational charities.

Company News/Recent Launches:

In the summer of 2009, Clarins and European organic ingredients supplier Alban Muller teamed up to support L'Herboretum, a French project to encourage sustainable ingredient development.

The company's latest release is Multi-Active Day Early Wrinkle Correction Cream, a skincare treatment for younger women.

Key Ingredients:

Anti-Pollution Complex (in all of Clarin's daytime moisturizers and foundations)- comprised of White Tea Extract, Succory Dock-Cress, and Glycofilm

TIA's Take:

Clarins does not publish ingredient lists on its website. And in spite of its best efforts to champion product safety and efficacy, there is a stark disconnect between Clarins' disclosed ingredients and product claims. As pointed out in Clarins Super Restorative, the touted active botanicals typically appear far down the ingredients list. But far worse than insufficient concentrations of actives is the brand's use of risky synthetics. Clarins Angel Perfume has been found to contain over a dozen hazardous chemicals, including benzophenone-2, diethyl phthalate, and azulene.  Beginning in 2006, Clarins came under fire for including hydrogenated peanut oil as one of the main ingredients in a few products. By not disclosing this additive, Clarins put consumers with peanut allergies at risk. In 2008, the National Toxic Encephalopathy Foundation (NTEF) released a public statement urging Clarins to implement warnings about incorporating peanut-related ingredients in its cosmetics. The seven Clarins products under scrutiny for peanut contamination are: Body Firming Cream, Extra Firming Day Cream Special for Dry Skin, After Sun Replenishing Moisture Care for Face, Aromatic Plant Day Cream, Moisture Quenching Hydra-Balance Cream, Sun Control Stick, and Extra-Comfort Toning Lotion for Dry or Sensitized Skin.  The latter of these also contains phenoxyethanol, panthenol, triethanolamine, propylene glycol, benzyl alcohol, and anise alcohol- not exactly the profile of an emollient suited for sensitive skin. If Clarins wants to build its brand image on allergy testing and plant extracts, its ingredients should be consistent with its promises. Our reviews of Clarins products appear below:

Dept of Daft: Clarins Expertise 3P Screen Mist

Clarins Super Restorative

Reader Review: My Blend by Clarins