Friday, 17 September 2010

Ren ClearCalm 3 Anti-Blemish Skincare: 4 Weeks In

Acne. Blemishes. Spots. Zits. Break-outs. Whatever you like to call it, my skin has been plagued by this pesky condition since my teens. While it has settled down considerably now I am in my late twenties, I still get smaller spots every now and then and I have been left with scarring, redness and uneven skintone from previous break-outs.
So when I discovered that my fave skincare brand Ren were coming out with an anti-blemish range, I naturally was very excited. Ren's new ClearCalm 3 range is designed to combat the 3 key causes of breakouts and blemishes: excess sebum, build up of dead skin cells, blemish-causing bacteria and it does this without harshness.
This launched on 1st September, but Selfridges had this a couple of weeks earlier so I bought the range which consists of an Anti-blemish Clay Cleanser (£18), Anti-blemish Day Fluid (£24), Replenishing Night Serum (£20) and Anti-blemish Treatment Mask (£28).

The Box info (has a good breakdown of key ingredients and benefits):

The blurb (can be enlarged)
L-R: mask, cleanser, day fluid, night serum
Ingredients (can be enlarged)
L-R: mask, cleanser, day fluid, night serum  

My skin for reference apart from being blemish-prone is combination - I have an oily T-zone and my cheeks are slightly drier.
I have been using the ClearCalm 3 range for almost 4 weeks now so these are my initial thoughts.

I'll start with the Anti-Blemish Clay Cleanser:

Anti-Blemish Clay Cleanser, L - small pump, R- spread out a bit

I was a bit dubious about this as the name had me envisioning rubbing something akin to a clay mask over my face and sucking it dry, but this could not be further from the truth. The texture is not what I had expected from a blemish range as this is a cream (if you've tried Ren's Hydra-Calm cleanser it is a similar texture). Quite a light cream so it is easily spread and massaged into the skin and is rinsed off leaving no residue. It doesn't leave the skin feeling dry, rather more soft and comfortable. The scent is a herbally-fresh sort of scent, I wouldn't say minty or menthol as such, but slightly more herbal (sorry for the rather rubbish description). I started using this first for about a week before the other products to see how this feels and while I like it and there isn't anything wrong with it, I am not blown away. Maybe after using a lot of their other products I have very high expectations. I think it is helping to make the skin appear a bit clearer but I haven't noticed a significant difference with this. I don't use this to remove makeup, I always use a separate cleansing oil or balm as these to me are the most thorough for makeup removal. Overall I find this quite pleasant to use being a cream and I will happily use up the bottle although I not sure if I will repurchase.

The Anti-Blemish Day Fluid:

Anti-Blemish Day Fluid

This was the one product in the range I was the most cautious about - I am used to using creams rather then fluids and the texture of this feels quite different. It is a slightly runny, quite thin liquid (maybe even a bit gel like), that when applied to the skin has an odd combination of feeling rather slippy but matt/silky at the same time. A small amount of this spreads very well over the skin, but when absorbed (which is quick by the way), it is completely matt and natural looking that it is not evident that you have applied anything. I can imagine this lasting quite a long time, as I am nowhere near having used even 1/4 of the bottle. The scent is similar to the cleanser but a bit lighter. I was worried that this would not be moisturising enough for my cheeks, but I haven't experienced any tightness/or dryness from this. I admit that I do crave a slightly more creamy/plumper base for my makeup and with this feeling like virtually nothing on the skin I use a little primer on top (not on the t-zone). I have used without primer and have not had any issue but I do wonder when it comes to the colder months if this will provide enough moisture.

I am pleasantly surprised by this fluid as it does seem to make my t-zone less oily (I still touch-up my powder halfway through the day) and I think it has helped a little with slight redness. As this feels so light I can use sunscreen or primers on top without feeling that I've applied too much to my skin.
I have found gradually that the more I use this, the more I have come to like it as it does make the skin feel soft and hydrated.  

The Replenishing Night Serum:

Replenishing Night Serum
This is a cream (the day fluid feels more serum like to me), and is not greasy but light and easily absorbed. The scent to this is very mild that I don't really notice it, but smelling it more closely it as a more softer, milder herbal scent not dissimilar to the cleanser. This claims to calm the skin, reduce redness and pigmentation scars and while I think it has helped a little in calming the skin, I haven't noticed any difference to my scarring or evenness, although I don't really expect a great deal on the these fronts as I haven't used this long enough to see if it really does help. Personally I prefer Ren's Omega 3 Night Repair Serum over this as after using that I really saw a difference in my skin the next morning in that it looked more glowy and clearer and did a good job of healing blemishes too.
This is the one product in the range I am not sure of - while it feels pleasant to use, I don't really see much difference in my skin but I will continue to use it to see if I notice any further improvement over time.

The Anti-Blemish Treatment Mask:

Anti-Blemish Treatment Mask
This new mask is a creamy clay texture with quite a strong refreshing herbally (sort of minty?) scent. It does not dry hard and you are supposed to leave it on for about 15 mins then wash off (although I have left this on for an hour with no problems). It is best used twice a week. When washed off my face feels soft, a bit clearer and my pores seem less visible with no dryness. This has also helped to unclog the pores/bring blackheads to the surface on my t-zone so that they can be extracted more easily. This is my favourite product of the range.

Overall being an anti-blemish range, nothing about it feels harsh, all the products have felt lovely to use and comfortable, and I haven't had any adverse reactions to them. I like that the range says it's for problem skin rather then oily/combination/problem skin as a lot of other brands seem to throw those skin types together. In terms of keeping blemishes at bay, I think that it helps a little - I still get a few smaller spots, but they seem to go away and heal a bit better with this, but it is not a huge difference. Hopefully with continual use I might see more of an improvement. The product I would repurchase is the mask as I was impressed with this, even after the first use. I would possibly repurchase the day fluid as I wasn't expecting to like this, but the more I use it the more I Iike it.

I will continue to use the range, and update after a month or so. 

Disclaimer: All products purchased by myself