Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review: Clarins Bright Plus Gentle Renewing Brightening Peel

You guys know of my love for my Cane & Austin Retexturizing Treatment Pads, which are filled with Glycolic Acid, so it probably comes as no surprise that I have dabbled in a few other chemical exfoliates. Since my skin is sensitive and dry, I find that chemical exfoliates are a lot more gentle on my skin than physical ones (you know, the ones with the little gritty bits that scrub your skin?) I have a few more that I am also trying out, including the infamous Alpha-H and the Pixi Glow Tonic, but since those are harder to get in the States I picked up one that’s readily available – the Clarins Bright Plus Gentle Renewing Brightening Peel.

This one has Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), and it works as a very gentle exfoliate. I find this much more gentle than the Cane & Austin pads, so I don’t mind using this liberally – twice a day if I feel up for it. I apply it after cleansing and before serum/moisturizer, as you do with all toner/exfoliates.

This one in particular is meant to eliminate dead skin cells to reveal luminous, bright skin with a soft, rosy glow. It is also said to help tighten pores, and to leave your skin smoother than before. It has “tamarind, white nettle, and mimosa tenuiflora extracts, which help your skin naturally exfoliate while surrounding it in gentle, soothing freshness.”

My thoughts? I think it’s a very nice, soothing product, but it’s a bit too gentle for me. I like a bit of a “kick” or a “sting”, so this product doesn’t give me the same satisfaction as the Cane & Austin pads. That being said, I am very happy to have this for nights where I don’t want to bother my skin too much – I just want to cleanse and go to bed. It refreshes my skin without irritating my skin in the slightest. I could also see this being quite enjoyable when I’m not feeling that well and therefore don’t want stingy things on my face. This would definitely be a great "starter" toner, for people who want to start with the chemical toners but are a bit wary of them. Oh, and don't let the word "peel" in the name scare you - this is VERY gentle. 

In a medicine cabinet full of skincare goodies, this one is labeled my “gentle chemical toner”, otherwise known as my “toner for when I can’t be bothered to treat my skin”. And by treat I mean, “get in there and rough it up a bit”… not “treat” as in “apply a luxury product” – this product is still quite luxurious. I recommend. 

P.S. It does worry me a bit that "alcohol" is it's second ingredient... although it is followed up with glycerin in third place, which counters that nicely. But still.

Also, I think this is the same toner as the "Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner"... not sure if it's a repackage or if that's the British version since I read about it over on Caroline Hirons blog. But the ingredients look the same, and Caroline loves it, which makes me feel much better about it having alcohol so high up on the ingredient list.

Water, Alcohol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Tromethamine, Glycolic Acid, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Tartaric Acid, Cellulose Gum, Arginine, Tamarindus Indica Extract, Disodium EDTA, Salicylic Acid, Lamium Album Flower Extract, Fragrance, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid, Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Salicylate, Geraniol, Citronellol, Benzyl Benzoate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal


  1. I might be buying this! I'm getting over physical exfoliates. They are too harsh for my sensitive oily acne prone skin. I'm looking for chemical exfoliates in toners and enzyme peel masks. What enzyme masks do you recommend, but is not overly expensive for the amount of product you get?

  2. I'm a huge fan of Clarins so might give this a try when I've finished off my REN Glycolactic radiance mask. Sounds like a good option at least :o).

  3. i have been really loving ur blog :)

  4. Love your blog!

  5. This looks great but the price is a bit steep for someone like me.
    :) Do know any drugstore products that is similar to this one?

    xoxo -B ♡

  6. I want to try this one when I finish the REN exfoliating toner. I admit I was put off by the description stating it would lighten freckles because I actually like mine, but this sounds gentle enough that I will give it a go.

  7. Elle,

    I had a bit of a reaction to the Cane and Austin pads on my neck area. I had used it a couple of times with no adverse reaction and then one night I used Lush Full of Grace after and, WOW, it burned. The next morning I had a big irritated spot that's still healing, several days later. It never happened until I used Full of Grace. I tried Googling adverse reactions to C&A and couldn't find anything. Thoughts?


    1. No clue. Maybe it had a reaction with the Full of Grace? I have no clue why it did that though

  8. This sounds like a interesting product.
    Don't know if I will buy it, but it seems interesting!

  9. Have you tried the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid toner?

  10. Could you please make some new videos soon? I miss them so much and your videos are always my fav! (:

  11. Great review :) This sounds nice, but I also like something a bit stronger!


  12. So THAT'S why I can't seem to find the exfoliating toner anywhere!! I've seen this one in the Clarins counters but never paid any attention to it since I was set on looking for the exfoliating toner because that's what Caroline Hirons recommends. Thanks so much for this Elle! :) Gosh haha why cant the same product just have the same names anywhere in the world....

  13. awesome review! I really want to try this now!

  14. Great review :) I need to invest in more Clarins products I think...

  15. Great post! I kinda want to try something like this but I'm not sure which one to get.


  16. I need to try this. I've found that chemical exfoliates do so much more for my acne than anything else.

    Fashion and Happy Things

  17. Hi Elle,

    I've been using this Dead Sea Facial Peel ( ) - you should give it a try! My skin is dry and a little sensitive and after using this it feels SO good! It's quite thick when you put it on, then it turns into a more watery feel so it's easy to wipe off when you're done.

    Here's the ingredients if you're interested:
    Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Echinacea Angustifolia Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Sea Salt (Dead Sea), Biosaccharide Gum -1, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Panthenol, Sodium Hydroxide, Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Fragrance.

    Let me know if you try this!!! I'm eager to know if it works for you as well.

  18. Hmm, sounds like a nice product! But I totally agree sometimes I really want to feel it working. but if it's something to use twice a day, I do think a little more gentle is the way to go :)
    Kallie, But First, Coffee

  19. Oooo.... I ordered the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator toner from Amazon because I wan't to try it so much. I guess they just rebranded this one for the states. It's definitely on my 'to buy' list!

    xo Lillian from

  20. Elle you should try the Neostrata Level 1 (8% Glycolic acid) and Level 2 (10% glycolic acid) toners... they are from a Canadian company so they may be harder to get a hold of but would really like to hear your thoughts on them!


    AA Perception

  21. Cant wait to hear your thoughts on Alpha H & Pixi glow tonic. I just started using them both :)

  22. I like to feel things working too, but sometimes if I do they are a lot harsher on my skin? Definitely would like to try this product though!

  23. I love this brand.. great recommendation, Elle!

  24. I also like products with a bit of a kick! Thanks for the review.

    KellysVida Beauty & Lifestyle

  25. Hi Elle,
    I love this product I speed ordered it after you recommended it and it just came, I used it immediately and I fell in love! Anyway, I was wondering if you could do a youtube video on Make up essentials/basics with the brand names that you recommend. I have been using your channel for the skincare and hair styleing for years but I recently started wearing make up a year ago (I'm thirteen) and I am trying to get a good base on my make up collection but I am so lost and confused on what I should and what I shouldn't put on my face.

  26. If you like beauty and fashion blogs like this come check out mine at:

  27. Might try this.. but I am worried that it has alcohol too.. Thanks for the review though.


  28. I just read dermadoctors skin care book and it says that alcohol is used as a binding agent or something like that for liquid products and not to worry about dryness- acc to the Derm.


  29. Hey Elle! I am really enjoying your blog and that you talk about ngredients as well they are so so so important.

    I am a scientist and started a series on my blog about why products work or dont work based on their ingredients!

  30. Elle I love your blog so far! Your advice is really helping me :) Thank you so much!

  31. I totally understand the "kick" or "sting" feeling! I always feel better when it happens (:

  32. I know Caroline Hirons supports this product so i am interested in trying because she turned me on to P50 1970 and its changed my skin. nice review on the product, can't wait to try this product

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