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What is Clarins Beauty Flash Balm?

Madeira must know…What is Clarins Beauty Flash Balm? Is it a primer? A moisturizer? What does it do? (If anything).

The Beauty Brains respond:

According to Clarins this product “instantly moisturizes, brightens, and tightens facial contours so skin looks rested and relaxed.” It also “prepares skin for perfect makeup application.” We suppose you could call this a “moisturizing primer.”

Flash in the pan

A quick look at the ingredients (see below) reveals that the product is water-based and contains the following key ingredients:

  • Hygroscopic agents (propylene glycol and glycerin) which will help bind moisture to skin. However if the climate is very dry these kinds of ingredients can actually pull water out of the skin.
  • Octyldodecanol – a hydrocarbon-based emollients that will help make skin feels smoother.
  • Starch which is a film former. That means as it dries on your skin it will make it feel tighter. This can have a temporary effect on reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

It’s also important to note what this product does NOT contain. There are no highly occlusive moisturizing agents to seal moisture in the skin, such as petrolatum or dimethicone. There are no skin resurfacing agents that would truly make this product “brightening” such as a retinoid or an alpha hydroxy acid.

The Beauty Brains bottom-line

This product should do pretty much what it claims as long as you don’t get your hopes too high. It will certainly provide some degree of moisturization (although there are much better moisturizers on the market); it will also smooth skin and help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The starchy film combined with the octyldodecanol should provide a good base for make up. Just remember that it won’t provide any sustained benefits to your skin – once you wash it off the benefits will disappear.

Beauty Flash Balm Ingredients

Aqua/Water/Eau, Propylene Glycol, Octyldodecanol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Glycerin, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Stearate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Bisabolol, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum/Fragrance, Butylene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Citrate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Algae Extract, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Coumarin, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxycitronellal, Citronellol, Geraniol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Eugenol, Limonene, Isoeugenol, Ci 15985/Yellow 6E.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • gabis September 29, 2014, 9:19 am

    I have this product and really regreting purchasing it especially given how expensive it was. It doesn’t work on my skin as a moisturizer primer because whenever I apply on my face right after a few minutes it starts to sort of “crumble” and that is whether I had previously applied moisturizer or not. Very very annoying thing. Thank goodness it can also be worn as a once-a-week moisturizer mask which is the only way I’ve found it useful (and even so it still crumbles but in this case I don’t really care because it’s a home routine and no make up will be applied after it).
    By the way, I would like to know why this sort of thing happens – the crumbling of products after applied on skin- because it also happens with other products.
    Fyi I have combination skin which suffers from dehydration, acne and black spots, acne scars and large pores.

    • gabis September 29, 2014, 9:21 am

      I think “peel off” might describe the situation better. Sorry english is not my main language 🙂

      • Randy Schueller September 29, 2014, 9:57 am

        The “peel off” effect might be caused by the starch as it dries.

  • Clarins September 30, 2014, 8:14 am

    Hi Gabis, Yes, it is normal if your sky is very dry. It’s because the formula is working on your skin. I suggest you to moisturize your skin (with your usual moisturizer) before applying it or you can apply it on your make-up for a quick fix before going out with friends! Thanks!

  • Marilyn February 21, 2017, 12:40 pm

    I was told when I purchased this product that I should use it over my makeup to provide a nice glow. It indeed does that. I was also told not to disturb my makeup after applying this product bc it may cause my makeup to peel it crumble. Weird to put out a product that does that and even warns against makeup touch ups..which everyone does. The product likely does that bc of starch content, as Randy said, but if you leave it alone, just enjoy the glow and apply it where you wouldn’t touch up your makeup….High on your cheekbone, tip of nose…I’ve actually received complements on the ‘glow’.

  • Cynthia Trope September 14, 2019, 7:23 am

    My overall thought was I believed this was a hydrating moisturizer that helps adjust to your own skin needs, giving (the “bam”in your skin I have always only used this, I’m not a fan of makeup however I FOR me makeup wasn’t necessary, this gave enough of what I was looking for.hydrated,bright smoother looking complexion.especially when I’ve used the instant smooth, the products for myself,(others I’ve tried ).to almost give a airbrushed look.
    I love this product. Am looking forward to putting it in my special”spa” Christmas gifts.