I'm having a love affair with skin care oils right now. I use oil to cleanse my face, oil to moisturize my face, and when I'm really in the mood for some pampering, I use bath oil and body oil to moisturize the rest of me. I've used Clarins' Huile Santal on and off for years, but the packaging did the product no favors. Housed in a round glass jar with a narrow opening, it was too easy to pour far too much into my hands, wasting product. It was also messy--I always seemed to end up with oil leaking down the sides of the bottle and slipping through my fingers. Eventually, I gave up.
I was thrilled to see that Clarins finally listened to customer feedback on this issue and changed the packaging. Still housed in glass bottles, the Face Oils are now supplied with a dropper, which makes for effortless measurement of just the right amount of oil--which is only a few drops at a time.
I chose Huile Orchidee Bleue (Blue Orchid) oil this time around since my skin seems more dehydrated than dry these days. I get the flaky, dull skin, yet it still manages to "glow" by the end of the day. What I needed was an intensely hydrating oil. I was driven to Orchidee Bleue due to the fact that about 6 weeks ago I got a peel during a facial and was left with unrelenting flakiness around my mouth and chin. And I do mean unrelenting--it seemed no matter what I tried, be it serums, creams, or even thick balms, nothing could ease the dryness. I was becoming desperate, so I decided to revisit the Clarins oils.
Orchidee Bleue contains hazel seed oil along with sunflower seed oil, two of the most hydrating oils on the planet. They are known not only for their moisturizing properties, but also for their ability to sink quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. As such, they provide the conditioning your skin needs without actually appearing or feeling greasy or heavy. In addition to the base oils, Huile Orchidee Bleue is infused with essential oils of Patchouli and Blue Orchid, which tone and revitalize the skin, as well as Rosewood, known to aid in the treatment of dry skin types. Together, these ingredients offer deep hydration, toning, balancing and softening.
In my personal experience, I applied Huile Orchidee Bleue one night and woke up to flake-free skin the next morning. Flake-free! I had been struggling for weeks with the dryness around my mouth, yet one simple night of treatment with this amazing oil healed it and kept the flakies away for good. Color me impressed!
Huile Orchidee Bleue is a viscous, golden oil that is scented with Patchouli. I find it to be pleasantly herbal, but if you don't like fragrance in general or Patchouli in particular, I highly suggest you give it a sniff at the counter before purchasing because the fragrance may be too much for you, and it lingers for quite some time. The texture of the oil is thick and heavy, yet when applied to the skin it sinks in immediately. Skin is left soft and incredibly smooth with no residue at all. Overnight, the oils work in harmony to leave you with a refreshed, moisturized glow in the morning. I now find that there's a huge difference in the way my skin looks the morning after I apply Orchidee Bleue versus all of my other lotions and potions. It's truly amazing how well this oil hydrates my skin.
As for application techniques, there are several. One is Clarins' recommended method of mixing a few drops of oil with a touch of their toning lotion, then gently pressing the mixture onto the skin of the face and neck (you can see a video demonstration here). I prefer to spray toner directly onto my face, place a few drops of oil on my fingertips, warm the oil by pressing my fingertips together and then pressing them into my skin, concentrating on my most problematic areas. Some nights I follow with additional moisturizer, but most nights the oil alone is enough for my skin. I've also used it in the morning under makeup. Because it absorbs so quickly and thoroughly, it makes a wonderful base for foundation, leaving my skin with a slightly dewy glow.
Bottom Line: Huile Orchidee Bleue is a truly phenomenal product that delivers on its promises. After weeks of constantly flaking and peeling skin, one night of treatment with this oil ended my angst. Furthermore, my skin has only improved since then. As time has gone by, I've begun adding various serums on top of the oil and have had wonderful results. If you are suffering from dry or dehydrated skin, this is the product for you.