As Christian Courtin-Clarins continues to drive his father Jacques company (Clarins) forward with a clear desire to wrap up the men’s skin care market, we see the launch of three ClarinsMen Body Care products. The ClarinsMen range containing ingredients which are, “nature’s energy for men’s skin” (according to Clarins) has been addressing men’s needs for a number of years now. Fortunately for Ape to Gentleman’s avid readers you are able to buy the range online and direct from Clarins, thus avoiding the ‘white coats’ and pristine beauty counter sales reps you so feared in our recent survey. I got my hands on the new ClarinsMen Body Care products and after four weeks of trials, this is what I have to say…

First up is the ClarinsMen Ab Firming gel, £28 for 150ml – the science behind this product relates to difficult to move fat which in us gents is generally located in the area your mates like to refer to as ‘love handles’. Our old friend and occasional worst enemy exercise is of course the best remedy for this ‘situation’ (shall we say) but, to translate the Clarins technical speak I believe the Ab Firming gel can be of use as an additional aid. Best used before or after exercise when your body is naturally breaking down your stored fat the light blue gel is to be massaged into love handles and abs. Now, let the magic begin – “adiposlim, a sophisticated amino-acid, slows fat storage; Caffeine, Horse Chestnut, Sunflower and Cangzhu root extracts stimulate the body’s fat releasing mechanisms; Bocoa (ironwood) protects and increases the production of skin-firming collagen; Bison Grass and Mint energise, tone and refresh skin”. Wow! Impressive? The truth is that the gel itself has a slight chemically scent akin to an alcohol hand cleanser but maybe that’s not a bad thing? I mean, if I’m looking at this potion as a medical cure then I can handle the scent, besides I’m not rubbing it on my more sensitive face.

ClarinsMen report their test results highlight that after four weeks daily use with a male test panel of 111, they saw an average 0.5cm reduction in volume of ‘love handles’ and 80% experienced firmer skin with 60% experiencing reduced ‘love handles’. Great! Good for those 111 men, but I would like to know, did those men laze around eating fine French cuisine or were they applying the gel after exercise? I think a four week exercise program alone would probably show the same results. N’est pas? However with a more positive cap on, those 111 saw good results and who’s to begrudge them that? At £28 and daily use required it’s certainly a commitment but if it makes lazier apes and gents hit the gym, get fit and lose some weight, then well, it can’t be be a bad thing. From my own point of view, I play bucket loads of sport anyway and don’t have the love handles of despair but I’ll store the ClarinsMen Ab Firming gel away for use as and when those handles may or may not appear.

Next up is the ClarinsMen Body Moisture Spray and £22 buys you 150ml worth of “deeply moisturising Fair Trade Katafray Bark and Sugar Pine” and the rest. The spray is a light fluid body moisturiser that’s quick to apply and rapidly absorbed. My only problem here is that it’s so light, if I had the need to moisturise my body – I’m not sure it’s enough. It does cover large areas of your body well, which is great and it’s easy to spray on to hard to reach areas such as your back. I found my skin was left slightly sticky but it did the job.

Finally, the ClarinsMen Shower Scrub £17 for 200ml was my favourite of the three products. Let me explain something first – for those of you who have used ClarinsMen products you’ll be familiar with that scent! You know which one I mean right? Well, love it or loathe it, it’s always present. It’s a fresh scent, a clean scent, even healthy smelling – but for me it can be a little over powering when using the entire ClarinsMen range in one go. As you’ll have gathered, I’m a little unsure of ‘the scent’ but in this foaming body wash and exfoliator in one, I really like it. The blue gel itself is refreshing and cooling, especially during the sweaty summer months, the Microbeads which buff off dead skin cells are gentle and the presence of an old friend Salicylic Acid leaves skin with an even tone. A body wash with scent (acceptable) and exfoliator in one, gentle and thoroughly cleansing – it gets my approval.

ClarinsMen Body Care is available exclusively online at www.clarins.co.uk now.