Why does Clarins use plant extracts in its products?


Clarins has always been passionate about plants, and our premium products are inspired by the natural world. Over 250 plant extracts go into our formulas, designed to reveal each woman's inner beauty. But although we draw on the powers inherent to nature, we are also actively involved in the fight to respect and protect it. Here we talk about our plant-based expertise and our commitment to safeguarding the planet and humankind.

1. A founder with a passion

Clarins was founded in 1954, thanks to the visionary approach taken by one man, Jacques Courtin-Clarins, who wanted to treat women to a way of making life feel a little more luxurious. To do so, he began a ground-breaking process of creating plant-based beauty products, drawing inspiration from nature to develop long-lasting innovations. Our founder was well-versed in how effective plants can be in medicine, and was one of the very first people to grasp how beneficial they can be in cosmetics, too. And so, Clarins' first body oils were born, and with them our brand's expertise in aroma-phyto beauty.

2. The science of plants: our expertise

At Clarins, we prioritize natural ingredients, nurturing our knowledge of plants through the many different experts working in our laboratories. These nature researchers and medical and botanical specialists are ethnobotanists who scour the world looking for plants likely to be of interest in our formulas. Each plant they select is then analyzed back at our laboratories. Stalks, leaves, flowers, and fruits are all examined by Clarins' phyto-chemists, who then extract the most active molecules at optimal concentration levels. Our biology experts then study how effective the cosmetic properties of each extract are on human skin. Because consumer safety is our utmost priority, we only use the safest and most effective plant-based extracts in our formulas. Each and every extract is tested for safety by our toxicologists.

3. Working with and for nature

As a company with a conscience, Clarins aims to develop products that safeguard both human health and the planet. To achieve this, we select our plant extracts in accordance with sustainability criteria:

- Sustainable for the environment: we prioritize traceable ingredients from sources that respect the biodiversity of soil and species, which contributes to plant sustainability by prioritizing renewable parts such as leaves, stalks, flowers, and fruits. As a bare minimum, we give priority to extracts from certified organically-grown plants. Where possible, we use extracts from plants that are certified organic in themselves: in other words, not only are they organically grown, they are also organically sourced. For ingredients that are neither certified organic nor organically-grown, we work with our various suppliers to encourage them to shift towards organic methods as much as possible. To date, our catalog of plant extracts includes around 90 certified organically-grown extracts. Finally, our laboratories work with plants that have undergone very little modification, in accordance with green chemistry principles via low-polluting (in which green solvents are prioritized), low-waste, low-energy processing methods that draw on renewable resources.

- Sustainable for local communities: our ingredient sourcing policy allows us to support a dozen fair-trade programs around the world, such as in Madagascar and Burkina Faso. In this way, we are able to ensure local resources are safeguarded and to train communities to develop their skill-sets and local economy. This process translates into fair pay for our suppliers and funding for projects that improve the communities' standards of living (access to health care, education and training, building infrastructure such as wells, schools, and more). Every year, we commit to increasing the quantity of fair-trade raw materials we use.

By harnessing the power of plants in cosmetics, Clarins actively supports a responsible approach to beauty.

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