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A Real Tonic
Clarins Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate
Member Name: SueMagee
Clarins Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate
Advantages: An aromatherapy treatment whilst you bathe .
Disadvantages: It's expensive and there's a lot of excess packaging .
Cheap bath and shower products do nothing for my skin. They leave it feeling dry and itchy. Our everyday bath "gelee" is Badedas, but the one I like best is Clarins Tonic Bath and Shower concentrate.
Let's deal with the question of price straight away, because it is expensive. The recommended retail price is a frightening £13.50 for 200ml, the equivalent of £6.75 per 100ml, nearly five times the price of the Badedas, which isn't exactly a cheap product to start with. You will sometimes get special offers on the Clarins, but the cheapest I've seen it recently is £9.50 plus £1.95 p&p from www.lapreya.com. So, what are you getting for your money?
Well, the first thing you buy is a lot of excess packaging. The concentrate comes in a sturdy plastic bottle with a firm screw cap which incorporates a flip top. It is at least as substantial as the bottles of shower gel, shampoo, etc which you see on supermarket shelves and which seem to travel unscathed. Unfortunately the Clarins product is then packed in a cardboard box, which, in turn, has a separate cardboard stiffener inside it. Add to these two leaflets in more languages than I can readily recognise and you can imagine how much waste there is. It does all recycle, but that's no excuse to force me to buy it and then deal with all the bits and pieces. I've deducted one star for this and complained to Clarins, but to no effect.
Given that it's expensive and there's a lot of waste packaging why do I think it's the best? Well, what you get is a form of aromatherapy treatment and a good wash. I'll deal with the aromatherapy aspect first.
There are three products in the Clarins Bath and Shower range: Tonic, Relax and Contour. They're designed to be used for specific purposes. Tonic is the wake-up call, Relax helps you to wind down and Contour helps with body firming. All have essential oils which, when the aroma is inhaled, give a form of aromatherapy. The Tonic scent which predominates for me is geranium, which I've always found uplifting. I can also detect juniper and rosemary which is good for de-stressing. I'm told that there's also arnica, balm mint, big black root, gentian, hops, mint and witch hazel in there. Personally I can't distinguish them but the overall aroma is invigorating.
I have used this product in the shower, but I really think that it's best enjoyed in a leisurely bath. Clarins recommend a temperature of 37°C, which is warm rather than hot and enhances rather than killing the scent. I like to relax for ten minutes and breathe in the aroma. It leaves me feeling more ready to face the day. I have tried doing the same with the Badedas gelee but the effect is never quite the same.
The concentrate produces rich lather based on natural coconut, although I do notice that sodium laureth sulphate is up high in the list of ingredients. This chemical is a degreaser. It reduces the surface tension of water and allows foaming. For this reason you should make certain you keep the concentrate well away from your eyes. I did wonder if the fact that sodium laureth sulphate came so high on the list of ingredients would mean that Tonic dried the skin, but I've not found this to be the case. I've used it intermittently over a number of years and occasionally (when finance has permitted) over a long continuous period. I've never found my skin to be dry despite the fact that I tend to be forgetful about applying moisturisers.
Tonic cleanses well. Even in the bath I apply a very small amount to a sponge and use this to clean my body. I look clean and I feel clean. My skin is lightly perfumed and this lasts for a few hours. It isn't heavy enough to clash with a perfume even straight out of the bath.
Clarins say that this product helps to tone the skin, but I find that aspect difficult to comment on simply because I'd probably need industrial scaffolding if I really was looking to achieve toned skin. They also say that it neutralises the drying effects of hard water, but one of the benefits of living in the Yorkshire Dales is that the only hard water you get is ice.
Clarins products are not tested on animals, but it would be a mistake to assume that the individual ingredients had not been so tested.
If I'm very careful with a bottle of Tonic I can make it last for about three weeks, so it is outrageously expensive. On the other hand it does make me feel good and that's not expensive at 65p a day.
Summary: An indulgence that you can justify!