The Clarins Boutique & Spa opens this week on Wicklow Street, Dublin 2, and it’s a whole new way to experience one of our favourite French skincare brands …
Olivier Courtin, MD of the Clarins Group (and son of Jacques Courtin-Clarins, who started the brand back in 1954), is in Dublin for the opening of Ireland’s first Clarins Boutique & Spa. He oversees Research & Development, as well as the Institutes and Spas worldwide. It’s a new way to discover all things Clarins. “For the first time, Dubliners will be able to experience Clarins treatments in a Clarins Boutique. We’ll have two treatment rooms for face or body treatments, and an open spa for shorter face treatments,” Olivier Courtin tells us.
Olivier Courtin photographed by Fred Meylan for Clarins.
As always with Clarins, the treatments are centred on wellbeing, and powered by plants and botanicals. Nip in for complimentary Flash Expert Services (from five to 15 minutes), or take more time with half-hour Open Spa Treatments, such as Youth Express facials, and a Skin Energiser treatment for men. For true indulgence, treat yourself to hour-long Skin Spa Treatments such as Power Hydrator, and Rebalancing Massages with Essential Oils. Personally, I find that Clarins’ oils are second to none, particularly the Tonic Body Treatment Oil, with fragrant flower and plant oils such as geranium, rosemary and mint.
“The boutique is a fantastic way to get to know Clarins better, from its history to its values. It’s an immersion in the world of Clarins,” says Olivier Courtin. “You can get to know the plants, and the reason why Clarins use certain types of plants.” Courtin is passionate about the improvements they’ve made to packaging, too, for example using flip-top caps in mono-material in order to reduce their weight and use of plastic. “And, in another field, Clarins supports different fair-trade programmes in countries with a low HDI (human development index),” he notes.
Ireland is also the first country (following a US pilot) to host a new traceability project that will be rolled out globally. Virginie Courtin, MD of the Clarins Group (and granddaughter of Jacques), has a particular interest in this side of the business, and tells us more. “The Clarins T.R.U.S.T. platform is our latest technological innovation. And we are so proud of it! It is a platform that makes it possible to track where our plants come from as well as the different steps in the manufacturing process for our products. Based on cutting-edge technology called blockchain, it guarantees the quality of Clarins products, from the field to the client. It took us more than two years to develop. This has been possible because Clarins has special relationships with its suppliers.”
Why is this so important? “It is our response to clients who want more transparency. At Clarins, this transparency has always been at the heart of how we talk about our products and so it only seemed natural to share more about where our plant ingredients come from and how we make our products, using certified, super-reliable information,” explains Virginie.
So how does the platform work? Virginie explains that blockchain is “a highly secure data collection system that makes it possible to store information that cannot be changed or falsified. Suppliers enter the information themselves, and this information is certified by Blockchain, then shared with clients. It is much more than just an interface for clients: it is a complete ecosystem to follow the production process. It is also a tool for every single person involved in the supply chain.”
The family-owned company has always done more than pay lip service to sustainability and conscious practices; for example Clarins has run fair trade programmes since 2007, has been carbon neutral since 2020, and aims for 100 per cent recyclable packaging for skincare by 2025, setting itself the highest standards. “For Clarins, traceability has always been one of the pillars of a trusting relationship with our clients. Because plants are the raw material of all our products: we need them and we are committed to protect them. It is important to let consumers know about the plant-based ingredients the products contain, their geographical origin, the harvesting methods, and the certifications associated with how they are sourced. It is an honest approach to continue our relationship of trust with our consumers.”
What are the key things that we as consumers can do better when it comes to our skincare? “The first thing when it comes to skincare is to make conscious choices,” says Virginie. “To do so, consumers must look beyond the product itself. It’s the entire brand that one needs to take into consideration: its values, its history, its positive impact on society and the planet.”
We can’t wait to book in for a facial and some moments of calm wellbeing in the bustling centre of town.
Clarins Boutique and Spa opens on January 19 at 33-34 Wicklow Street, Dublin 2. Book in person at the Spa, call 01 572 5960 or book online on www.clarins.ie.