Wednesday, 20 October 2010

REN ClearCalm 3

I had the pleasure of attending a REN event last week. I knew of the brand but admit I've never tried any of their products. After the really interesting talk given by Robert Calcraft, one of the founders of the brand, that will all change. He's a really savvy, fun guy and I was very taken by the concept behind the brand. More about that in another post I'm sure.

Today, I want to talk about their new anti-blemish range: ClearCalm 3. This range is designed to combat the causes of acne, blemishes and breakouts without harshness. Now, if you don't already know,  I used to work as a skin microbiologist and a lot of my work involved investigating the efficacy of acne treatments. I worked with patients that had acne, some cases were extremely severe and I know how upsetting and debilitating it can be. I'm also well aware that there is a pay off with most acne treatments: you treat the acne but the products are very harsh and desiccate the skin. You get rid of one discomfort but end up with another.

Basically, combating acne whilst being gentle on the skin is the holy grail for acne and blemish treatments. I think REN have done a pretty good job at it! You don't have to take my word for it either. Take a look at the product reviews on the Sephora website where the the ClearCalm 3 range apparently accounts for a large proportion of REN's current sales.

I have been using a sample of the Anti-Blemish Clay Cleanser for the past week (I've actually had a bit of a nasty breakout myself) and I can vouch for the fact that this is clearing up my spots without making my skin feel dry. My skin feels slightly tighter than it would with my normal cleanser. I'd describe it as similar to how it feels after using a clay mask.

The range aims to tackle the 3 key causes of blemishes and breakouts (hence the name):

1. Excess Sebum
2. Build of dead skin cells
3. Blemish-causing bacteria (Propionibacterium)

*Dons Lab coat* It's important to note that Propionibacterium are a natural part of our skin flora. They are always there and don't specifically cause acne but they are involved in breakouts when excess sebum and the build up of dead skin cells lead to an environment lacking in oxygen.

The range includes four products: A cleanser, a day cream, a night serum and a treatment mask. Used together, they promise to leave you with clearer, matte skin, that looks radiant and healthy. All this with no nasties, no stripping and natural active ingredients. REN I take my hat off to you. Jobs a good 'un!

You can uby REN products in Selfridges, Liberty, SpaceNK and John Lewis stores, as well as various online retailers including


  1. I've never used REN before but I'll definitely be trying this out - especially with Modesty Brown's scientific seal of approval!
    Great review xx

  2. I used a REN mask a few months ago and it was a disaster. I have however bought something else from them recently that I have yet to try. I don't like to dismiss a brand completely after just one product unless they are really horrible. I agree with WBB if this range has your seal approval then it must be good!

  3. I have been using the new range for almost 2 months. So far I am pleased with how this is working as it does seem to make my skin smoother and softer as though it is getting rid of the dead skin (although I noticed this after a month). For me personally I still get a few spots but I like what this does for the texture of my skin. The mask is my favourite item from the range.

  4. Wonderful post! I've been suffering with fairly bad breakouts around my chin and jaw for ages now and I wish I'd heard of this range before.

    I'd tried Dr Murad (as well as dozens of other brands) but as you mention the products really dried out my skin so I had no spots but I was so dry it looked hideous and was really uncomfortable.

    I finally decided enough was enough and went to see my doctor. He prescribed Duac which I've been using for about a week. Good results so far but I've saved the link to the website just in case :)

  5. This is such a good post! Really informative. I like REN and love their concept but for some reason I don't use their products, bar their lip balm. I'm always recommending other people to try it. My bf has been suffering from a mild acneic breakout and we've been using Dr Sebagh, which has worked brilliantly, but I suspect the toll on his skin has been to dry it out. Being a therapist I'm keeping a close eye on it, but your post has made me thing, that perhaps once the spots and bumps have cleared up, to switch to something more gentle like REN. I'll check this range out when I'm in town next week. Thanks MB x

  6. Oh this is really useful for me - my skin is really dry but I still have spots. Most acne products leave my skin so dry and flaky. I'm going to look up these products now x

  7. @WelshBeautyBlog: Lol, the lab coat definitely approves! I’ve been using the Frankincense night cream too and I really like it.

    @Skin Scrubs: Was in the Glycolactic peel mask? I quite like it but I can see there is a potential for it not to suit all skin types. It sounds like you could do with some samples to see how you would get on with them before committing. Do you have any counters near you?

    @Meeta: Very interesting to hear how you get on with it. I agree, you really can’t judge these sorts of treatments unless you’ve used for a minimum of 28 days (it’s related to the skin cycle). I think it’s hard for any treatment to totally eradicate spots, even with prescription creams etc. I still think people still get some spots. I’m particularly impressed with this range because it aims to treat the causes without drying out the skin.

    @All Made Up: I know Duac ;). You could try using the Duac treatment alongside the cleanser and maybe even the mask. I hope you get good results with the Duac, it’s never nice to suffer with regular breakouts.

    @Bella Queen: Your bf is very lucky to have his own private and excellent facialist to take care of him! I think this would definitely work well as maintenance. I like the way that the cleanser removes excess oils without stripping in a harsh way. I’m very anti-astringent! Let me know what you think to the REN if you try it x

    @Nic’s Notebook: It’s definitely worth a look if you find traditional treatments dry your skin. It’s so often the case. Do come back and let me know what you think if you try them. Have a look at the Sephora reviews too, it’s always useful to see how other people have got on with the products,

    Thanks for all of the great comments, I really hope the post was useful.
    Jane x

  8. I am prone to cystic acne in my chin area, but I hate traditional acne products because they tend to be harsh on my sensitive skin (not to mention animal-tested). I did not know about this brand, and I am interested in trying out some of their products. Thanks, Jane!

  9. You're very welcome. I think it's definitely worth investigating. I've had the odd cystic spot on my chin and it is so painful, I sympathise a lot if this is a regular occurrence for you. I really hope this helps xx


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