Ren Clearcalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser - review


I bought this product around a year ago after sampling it at Mecca and falling in love, but I only opened it a few months back because I found myself swimming in cleansers and wanted to finish off a few first.

The other reason I wanted to wait is that I'd planned to collate a few Ren products over time - I tend to allow myself a purchase a month, which means that it takes me some time to build an array of skincare from any range - and I did do this over a few months and then started introducing the products earlier in the year so I could try them out together.

Anyhoo. This particular cleanser is up there with my favourite Ren products, and I have used a few of those this year so that's saying something.

It hasn't hit HG status yet but it may still do so, and it's definitely one I would repurchase - if I ever manage to get through the massive bottle. 

It mightn't be designed for my skin (this one's more for oily or blemish-prone skin, not dry skin like mine), but I love it anyway and it's something I can happily use most days without risk of drying out my skin.

Ren claims/product details:
  • A purifying antibacterial cleanser formulated to combat the appearance of breakouts and blemishes, leaving skin visibly clearer and calmer
  • French kaolin clay absorbs excess sebum and detoxifies impurities, while zinc gluconate reduces sebum production
  • Salicilin (from willow bark) provides mild exfoliation to unclog blocked pores 
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-microbial actives purify the skin
  • An essential oil complex of chamomile, lavender and sage reduces and calms inflammation 
  • Flavonoids from mayblossom extract tone skin and help reduce the appearance of large pores
  • Results: deeply cleanses and purifies; gently exfoliates to unclog skin; minimises the appearance of pore size
  • Designed for problem skin, prone to breakouts and blemishes
  • To use: rub one pump between the palms of slightly damp hands; gently massage onto face for 1-2 minutes; rinse off with warm water
  • RRP $40 AUD for 150ml


I absolutely love this cleanser and it's one I've been enjoying almost every day for the past couple of months, now that I've finished off some other cleansers and can use it more often.

It's a beautifully smooth, silky clay that feels so wonderfully creamy and cooling against the skin that I'd almost recommend it just for the texture alone! 

It also smells gently of these Dutch almond fingers that Mum used to buy from the supermarket (so I guess it smells of almond meal and honey to me) and I get a lift whenever I use it. The scent isn't overpowering but it's definitely there, so do test the product first if you're sensitive to fragrance.

Now the directions say to use one full pump, but I personally feel that one pump is too much product for my skin (it's the size of a small strawberry, almost double what I need), so I've settled on doing a half pump because that works for me. So do play around with how much you use, since there's no point rushing through the bottle if you don't need to.

Also, the directions suggest using slightly damp hands to apply this. I've tried it with and without wetting my hands first, and I don't feel there's any benefit to applying it with wet fingers - aside from the fact that you'll use less because it will spread better if you use water. So again, have a play and work out whether adding water before or after you've applied/massaged it works better for you.

I use this as my first cleanse on most mornings, though I have tried it in the evening a couple of times just to check whether it removes makeup. It does remove the easy stuff but you'll likely need something else for heavy eye makeup, and I reckon this is better for morning anyway because it's quite gentle and seems better-geared for a lighter cleanse (at least to me).

As for product claims, unfortunately I can't comment on whether it clears blemishes because, having dry skin, I tend to get less of the angry red ones and more of those annoying little dots around my chin (which are best targeted with a chemical exfoliant, in my experience). But I have seen plenty of lasses with oily skin say this helps calm their spots, so it's worth sampling this if that's what you need.

On the other claims: I do feel this purifies without stripping the skin (my skin has been pretty clear lately, despite the pregnancy) and it does have a calming effect. It also seems to tone and firm the skin - at least temporarily - but I haven't noticed any difference in pore size (and I'm not even sure that a cleansing product like this can make your pores look smaller ; )).

The only other thing I'll say about this product is that, if you have dry, sensitive and/or dehydrated skin like mine, you mightn't want to use this every day. I say this because if I wake up with super dry skin, I don't think a clay product is the right thing to reach for and I'd prefer to use an oil on those super dry days.

All in all, I love this cleanser and also love that you get so much product in the bottle - plus it's so reasonably priced. This is one of my favourite cleansers at the moment and it has been for a while, so I can see myself buying it again because it's a pleasure to use and it won't break the bank.


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