It’s a big old tick in the beauty book for Diptyque’s Multi-Use Exfoliating Clay or, said in French, which is far more pleasing, Argile de Gommage. I was fully prepared to write off Diptyque’s new skincare line as a little…how would you put it? Style over substance? And yes it is pricey and yes it is incredibly stylish in that minimalist-yet-decorative way that seems to be Diptyque‘s calling card; but I have to say that I stand corrected, at least when it comes to this exfoliating clay. I liked it instantly. I don’t really go in for face scrubs, but this is a sumptuous, rich cream with such a fine exfoliant that you barely notice it’s there. It’s not until you rinse it away and your skin is as smooth as a peach that you even realise that it’s been polishing away at your face. It feels more luxurious than any other scrub I’ve tried – like a skin treat rather than a perfunctory step in a skincare regime – and it has a bonus use in that you can leave it on as a mask. Some might prefer only to use it as a mask, others only as a scrub, but it works equally well either way. After scrubbing with it my skin was incredibly smooth, but not tight; after spreading it on as a mask, my skin felt deeply cleansed but not dried-out.
Diptyque’s skincare range, l’Art du Soin, is very small – just five products, of which I have four. Ironically, the one that I really want to get my hands on – the Nourishing Cleansing Balm – is the one I don’t have here at home, so you’ll have to hold tight for the verdict on that one. But the rest of the range? There’s a Radiance Boosting Powder that can be used as a daily cleanser and gentle exfoliant – think along the lines of Alpha-H’s Gentle Daily Exfoliant powder – as well as a cleansing Infused Facial Water and a daytime moisturiser, the Protective Moisturizing Lotion.
Everything is pleasantly, delicately scented (apart from the moisturiser which could double up as a full-on fragrance if you ever needed it to!) and the styling of the bottles and outer packaging is very chic, very Diptyque, just as you would expect it to be. The moisturiser is very light, has an SPF, doesn’t leave any residue and sits well beneath makeup; the Infused Facial Water is decent, feels suitably luxe, but not that much more than Melvita’s Extraordinary Water with rose and hyaluronic acid, which is quite a bit cheaper. (In fact, I’d hazard a guess that there are more than a few waters out there with “rose and a bit more added” that are a tiny fraction of the price.)
The Radiance Boosting Powder is a fine, flour-like powder that you mix with water to form a paste and then gently buff over the face. You have to get the powder-to-water ratio just right, with this one – too little and the powder forms little doughy balls, too much and it just wish-washes away. It’s not the best version of an exfoliating powder that I’ve ever used, but I must say that it’s bloody enjoyable. The smell of it transports you to somewhere out in the French countryside – a farmhouse, perhaps, with roses twining all the way around the outside of the bathroom window… It’s a little luxury – a ritual, a treat, but I’m guessing that it will be a bit bemusing for many people. It’s in that grey area between cleanser and exfoliant and although cleansing powders seem to be having a bit of a beauty “moment”, they’re still not widely used. Along with pre-serum-serums and post-toner-spritzes and pre-cleanse-cleansers and so on, they are an extra step, something else to remember to do in an already busy day.
And so I think I’d have to say that it’s the Exfoliating Clay (here) that most floats my boat. At £44, it is expensive, but not shockingly so, for this day and age – and to put it into perspective, it’s around half the price of Glamglow when you work out the price-per-ml. Not that I’d compare the two in terms of performance; Glamglow is like rocket fuel, Diptyque’s offering is a gentle, relaxing experience. Like being exfoliated by kittens. So if you’re a Diptyque addict and can’t wait to get your hands on a bit of skincare, it’s the Multi-Use Clay that I’d plump for – it’s a nice addition to the bathroom shelf if you prefer a fine-textured face scrub and I like that it also works as a mildly exfoliating mask.
You can find the Diptyque skincare range at Space NK – if you’re reading this before the end of the 16th April then you might find that the £10 off promotion is still running. (Spend £40, get a tenner back – see here.)