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An Honest Review of Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion

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Picture this: You come across a product that claims to hydrate, even, smooth, and soothe skin, all while offering a touch of sun protection. Seems too good to be true, right? Naturally, your next step is to check the reviews. (Yes, even I, a beauty writer with over 10 years of experience testing and reviewing products, loves to see what other people have to say about formulas—especially those with such lofty claims.) And what do you find? Shoppers claiming that, somehow, someway, it’s the perfect product for reactive skin. And just like that, your interest is piqued to the point of purchase.

This happened to me just the other week—only thanks to the perks of my job, I was able to test the Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion ($170), a product gaining traction on TikTok, with over 8 million views and counting. With people everywhere praising the product, I had to see if it was truly worth the hype—and while nearly $200 is a lot for a skin-care product, I have to admit: This creamy serum is the streamlined skin care I’ve been searching for.

So, what makes the Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion so special?

Its multifaceted formula, of course. For starters, it’s highly hydrating, not to mention plumping, thanks to being boosted with hyaluronic acid. What’s more, since it’s infused with ginkgo biloba leaf extract, vitamin C ethyl, and crataegus monogyna flower, this lightweight emulsion works to brighten skin and repair sun damage (think: dark spots and uneven tone).

It’s also steeped with the brand’s special Skin-Empowering Illuminator, which works to add a hint of radiance to the skin, making for a glowing, healthy-looking complexion. And let us not forget the built-in, dual-action UV protection thanks to the inclusion of SPF 22. “Although mostly a chemical based sunscreen, it also contains titanium dioxide which acts as a mineral UV blocker,” Dr. Nava Greenfield, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City, points out. (FYI: Physical-chemical SPF blends work well to protect skin from all angles.)

From a texture stance, while this potent skin-care formula is definitely lightweight, it almost dispenses like a runny physical sunscreen—bright white and it takes a few seconds to really sink into skin. But once it does, boy oh boy! After using the Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion in place of my normal vitamin C serum and moisturizer (to see if it could really do all the tasks of multiple tailored formulas) for the past week, I’ve found that my skin looks more even and less red, and feels notably smoother overall. (So I can only imagine how it will look in a few weeks!)

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Now, something to keep in mind is that SPF 22 really doesn’t cut it. Dermatologists recommend that you use SPF 30 or higher for optimal sun protection. “SPF 30 protects against approximately 97 percent of UV rays, which is why I do not recommend using anything below SPF 30 as your primary form of UV protection,” Greenfield explains. Because of this, I tried layering this substantial serum beneath my go-to Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen and to my delight, it paired beautifully, without any signs of pilling or skin irritation from combining the new products.

All in all, I’ve finally found a way to streamline my skin-care routine on days when applying more than two products feels like a chore. And since it’s sold in a 30 mL bottle ($45), too, that means this might just become my new go-to travel skin-care product. It sure would save me precious packing space.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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