Clinique's Clarifying Lotion 1.0 Twice a Day Exfoliator replaces its Mild Clarifying Lotion, and unfortunately the change is not an upgrade! Whereas Mild Clarifying Lotion earned our recommendation, the replacement is a lackluster formula at best.
This lotion is actually a fragrance-free liquid that's water-light. It's packaged in an opaque plastic bottle and is designed to be spread across the face with a cotton pad or fingers, like you would with a toner.
Its lightweight texture means it's easy to apply, and it boasts some good skin-replenishing ingredients like acetyl glucosamine and glucose. It also contains skin-plumping hyaluronic acid.
The reason it doesn't rate higher is twofold: First, witch hazel water is second on the ingredient list. While witch hazel water is diluted and as such isn't as problematic as pure witch hazel, it still contains some skin-constricting tannins and an amount of alcohol which can lead to skin irritation (particularly if you have sensitive skin).
The second issue here is that while this does contain the BHA exfoliant salicylic acid, the formula's pH of 4.42 is outside of the 3-4 range needed for exfoliation, and that's the whole point of this product! Clinique missed the mark here, so you'll be better off with one of the superior options on our list of Best BHA Exfoliants.
Strengths: A few excellent moisturizers and serums; excellent sunscreens; very good cleansers and eye makeup removers; unique mattifying products; impressive selection of foundations, good concealers; some remarkable mascaras; much-improved eyeshadows, lip colors and blush formulas.
Weaknesses: Bar soaps (which can clog pores and dull skin); alcohol-based toners; unfortunate choice of jar packaging for antioxidant-loaded moisturizers.
Estee Lauder-owned Clinique launched the concept of cosmetics being "allergy-tested," "hypoallergenic," "100% fragrance-free," and "dermatologist tested." Of those marketing claims, the only one with significance is "100% fragrance-free," which, for the most part, Clinique maintains (although it does add some fragrant extracts to a few products). Unfortunately, terms like “hypoallergenic” and “dermatologist tested” aren’t regulated by the FDA and can mean anything—thus, you still need to rely on the ingredient list to tell you whether their product contains any ingredients with the potential to irritate skin.
That inconvenient fact aside, Clinique is leading the way with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums, plus some formidable makeup and more than a few excellent sunscreens. While Clinique has some products that we see as missteps for reasons discussed in their reviews, more than ever, what they offer is quite good (just have realistic expectations, as some of their claims go beyond what their products are capable of).
Turning to makeup, Clinique continues to offer a vast palette of colors and textures, especially with their enormous selection of foundations—many of which feature effective sunscreens. Without a doubt, the numerous formulas offer something for every skin type and almost every skin color—though the blushes, eye makeup and lip colors are frequently not pigmented enough for deeper skin tones.
The bottom line is that, despite a few shortcomings, Clinique is one of the most comprehensive (and comparably affordable) department-store makeup lines, and it is completely understandable why they enjoy such broad appeal.
Note: Clinique is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Clinique does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Team.
For more information about Clinique, call (800) 419-4041 or visit www.clinique.com.
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