The questions about this daytime moisturizer with sunscreen have been pouring in, no doubt in response to Clinique’s intense advertising campaign. We admit, the claims are enticing, but what it comes down to is that this is just another in-part avobenzone sunscreen, similar to others from Clinique’s Superdefense line, right down to the price and the unfortunate use of jar packaging. Interestingly, the Superdefense products offer SPF 25, but in this case the Even Better with SPF 20 is supposed to be the one that provides a “high level” defense!
Other than the difference in SPF rating, the main point of difference between Even Better and Superdefense is that Even Better claims to “break apart surface darkening and exfoliate it away.” That’s an enticing claim, but one that won’t come true. The only ingredient in Even Better with proven exfoliating ability is salicylic acid (BHA), which when properly formulated, is a great exfoliant (among other benefits). In this product, however, both the low amount of salicylic acid (less than 1%) and the high pH don’t permit it to work as it could. The only research showing that acetyl glucosamine is effective for improving skin discolorations comes from the cosmetics companies using it.
You’ll get reliable broad-spectrum sun protection from this moisturizer for normal to slightly dry skin, but that’s about it. Keeping skin protected from sunlight will help prevent future discolorations, but that’s true for all well-formulated sunscreens. But, back to the jar packaging issue: It’s a shame Clinique is still relying on jars. As is the case with most of their moisturizers, those with and without sunscreen, this contains a brilliant array of beneficial ingredients for skin, but many of them won’t remain stable due to the jar packaging.
Imagine erasing past damage to create a more even skin tone while protecting skin from future darkening with high-level UVA/UVB defense. Delivers soothing hydration as specialized ingredients break apart surface darkening and exfoliate it away. Instantly brightens, clarifies.
Active: Octisalate (5%), Avobenzone (3%), Octocrylene (2.7%), Other: Water, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Nylon-12, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Behenyl Alcohol, Myristyl Myristate, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Cetyl Esters, Butylene Glycol, Polyethylene, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Yeast Extract, Betula Alba (Birch) Bark Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Trametes Versicolor Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Bran) Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Juice Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract, PEG-6, Cholesterol, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Glycerin, Di-PPG-2 Myreth-10 Adipate, Steareth-21, Caffeine, Sodium RNA, Cellulose, Acetyl Glucosamine, Simethicone, Tromethamine, Sucrose, Di-C12-18 Alkyl Dimonium Chloride, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trisiloxane, Linoleic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Metabisulfite, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Betaine, Trehalose, Hexylene Glycol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide
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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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