City Block Purifying Enzyme Powder Cleanser + Exfoliator
Clinique City Block Purifying Enzyme Cleanser + Exfoliator starts off on the wrong foot due to its misleading name: despite being less effective than other means of exfoliation, this powder cleanser (best for combination to oily skin) doesn’t actually contain any enzymes!
Odd name choice aside, this finely-milled cleanser, packaged in an opaque bottle topped with a removeable cap, is meant to be mixed with water before use. Adding enough water to create a soft cream texture is advised when you want to cleanse; adding a few drops of water is advised if you want to use this as a scrub. Both options do their respective jobs well, although neither is more purifying than many other cleansers or scrubs.
Caution is warranted in use: before you add water to however much powder you pour in to your hand, know that the dry powder is so finely milled it becomes airborne, making it easy for you to inhale this product’s cleansing ingredients (if this happens, you’ll likely feel a burning or tingling sensation in your nose). To avoid this, hold your hand arm’s length from your face as you mix water with this powder cleanser, then bend over the sink to use.
As a cleanser, this produces a soft, creamy lather that rinses completely and, as claimed, takes excess oil, dirt, surface pollutants, and makeup with it. Those with dry skin will likely find the surfactants (cleansing agents) this contains cleanses too well, which is why we’re advising people with this skin type to steer clear. Otherwise, unless rinsed very quickly this could leave dry skin feeling drier (and tight).
As a scrub, this gently polishes skin without feeling too abrasive and certainly delivers that clean feeling the best scrubs have, although we wish this left skin feeling softer. The scrub ingredient is powdered maltodextrin, a plant sugar. Salicylic acid is present, too, but the pH of this product when mixed with water is 5.5, which doesn’t let this ingredient work as a chemical exfoliant.
- Works well as a cleanser or a gentle scrub.
- Removes makeup and surface impurities then rinses clean.
- Fragrance free, gentle formula.
- Doesn’t contain enzymes, making the name misleading.
- Fine powder can “rise” in to the air and be inhaled prior to adding water.
Versatile powder works as a daily purifying cleanser, or a gentle exfoliator. Water-activated formula lifts away pollution and impurities. Natural exfoliants gently buff skin smooth. Use 2-3 times per week.
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 brands state that they dont 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.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.