Dramatically Different Hydrating Clearing Jelly

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 16.00
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Brand Overview

Clinique’s Dramatically Different Hydrating Cleansing Jelly delivers on its claim of providing water-based hydration for smoother skin without making breakout-prone skin feel slick or oily. Unfortunately, this moisturizer mostly stumbles from there, and ends up being a hydrator we’re not all that jazzed about.

Issue one is the clear blue tube packaging, as this type of plastic packaging lets light break down the delicate antioxidants and plant-derived ingredients this contains, making them less effective over time.

Issue two is that although this contains salicylic acid, the pH of 6 is well above the ideal pH range of 3-4, which prohibits it from working as an exfoliant. That means it won’t help much, if at all, with enlarged or clogged pores as claimed. Clinique claims the salicylic acid is here at a 1% concentration but we’re skeptical about this because it falls after sodium hyaluronate on the ingredient list, which is typically used between 0.3–0.5%.

Issue three has to do with the ingredient ursolic acid, a naturally-occurring aromatic compound known as a triterpene. Although it has documented anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity, recent studies on collagen-producing cells known as fibroblasts have shown a damaging effect– what research refers to as being cytotoxic.

It’s likely the amount of ursolic acid this product contains won’t give skin much trouble in that regard, but the other issue is its primary function: it’s a fragrance ingredient, which poses a risk of irritating skin (although this does not have a strong, lingering scent).

For some positive news, the amount of acetyl glucosamine this contains will likely help refine rough texture. Skin will also benefit from hydrating sodium hyaluronate and glycerin, and this also brings in a skin-friendly form of zinc, algae, and apple extracts.

Despite the beneficial ingredients, this ends up being an iffy consideration for skin, and a no-go if you’re hoping for pore-improving exfoliation (for that, look to our list of best BHA products).

  • Very good hydrating base that doesn’t add oil or slickness.
  • Acetyl glucosamine helps refine skin texture.
  • The pH doesn’t allow the 1% salicylic acid to work as an exfoliant.
  • Ursolic acid has been shown to damage collagen-producing cells in skin.
  • Clear tube packaging may hinder the activity of the antioxidants.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

This oil- and alcohol-free water jelly delivers up to 24 hours of hydration repair and visibly improves imperfections with one percent salicylic acid, leaving skin feeling balanced and smooth. It targets troubled and bumpy skin as well as damaged-looking pores and uneven texture—without an irritating or drying effect.

WaterAquaEau, Propanediol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Sodium Hyaluronate, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Caffeine, Lactic Acid, Zinc PCA, Acetyl Glucosamine, Trehalose, Hydroxyacetophenone, Salicylic Acid, Ursolic Acid, Lactobacillus Ferment, Polysorbate 80, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Blue 1 (Ci 42090).

Clinique At-A-Glance

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.

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