Superdefense City Block SPF 50+ Daily Energy + Face Protector
Clinique’s Superdefense City Block SPF 50+ Energy + Face Protector has the foundations of a good facial sunscreen – but lacks some of the “oomph” it needs to truly make it great.
Housed in an opaque plastic tube that protects its ingredients from light and air, this sunscreen’s smooth, gel-lotion texture glides across skin with ease. It sinks in quickly, resulting in a slightly dewy look that’s best for those with normal to dry skin.
This has a beige tint that works for most skin tones, though it could make those with very deep skin appear ashen, and tends to look somewhat orange on very fair skin.
The SPF 50+ sunscreen here is provided by a mix of both synthetic and mineral ingredients that provide broad-spectrum protection. But when it comes to additional beneficial ingredients, surprisingly, there isn’t much else to write home about. (We say “surprisingly” because Clinique usually does a much better job in this regard.)
While there are plenty of ingredients that give this sunscreen its pleasing aesthetics, it comes up light in the department of ingredients to provide environmental defense. Clinique makes very specific claims that this sunscreen is capable of fighting environmental aggressors, but it lacks a robust complement of antioxidants to back this claim. There’s only the slightest smattering of these ingredients (there’s a little vitamin E near the end of the ingredient list), meaning this isn’t nearly as impressive as the marketing makes it sound.
While this feels great and has the SPF punch it needs, we recommend using a serum or booster with more antioxidants to give this the full impact intended.
- Gel-lotion texture soaks into skin quickly.
- Leaves a slightly dewy finish good for normal to dry skin.
- Provides broad-spectrum SPF 50.
- Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
- Fragrance free.
- Lacks a robust complement of antioxidants to provide environmental defense.
An energizing, go-anywhere daily SPF protector for all-day defense. Stop Signs™ Technology prevents signs of aging by combating a full spectrum of modern environmental aggressors including UVA/UVB and other skin irritants.
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.