This is a very good, lightweight daytime moisturizer with sunscreen. It is well suited for its intended skin types, and contains stabilized avobenzone for critical UVA (think anti-aging) protection. The silky, fluid texture slips easily over skin but if you were hoping for an absorbent or matte finish, you’re out of luck: this leaves a sheen despite feeling light and non-greasy. If you follow with a matte finish foundation and/or powder, the sheen is a non-issue, and it’s great that the formula contains a range of antioxidants (including vitamin C) as well as smaller but potentially helpful amounts of repairing ingredients. This contains grapefruit peel extract which poses a slight risk of irritation, but it’s certainly not as bad as pure grapefruit peel oil (which is a concentrated source of fragrant irritants skin doesn’t need).
Although this contains salicylic acid, the pH is markedly out of the range it needs to function as an exfoliant. Even if the pH was within the required range, the amount of salicylic acid present is likely below 0.5%, which isn’t enough to exfoliate skin. Still, this fragrance-free Even Better product has a lot going for it, though you don’t need to spend in this range for an effective, broad-spectrum moisturizer with sunscreen.
Refreshing, oil-free hydrating lotion for oilier skins creates a more even skin tone while protecting skin from future darkening with high-level UVA/UVB defense. Specialized ingredients break apart surface darkening and exfoliate it away. Instantly brightens, clarifies.
Active: Octisalate 5%, Avobenzone 3%, Octocrylene 2.7% Other: Water, Dimethicone, Yeast Extract, Butyloctyl Salicylate, PEG-100 Stearate, Trisiloxane, Butylene Glycol, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Polyethylene, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-6, Glycerin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Bran) Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Trametes Versicolor Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Juice, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Salicylic Acid, Caffeine, Linoleic Acid, Cholesterol, Acetyl Glucosamine, Sodium Rna, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Steareth21, Sucrose, Tromethamine, Di-C12-18 Alkyl Dimonium Chloride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cetyl Alcohol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Lauryl PEG 9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethiconol, Trehalose, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hexylene Glycol, Silica, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol
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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