If you like using a scrub for extra cleansing and have oily skin that can benefit from routine use of a clay mask, City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub is for you! This highly absorbent, fragrance-free product helps make skin look smooth and refined in just five minutes—nice!
Dispensed from a squeeze tube, this clay mask/scrub hybrid goes on as a medium gray shade that turns light blue as it dries, indicating it's time to rinse.
You'll feel this become progressively tighter as it dries, but once you rinse, skin doesn't feel taut or overly dry. But, make no mistake, this is not the type of mask someone with dry, dehydrated skin should use!
Its mix of absorbent ingredients includes charcoal powder, clay (kaolin), and a form of magnesium. Clinique also added a couple of soothing plant extracts and water-binding agents, both worthwhile additions that give this mask a leg up on much of the competition.
The scrub element is rounded silica beads, and you'll feel them as you spread this mask over skin—so be gentle! When you're rinsing, you're directed to massage the product over wet skin, which turns it into a scrub. Again, be gentle here, as too much pressure could abrade skin, leading to redness and sensitivity.
Overall, this is a very good product for those with oily skin or an oily T-zone. The scrub aspect makes it iffy for use over active breakouts (sadly, pimples can't be scrubbed away; ditto for blackheads), but otherwise it's a nice benefit, along with the oil-absorbing ingredients that leave skin matte but not dried out.
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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