This is nearly identical to Clinique’s former Pore Minimizer Refining Lotion. As such, the same review applies: This is a water- and silicone-based fluid lotion that also contains a good deal of film-forming agent (which can temporarily make pores look smaller) along with alcohol and the absorbents silica and talc. Clinique claims that, with ongoing use, this product makes pores smaller, but nothing in this formula supports that claim. If anything, daily exposure to the high amount of film-forming agent and alcohol can cause chronic irritation, and that won’t strengthen pores in the least. For better results, you can use a well formulated BHA exfoliant to further improve pore size and prevent clogging.
This contains an ingredient blend known as LipoLight, which is said to diffuse light to “drastically reduce the appearance of skin imperfections.” This complex is a blend of the polymer polydodecanamideaminium triazadiphenylethenesulfonate and polyvinyl alcohol, a film-forming ingredient most often found in peel-off masks and hair sprays. The polymer complex gives this product an interesting texture and helps skin appear smoother, but its benefit isn’t unusual or special. In any light, your pores will look a bit smaller with this on, but the trade-offs from the problematic ingredients this product contains aren’t really worth it—not when there are other products that reduce pore size without irritation. By the way, this formula isn’t the least bit hydrating so it is not for any degree of dry skin.
After mattifying instantly, this oil-free formula supplies needed hydration while curbing excess oil and shine for 8 hours. Even T-Zones feel fresh, stay comfortably matte. Instantly refines the look of pores with unique light-scattering optics. Over time, pores seem smaller. Non-acnegenic.
Water, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Polymethyl Methacrylate, Silica, Talc, Butylene Glycol, Trisiloxane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’s Wort) Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Cholesterol, Glycine Sojo (Soybean) Protein, Sucrose, Linoleic Acid, Squalane, Diethylhexyl Succinate, Polyethylene, Acetyl Glucosamine, Polyethylene, Acetyl Glucosamine, Polydodecanamideaminium Triazadiphenylethenesulfonate, Ethylene/Methacrylate Copolymer, Phospholipids, Hexylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyvinylalcohol Crosspolymer, Sodium Carbomer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide
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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