Clinique's Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 40 is one of the brand's best-known skincare products and for good reason: It's among the best sunscreens Clinique has to offer. In fact, were it not for one minor misstep this would get our highest rating; as it stands though its overall impressive formula means it gets a good rating on Beautypedia.
Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 40 comes in an opaque squeeze tube with a screw-top lid. The product itself is a lightweight cream that's slightly tinted tan but blends into skin without leaving color behind. It's easy to apply and feels lightly hydrating; those with very dry skin might find they'll need to put on an additional moisturizer to get the hydrating boost their skin needs.
As for the formula there is a lot to like, starting with the fact that this provides reliable broad spectrum sun protection with a sunscreen that includes both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Also impressive is the inclusion of a variety of antioxidants like chestnut rose extract, matricaria extract, cucumber extract, gentian root extract, and vitamins C and E. That's all good news because research has demonstrated that antioxidants, when formulated into a broad-spectrum sunscreen formula, boost its effectiveness in defending your skin against UV and other environmental free radicals (Journal of Long Term Effects of Medical Implants, 2004 and Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2012). Even better is that these beneficial ingredients are packaged in an opaque tube, which means they'll stay stable in the presence of light and air.
In fact, there's only one misstep to mention here: The inclusion of a citrus extract. It's not present in a large amount (it's the tenth ingredient on the list, though it is worth noting as it appears higher in the ingredient list than many of the beneficial ingredients included), but Clinique says this sunscreen is for all skin types, even the most sensitive. Since citrus extracts can pose a risk of irritation, we do not recommend this for use for those with sensitive skin or who have conditions like rosacea.
Otherwise, this is a good sunscreen that has a lot to offer those without sensitive skin. Powerhouse sun protection boosted by a laundry list of antioxidants makes this one we definitely recommend!
High-level daily sunscreen in a sheer, weightless formula. Protects against sun and environmental damage with broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun block and antioxidants. For all skins, even the most sensitive. Wear alone or as an invisible makeup primer.
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.50%, Octisalate 2.00%, Titanium Dioxide 5.20%, Zinc Oxide 6.00%. Inactive Ingredients: Water\Aqua\Eau, Butylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetyl Alcohol, Laureth-4, PEG-100 Stearate, Rosa Roxburghii Fruit Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Porphyra Yezoensis (Algae) Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract\Extrait D'orge, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Gentiana Lutea (Gentian) Root Extract, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Plankton Extract, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Yeast Extract\Faex\Extrait De Levure, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pantethine , PVP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Acetyl Glucosamine, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyethylene, Caffeine, Isohexadecane, Methicone, Nylon-12, Zeolite, Lecithin, Polysorbate 80, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Isostearic Acid, Calcium Chloride, Alumina, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).
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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