Clinique For Men Post Shave Soother is the very definition of irony—with a name like that, you'd never expect it to be loaded with ingredients that can exacerbate red bumps and inflammation and that have the potential to cause general havoc with your skin. Yet what Clinique expects you to apply to your freshly shaved skin is mostly water plus denatured alcohol—we're feeling the pain just thinking about this woeful mix on your face! See More Info for details on the damaging toll that alcohol takes on your skin.
While Clinique included a few anti-irritants, such as marshmallow extract and bisabolol, it's a bit like declaring cigarettes healthy because tobacco leaves have antioxidant properties. (The negatives of the product far outweigh the insignificant benefit!) After shaving, your skin is more vulnerable to irritation, and you should be reaching for a post-shave formula that's loaded with skin-soothing agents and reparative ingredients—not one that's front-loaded with alcohol.
Rather than pay the price (both from your wallet and to the detriment of your skin) of Post Shave "Soother," check out the better alternatives from brands like Aveeno or Lab Series—or consider an alternative like a BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant. A well-formulated BHA exfoliant has potent anti-inflammatory properties for your skin and more—find out more on our list of Best BHA Exfoliants.
Alcohol in Skin Care: There is a significant amount of research showing alcohol causes free-radical damage in skin even at low levels. Small amounts of alcohol on skin cells in lab settings (about 3%, but keep in mind skin-care products contain amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or greater) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals—this process actually causes more free-radical damage. If this weren't bad enough, exposure to alcohol causes skin cells to self-destruct. The research also showed that these destructive, aging effects on skin cells increased the longer their exposure to alcohol; for example, two days of exposure was dramatically more harmful than one day, and that's at only a 3% concentration (Sources: Journal of Investigative Dermatology, August 2009, pages 20–24; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; Alcohol, Volume 26, Issue 3, April 2002, pages 179–190; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, April 2001, pages 109–166; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
For more on alcohol's (as in, ethanol, denatured alcohol, and ethyl alcohol) effects on skin, see our article on the topic: Alcohol in Skin Care: The Facts.
This light, comforting after-shave treatment encourages the healing of minor nicks and cuts. Formulated with aloe, it helps to calm razor burn and relieve dryness. Skin is left feeling refreshed.
Water/Aqua/Eau, Alcohol Denatured, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Diethylhexyl Malate, C12-15, Alkyl Benzoate, PPG-26 Oleate, Hammamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Extract, Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root Extract, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Phospholipids, Bisabolol, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Dimethicone, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Isododecane, Myreth-3, Myristate, Hexyldecyl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Ethanol, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin
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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