With their For Men UV Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50, Clinique adds to their all-mineral sunscreen options that for some time have consisted solely of the cult-favorite City Block Sheer SPF 25. Unlike Clinique's City Block SPF 25, this formula offers a much higher degree of sun protection and is targeted towards the men's skincare market. Fortunately, this super-fluid formula has qualities that men and women alike can appreciate!
Fragrance free, this lightweight liquid sunscreen is best for normal to combination skin types—whether or not you're prone to breakouts. It lacks the moisture that drier complexions tend to prefer (though it could be layered over a moisturizer) and is perhaps slightly too moisturizing for those with truly oily skin. To establish broad-spectrum UV protection, Clinique used a combination of the mineral actives zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, a gentle mix that makes this a formula suitable for sensitive or rosacea-affected skin.
For Men UV Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is packaged in a plastic bottle that contains what's known as an interior agitator ball (which means this must be shaken a few times prior to use to avoid separation) and features a needle-nose tip to control the amount dispensed. This tip is handy, as its aforementioned fluid consistency is easier to control with such a dispenser.
Once applied to skin, this has a somewhat dewy, moisturizing finish and the white cast of the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide is quite apparent. That seems to contradict what's mentioned above, but once it has had a few minutes to dry, the white cast fades considerably (even on medium skin tones), and the formula sets to a satin-matte finish. You can also mitigate any white cast by experimenting with adding 1-2 drops of gel bronzer or a product like Cover FX Custom Cover Drops to your mineral sunscreen before application. (Not to worry, a few drops of either won't interfere with the protection of your sunscreen.)
This isn't a water-resistant formula, which makes it easier to remove—your regular cleanser will work just fine.
With its exceptionally high SPF rating and pleasing aesthetics, this broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen is an excellent addition to the Clinique line and earned its high rating. We would have liked to see the addition of antioxidants to boost its free-radical protection abilities, as todays best facial moisturizers with sunscreen offer this benefit, including others from Clinique. Still, those that are looking for a sheer, gentle mineral sunscreen that offers higher broad-spectrum protection, For Men UV Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is certainly one to consider.
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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