Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base SPF 15 gets the gentle sunscreen right with its pure titanium dioxide and zinc oxide blend. The base formula is similar to that of Clinique’s City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 25, which is also suitable for someone with sensitive, reddened skin, though SPF 15 is disappointing, as we explain below.
Both products contain some very good water-binding agents, skin-identical substances, and antioxidants. However, it is worth noting that City Block Sheer offers skin a greater complement of beneficial ingredients and, of course, the higher SPF rating.
The only advantage of the Redness Solutions is its sheer green tint (if you consider that a plus). When applied to skin, the green tint becomes a pale flesh tone that provides a bit of coverage. If you have superficial, minor redness, you’ll notice it is less apparent, but that would be true for any tinted moisturizer, too.
Anyone with lingering or persistent redness (such as occurs with rosacea) will want to pair this with a foundation that supplies at least medium coverage. One more thing: The finish of this product is matte, but also somewhat chalky. It can lend a flat appearance to skin that someone not bothered with oiliness may not like.
Note: This product was recently downgraded from our top rating to three stars, which is still considered good. The reason for the change is due to the prevailing recommendation that your daytime sun protection product be rated SPF 30 or greater, with SPF ratings between 25 and 30 falling into the acceptable range. This revised recommendation is due to the fact that most people are not applying sunscreen liberally enough to earn the stated level of protection on the label; therefore, a higher SPF rating will be more advantageous.
Protects skin from the UVA/UVB exposure that can aggravate skins with redness. No chemical sunscreens. Sheer green tint visually corrects redness.
Active: Titanium Dioxide (6.4%), Zinc Oxide (2%), Other: Water, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Steareth-2, Stearyl Dimethicone, Tricaprylyl Citrate, Silica, Barium Sulfate, Lecithin, Sorbitan Tristearate, Aluminum Stearate, Sea Whip Extract, Glyceryl Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, PEG-100 Stearate, Sucrose, Pantethine, Caffeine, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Ceteth-2, PEG-40 Stearate, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycosaminoglycans, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Steareth-20, Bisabolol, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Phytosphingosine, Sodium Stearate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Caprylyl Glycol, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Stearic Acid, Hexylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides, Chromium Hydroxide Green
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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