If you're having a hard time finding Turnaround Revitalizing Lotion at the cosmetics counter, it might be because you're expecting it to look like a traditional lotion, but this is actually a clear, gel-like liquid housed in a see-through bottle. What's inside is a surprisingly great—a fragrance/ alcohol-free formula blended with restorative, anti-aging ingredients that support its claims to help you get softer, supple and radiant skin. Our only bone to pick with Clinique is the packaging, which compromises the formula to a certain extent—but first let's start with the good…
In terms of the ingredients, skin is treated to a beneficial mix of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, cell-communicating ingredients, and various skin-repairing agents. The inclusion of acetyl glucosamine helps support the radiance claim as it has research showing it can help fade discolorations, and we were also delighted to see that sodium hyaluronate made the list to boost skin's moisture-retaining abilities.
What's unfortunate is that many of these beneficial ingredients (particularly the antioxidants) break down in the presence of light, and the see-through packaging that Turnaround Revitalizing Lotion comes in makes this exposure all too easy. You can help limit light exposure by storing this in a dark place (i.e. a closed drawer), and luckily it's shielded from light on a store shelf due to the outer carton, but needless to say, we wish it came in an opaque container to help keep those great ingredients stable.
We also weren't huge fans of the spout dispenser—you tip the bottle over and give it a little shake to help the product come out, but given its gel-like liquid texture it lacks precise control over how much is dispensed. FYI: We found it easier to apply the fluid formula with a cotton pad. We're actually surprised Clinique didn't just call this an essence or a toner—categorizing it as a lotion is a bit confusing, but we digress…
Were the packaging not an issue, Turnaround Revitalizing Lotion would have received our top rating. For oily or combination skin types it presents a comfortable way to hydrate skin without a greasy or heavy feel. Although it's marketed for all skin types, the formula isn't moisturizing enough on its own for dry skin. However, the fluid, liqu-gel texture layers well under other products, so even those with dry skin could use it as a hydrating toner prior to their moisturization step. Despite the packaging issue, we're still giving this a three-star rating due to the excellent formula…under the caveat that if you buy it, you should keep it stored in a dark place!
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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