Newest Review: ... branding. I wet my face, then use one pump of soap to lather up in my hands and massage over my face. It usually lathers up very we... more
3 simple steps to better skin
Clinique 3-Step Skin System
Member Name: helenc72
Clinique 3-Step Skin System
Advantages: Leave skin in good condition, easy to use, lots of different skin types are catered for
Disadvantages: A bit pricey, not natural, some find them harsh
1. Very dry skin
2. Dry skin
3. Oily skin
4. Very oily skin
They also have "anti-blemish solutions" versions of some of the 3 step products.
The Clinique website has a virtual consultant who will help you find out which skin type you have by asking a few simple questions and work out which range from 1 to 4 would suit your skin best. If you go to a Clinique counter the assistant will also be able to do this for you in person.
The main difference in the products for the different skin types are as follows:
Step 1: cleansing -
Types 1 and 2 get the cleanser (Liquid Facial Soap) in "mild", whereas types 3 and 4 get it in "oily skin formula". There is also extra mild available for skin type 1 if necessary.
Step 2: clarifying -
There are 4 versions of the Clarifying Lotion, in different strengths, and the skin type number is written on the bottle in large, prominent print. They also have different colours so the bottles are easily distinguised from each other.
Step 3: moisturising -
Types 1 and 2 get the Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion, whereas types 3 and 4 get Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel, which is lighter.
You can buy the items separately or you can buy a starter kit containing smaller versionsfor £20 for the three. This kit is ideal for travelling or for testing the range to see if it is for you. I have had it for travelling a couple of times but usually buy full size. I have saved a smaller bottle of the Clarifying Lotion (100 ml) from the starter kit to refill for travel.
I use the 3 step system in type 3, so my review is based on that. I use the 3 step system every morning after my shower and at night after taking off my makeup.
=== Cleansing ====
The liquid facial soap in oily formula comes in a large clear green pump bottle with typical Clinique branding. I wet my face, then use one pump of soap to lather up in my hands and massage over my face. It usually lathers up very well, but occasionally I have found it doesn't produce enough lather and this is because my face was not wet enough. I find I have to completely soak my face and hands, with water sinking into the skin well, before the soap produces a lather.
Some people worry that it is not good to use soap and I often seen it recommended not to use soap as it is too harsh and strips away the natural oils. When I first started to use this I did wonder whether I would like it, but I found that I do. It does leave my face feeling slightly tight, but not excessively so and it does not feel bad. It definitely does strip my skin of oil, but as I naturally have oily skin I find that a good thing! Some people warn that stripping the oil only makes your skin produce more but I don't find that to be the case for me. It just removes all trace of oiliness and I don't get oily or shiny at all really. I wouldn't say it is just down to the cleanser alone, but the whole 3 step system working together.
The facial soap is dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic, like all Clinique products, and has never irritated me. It is fragrance free.
I am happy to use other cleansers now and again and sometimes try other brands for a change, so I suppose I am not too attached to the Clinique Liquid Facial Soap but I regularly buy it and I would say it is my preferred cleanser.
It costs £14 for 200 ml. I would give the cleanser 4/5.
=== Clarifying ===
Clarifying Lotion comes in a sturdy plastic screw top bottle in 200 ml or 400 ml sizes. You should tip a small amount of the liquid onto a cotton pad or cotton ball and sweep it over the face. The Clarifying Lotion has a slight chemically smell to it which I found quite noticeable at first but now that I have been using it for a long time I am used it and it doesn't bother me at all.
Clarifying lotion is not just a toner, as many people seem to think. It is a chemical exfoliant. Clinique says that daily exfoliation is an important part of your skin care routine as it removes dirt, impurities and dead skins cells, letting the stronger and brighter new cells come to the surface. Exfoliating removes excess oil and keeps the pores small. This enables your moisturiser to sink under the skin more easily and there is no old skin blocking the way. Exfoliation prevents breakouts and removal of oil helps keep the skin matte, which stops shine and stops your makeup sliding off. Many exfoliators are physical rather than chemical, with small balls or bits. This lotion is completely fluid. This means it does not scratch or scrape the skin, and doesn't cause redness like some physical scrubs can do.
When I first started using this, I felt and saw a difference within days. My skin feels very soft and smooth when using this, my moisturiser sinks in immediately afterwards and the lotion leaves a completely clear and refreshed surface. I feel a slight tingle, like with some toners, and all the tightening and refreshing properties of a toner can also be found in this lotion but with the added thorough exfoliating benefits.
This clarifying lotion is also hypo-allergenic, so when using it correctly (for the correct skin type) there should be no reactions.
A 200 ml bottle lasts me about 6 months.
I would give the Clarifying Lotion 5/5.
=== Moisturising ===
The Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel is available either in a 50 ml squeezy plastic tube with a silver lid, or a square plastic bottle containing 125 ml with a pump dispenser. I have used both of these, as well as the small 30 ml sized tubes which comes in the travel sets. The tubes and pump bottles both bear the large silver C of Clinique. Whichever option you go for, it is easy to control the amount of product you want to use. The pump dispenses quite a small amount at a time, so it is sometimes necessary to use a couple of pumps to cover your whole face.
I often find that moisturisers are too heavy or greasy for me and I don't like it when I can feel a layer of product sitting on top of the skin. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel is definitely the best moisturiser I have found, as it is oil free and sinks effortlessly and quickly into the skin without having to rub it in vigourously. It doesn't leave any greasy residue. It is a very light gel consistency but still makes my skin feel refreshed and plumped up. It leaves my skin smooth and moisturised but without all the other negative aspects I usually experience with a moisturiser, such as shine and that greasy feeling. My make up stays on longer when I use this moisturiser, as other moisturisers make my face oilier, leading to make up sliding off.
Because it sinks in so quickly, you can put on primer or makeup straight after using this and don't have to wait around like you do with some moisturisers.
A 50 ml tube costs £16.50 and a 125 ml pump bottle costs £29. This is more expensive than a lot of other moisturisers, but personally as I think this moisturiser is miles better than the competition, I am happy to pay it. You only need a fairly small amount and the 125 ml pump bottle lasts me around 6 months, so over all it is not bad value for money.
I give the Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel 5/5.
=== Overall ===
I find the Clinique 3 step system is easy to use, effective and works well together. The products are all pleasant to use, feel nice on the skin and although they are not natural products they are hypoallergenic and don't cause me any reactions. Some do find these products harsh, due to the soap in the cleanser and the high alcohol content of the Clarifying Lotion, but I have got on very well with them and from my experience I could only recommend them.
They are a little pricier than some other skincare brands out there but I feel the quality is worth it and they do last a long time. Clinique regularly runs Bonus Time promotions where you get a big bag of 6-8 freebies (makeup and skincare items in travel sizes) when you buy 2 items, at least 1 to be skincare, so if you take advantage of Bonus Time it makes it better value and brings a bit of excitement into buying your skincare!
Summary: Great stuff