Newest Review: ... To me that's proof how much of a 'deep cleanse' you are getting from this product. It lifts the impurities from the pores. When I use it ... more
Seeking Clarification On How To Get Great Skin?
Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2
Member Name: zoe_page_1
Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2
Advantages: Easy to use, great grime remover
Disadvantages: Perhaps an unneccessary step? Tingles that extra bit on broken skin
On their website, Clinique suggests you wash with their facial soap then swipe this over your face before finishing with some Dramatically Different lotion. I do chop and change with what I use on my face, but I also understand the benefits of product lines, and if, on occasions when I'm cleansing my face with a Clinique product and also want to follow with a toner of sorts, the obvious choice is a Clinique one.
The product description for this is quite interesting. It's supposed to be an exfoliating lotion which is puzzling for people used to exfoliating scrubs or, at a push, cream cleansers with exfoliating microbeads. They work and you can see why - literally, you can often see the exfoliating particles. But an exfoliating lotion, that looks like pastel coloured water? That's a new one.
I didn't receive a Clinique soap in my gift set, but did get their Cream Cleanser, and decided I could use this lotion after that to make my own version of their 3 step system (I do have their moisturiser, but I'm still using up a different brand's for now). This lotion is particularly easy to store and use as it's in a bottle not a tube. It has a flat base to keep it steady, a simple screw top and a nice wide neck to allow the lotion out. (I'm calling it that because they do, but I think it's more of a liquid than a lotion, as the latter conjures up images of something thicker or creamier than this jazzed up water).
You really need cotton wool to apply this lotion - toilet paper is an emergency alternative, but really doesn't work as well as you need something that will hold the liquid while you swipe, plus it can be rougher than nice fluffy cosmetic pads. I use round cotton wool pads, because they have a better flat surface area than balls, making the whole process quicker and more efficient. I tip the bottle up with the cotton wool tight but not too tight over the opening, and find just one tip is enough to soak the pad. To use, I then simply wipe the now wet pad over my face, back and forth until it is all tingly. That's the great thing about this, and indeed most toners: you can tell where you've swiped it by the tingling feeling and slight trail of dampness left behind.
My experience of toners in the past is that they make my skin feel nice and tight - not unpleasantly so, but almost like I've had a mini facelift as everything feels refined and pulled back. After using a creamy cleanser or soap this is great as your skin can sometimes feel a bit clogged after those, even if you've washed them off, and this lotion leaves you feeling like you've removed all the previous product, as well as the grime. And, wow, what a grime remover. I've mentioned in previous reviews the circumstances my skin currently lives in - limited access to water, plus filthy, dusty, African streets and so on. The Clinique Cream Cleanser is great for removing dirt, but so is this lotion. The colour of the cotton wool once I'm finished is deliciously alarming - on some days it actually matches the orange/brown colour of the streets I trek to and from the office. I almost wish there was a 3rd cleaning product to add to the end of my new skincare system to see what else can come out of my pores. In my experience the cream cleanser gently lifts off the surface dirt, while this seems to exfoliate any muck that's lying deeper in the skin. My skin still feels clean after only the cleanser, but is feels really, REALLY clean when I use this as well.
I don't have sensitive skin, but this does sting a bit if you get it on damaged parts - in my case that's where I've missed the Deet and have the mosquito bites to prove it. It's not tear-your-hair-out painful but it does make me grimace a bit. The smell is a bit boozy but not too off putting - again, it's clinical smelling which conjures up images of high tech laboratories and technicians in lab coats and is surprisingly reassuring.
The official claims are that this product "De-flakes, sweeps away build ups of oil, nudges fresher skin to the surface. Helps dry skins maximise moisture, oily skins avert breakout". Aside from the dubious phrasing (is "to deflake" really a verb?) that sounds quite good though to me nudging forward comes from behind, so it's a bit weird that they think you can nudge something up by attacking it from above not underneath. Anyway, I digress. The product claims to do more than most toners, and though I still find it odd that something that appears smooth can be an exfoliator, I won't dispute these claims. This lotion does more than just exfoliate out the dirt, too. It also improves overall feel and appearance of skin. When I look in the mirror afterwards my skins looks smoother, my pores look smaller, and my skin tone is more even, with minimal colour variation.
I tried this on its own (i.e. without a pre-cleanse) just to see what it was like, conscious that this is not the way Clinique recommend you use it. It worked well as removing dirt, but my skin felt a bit funny afterwards, almost stripped too bare, so I would recommend following the usage instructions. That said, I think there is a little room for variety, and you can use either a soap or cream wash beforehand in my experience. I also tried it for another 'off label' use: cleaning my feet. I have a nasty cut that went funny so am soaking my foot in Potassium Permanganate twice daily on (witch)doctor's orders. While this is helping sort out the problem, it's also helping to turn my food an attractive purple/brown colour that water alone will not wash off. This is a surprisingly effective lotion for removing the staining, though a little rubbing is required. I'm not sure whether this finding is reassuring or worrying...
Overall I do like this lotion, but the fact you need to use it in conjunction with other products puts me off a tiny bit. It's not that it doesn't work, but sometimes I'd rather wash and go than faff around with different bottles and a multi-step process. I think this is an optional addition - I can happily use the cleanser without following it with this, but wouldn't want to use this without the cleanser before it. That said, if you have the time (and inclination) to cleanse, tone (sorry, 'clarify') and moisturise then I can't find fault with this one. Another solid product from Clinique.
This product is for dry - dry to normal skin. I certainly don't have oily skin, and the sun can be drying on my otherwise normal skin, so that's fine. Other versions are also available for other skin types.
£14 for 200ml / £23 for 400ml from Clinique online, but check Debenhams or House of Fraser etc for Bonus Time offers which make the prices a little more palatable. I've also just discovered that Amazon stock some of the Clinique range - maybe put your dooyoo vouchers to good use and buy yourself a Christmas present?
Summary: A great toner if you like toners...otherwise it's a good, but optional, step