Newest Review: ... the 3 step system. The Number 3 lotion is as the Dooyoo picture. I like the simplicity of the bottle. The opening at the neck has no... more
Pink, Pungent and Perfect (imo)
Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3
Member Name: Dryad
Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3
Advantages: Does a great job and makes a visible difference to my skin. finished products not animal tested.
Disadvantages: Expensive, high alcohol content.
With a wedding coming up next month I've been trying to haul my old carcass back into some kind of shape, losing a little weight and having looked in the mirror recently and mistaken myself for and extra from Zombieland I decided my chops was the next thing to get some kind of tlc. One of the first things on my list was the Clarifying lotion. As I am doing this on a very tight budget, I was delighted to see the Clarifying lotion for sale online via my friends Marisota catalogue! 200Mls for £19.99 which is £4 more than in Boots, it can be found on cheap smells at the moment for 'only' £11.50, so as you can see the price varies It is also available in a 400ml size. I bought it at the more expensive catalogue price because with so many things to buy for the bloomin' wedding it was more important in this particular instance to be able to spread the cost than, within reason, the individual cost of the items.
Clarifying lotion (no 3 for me) is part of Clinique's much vaunted and advertised 3 step system, the three items in the steps are sold separately. It consists of cleansing (a special formulation soap), followed by Clarifying lotion, then their 'Dramatically Different' moisturiser (which I've previously reviewed, and it's not for me). I have used all three products but not necessarily together as the 3 step system.
The Number 3 lotion is as the Dooyoo picture. I like the simplicity of the bottle. The opening at the neck has nothing inserted to help dispense the fluid and you simply place a cotton wool pad over the opening and tip. This is good and bad, this simple method of use allows a decent amount of product to soak into the pad and has less components to go wrong. However if you are the slightest bit clumsy and knock the bottle and it wobbles or falls the liquid will spill out very quickly. Also because the toner has a high alcohol content it means that once the bottle is open it will evaporate very quickly. I'm fairly sure that it does this a little even with the lid on, so if the lid is not on firmly I'm sure this would increase . There doesn't seem to be any spillage when the bottle is lying at an angle though.
The clarifying lotion is often referred to as a toner, which it is up to a point as it contains astringents such as witch hazel and alcohol. However it is more than a toner it is an effective exfoliant too and for me that is a real plus. The formula contains salicylic acid which is listed as its third ingredient therefore hopefully is in a large enough percentage to be effective. Salicylic acid is a component found in many spot treatments (and other exfoliating products) because of its ability to take away dead skin cells, and is strong enough to improve even quite flaky skin, it also gets inside the pores clearing out the debris from the inside out.
The number 3 Clarifying lotion although it doesn't have any artificial scents added has quite a strong astringent smell, which not surprisingly is reminiscent of alcohol and witch hazel.
When using this in my twenties I was very impressed that out of all the brands (and even things like neat witch hazel) I'd experimented with that this was the only one which seemed to lift visible further impurities from the skin after cleansing, I wondered if it was still as effective. The first time I used this again after so many years I was not disappointed and was astounded at how much dirt was on the pad even after thoroughly cleansing first. It seems that Clinique has not ruined a good product by constantly tweaking it as so many brands seem to do. If it ain't broke don't fix it I say.
The instructions on the packaging tell us to moisten a cotton wool pad with the liquid and sweep over the face and neck twice a day. This is precisely what I am doing at the moment.
This is not a product which compromises its efficacy by diluting the ingredients to the point where they don't do much. Probably because of this you most likely will feel some sensation when using, whether you interpret that as stinging or refreshing is an individual thing. I feel that on my skin toners that don't have some physical zing don't work. Having said that at no time does this irritate my skin to the point of being uncomfortable. The number 3 lotion is designed for oily skin which is in other respects 'normal' so if you have sensitive skin I would recommend trying the number one or two lotions. My youngest daughter has very sensitive skin and if she were to try this I'm sure she would burst into flames. To be sure you make the right choice in this range should you wish to try it there are always the overly helpful assistants at the Clinique counter to help guide you at least on your initial purchase.
I've been using the lotion for two weeks now and I have seen a marked improvement in my skin. I had been using physical/friction exfoliators from brands such as Neutrogena because they were more in my price range. Even thought they worked well there was a certain something missing. With the Clarifying lotion even though you only sweep across the skin, getting into every nook and cranny, it has done a better job of exfoliating than any of those other products. That is not to say that it is better than all products of that type, I used to use a 'physical' micro-dermabrasion product from Philosophy which was superb, but did not give a toning effect at the same time.
My primary purpose for using this product was the exfoliating effect, and the knowledge that it gets the face uber clean but the toning effect has been very useful too. After use my skin feels more taut and a little tingly with a slightly pink flush and has a nice smooth texture, and is getting smoother the more I use it. Which means when I want to apply make up I use less, and what I do use looks better when on. Despite the high alcohol content this never dries my skin out.
When I started using the Clarifying Lotion I had a nasty little spot refusing to go away near my nose. Within two days of use it had gone on the run and all that was left was the redness and slight flakiness, which faded well over the following couple of days. I should mention that it didn't sting or hurt at all when used on the sore spot. This lotion is not sold as a spot treatment but I have found it quite effective in both helping to prevent them by keeping pores clear, and at helping them to clear more quickly if they do crop up. If you suffer from acne and have several active blemishes this might sting a little too much and it would be better to use prescription treatments, or if you want to stick with Clinique try their 3 step blemish solutions range.
Something else I have noticed while using this is that although there is no matifying claim for this lotion my make up seems to sit better and last a little longer before needing to 'blot' any shine away.
Using this leaves my skin feeling totally clean and fresh. Although I do not use this as part of the 3 point system it works extremely well as a stand alone product. It is the only Clinique skin care product that I have tried that I can heartily recommend.
Summary: A good product that makes sure skin is super clean without over drying.