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Before I explain about this product from Clinique I think it is important to give a little bit of background information about how damaging the environment is to the skin. After all that is exactly what this City Block from Clinique is going to do protect the skin from harmful factors in our environment. The importance of this City Block can only be fully understood once these harmful factors are fully understood.
Protecting your skin from the sun, the environment and general pollution has never been so well understood as today. This can be seen in the abolishment of low sun protection factors from our supermarket shelves. Clinique is a brand that clearly understands how damaging the sun and the environment are to the skin so they have developed a shield for the skin from all of these damaging factors. This shield is called City Block and is a sunscreen to be worn every day. City Block protects the skin from UVA rays (Ultraviolet A rays which are known as the ageing rays) and UVB rays (Ultraviolet B rays which are known as the burning rays). Our skin needs protecting from both of these types of UV rays. Despite UVA rays being less intense than UVB rays they are more prevalent so both need to be considered. UVA rays since being known as the ageing ray is the main contributor to lines, wrinkles, age spots/pigmentation and premature ageing. It is also a large contributor to the development of skin cancer. UVB rays are what cause the skin to burn causing huge amounts of damage to the different layers of the skin. So when the skin is actually burnt this is the ray that causes that redness.
What a lot of people believe is that these UVA and UVB rays can only penetrate the skin during hot summer months. However, this is far from being the case. These rays can damage the skin all year round. So this Clinique product is not a product that is only necessary for summer months. Clinique have two different sun protection factors in this product. One which I use in the summer (SPF 40) and one I use in the winter (SPF 25 which I am currently reviewing). Clinique used to produce this product in SPF 15 but as I previously said lower sun protection factors are gradually being phased out, even SPF 15. I was horrified when I went to Turkey in the summer though when I saw so-called sun protection factors that had no sun protection in! They were 0 SPF so basically just oil! I really do not see the point in that!
Due to this product being advised to be worn everyday it does not contain chemicals in like most sunscreens. I would imagine that wearing sunscreen with chemicals in everyday would not do the skin a lot of good. This product also has added vitamins and antioxidants in to also product the skin against daily pollution from the environment for example vitamins C and E are present in it. City Block additionally has anti inflammatory ingredients to calm the skin down from any external aggressors.
As with all Clinique products this product suits my skin because it is 100% fragrance free, allergy tested. It is also oil-free which is perfect for me with combination skin. This product I must point out is just for the face; it comes in a 40ml tube (which obviously wouldn't be enough to cover the entire body with every day) and retails at £15.00. It seems like only a year ago that I was paying £12.50 for this product, but like most products on the market the prices creep up often without you realising, but I noticed with this one!
SO WHEN DO I USE THIS PRODUCT IN MY BEAUTY REGIME?
Well I firstly use Clinique's 3-Step skincare routine which includes cleansing, clarifying (mild exfoliation) and moisturising followed by this City Block then my foundation. I simply work it into the skin using my fingertips as I would a moisturiser. So this product acts as a perfect foundation primer, it helps to reduce oil during the day which is exactly what my skin needs. It reduces oil with the ingredient silica which Clinique claims to wick away oil from the skin. So it makes my make-up last that bit longer. Despite it not being advertised as light reflective it does have a luminosity about it which I absolutely love. It gives almost a dewy finish that makes my skin look really healthy. When I first squeezed some of this out of the tube at the Clinique counter to try it I noticed it was slightly tinted. I asked the Clinique lady about it and she assured me that it was not actually tinted it blended into your skin tone once smoothed into the skin. She was absolutely right because once I have rubbed it into my hand to try it I could no longer see it apart from seeing this luminosity to it.
Another factor I must highlight with this product is that if you use two moisturisers or an extremely thick moisturiser you must give it a good 10 minutes to sink in before applying this City Block or else it can start to flake slightly on the skin because the skin is being overloaded with products.
During the summer months I often wear this product alone without foundation over the top. I love the fact that it is so lightweight and sheer unlike most sun protection for the face which I find too heavy for my skin and they often contain a lot of oil which causes me to breakout with spots. I do however, in the summer months reapply this City Block at least twice a day if I am sat in the sun and of course reapply it after swimming as it is not water resistant.
My overall opinion of this product is that it is a super way to defend your skin from sun damage and environmental damage which consequently can lead to premature ageing. I always look at my mum's skin which is unfortunately not too great for her age (which I am sure she would love me saying) because she is almost addicted to spending hours in the sun with an extremely low sun protection factor. In my opinion when she was my age there was little research and evidence found out about sun damage so she probably sat for hours in the sun due to being poorly educated about the damaging effects of sun damage. Now due to how well educated we can be from companies such as Clinique I think it is important to take on board these very important factors. I would love my skin to continue looking young for as long as possible and I hope this product will help me to do so!
Like most Clinique products, the City Sunblock is very conservative in composition and average in performance. It is a 'physical' sunscreen, which means that it contains titanium dioxide and similar ingredients that can create that white patch, ghostly effect. Your face may even look a bit silvery like a mirror coated with aluminium. It provides good protection against uv rays, that's for sure. It prevents sun-burn and probably lessens the harm of sun exposure. But if you wear it under make-up, it will feel very heavy and oily. You need to have a very dry skin to prevent this effect. So forget about it if you have oily skin. The make-up goes off easily too, because it doesn't have a matifying effect at all. I would recommend that if you want your cosmetics to stay put and your face to feel light and comfortable, use chemical sunscreens. They don't have to be expensive either, try Oil of Olay Complete Protection Day Cream or Total Effects with SPF. Clinique sunscreens tend to clog my pores and feel thick. It may perform clinically, but not cosmetically.