Newest Review: ... alone, but the whole 3 step system working together. The facial soap is dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic, like all Clin... more
Neurotic Males Guide to Clinique
Clinique 3-Step Skin System
Member Name: JayHall1991
Clinique 3-Step Skin System
Advantages: Good, Looks Great, Works, Unique, Good Results
Disadvantages: Expensive, Uses Some Controversial Ingredients
The 3 step skincare regime is the basis of the Clinique range; it consists of a cleanser (facial soap) toner/liquid exfoliator (clarifying lotion) and moisturiser (dramatically different moisture lotion/gel). Each of these products can be ordered in different strengths for different skincare needs e.g. extra mild facial soap for people with sensitive skin. All of them have been created by dermatologists
This comes in three strengths (extra mild, mild and oily) and two solutions (soap bar and liquid facial soap). The bar comes with a nifty little green sliding ‘tub’ which allows the soap to stay hygienic and clean, whilst the liquid is bought in a more conventional pump action bottle. The bar is ‘French milled’ to make sure that it lasts longer than more commercial soaps (as it is milled and condensed more frequently) and its main base is tallow (the fat from mutton or lamb mmmmm, nice....) The liquid facial ‘soap’ actually contains no soap derivatives. Both types are fragrance free which is a bonus for me, both have been developed by dermatologists and both (like all Clinique products) have been 100% allergy tested.
When you have you consultation at the Clinique counter you will be advised which strength of facial soap is most suitable for you, for me it was mild which is the most popular with consumers. When you get it home (probably after spending an obscene amount of money) it will be in a light green box (which is a waste of packaging as it comes in its own tub) and you just pop it out as you would any other soap. It is heavier than most soap and denser with a light cream colour and the Clinique logo pressed into the top. The first time I used it I was surprised how easy it was to get a thick lather, it is creamy, substantial and thus a little goes a really long way. After you have massaged it in and rinsed it off your skin feels clean and squeaky (I suppose some may say squeaky clean : ) as well as smooth. However, for someone with dry skin, the first time using this I found it quite drying and gave my face a ‘tight’ feeling but after a couple of times using it twice a day this drying subsided and I experienced all of the benefits mentioned above.
In my experience this is a very good, no nonsense cleanser which does what it is supposed to; it leaves your skin clean, soft and oil free, without leaving the skin sensitive. Unlike some soaps which I have used (on my few deviations from the line, when I am either skint, or on a ‘damn the big cosmetic companies’ rage) it leaves your skin supple and has no horrible ‘soapy’ fragrance, smelling very clean and crisp. I have never had any problems with acne since I have been using this product and I only rarely get eczema flare ups. I feel that it is successful in purifying and controlling excess sebum without stripping the skin harsherly and it leaves my skin look clear and feeling dirt-free. Clinique also claim that the soap helps loosen surface flakes which allow the clarifying lotions to work more effectively. The ‘large’ bar soap (150 g) lasts me around four months when used twice daily (which is quite good).
Whether you prefer the bar or liquid facial soap is a matter of preference; I like the bar as I find it lasts longer, does a better job of thoroughly cleansing and is cheaper. The liquid soap is a thick, transparent liquid, which foams like an ordinary cleanser and does a good job of cleansing the skin, leaving it supple and clear. However, some of the ingredients in this cleanser are deeply irritating to my skin and many of them are frowned upon within the beauty industry; sodium laureth sulphate and laureth 2 are both foaming agents which have been linked to skin irritation, drying and much more worryingly there has been some evidence showing that it can have carcinogenic effects, sodium cocoyl sarcosinate which has been linked to epidermal problems and sodium sulphate another foaming agents which has been linked to drying of the upper layers of skin. I believe that the soap bar is a more effective cleanser, with less foaming agents which are too harsh on my hyper-sensitive skin.
The price of the soaps is affected by the weight of the product you choose the price list goes like this:
Bar: 100g = £9.50 150g= £12.00 Liquid: 200ml = £13.00
This is more expensive than alot of cleansers on the market, but I believe that it is worth it as it is very effective at clearing the skin, prepping it for the other steps in the system and making your face feel clean, supple and oil free. I would give this product four stars out of five.
This comes in four strengths for different skin care needs (mild, 1, 2, 3, 4) and arrives in a clear plastic bottle, with a screw top, the Clinique logo and four different colours of liquid inside. This is the most controversial and criticised step in Clinique’s core range, mainly because of its ingredients; denatured alcohol is seen to cause drying and accelerate the ageing process and some people argue that daily exfoliation is unbeneficial to the skin (making it less able to fight external aggressors). The clarifying lotion is basically a liquid exfoliant, which speeds up the rate in which cells renew themselves, unclogs pores, lifts dry patches and makes skin more receptive to moisture (phewww). All of the clarifying lotions have been developed by dermatologists, are 100% fragrance free and allergy tested (they also look pretty on the bathroom shelf).
Again after the Clinique consultation you will be talked through the product line and be advised which clarifying lotion is best suited to your skin; I swing from 2 and 3 (which is bizarre as 3 is for oily skin, which I have certainly not got), 2 is a pale purple colour, 3 is a more peach hue. You have to soak a cotton pad in the liquid (I find two quick swigs is enough) and then sweep the saturated pad across your face and neck. The first time you use it you will feel a tingling on the skin and then a cooling, this is the alcohol evaporating from the skin and can be quite daunting at first, but goes after a few times of using the product. This is the product which shows an instant difference (much like manual exfoliation), the skin looks smoother, clearer and (this is a weird reference) like you have just walked in from a snowy day. The skin looks pink and ‘fresh’ a look which continues throughout the day. This product is excellent at controlling excess sebum and stops acne dead in its tracks; it allows the moisturizer to sink in instantly and eliminates dry skin in a few weeks. The strength of the exfoliating action increases with the number attributed to it (apart from mild, which is for people who have been advised not to exfoliate the skin) therefore the results are more effective as you go up the scale. My skin would not be able to cope with 4 so I stay clear of it (as I imagine that it would be somewhat like spreading paint stripper on your face).
Strangely, I have never experienced any skin irritation using this product despite its high alcohol contents. I only have good things to say about it, it has left my skin feeling comfortable, clean and clear for a good ten years now, it truly does what it says on the tin, leaving your skin looking radiant and healthy looking. As for the negative long term effects I have not experienced anything yet (if I look 70 years old next week, then I will stand corrected) but I can see how the stronger lotions could cause irritation to sensitive, fragile skins which are quick to react to next products/ingredients. The price of the lotion depends on the volume you buy, the 400ml lasts about as long as the large soap (3/4 months) when used twice a day:
200ml = £14.00 400ml = £23.00 (the mild clarifying can only be purchased in the 200ml volume).
Again, this is more expensive than most ‘toners’ on the market (apart from Elizabeth Arden, woof! Have you seen the prices of those products, there enough to give you nightmares!) But I have had great results using it. It really has kept my dry patches in check, made my skin look healthier than ever before and left me feeling more confident with no spots of major imperfections. It is also a great way to start the day by making you feel revitalised, refreshed and genuinely more awake (which is a genuine benefit to me, who manages to sleep walk through work up until lunch time). I would again give this product four stars out of five, for good results.
Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion/Gel
This is perhaps Clinique’s most famous product, a moisturizer which comes in three types very dry/dry, oily very oily and new oil free gel (for people prone to acne). It is a pale yellow colour and comes in a pump action bottle, squashy bottle or glass jar; all are easy to us and keep the product hygienic (the pump action especially keeps the product away from contaminants). The product is a thick pale liquid, which spreads easily and goes along way, and effectively working as both a day cream (although it does not contain an SPF factor) and a night cream (when your skin repairs itself), which is a bonus as you do not have to buy two separate products. It has been developed by dermatologists to ‘maintain skin’s optimal moisture balance’ and is the staple of the Clinique range.
You don’t really need a consultation to choose which moisturiser to purchase, you either pick very dry/dry or oily/very oily. Moisturising the skin is important as it makes the external layer of the skin more supple by increasing the amount of water in them, it also helps the skin battle external aggressors (namely free radicals from cars and pollution), helping maintain adequate collagen turnover and aiding skin in the fight against ageing skin (dry skin ages more quickly). I also make skin makes feel more comfortable and healthy looking, it is arguably the most important part of any skin care regime. The dramatically different moisturising lotion is a very good ‘basic’ moisturiser, which helps skin feel supple, strong and look well maintained, it is excellent at alleviating dry skin, lasts a long time and it sinks in quickly (the Mrs also says it is also a good ‘base’ for makeup). I find that it is as effective a night cream as a day, being thick enough to moisturise well without clogging pores. It has no ‘cosmeticy’ smells which makes it suitable for men and always makes my skin feel comfortable and not tight which is its natural state. My skin always looks better after I use it and a 125ml jar can last me five months, easily.
However this cream does not contain any vitamins or antioxidants (which help neutralise free radicals in the environment) and is fairly basic in that it contains no ‘must have’ ingredients and has stayed pretty much the same (ingredients wise) since its introduction in the late 1960s. Unlike Clinique’s newer (and more expensive) moisturisers, it is made simply to replace the moisture lost my cleansing and exfoliating, so it does not tackle any further problems which you may have been experiencing. The fact that it doesn’t contain SPF is worrying to some people as many people agree that 75% of all skin aging is due to sun exposure, but I find that SPF clogs my pores, and I am more interested in making my skin feel comfortable than preventing aging. However, many argue that this liquid is expensive for a cream that does not contain any of the antioxidants, vitamins or acids (Hyaluronic Acid) that make up many of the cosmetic industries more expensive moisturizers.
The Dramatically Different Moisture Lotion Prices
Lotion with pump 125ml = £27.00 Lotion with cap 50ml = £15.00 Lotion with cap 125ml = £26.00 Lotion in tube 50ml = £15.00 Gel with pump 125ml = £27.00 Gel in tube 50ml =£15.00
I believe this is quite expensive for such a basic moisturizer; but it works to soften, smooth and moisturise your skin, leaving it feeling supple, healthy and strong. I would give this product three stars out of five, it does what it says, but is not particularly good value for money.
Overall Clinique’s three step skincare system is famous for a reason; it works to make your skin clear. Smooth and healthy, takes less than three minutes morning and night and does do what it suggests. It is excellently produced, the customer service is genuinely good and it is a regime which you can stick to (and continue to get results from) for many years..
Summary: A Good, No Fuss Skincare Regime
- Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
- Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Corrector
- Clinique Happy Body Smoother
- Clinique Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream
- Clinique Deep Comfort Body Wash
- Clinique Facial Soap Oily Skin Formula
- Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Extra-Mild
- Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Oily Skin Formular
- Clinique Moisture Surge Extra Refreshing Eye Gel
- Clinique Moisture Surge Facial Sheet Mask