* Prices may differ from that shown
I am a bloke who enoys treating himself to good things like a nice bar of soap and this is one from my favourite brand - Clinique. It is £11 for 150g of unfragranced pure soap but it comes with its own little plastic soap dish. The dish has got the Clinique logo on and it has holes in it so that when you have washed yourself and the soap goes into the dish wet, you can rest assured that it will not go soggy. Worth the money, I think.
This is a deeply and intensly mositurising soap and I take care to use it twice a day as recommended by the Clinique Counter Assistant I see most days during my lunch hour. She regularly has a smile for me and a friendly wink and I often walk about her counter and decided to buy this. My other half was most impressed and I have caught her having a go of it herself. Unfortunately, she is not as keen as I am and says it makes her skin feel tight.
I like to rub this all over my face and neck and in and around my ears, just to make sure I am fully cleansed. I like to ensure that my full facial beard of twenty inches at its longest point, is also well covered in this soap. It rinses off very well indeed and leaves no nasty residue or tightness to me sensitive skin. I like the fact that it is perfume free so it does not interfere with my Old Spice Aftershave and I love the way it makes my beard feel baby soft.
It is an extra strength soap, designed specifically for the male in mind and suited to an oily complexion. Mine is normal yet I feel that it is more than suitable for my own skin type. It makes my skin feel hydrated and soft and cherished and I love the feel it gives me. I often cannot wait to get home after work just to use it. I am developing a bit of an obsession for soaps lately and am beginning to build up a fine collection.
This one is well worth the price tag and I thoroughly recommend it.
Soap is something that I absolutely never use of my face as my skin is sensitive and soap not only dries it out but makes it red and blotchy along with making it tight and itchy. Because of this I never considered buying Clinique facial soap even though I had seen it for years and wondered about it. As it is so expensive I wasn't willing to try it out so when I received it as a gift I was quite happy to finally be able to try it out and see if it was any better than other so called sensitive soaps that I have tried in the past.
Clinique do a lot of soaps but the one I had was the one designed for men's skin. It costs £12:50 which gets you a 150g bar of the soap. The size of the soap does not in any way equate to the price paid and to be honest I was a little shocked that they could charge so much for what is effectively just a bar of soap but it did last quite a long time with frequent use.
The soap lathers really well which for me is important as I never feel like my skin is getting a really good wash unless there is some foam and lather. After using the soap to wash my skin I noticed when I had rinsed the lather off my face that my skin felt almost squeaky clean which I am not generally a fan of as usually when my skin feels this way it means the cleanser had stripped my skin of too much oil and it is left feeling tight and dry. With the Clinique soap it didn't leave my skin with that horrible tight feeling but rather it was just left feeling as though it had had a good clean.
I was quite impressed with how well it cleaned my skin but it wasn't as gentle as I would have liked and I was left with some redness which took some time to fade. However when the redness had faded my skin did look a lot better and the oiliness that I suffer from seemed to be a lot better than normal. I do suffer from breakouts and I didn't notice any difference in the frequency or severity of my spots whilst using this which I was disappointed with especially as this is one of the soaps maiun selling points.
The soap comes with its own plastic container which is a great little thing for keeping the soap dry and stopping it from melting away. I also found the holder to be great for taking the soap to the gym and on holiday.
Although I quite liked the soap and it left my skin looking good I didn't like the redness it gave me so I ended up switching back to a face wash. I still had quite a bit of soap left and didn't like to waste it so although it is designed as a facial soap I used it on my body and found it to work better here than on my face. It left my body skin feeling really clean and it helped clear up the tiny little spots that I get on the top of my arms.
The Clinique facial soap is a good product. I have really sensitive skin hence the redness I got but if your skin isn't so reactive then I definitely recommend you try this as it will get your skin clean and looking more even. The only downside other than it not being gentle enough for really reactive skin is the price. For me £12.50 is just too expensive for a soap.
At first it was easy to buy a facial cleanser if you had combination skin as well as a few ranges of moisturising creams which actually banish the look of shiny patches on faces. I for one had been using a great cream and facial wash by Simple products until they discontinued the range much to my annoyance. Now for anyone who suffers from greasy, oily patches of skin or has combination skin now, then they will know how difficult it is to find a facial cleanser which promises to get rid of the oil as well as stand out for being an overall facial cleaning product.
As a traditionalist at heart sometimes Im no stranger to premium products thanks to friends who have embraced the claims of companies such as Clarins and Clinique, but Im the kind of guy who is able to use normal facial soap and a moisturiser afterwards without putting my skin through the second step of exfoliating.
** The Price & The Claim **
This soap is ideal for oily combination skin, the sales lady enthused at Jenners store in Edinburgh, and yet at the price it should do what it states. For a large luxury foil wrapped block of rectangular soap this product costs £11 straight up. I was shocked yet vulnerable to believe anything the woman told me; since it appeared to work in a magazine product test feature for men, it sure as hell was going home with me.
** The Packaging & The Blurb **
Clinique Supplies for Men is actually an independent range which obviously sits outside the realm of beauty products for women but it appears that the company havent forgotten their prices in producing good quality products which have some degree of promise.
The soap comes packaged in a cardboard box awash with Cliniques white writing on a grey box, much the same infact of the same colour which adorns most of the Men only range and if you have any product for men by Clinique this product will look quite at home in your bathroom.
Inside the cardboard box I found a dark grey acrylic box with the label stamped and embossed on the front and inside reveals the bar of soap wrapped in the same luxury silky smooth foil. Whilst this acrylic box is in actual fact the soap holder, it also incorporates rails to grip the soap and serves up as a good soap holder for general use. Clinique state that the rails allow water to run away so that the soap doesnt melt; but its a shame for all that the rails have been put in, there are no perforated holes for the water to escape once the bar has been used and melting has already occurred on the base because of the water collected.
Cliniques promise of this extra strength soap mirrors the similar promise that their normal strength facial care soap for men does; it thoroughly cleans as well as being safe and effective, and according to the website the normal soap doesnt leave skin feeling tight like standard soaps. So how does it actually work?
** In use **
Soaping up the bar in my hands with water this product foams up very well and feels very smooth when applied to a wet face. I dont ever use a flannel to wash my face and optionally I have a net scrub for facial care bought from Boots many years ago when I do get the feeling to exfoliate. The soap goes on really well though and after I rinse my face with water, what I have been feeling afterwards is quite extraordinary.
The feeling is one of coldness and numbness and if that feeling is supposed to generate feelings of cleanliness then the product most certainly works. This is judged however with a similar feeling I get whenever I have used a facial scrub mask after rinsing. Therefore my skin feels very clean afterwards as well as smooth, but the reason I jumped for the extra strength version is simply for the banishing the sheen my skin gives off. Yes, I know that shiny skin is supposed to look and convey healthy looking skin, but the overall sheen puts me off and it looks like I have been breaking out in a hot lingering sweat all the time.
The second problem however is that whilst the normal strength version of this soap product may well not tighten or dry up skin, this extra version does dry up skin. I feel it most on my cheeks and my forehead whilst around my T zone which is worst for shine; it never looks as if anything has actually cleared up after I towel down. What I do see is no dry skin between my eyebrows and nose which is apparent when using normal soap. On my chin and underneath my skin feels very clean and has no feeling of tightness or dryness either. Well I did say I have combination skin!
Clinique suggest that after use with soap to moisturise with their M Lotion brand for men. Luckily I was given a gift pack of mens supplies last year from a good friend and use the M Lotion, but on its own accord, the M Lotion is a good product which does nothing more than moisturize skin and makes the appearance of oily zones all that more apparent.
** The Scent & Look **
The bar is rectangular in look and has been coloured in a deeper beige colour to the standard beige colour available to view on Cliniques website. It looks like an oversized bar of Cussons Imperial Leather. If only the scent was similar.
Coal Tar original soap is exactly what this product smells like and it was very off putting the first time I tried the soap. Over time you get used to the smell but even my parents dislike the scent intensely even though nothing appears to have been added. It is indeed a very dry and clinical smell so you have been warned!
** Results **
At first when I used this soap, I used it at the same time I was in the shower, thinking that I could kill two tasks at the same time, but after discovering that the product didnt work with one application in the day I suddenly thought I had bought a dud product.
However there is a trick to this soap even though Clinique dont suggest it. All the company suggest is that it should be used twice in a day and to use tepid water which possibly means no steam from the shower. So, taking on Cliniques advice I stopped using the soap in the shower and have since been using the soap for separate visits to the bathroom purely for washing my face in the morning and last thing at night. As a result, my face is smooth, soft and very clean feeling. The use of colder water seems to make this soap work better and thus the oily skin patches have calmed down. It does not however clear oily skin completely as much as I would have thought it would.
If there is another aspect of this soap which has been surprising it has not stung cuts and open spots on my face due to shaving, and that has to be worth something.
** Conclusion **
If there is one example of good marketing and strong belief in a product which has been designed for the majority of men, then this is the product with the Clinique label on it. However, it is disappointing in the sense that it does not clear up oily patches of skin completely. For all other normal types of skin, this soap bar does do an excellent job however, even if the soap product is hypoallergenic and preservative/colourant free.
The price is one of this products biggest flaws but then again what Clinique product has ever been cheap unless it is a limited edition or a smaller than small gift size option? For a standard facial bar I believe that the actual size and quality of the soap is excellent. After a months ownership and used twice daily, my bar of soap is still the same size as it was when new (judged by the fact that it still fits snugly into its own soap dish) and as a friend recently remarked (who uses the normal strength bar) this bar of soap should last between 4 and 6 months depending on usage. That is of course quite a claim, but Ill be updating to let you know just how long this soap lasts.
For a general purpose facial soap, Cliniques Supplies for Men facial soap does what it suggests partly but despite the label, longevity and luxury of the product, it hasnt met full expectations positively. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2007.