Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel



Clinique has been producing high quality, dermatologist-developed skin care products since 1968. Back then, just three products comprised their now world famous 3-step Skin Care System. Today, Clinique produces a variety of different products to meet the needs of all skin types. In this post, we will discuss the formulation behind the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel.

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What is it?

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is step 3 in Clinique’s customized 3-step Skin Care System. If you aren’t familiar with this 3-step system, it consists of first cleansing the skin, followed by exfoliating, and then moisturizing to complete the routine. Developed by dermatologists, this oil-free face moisturizer is said to “soften, smooth, and improve” and leave your skin glowing.

Who is it for?

According to Dr. Norman Orentreich, Clinique’s founding dermatologist, there are four different skin types:

  • Skin Type 1 is very dry to dry
  • Skin Type 2 is dry combination
  • Skin Type 3 is combination oily
  • Skin Type 4 is oily

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is recommended for skin types 3 and 4. Since this product is designed for oily skin types, it is oil-free and contains ingredients that will hydrate skin without clogging pores.

Formulation insight

The Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel contains typical ingredients you’d find in an anti-aging moisturizer, including glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, vitamin E, and several different silicones. While the formulation may not be “dramatically different” than other anti-aging moisturizers, there are some unique ingredients in this product.

Take Laminaria Saccharina Extract, for instance. This is the Latin name for a species of kelp, also known as brown seaweed. When this ingredient is applied to the skin, it is very soothing and calming. Additionally, like all forms of seaweed, this ingredient has some amount of moisture-binding properties.

Another interesting ingredient found in the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract. Due to its complex name, this extract has also been called “Mexican bamboo” and “Japanese knotweed”. Polygonum Cuspidatum has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for conditions like bronchitis, jaundice, and blood pressure. This extract has recently caught the attention of western researchers because of its high concentrations of resveratrol. Resveratrol is a potent polyphenolic antioxidant that protects the skin while brightening a dull complexion. It also has significant skin-calming properties that may help minimize the look of redness.

Since the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is meant for skin types 3 and 4 (combination oily and oily), the formula contains moisturizing ingredients that won’t clog pores or add excess oil to the skin. For example, there are two humectant moisturizers in this product, glycerin and sodium hyaluronate. Humectant moisturizers work by absorbing water from the atmosphere and also from the lower layers of the skin in order to hydrate the stratum corneum (the uppermost layer of skin). New York dermatologist Anne Chapas, MD, tells New Beauty, “Humectants act as a good first layer of moisture and are suitable for all skin types including oily, combination and acne prone skin because they’re void of the heavier oils.”

As mentioned above, the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel contains several silicones, including dimethicone, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, and Polysilicone-11. Silicones have several functions, such as providing a luxurious texture that helps this moisturizer spread effortlessly on the skin, creating a hydrating barrier that locks in moisture, making skin feel silky soft, and temporarily filling in fine lines and wrinkles. Many people think that silicones “suffocate” the skin because of the film they form over the skin. However, silicones have a unique molecular structure, which is comprised of larger molecules with wider spaces between each molecule. This means that silicones can lock in moisture but still allow the skin to perspire.

This product formulation contains no parabens, no phthalates, and no fragrance, according to the “Clinique Clean Philosophy”.

How to use

Apply Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel to face and throat all over twice daily (morning and night).


Out of 2,263 reviews on the Clinique website, the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel has received an impressive average of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Furthermore, 97% of reviewers would recommend this product to a friend. The majority of reviews point out that the moisturizing gel is lightweight and does not feel heavy or greasy, making it an excellent option for those with oily or acne prone skin. Additionally, this moisturizing gel is ideal for those living in hot, humid conditions.

In sum, the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer formulated for combination and oily skin that has received a very positive response from those who have tried this product.



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