There’s a good chance that you have bought a buttery yellow tube of Clinique’s Dramatically Different Lotion at some point in your life. Or perhaps when you were a child, you saw a series of yellow, green and purple Clinique bottles on your mother’s bathroom vanity. Clinique is a skincare brand that has been around for decades, and is synonymous with a clinical approach to beauty. Here’s a closer look at Clinique, some of its best-selling products, and is it right for you?
What is Clinique?
The idea for Clinique was sparked in 1967 article, after US Vogue published an article called “Can Great Skin Be Created?” The story featured Manhattan dermatologist Dr. Norman Orentreich, whose beauty philosophy was based on the idea that anyone could have good skin if they followed a proper skincare routine. The article caught the eye of Evelyn Lauder (daughter-in-law of famed beauty mogul Estée Lauder), who joined forces with Orentreich and US Vogue editor Carol Phillips to develop a skin care brand.
The result was Clinique, which launched in 1968. It was one of the first brands to bring a dermatological approach to skincare. What made Clinique different is that it avoided any ingredients that could potentially irritate the skin or cause allergies, such as fragrance. Even today, Clinique products are free from parabens, phthalates and fragrance.
Another factor that made Clinique unique is that instead of taking a one-size fits all approach to the products, the Clinique line was meant to evoke a one-on-one consultation that patients would get at Dr. Orentreich’s practice. The company created the “Clinique Computer,” which was a non-electronic display box with sliding knobs that helped customers pinpoint their skin type.
The idea was a hit and now Clinique is one of the best-selling skincare brands in the world. The customization concept lives on in products like Clinique iD Custom-Blend Hydrator Collection. Customers pick their hydration base and add a cartridge to address their main skin concern, such as uneven skin tone or fine lines. Clinique is also known for its generous “gift with purchase” policy.
What Does Clinique Sell?
Clinique sells a wide range of makeup, skincare and fragrance, as well as a men’s line and an acne collection. Here’s a closer look.
Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm – This cleanser transforms from a solid balm into a silky oil upon application.
Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly – An offshoot of the popular Dramatically Different moisturizer, this formula is an oil free, lightweight gel.
Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator – This gel-cream contains hyaluronic acid and activated aloe water.
Repairwear Laser Focus – This serum is designed to smooth and improve skin texture while plumping up fine lines.
Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam – Packed with acne fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid and acetyl glucosamine, this cleanser can be used twice a day.
Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector – The active ingredient in this dark spot corrector is gyokuro green tea.
Even Better Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 – The Even Better foundation is formulated to give medium coverage while helping to improve the skin. The foundation has a creamy texture.
Clinique Sweet Pots – Two compartments in this lip pot house different products- a sugar-smoothing scrub on one side, and a sheer, tinted moisturizing balm on the other.
True Bronze – This pressed powder bronzer is designed to give a sun kissed glow.
Clinique Happy – The brand’s original fragrance has bright citrus notes of grapefruit and bergamot.
Aromatics Elixir Perfume Spray – This scent is more complex, with notes of rose, jasmine and ylang ylang.
Clinique For Men Face Scrub – This exfoliator should be used pre-shave to prep the skin.
Clinique For Men 2 in 1 Skin Hydrator + Beard Conditioner – A multi-purpose product that is designed to improve the skin and soften beards.
What is the Clinique 3-Step Skin Care System?
The concept behind the 3-Step Skin Care System is a basic one that involves these essential steps: cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing. Clinique’s philosophy is that each step helps the skin prepare for the next step. Within the 3-Step system, each Clinique’s product is organized by skin type. Very dry is Type 1, Dry/Combo is Type 2, Combination Oily is Type 3, and Oily is Type 4.
What Are Some Best-Selling Clinique Products?
Dramatically Different Moisturizer – This yellow moisturizer is Clinique’s best known product. According to the company, one bottle of it is sold every 15 seconds.
Take The Day Off Makeup Remover For Lids, Lashes & Lips – The Take the Day Off collection includes cleansers and this makeup remover which is designed to be “tugless.”
Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream With Probiotic Technology – This cream is designed to calm skin and reduce redness.
Clinique Pep Start – The Pep Start collection is a brightly colored group of multi-purpose products, such as an exfoliating cleanser, and a hydrating lip balm.
How Much Are Clinique Products?
Clinique products are on the pricier side, given they are sold in department stores. The Repairwear Laser Focus serum retails for $80, and the Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator is $78. Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser With Probiotic Technology is $23.
What Ingredients Are In Clinique Products?
Clinique products are formulated with straight forward beauty ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, which holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water; salicylic acid in its exfoliating and acne products; caffeine and vitamins A and C.
Where Are Clinique Products Sold?
Clinique is sold in more than 135 stores worldwide as well as in department stores such as Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, as well as beauty stores including Ulta and Sephora.
Is Clinique Cruelty Free?
Its parent company, Estée Lauder, says “The Estée Lauder Companies does not test on animals and we never ask others to do so on our behalf. If a regulatory body demands it for its safety or regulatory assessment, an exception can be made.”
Do Clinique Products Work?
When evaluating whether or not a product works, remember that everyone’s skin can react differently to the same product. One person’s miracle product could do nothing for someone else, or perhaps make them break out.
Clinique is a brand that has been around for decades and has its loyal fans who appreciate the brand’s simple approach to beauty. A few of its products have generated plenty of buzz, such as the Chubby Sticks and Black Honey lipstick, as well as City Block. Clinique has also scooped up plenty of awards from beauty editors. Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10% received an Allure Best of Beauty Award in 2018. In 2019, Clinique iD Custom-Blend Hydrator Collection was nominated for a Beauty Game Changer of the Year award from British Vogue. Clinique’s Even Better Glow was awarded a Beauty Style Award from The Times of London in 2018.
Customer reviews are largely positive. Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel has over 3,000 reviews on Sephora, with a 4.5 star rating and over 70,000 “loves.” Reviews include “This stuff is amazing. I have EXTREMELY oily skin and this product works wonders! My face doesn’t get as oily as before. I deff recommend this!” as well as “This is the best moisturizer for acne prone skin and because its a gel, its non greasy and sheer. Love this stuff! And 4oz defintely lasts!”
Users who didn’t like the product cited that it irritated their skin, or didn’t do anything for them. “I wanted to love this….I really did. Upon using it for about 5 days I started breaking out all over my face….in places I usually never break out. I am very annoyed…” and “I’ve literally never had anything break me out so terribly. Tried it out for about 2 weeks to see if the break outs were maybe caused by my skin just adjusting to the new product but that wasn’t it. Bought it because of the reviews but I’m very disappointed.”
Clinique’s Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator garnered 735 reviews on Sephora, with an average 4.5 stars and over 30,000 “loves.” Those who didn’t love it said “It made me break out and have very bad acne. Would not recommend if you have sensitive skin” while satisfied consumers praised its lightweight hydration. “I have very dry skin due to eczema, especially around my mouth. This cream made my skin soft and as smooth as glass. Now when I wear makeup, I look beautiful for once 🙂 Love this stuff and their “Pretty Easy” eyeliner.”
What Are Some Alternatives to Clinique?
Clinique may not work for everyone, and some people may not want to spend that much money on their skincare. Many of the ingredients that Clinique uses, such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and vitamin A, can be found in lower priced brands. If you’re looking for a well-rounded skincare line, there are a few other brands to consider, including Formulyst and Advanced Dermatology.
Formulyst’s philosophy is long-term and effective skincare. The brand wants to help its customers achieve their best looking skin, rather than covering it up with makeup. The comprehensive line of products targets everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin.
Formulyst’s Luminous Skin Serum tackles skin discoloration such as dark spots thanks to Triple Brightening Technology, a powerful blend of alpha arbutin (derived from the bearberry plant), rumex extract (a plant that helps stop the production of melanin) and a biomimetic peptide. The serum leaves skin looking lighter and brighter.
Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, is the star ingredient in Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Night Cream. What makes this formula different is that it contains a high dose of retinol but it’s also packed with ultra-soothing and hydrating safflower seed oil and jojoba to lock moisture in and soothe the skin.
Dry, parched skin is no match for Formulyst Super Hyaluronic Water Moisturizer. The hero ingredient is hyaluronic acid, which occurs naturally in the body and can hold up to 1,000 times it weight in water. This lightweight, oil free formula works by attracting water to the skin and contains multiple types of hyaluronic acid – and delivers hydration without leaving skin feeling weighed down.
If you like the simplicity of a skincare kit, consider Advanced Dermatology. This no nonsense brand offers a pared down approach to skincare. The packaging is simple and streamlined, and the products bring skincare back to the basics. The kit contains just six essential items including a daily cleanser; serum; anti-wrinkle firming treatment; night cream; day cream and an eye cream. In other words, everything you need to achieve your best possible looking skin.