Clinique skin care: Review

About a month ago I went to the Selfridges for the full ‘Clinique Experience’ – also known as a skin consultation/analysis. To read the review of this process click HERE.
I really enjoyed the consultation and felt that I learnt a few bits about my skin and what I should be doing to look after it. Following this I was sent a specific prescription of products designed for my skin, including:
The Three Step Programme:
Liquid Cleanser ‘mild’
Clarifying Lotion ‘1’
Dramatically Different Moisturiser
Treatment products:
Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
All About Eyes ‘rich’
7 day scrub
Prevention products:
Super Defense SPF 25
Super Rescue antioxidant night moisturiser
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yes – that is a lot of products for a skin care routine. When I was at the counter, talking about my skin needs, I was told that there were ‘tiers’ of recommendations for my skin – not all of which are essential. Which is good to hear.
I have been using these for three weeks now (since Sunday 15 November, to be precise) so I feel I have given them a decent run in order to pass on my views and opinions. I have been using only the Clinique products for this time (other than a No7 eye make-up remover), the three step programme twice a day, with the other moisturisers being interchanged, depending on how my skin was feeling.
So what do I think? Well, rather than just have an over all view at this stage I thought I would run through each product on its own, starting with the core three step programme.
Liquid Cleanser ‘mild’
I do like a foaming cleanser. This one is decent, foams nicely and rinses clean. I did feel that this (followed by the Clarifying Lotion) didn’t quite get all my make-up off and leave my skin clean. So when not trialing the whole range I would probably add in an oil cleanser to remove make-up, to be followed by the three step programme.
Clarifying Lotion ‘1’
As mentioned above, this was the stage when I felt my skin wasn’t quite as clean as I would like. When I looked at the cotton pad it still looked quite grubby even after a ‘double’ cleanse. I amazed by how long this is lasting though, using it every day and barely even used 1/8th.
Dramatically Different Moisturiser
I have used this moisturiser in the past on it’s own as part of a varied skin routine. I do like it, but as I have quite dry skin at the moment this wouldn’t be enough on it’s own. Although anyone with oily skin would probably find this to be perfect.
I have had no adverse reactions and no spot break-outs at all in the time I have been using this. The major positive I have found is the gentle exfoliating effect of the cleanser and clarifying lotion has helped to solve one of my skin issues that was bothering me when I went for the consultation. I found that the skin on my nose felt oily but then when I applied make-up it tended to look ‘flaky’ and dry. This isn’t the case any more, which is probably a combination of the exfoliation and the extra moisturiser.
The treatments:
Moisture Surge
This is undoubtedly my favorite product that I have been testing. I love how moisturising this product is, but still unbelievably light. This is a translucent gel texture product that just soaks into skin and leaves it soft and smooth with no tackiness or residue. This managed to transform the skin on my cheeks so that they are no longer de-hydrated really quickly.
I could not rave any more about this product if I tried. I love it and will definitely buy this one again when the sample I was sent runs out.
All About Eyes ‘rich’
This product was ‘prescribed’ to me as my other ‘problem’ area is the skin under my eyes. Personally I feel I have a few too many premature lines, probably because I smile too much (not that there is such a thing as smiling too much!) Either way, I would love to do something to diminish these, or at least prevent them getting any worse.
I have definitely found that moisturising the area does help make the lines less noticeable and this cream, although labeled ‘rich’, really doesn’t feel too thick or heavy for the delicate eye area. One of the best things about this product is that it is good value for money – I have been using this constantly for the past three weeks and have barely made a dent.
7 day scrub
I do love a good scrub. This is nice, creamy with fine particles that offer a decent scrub without being too harsh. I have used this around 2/3 times a week to keep skin fresh and smooth. I like this as it smell nice, but probably wouldn’t make it into my must-buy-again list.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Moisture Surge product and like the other two. I think it was the moisture surge that has really helped boost my skin.
Prevention products:
Super Defense SPF 25
This was one product that I had high hopes for, but was sadly a bit disappointed with. I had hoped that I would find a really nice moisturiser with a decent SPF level so I could wear it day to day. I was disappointed with this one because I found the texture to be a bit gritty. I’m not sure if this is just a fact of the formula, or if perhaps I got a bit of a dodgy tub? Has anyone else found this at all?
It was just the texture that put me off though, other than that it was OK – but a gritty texture moisturiser isn’t really ideal!
Super Rescue antioxidant night moisturiser
On the other hand, the night version of Super Defense was really nice. A bit thicker and creamier than the Moisture Surge, this was good for a real night time treat. I basically alternated this with Moisture Surge at night time over the past few weeks.
Of all the steps in the programme I was prescribed, this is the one I would skip. I hadn’t anticipated this as I thought the SPF cream would have been a must-have. If it turns out that the cream feeling a bit gritty is just a fault, then perhaps I will re-think.
To round up the whole thing:
Having used the whole system for three weeks, what do I think? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. I actually quite like the routine of using the same products consistently rather than mixing it up. I think this approach has to be better for my skin in the long run, chopping and changing too much can’t be great as skin has to constantly adapt to different formulations.
I also liked the ‘ritual’ of the cleanse/tone/moisturise/treatment – it may seem like alot of fuss, but it was really straight forward and doesn’t take long at all.
One of the things I am surprisingly impressed with is the value for money that it offers – no, it’s not cheap. I just added the 3-step products I was sent into a cart on the site and it came up as costing £63 for the lot. BUT – if you look at the photo below, it shows how three weeks has barely registered on the amount of product in the bottles. I would estimate that products of these sizes (200ml soap, 400ml clarifying lotion and 125ml dramatically different) would last around six months (possibly a little less for the soap which seems to be emptying the quickest) So at £63 over six months, that’s only just over £10 a month for a whole skin care routine – not too bad?
The million dollar question though is, will I continue with the routine and will I buy again?
Yes, I will continue with the routine. Although I will be adding an oil pre-cleanser to help shift stubborn make-up before the 3-step. I probably wont be using the Super Defense regularly because I don’t like the texture, so will have to find another SPF cream to add into the mix.
Will I buy again? I will definitely, definitely, definitely buy the Moisture Surge again, I have no doubt at all about that. I am pretty confident I will buy the three step again, probably about 85% sure if it does in practice last as long as I predict it will. But, to be honest – I doubt I would buy the other products again.
** The small print**
I was sent all of the products mentioned in this post for review purchases. I did NOT buy these products with my own money. All reviews on this blog are honest and impartial regardless of the source of the product.


  1. VexInTheCity
    December 8, 2009 / 10:16 am

    Snap! Love Moisture Sure and All About Eyes Rich too.

  2. December 9, 2009 / 12:31 am

    I’ve used Clinique for years and it works so well for me. Currently I have the 3 steps for skin type 3, though the Clarifying Lotion is a bit too harsh and I’ll switch to the type 2 version soon.
    I’ve tried the DDML, but it just sits on top of my skin and feels oily, the DDMG is wonderful for me. It leaves my skin soft and well-moisturised all day.
    Recently I’ve purchased Superdefense and I love it. Mine isn’t gritty at all, so it’s either a bad batch or the dry skin formula.
    I usually use light gels on my eyes, but was pleasantly surprised when I got a sample of All About Eyes, as it didn’t make my eyes feel like I’m wearing a heating masque.

    Hmmm, looks like I’m a devotee. *winks*

  3. December 26, 2009 / 5:34 pm

    I am a true Clinique fan I have been using the skincare routine for about 4 years now and I just don’t think you can beat the quality of the Clinique products. Some of the items are a little pricey but I guess you get what you pay for! If you are thinking of just trying out the products without splashing out a good skincare and cosmetics site is least that way you can try without spending a fortune!

  4. December 26, 2009 / 6:34 pm

    I think I’m going to go out and buy the DDMG instead of the lotion, because I love the gel-texture of the moisture surge and think this would compliment it. Also tempted to move up to level 2 for the clarifying lotion…

  5. July 5, 2015 / 5:07 am

    Hello, I needed a skincare routine and i think the clinique looks great! The price may be expensive but it looks like it is worth it:)
    Also i am new to blogging, would you mind checking out my blog? thanks, your blog looks amazing

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