City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum 25 SPF

by Clinique  
Price:
$22 - 1.4 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer with Sunscreen
Last Updated:
3/27/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector protects skin from sun damage with its actives of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The lightweight but still moisturizing base (yes, it really does moisturize so you don't need a separate product unless your skin is very dry) is best for normal to dry or sensitive skin, including those dealing with rosacea. Clinique included a very good blend of antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients, so this is highly recommended for those seeking a gentle sunscreen. It is slightly tinted to offset the whitening effect from the amount of mineral sunscreens it contains.

Note: some Clinique consultants insist this product isn't a moisturizer. Don't believe it: this may not be labeled or positioned as a moisturizer per se, but it absolutely contains moisturizing ingredients. Unless you have very dry skin, you will not need to pair this with a separate moisturizer, so save your money!

Scientists believe 80% of all skin damage before age 60 is sun related. Make new City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 25 your urban necessity. Sheer, high-level broad-spectrum UVA/UVB daily sun protection. Lightweight formula helps wick away perspiration, absorb excess oil so makeup looks fresher, longer. Perfect alone, or as an invisible under-makeup primer. No chemical sunscreens. Appropriate for eye-area, sensitive skins.

Active: Titanium Dioxide (7.3%), Zinc Oxide (6.9%), Other: Water, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Steareth-2, Stearyl Heptanoate, Silica, Lecithin, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Gentiana Lutea (Gentian) Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Betula Alba (Birch) Bark Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sorbitan Tristearate, Linoleic Acid, Polyquaternium-51, Caprylyl Methicone, Sorbitol, Sodium RNA, PEG-40 Stearate, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phytantriol, Stearic Acid, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Cellulose, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Stearyl Dimethicone, Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Maleate, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Pantethine, Bisabolol, Ceteth-2, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Steareth-20, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Sodium Stearate, Nylon-12, Citric Acid, Aluminum Hydroxide, Nylon-6, Hexylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

Clinique was Estee Lauder's first attempt to expand its market with a completely separate line and image. Shortly after its 1968 debut at U.S. cosmetics counters, Clinique became known as the indispensable line for the woman under 30 concerned with breakouts, oily skin, and fragrance-free products (meaning less likely to cause allergic or sensitizing skin reactions). That's likely just what Lauder execs had in mind, because their namesake line's image and positioning was geared more toward the mature woman.

Clinique's tremendous success (the company's products are sold in over 13,000 department stores and in 110 countries) reshaped the way cosmetics lines identified themselves, sending the concept of line loyalty out to pasture. Today, cosmetics companies expand their market either by buying already established companies or by creating new ones, and Lauder has been adept at doing both. Of course, cosmetics companies keep this multiple-personality identity hidden from the consumer. If the general buying public realized that these apparently different companies were so intertwined with each other, how could they flaunt their independence and claim that their unparalleled formulations are secret or the best? It's hard to think Lauder (or any company) would, even if they could, keep secrets from one branch separate from the others. And as evidneced by the formulary similarities between brands, they don't!

The niche Clinique built launched the concept of cosmetics being "allergy-tested," "hypoallergenic," "100% fragrance-free," and "dermatologist tested." Of those marketing claims the only one with significance is "100% fragrance-free," which, for the most part, Clinique maintains (although it does have some fragrant extracts in a few products). Regarding allergy testing, unless you can see the results, what difference does it make if a product makes that claim? What if the test showed 20% of the women who used it had a sensitizing reaction, dryness, or irritation? Would Clinique highlight this, or is it just easier to default to the generic allergy-tested claim and leave such details out? The answer as to which option is easier is clear. Moreover, "hypoallergenic" is a term not regulated by the FDA, so any product can use the word without having to substantiate the claim. "Dermatologist tested" is also bogus, because without published test results the term can easily mean nothing more than that a dermatologist picked up the product, looked at the container, and said "This looks good." And what about the dermatologists on Clinique's payroll? How do we know they're not the ones involved in testing, rather than sending the products out for independent, impartial evaluation (though how impartial can any study be that's paid for by the company making the product)?

Clinique declined any participation in my book or for this site, which included refusing to send us copies of the allergy studies they maintain have been performed for every product they sell. I find their unwillingness to help odd because, for the most part, I genuinely like most of their products. In fact, more than any other department-store line except Estee Lauder, Clinique is leading the way with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums. They have their act together for sunscreens and have expanded their decades-old three-step skin-care routine to include water-soluble cleansers instead of bar soap. They also now have a second "Dramatically Different" moisturizer that's well-suited for those with normal to oily skin.

The Clinique consultants, dressed in medical-looking white lab coats (Clinique's image in that sense was ahead of the times given today's plethora of doctor-designed skin-care lines), do their best to speak intelligently about skin-care routines, but for the most part they're trained to sell the products rather than to provide information about what substantiated research has shown about the skin's needs to look and feel its best. The good news for you is that the chemists behind Clinique's arsenal of products have been keeping up on this exciting information, and formulating superior products in response. I wouldn't blindly and solely bank on Clinique as your skin-care solution, but more than ever what they offer is, despite some far-out claims and problematic products, what epitomizes advanced skin care for all ages. Shop carefully and you'll leave confident that you are purchasing products with solid science, not just marketing hype, behind them.

In late 2008 Clinique joined forces with pharmaceutical company Allergan to launch a subset of products labeled as Clinique Medical. These products are sold only at doctor's offices, and are positioned as being scientically-designed to complement those looking for the best skin care after undergoing cosmetic corrective procedures. As expected, despite the link with Allergan and the exclusive-to-doctors retail channel, there isn't anything vastly different about Clinique Medical compared to the regular Clinique line. And the whole marketing angle is just bizarre when you consider that since Clinique's inception they've tied their claims and formulas to the expertise of their "guiding dermatologists". They're selling Clinique Medical as "best in class" skin care diminshes the regard which the company should be holding for several of their other state-of-the-art products (those rated Paula's Pick qualify as such). Needless to say, most of the Clinique Medical products are recommended, but don't think for a second that they're superior to or more professional than the best of Clinique's main line. All Clinique products are fragrance-free unless noted otherwise.

Note:Clinique is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Clinique does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

For more information about Clinique, owned by Estee Lauder, call (800) 419-4041 or visit www.clinique.com

Clinique Makeup

Clinique continues to offer a vast palette of colors and textures, especially in their huge and imposing selection of foundations, many of which feature effective sunscreens. That single category has become the most compelling reason to shop Clinique's makeup collection. Without a doubt the numerous formulas offer something for every skin type and almost every skin color. The shade selection has improved considerably, with more neutrals and a broader range than ever before. You still need to use caution and watch out for peach-toned duds, but for the most part finding a natural-looking match shouldn't be a frustrating experience, and the counter personnel are happy to provide samples. Although the foundation and powder shades take darker skin tones into account, the blush, eye pencil, and most of the lipstick shades do not. Perhaps that will change in the future, as Clinique beautifully updated their eyeshadow collection with ultra-smooth textures and deeper colors that show up on darker skin.

Compliments are also due for Clinique's updated makeup tester units. They are well-organized, labeled with product name and price, and easily accessible without a salesperson's help. And speaking of salespeople, most of the Clinique consultants I encountered went above and beyond to provide assistance and to answer any questions I had. Those white lab coats don't mean medical expertise, but I'll take outstanding customer service over pseudoscience any day!

The bottom line is that, despite a few shortcomings, Clinique is one of the most comprehensive (and comparably affordable) department-store makeup lines, and it is completely understandable why they enjoy such broad appeal.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
Page of 1
  1. KERRY k.
    Reviewed on Sunday, June 08, 2014
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Best for sensitive skin
    • With other sunscreens that are not mineral my eyes sting and water even if I don't put it near my eyes. I must have a sunscreen like this one that has only mineral sun blocks. I find the light tint and light coverage of this sunscreen just right for me. I use concealer on my age spots (I'm 69) but I don't wear any foundation. Try this if what you want is a natural look. I notice other's comments about it making you look pasty but I'm pretty fair so it works fine for me.

  2. LouiseF
    Reviewed on Thursday, April 24, 2014
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    Made my look pasty
    • Bought this as it was so highly recommended on this site & in Paula's book. However, I was very disappointed in the product & returned it to the department store where I bought it. The slight tint did not disappear when I put it on my face, but instead made my face look pasty/pale. Not what I had in mind! I bought this to use on days when I wasn't putting on make-up but wanted a sunscreen - for example, when I go out for a run. I don't know how well it works but I hated how it made me look.

  3. elai
    Reviewed on Saturday, April 05, 2014
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    love it..but it's too pink for my yellow skin
    • i love evrything abt this product except for its tint which doesn't match my skincolor.my honey skin has yellow undertone..and it is a bit drying for me because of my dry skin..hope they can make it a bit more moisturizing and introduce a shade or tint more compatible to honey skin complexioned like me with yellow undertone.

  4. SusanG
    Reviewed on Friday, March 14, 2014
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Long time favorite!
    • I have been using this product for at least 20 years. It's protected my fair skin in the Caribbean and at home equally well. I currently have normal to dry skin. Despite what Paula claims about the moisturizing properties of this product, she is wrong. I don't need any extra moisturizer in the summer, but in the winter City Block alone leaves my skin uncomfortable, and I don't have dry, flaky skin. That said, City Block is outstanding and I'm able to go w/out foundation thanks the slight tint.

  5. alix v.
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 25, 2014
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    love this stuff
    • This is a fabulous product. It doesn't feel heavy or greasy on my skin and there's no distracting fragrance or weird minerally odour, either. It provides just enough tint to conceal slight redness. I use it all summer long, when I switch up to the higher sunscreen value from Clinique's Even Better Makeup SPF 15. I'm 54, and people tell me I look 10 years younger-- I credit good genes & the regular use of this product.

  6. CT
    Reviewed on Tuesday, January 21, 2014
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Awesome sunscreen!
    • I am super finicky about feeling anything on my face, that's why I haven't use sunscreen on my face (although I know I should). If I feel product on my face or if it goes on thick or feels slightly oily or sticky, I will not use that product. I tried City Block and was blown away! It feels smooth going on your face, like a super light foundation. It blends in beautifully, leaves no residue and dries super quickly. Face glows and feels smooth. I LOVE this product, I wear it everyday!!!

  7. Lynne C.
    Reviewed on Saturday, October 19, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Still The Best
    • I started using this in the 80s when Clinique introduced it. I always go back to it. It's a bit pink for my very yellow skin and some days I am too flaky to use it (I use Tazorac). Thank you, Clinique, for this great product. I started using sunscreen regularly in my 20s, but we all know that most of the sunscreen sold in the US lacks UVA protection. Thanks to City Block, I'm one of the lucky ones who got broad spectrum protection for all those years.

  8. Chris
    Reviewed on Monday, September 09, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    The Best
    • I use this product everyday! It also makes my skin smooth as a primer would. It doesn't make my skin oily and dries quickly.

  9. Michelle K
    Reviewed on Monday, May 27, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    Excellent!
    • This is an excellent sunscreen. I've been using it for years, but have also tried others as well. This one still remains a favorite. It is not heavy or greasy feeling and isn't sticky. I like to wear foundation, but, honestly, this product makes your skin look lovely all on its own. I don't need foundation with this sunscreen. All I do is powder over top, and my skin looks great for the day. I would highly recommend it if you're having trouble finding a sunscreen you like.

  10. Sue W
    Reviewed on Thursday, May 23, 2013
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    Clinique City Block Sheer SPF 25
    • When I first started using this product, I loved that it serves as an SPF, has a light tint, and even acts somewhat as a primer. I noticed, however, it does make my face a bit shiny. I prefer a matte finish with all my products. Also, I am combination oily skin so I don't know if this was the best recommendation for me by the Clinique consultant. The product is reasonably priced and is a physical sunblock vs. a chemical one so I would still recommend it.

  11. K.N.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, April 30, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Good Stuff
    • One of the best facial moisturizers I have found so far for my normal-dry skin! I use this on top of my SR toner and Resist AOX serum. It's slightly tinted so it does give a little bit of colour to your face, but it doesn't cover much. This dries to give a natural satin finish and I don't feel like I have a tacky film on my face once it dries. I don't find this to be quite hydrating enough during the winter so I may try the Skin Recovery SPF for then.

  12. Melissa
    Reviewed on Sunday, February 17, 2013
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Results
      2 / 4
    Breakout
    • Since using I have broken out in acne. Backing off product and tryng again in a week to rule out if it is this or the other Cinique suncream "Repairwear Uplifting Firming Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15, Very Dry to Dry Skin" (an unnecessary mouthful) I have been swapping depending on sun. I tried the repairwear because it came in a bonus set. Overall not too happy with Clinique as it seems to be making my skin very reactive since using it.

  13. ANETA
    Reviewed on Thursday, January 24, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Fabulous!
    • This is the best sunscreen for my face I have found. It is definitely moisturizing, so I don't need anything additional under it in the summer. In the winter I use it with Skin Recovery moisturizing toner. It includes a high percentage of mineral sunscreen which makes the sun protection stellar, but since it is slightly tinted there is no white cast on the skin. It even gives the skin a slight, natural-looking glow. Surprisingly, it offers a light coverage as well, so most days I just wear it with some powder on top, but it can be worn under foundation as well. The Clinique sales person told me it could be used as a foundation primer and it really works great that way! I hope Clinique won't discontinue this product!!!

  14. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Monday, December 10, 2012
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    good stuff
    • This stuff makes my skin look great... most of the time. Sometimes (depending on the weather) it can be a bit flaky looking (also may be due to the mineral sunscreen). But it never irritates my skin and really does leave a nice finish. I love that it's tinted too. Hides some minor imperfections while protecting against sun damage - which is a major plus for me since I rarely wear makeup. Because my cheeks tend to be slightly tight and dry, I started using Paula's Choice Skin Recovery hydrating toner underneath this and the combo works pretty well. Just the right amount of moisture.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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