Mild Clarifying Lotion

by Clinique  
Price:
$13 - 6.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Anti-Acne Products > BHA
Last Updated:
12/21/2012
Jar Packaging:
No
pH:
2.90
Tested On Animals:
Yes

Mild Clarifying Lotion puts all of Clinique’s other Clarifying Lotions to shame with its alcohol-free formula that contains 0.5% salicylic acid at an effective pH of 2.9. Although a higher concentration of salicylic acid would be more effective for someone battling blemishes and blackheads, this is a step in the right direction and contains some very good skin-identical ingredients. This has a toner consistency and can certainly be used as a toner, but functionally it works best as a liquid BHA product.

The difference-maker. Extra-gentle exfoliating lotion developed by Clinique’s dermatologists enables even the driest, most delicate skins to reap the advantages of twice a day exfoliation. De-flakes skin’s surface to smooth, reveal clearer skin.

Water, Butylene Glycol, Biosaccharide Gum - 1, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Salicylic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Powder, Arginine, PEG-10 Soy Sterol, Ceteth-20, Panicum Miliaceum (Millet) Seed Extract, Dimethicone, Ceteth-2, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Green 5, Yellow 10

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. georgia
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 29, 2014
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Great for Dry, Sensitive Skin
    • My skin is dry and sensitive, so it's been a real problem for me to find an effective, non-irritating exfoliant. This product meets those requirements perfectly. I use it twice a week, applying with a cotton pad after makeup removal and before cleansing. It makes my skin smooth and more receptive to the skin care products that follow.

  2. Cary B
    Reviewed on Tuesday, February 04, 2014
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Love it because I can't use moisturizer
    • I suffer from acne prone, yet dehydrated skin. Manual exfoliation just seems to exacerbate the sensitivity of my skin. The same is true with moisturizers, they cause welts, wheals, hives & itchiness. I have yet to find a moisturizer, even in Paula B's line, that doesn't cause irritation. This BHA liquid/toner, moisturizes and clears my fussy skin, without any irritation. I will continue to buy for his long as they make it.

  3. Dianne W.
    Reviewed on Saturday, September 28, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    The only Clinique toner worth getting
    • Because all the other Clinique toners have alcohol, this is the only one to buy. I use prescription Retin-A on my face every other night and this is the perfect toner. When I get the Clinique GWP deals I throw out the included toner (usually #2, way too harsh) and fill the small bottle with this product, perfect for travel. Be sure to shake the bottle before using, it tends to separate just a bit. This is definitely my all time favorite toner.

  4. Jeremy B.
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 22, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Mild exfoliant, soothing toner
    • Leaves skin soft and smooth, but not sticky, greasy or dry. Soothing and non-irritating, a mild exfoliant. Probably not very effective for someone who has major acne issues, however for a daily exfoliant for a person with sensitve skin, this is great. I also use it for KP on my arms with great effect, and on elbows when they get dry or callused. Keeps things smooth, relatively affordable. Paula's BHA products are effective but too strong for me for daily use on the face.

  5. Ellen K
    Reviewed on Thursday, July 18, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    Great toner for combo/dry skin
    • I've been using this toner for over a year and it doesn't disappoint. It removes flakes, calms my skin and helps my foundation look smooth. I use it every morning and I wouldn't consider going a day without it. I have seborrhea and this has been a gift. No irritation, no burning, and no sticky feeling. I don't know how much exfoliation occurs because I still get acne from time to time, but it doesn't matter. The benefits are too great to switch to anything else.

  6. Lil
    Reviewed on Sunday, July 14, 2013
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    Mild Clarifying Lotion by Clinique
    • I have normal/oily and sensitive skin prone to rosacea flareups which are under control with oral med and topical lotions prescribed by my dermatologist. I use Mild Clarifying Toner without any side effects,i.e. dryness or flareups. This is the only toner from Clinique I'd use as it has no alcohol in it, yet containing a BHA in it. I don't know if it really exfoliates that well, but I still think it works well for my skin. It lasts a long time. Just pour some into a cotton ball and apply.

  7. Kristin H
    Reviewed on Saturday, June 29, 2013
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Results
      2 / 4
    Okay
    • While I love the texture and application, unfortunately results were not very impressive. I still have blackheads and bumps, which is most likely due to the low concentration of salicylic acid. It is very moisturizing though.

  8. bruno
    Reviewed on Tuesday, January 01, 2013
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • I love this product. I use it as a mild exfoliant. It's not cheap but it lasts for ages as I don't use it everyday.Drys quickly and the rest of skin care can be applied easily.It's the only toner in the clinique range worth considering though.I had no 2 it was a gift with purchase.I HONESTLY though they'd got the products mixed up and it was nail polsih remover.But this mild lotion is good. I've used several bottles now. The packaging is annoying though, often pours out too much , difficult to control.

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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