07.30.2015
8
1432
Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum 40 SPF
Rating
1.4 fl. oz. for $23
Last Updated:07.30.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Clinique's Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 40 is one of the brand's best-known skincare products and for good reason: It's among the best sunscreens Clinique has to offer. In fact, were it not for one minor misstep this would get our highest rating; as it stands though its overall impressive formula means it gets a good rating on Beautypedia.

Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 40 comes in an opaque squeeze tube with a screw-top lid. The product itself is a lightweight cream that's slightly tinted tan but blends into skin without leaving color behind. It's easy to apply and feels lightly hydrating; those with very dry skin might find they'll need to put on an additional moisturizer to get the hydrating boost their skin needs.

As for the formula there is a lot to like, starting with the fact that this provides reliable broad spectrum sun protection with a sunscreen that includes both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Also impressive is the inclusion of a variety of antioxidants like chestnut rose extract, matricaria extract, cucumber extract, gentian root extract, and vitamins C and E. That's all good news because research has demonstrated that antioxidants, when formulated into a broad-spectrum sunscreen formula, boost its effectiveness in defending your skin against UV and other environmental free radicals (Journal of Long Term Effects of Medical Implants, 2004 and Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2012). Even better is that these beneficial ingredients are packaged in an opaque tube, which means they'll stay stable in the presence of light and air.

In fact, there's only one misstep to mention here: The inclusion of a citrus extract. It's not present in a large amount (it's the tenth ingredient on the list, though it is worth noting as it appears higher in the ingredient list than many of the beneficial ingredients included), but Clinique says this sunscreen is for all skin types, even the most sensitive. Since citrus extracts can pose a risk of irritation, we do not recommend this for use for those with sensitive skin or who have conditions like rosacea.

Otherwise, this is a good sunscreen that has a lot to offer those without sensitive skin. Powerhouse sun protection boosted by a laundry list of antioxidants makes this one we definitely recommend!

Pros:
  • Lightweight cream blends easily into skin.
  • Provides reliable broad spectrum sun protection.
  • Contains an impressive array of beneficial antioxidants to boost sun protection.
  • Packaged in a container that will keep its beneficial ingredients stable.
Cons:
  • Contains some citrus exact, which is not the best for sensitive skin.
Claims

High-level daily sunscreen in a sheer, weightless formula. Protects against sun and environmental damage with broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun block and antioxidants. For all skins, even the most sensitive. Wear alone or as an invisible makeup primer.

Ingredients

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.50%, Octisalate 2.00%, Titanium Dioxide 5.20%, Zinc Oxide 6.00%. Inactive Ingredients: Water\Aqua\Eau, Butylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetyl Alcohol, Laureth-4, PEG-100 Stearate, Rosa Roxburghii Fruit Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Porphyra Yezoensis (Algae) Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract\Extrait D'orge, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Gentiana Lutea (Gentian) Root Extract, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Plankton Extract, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Yeast Extract\Faex\Extrait De Levure, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pantethine , PVP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Acetyl Glucosamine, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyethylene, Caffeine, Isohexadecane, Methicone, Nylon-12, Zeolite, Lecithin, Polysorbate 80, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Isostearic Acid, Calcium Chloride, Alumina, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

Brand Overview

Clinique At-A-Glance

Strengths: A few excellent moisturizers and serums; excellent sunscreens; very good cleansers and eye makeup removers; unique mattifying products; impressive selection of foundations, good concealers; some remarkable mascaras; much-improved eyeshadows, lip colors and blush formulas.

Weaknesses: Bar soaps (which can clog pores and dull skin); alcohol-based toners; unfortunate choice of jar packaging for antioxidant-loaded moisturizers.

Estee Lauder-owned Clinique 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 add some fragrant extracts to a few products). Unfortunately, terms like “hypoallergenic” and “dermatologist tested” aren’t regulated by the FDA and can mean anything—thus, you still need to rely on the ingredient list to tell you whether their product contains any ingredients with the potential to irritate skin.

That inconvenient fact aside, Clinique is leading the way with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums, plus some formidable makeup and more than a few excellent sunscreens. While Clinique has some products that we see as missteps for reasons discussed in their reviews, more than ever, what they offer is quite good (just have realistic expectations, as some of their claims go beyond what their products are capable of).

Turning to makeup, Clinique continues to offer a vast palette of colors and textures, especially with their enormous selection of foundations—many of which feature effective sunscreens. Without a doubt, the numerous formulas offer something for every skin type and almost every skin color—though the blushes, eye makeup and lip colors are frequently not pigmented enough for deeper skin tones.

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.

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 Beautypedia Team.

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

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
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08.17.2015
Particle size?

I'm liking this sunscreen but I'd like to know the particle size. Is it micro particles, nano particles etc?

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
08.24.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  We've reached out to Clinique for clarification and if they are willing to provide the information, we can let you know =)  In the meanwhile, here is a link to an article about Nanotechnology in sunscreen that may give you some additional information about their use/safety :)  Nanotechnology: Does Size Really Matter?

—Admin
08.12.2015
City Block 25 is Better

this stuff broke my face out. Big lumpy pimples. I think it is the chemical sunscreen. I don't have this problem with CB 25.

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Reviewed by
Sally
02.23.2015
Feels great on, but made me break out

I reeeaalllly wanted to like this since it goes on so nice, but I ended up with my whole forehead covered in little bumps! :(

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Reviewed by
Claire
08.07.2014
How is this Oil-Free??

It provides adequate sun protection and the price is reasonable, but the claim to be Oil-Free is quite frankly hard to believe. Every time I put it on, it feels like I am putting oil all over my face. Not only does it feel like oil, it also broke me out in whiteheads. It's a good thing I got a sample of this before purchasing.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
05.19.2014
looks great, but a pain to apply...

I tried the City Block SPF 25 and loved it, but wanted something with more protection, so I bumped up to the SPF 40 w/o trying it on first. This product looks awesome on my combination skin and gives a slightly dewy finish, however, applying the product is an absolute PAIN. I'm not sure what it is, but it sort of "pills" on my skin when I put it on. I have to be really carful and it take me twice as long to apply as any other tinted moisturizer. Looks great, but not sure if I will repurchase.

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Reviewed by
Samantha R.
08.10.2013
t did not work for me!

I wanted this to work for me. It went on nicely and I was pleased with the finish. After spending some time outside on a sunny morning, about 30 minutes from 10:00 to 10:30, I had a sunburn at the end of the day. Not a serious burn, but this was supposed to be a block. I gave it a second chance with the same result and returned the product.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
05.14.2013
Best Sunscreen Ever

I have used this product for years. It serves as an excellent base and/or primer. I use it in place of facial makeup and have had compliments on my "skin" for years. I love collecting samples so that I can give them away to friends and family. My greatest fear is that Clinique stops making this product. Especially appreciate that the product bumped up the SPF to 40.

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Reviewed by
Cassandra A
04.26.2013
Bought it, threw it away.

I rated the "results" a two only because it provides excellent sun protection. However, the finish this product leaves on my face looks as though I feel face first into a vat of olive oil. Shiny doesn't even begin to describe it. Still on a quest to find a truly MATTE broad spectrum sunscreen that offers adequate protection when I'm out in the middle of the Queen Charlotte Straight working the shrimp traps or halibut lines all day.

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Reviewed by
Barbara C.
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