Superdefense Age Defense Eye Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20
0.5 fl. oz. for $39.50
Category:Skin Care > Retinol Products > Eye Moisturizers
Last Updated:11.26.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Clinique hit a home run with this triple-threat eye cream that provides broad-spectrum sun protection, brightens the eye area (so dark circles are less apparent), and treats skin to skin-repairing and antioxidant ingredients that fight signs of aging.

Of course, the big draw (at least to us) is the gentle, mineral-based sun protection of this fragrance-free eye cream. There's basically zero risk of this stinging when applied around the eyes, and it provides light hydration that won't interfere with concealer's wear time.

This formula is best for normal to sensitive or slightly dry skin; if you have dry skin, you'll want to apply your regular moisturizer and then follow with this eye cream.

We generally maintain you don't need an eye cream, especially during the day because most of them do not contain sunscreen. This one does, and its formula is well-suited for sensitive eye-area skin.

One more comment: Unlike many of Clinique's other eye creams, this one isn't packaged in a jar! Instead, it's packaged in an opaque tube that works to keep the light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable.

  • Provides gentle, broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Practically zero risk of stinging around the eyes.
  • Provides light hydration without causing concealer to crease or fade.
  • Fragrance-free, and packaged to keep the light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use.
  • Contains a very good mix of anti-aging ingredients (beyond the mineral-based sun protection).
  • Has an attractive, non-sparkling brightening effect so dark circles look less apparent.
  • None.

We believe the best eye defense is the one you'll wear every day. You can look forward to instant brightening and comfortable protection from UVA/UVB, stress, pollution, dehydration.


Titanium Dioxide 5.6%, Zinc Oxide 3.8%. Water/Aqua/Eau, Isocetyl Stearoyl Stearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum, Parkii (Shea Butter, Dimethicone, Laureth-4, Cetyl Esters, PEG-100, Stearate, Polyethylene, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Sea Whip Extract, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’s Wort) Extract, Algae Extract, Lecithin, Micrococcus Lysate, Caffeine, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Isohexadecane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trehalose, Glycerin, Isostearic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Polysorbate 80, Phytosphingosine, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Sodium RNA, Lauric Acid, Linoleic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Maleate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloydimethyltaurate Copolymer, Hexylene Glycol, Nordihydrogualaretic Acid, Tromethamine, Aluminum Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499) [ILN38727]

Brand Overview

Clinique At-A-Glance

Strengths: One of the best selections of state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums loaded with ingredients that research has shown are of great benefit to skin; excellent sunscreens; several Redness Solutions products excel; an outstanding benzoyl peroxide product; good selection of self-tanning products; some very good cleansers and eye makeup removers; some unique mattifying products; a large and wholly impressive selection of foundations, many with reliable sun protection (and shades for darker skin tones); good concealers; some remarkable mascaras; much-improved eyeshadows; loose powder; blush products; some brilliant lipsticks and lip gloss; gel eyeliner; priced lower than most competing department-store lines.

Weaknesses: The three-step skincare routine, because of the bar soaps and irritant-laden clarifying lotions; jar packaging downgrades several otherwise top-notch moisturizers; incomplete routines for those prone to acne; skin-lightening products with either unproven or insufficient levels of lightening agents.

Estee Lauder-owned 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 evidenced 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 add some fragrant extracts to 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, figuring consumers won't ask for more? 

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 for this site, which included refusing to send us copies of the allergy studies they maintain have been performed for every product they sell. We find their unwillingness to help odd because, for the most part, we 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, plus some formidable makeup. They also 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 and FINALLY reformulated their longstanding water-and-wax yellow lotion.

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. We 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.

Turning to 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. In fact, this 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 we encounter go above and beyond to provide assistance and to answer any questions we had (even if we didn't always agree with their responses). Those white lab coats don't mean medical expertise, but we'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.

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 Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-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
Summary of Member Comments
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Smooth application + bonus SPF

I didn't notice any darkness reduction, "line blurring" or wrinkle filling with this cream. Basically, I look the same before applying this cream as I do after. However, what I did notice is a super smooth application and no greasy sheen. I really appreciate the extra SPF protection. A really nice cream but not sure I'll purchase again due to the high price.

Reviewed by
Sally Q

I was excited to purchase this product based on the beautypedia review, but it was a big disappointment. It stung mildly after applying it, it's not really moisturizing and made my dry undereye even DRIER and flaky. There's also a slight tint to it that gets right into your wrinkles and makes them look more noticeable. NOPE.

Reviewed by
Totally ruined my under eye area

This product stung when I put it on. And it made my under eye area super dry and flaky. Could not apply make-up because it looked terrible. Cannot believe how awful this product is.

Reviewed by
Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Eye Cream Broad Spectrum

This is the ONLY product TO DATE (as in MY ENTIRE LIFETIME) that gave me an (awful) allergic reaction (red, swollen, itchy dry patches all over my area (under eye and eye-lids), where this horrific cream was applied). And to boot, I paid out of the wazoo for this tube of horrors--6 months later and I am STILL suffering it's ill effects. It's afe to say this product has damaged the delicate skin area around my eyes. BEWARE!! :(

Reviewed by
Best SPF for eye area EVER!!

Feel compelled to explain why this eye cream isn't ultra moisturizing. That's not the purpose. Stuff that's too creamy will eventually glide right into your eyes & cause irritation. I am SUPER sensitive to SPF - my eyes turn red and sting so badly that I avoid getting sunscreen or makeup w/ SPF within 2 inch radius from my eyes. This product is PERFECT! No slippage and my eyes have NEVER burned. After 10 yrs searching, finally found the sun protection I need 4 my eyes. Bye bye future wrinkles!

Reviewed by
Not moisturising enough for me

I agree with Paula that if you have dry skin around your eyes you need to moisturise first before using this product. That sort of defeats the purpose of an eye cream in my opinion, I wish the formula was a bit more creamy as it made my concealer look cakey otherwise. However the light reflecting properties gives a nice optical illusion, even on my fairly dark skin. When I finish this tube, I will just stick to Paula's advice that you don't need a separate eye cream!

Reviewed by
Sar S
Doesn't seem to play well with my makeup

I like the feel of this product, but it seems to cause makeup smudging for me. All creams do seem to cause this, but this one more than others. I refuse to go without sun protection around my eyes, but I want my makeup to look good, too! Does anybody have a solution to this dilemma ?

Reviewed by
A major winner!!

I agree with Paula that you don't need a separate eye cream and I have never owned one until I discovered this product. It is just awesome. It is moisturizing enough for me, but it absorbs nicely, so you can put concealer on top of it (often times I don't need to, because it looks great on its own). It softens wrinkles and never stings my eyes. It is expensive for the amount you get, but it's worth it and I hope Clinique keeps making it for years to come, as it has become my must-have product!!

Reviewed by
Aneta D.
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