11.26.2014
6
1200
Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum 40 SPF
Rating
1.4 fl. oz. for $22
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer with Sunscreen
Last Updated:11.26.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This daytime moisturizer with sunscreen contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for UVA protection, along with a couple of synthetic sunscreen actives. Because of the synthetic actives, this is not preferred to Clinique’s Super City Block with SPF 25 for those with sensitive or rosacea-affected skin.

In early 2013, Clinique reformulated this product, increasing the percentage of the mineral actives (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) and removing the problematic plant extracts that caused us to give this an "average" rating. The current formula earns our highest praise and is worth considering!

This has a sheer, flesh-toned tint and also contains mica for a soft shine finish. The formula is best for normal to slightly dry or slightly oily skin, though if you have oily skin or oily areas be sure to test this to be sure you're OK with the somewhat radiant finish.

This works beautifully under makeup and its formula treats skin to a good range of antioxidants for additional environmental defense.

Claims

High-level daily sun protection in a sheer, weightless formula. For all skins, even the most sensitive. Offers SPF 40 protection from sun’s UVA/UVB rays. Antioxidants help protect against environmental irritants. Wear alone or as an invisible under-makeup primer.

Ingredients
p>Active: Zinc Oxide (9.6%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Titanium Dioxide (7.3%), Octisalate (2%), Other: Water Purified, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Steareth-2, Silica, Rosa Roxburghii Fruit Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Porphyra Yezoensis (Algae) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Betula Alba (Birch) Bark Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Gentiana Lutea (Gentian) Root Extract, Yeast Extract, Sodium RNA, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pantethine, Squalane, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Hexylene Glycol, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Barium Sulfate, Polyethylene, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Lecithin, Ceteth-2, PEG-40 Stearate, Sodium Stearate, Steareth-20, Sorbitan Tristearate, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Xanthan Gum, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide

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 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 Begoun herself.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
Results
Value
Recommend
WRITE A COMMENT
Sort by:
Page:
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! :(

Results
Value
Recommend
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.

Value
Recommend
Results
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.

Results
Recommend
Value
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.

Value
Results
Recommend
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.

Results
Recommend
Value
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.

Results
Recommend
Value
Reviewed by
Barbara C.
WRITE A COMMENT
Enter a title for your review
 
First Name, Last Initial
Optional
Email Address
 
How would you rate this product on the following:
Results
Value
Recommend
     
     
     
Review
500 characters left
 
SUBMIT
CANCEL

Terms of Use

585623-IIS1 v1.0.0.379 3/27/2015 12:27:36 AM