CX Protective Base SPF 40
1.69 fl. oz. for $55
Last Updated:12.24.2012
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

CX Protect Base SPF 40 claims to be exceptionally gentle, but two of the four active sunscreen ingredients don 't fit that description. Not that they're a problem, it's just that a sunscreen designed for sensitive skin should only contain the mineral sunscreens titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. This product contains those actives too, in a moisturizing base suitable for normal to dry skin. It contains some very good soothing agents, but fewer antioxidants than many other Clinique moisturizers, Two types of lecithin are on hand for their cell-communicating abilities, with the iron oxide and mica mineral pigments bring a radiant glow to skin.

Please note: Clinique CX products can only be found exclusively at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman.


This exceptionally gentle formula with buffered UVA/UVB sunscreen, shelters these high-risk skins in a comforting "cocoon" of environmental protection. Soothing formula helps neutralize environmental aggressors. SPF 40.


Active: Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%), Zinc Oxide (4.6%), Titanium Dioxide (1.7%), Other: Water Purified, Butylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Jojoba Esters, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Silica, Micrococcus Lysate, Gentiana Lutea (Gentian) Root Extract, Coffea Robusta Seed Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Sea Whip Extract, Cholesterol, Astrocaryum Murumuru Butter, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Linoleic Acid, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Caffeine, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract, Sodium Rna, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phytosphingosine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Dna, Cetearyl Glucoside, Zeolite, Stearic Acid, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Sucrose, Peg-100 Stearate, Lecithin, Trehalose, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hexylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Tricaprylin, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Polyethylene, Methyl Gluceth-20, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Carbomer, Behenyl Alcohol, Alumina, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, Aluminum Stearate, Disodium Edta, Bht, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

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

No members have written a review yet. Be the first!

Enter a title for your review
First Name, Last Initial
Email Address
How would you rate this product on the following:
500 characters left

Terms of Use

585623-IIS1 v1.0.0.421 9/3/2015 11:06:32 PM