CX R+ De-Aging Cream

by Clinique  CX
Price:
$225 - 2.5 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:
12/24/2012
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This shockingly expensive moisturizer from Clinique is, like all Clinique CX products, exclusive to high-end U.S. department stores such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman. Not even Clinique’s own e-commerce site sells these products. Although they may seem elite or special, in truth they’re not, other than where they’re sold. What a shame that shopping locations can’t improve signs of aging.

This is merely an overpriced moisturizer that contains some very good ingredients that will suffer due to the jar packaging. It’s an insult to your skin and budget that this is packaged in a jar. Please see More Info to learn why jar packaging is a problem and how it makes products like this a huge waste of money.

Perhaps most telling is that this supposedly “special” and “potent” moisturizer’s formula is remarkably similar to others from Clinique, except that those others cost less than $50 and some of them come in packaging that will keep the most beneficial ingredients stable during use. Talk about a bad investment!

Interestingly, the claims for this moisturizer state that it contains retinol, but this anti-aging ingredient is nowhere to be found on the ingredient list. Even if it was there, the jar packaging will ensure it degrades quickly—and without question, you don’t need to spend nearly this much for an effective retinol product!

If you decide to try this anyway, it is most suitable for dry skin not prone to breakouts.

Pros:
  • Contains Clinique’s typical assortment of moisturizing ingredients along with beneficial anti-aging ingredients like antioxidants.
Cons:
  • Needlessly overpriced, especially considering you can get similar moisturizers from Clinique that cost less than $50 and come in better packaging.
  • Jar packaging means that all of the ingredients you’re paying dearly for won’t remain potent during use.
  • Does not contain retinol as claimed.

More Info:

The fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won’t remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.

A potent moisturizer that builds elasticity, targets lines, dullness, and uneven skin tone. Intensifies skin’s natural repair and deflects visible aging with a micro-encapsulated Retinol. All skin types can expect to see radically diminished lines and wrinkles, visible lift, an emerging radiance and clarity.

Water, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Hexyldecyl Stearate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Petrolatum, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Centella Asiatica (Hydrocotyl) Extract, Morus Bombycis (Mulberry) Root Extract, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’s Wort) Extract, Cucumis Melo (Melon) Fruit Extract, Betula Alba (Birch) Bark Extract, Whey Protein, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Yellow Tea) Leaf Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Red Tea) Leaf Extract, Trametes Versicolor Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Cetearyl Glucoside, Myristyl Myristate, Dimethicone, Tromethamine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Isohexadecane, Linoleic Acid, Caffeine, Adenosine Phosphate, Acetyl Carnitine Hcl, Sea Whip Extract, Sodium RNA, Acetyl Glucosamine, Yeast Extract, Cholesterol, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Creatine, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Myristyl Laurate, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate, Linolenic Acid, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Polysorbate 80, Lecithin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, PEG-8, Myristyl Alcohol, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Metabisulfite, Potassium Sulfate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Xanthan Gum, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Maleate, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol

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.

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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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