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On A Clear Day — Clinique Clarifying Lotion


This winter has been downright hostile, with blitzes of sub-zero temperatures making morning commutes positively torturous (five minutes in this cold will leave you in an I-can’t-feel-my-face stupor), then leading the way for the latest paralyzing snow blizzard. Guess we can credit global warming for these harsher winter seasons and wild temperature swings.

For us ladies, unpredictable weather patterns also mean unpredictable behavior on the part of our skin. In addition to safely getting to and from work, layering our clothing appropriately to shield our bodies from the biting cold, navigating through snowy or icy sidewalks, and keeping our homes toasty, we also have to consider how these harsh climate patterns will affect our skin.

Typically, winter means parched, dehydrated, even cracked skin, so the key lies in a rigorous moisturizing regimen. But, this season, keeping skin nice and clear might be proving more challenging given the changes in humidity and temperature — not to mention the ever increasing level of air pollution.

Factoring in all these environmental factors, not to mention the skin’s natural aging process, Clinique’s Guiding Dermatologist Dr, David Orentreich, and his team took on the daunting task of reformulating  Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion by developing four distinct formulas with varying strengths to match the needs of very dry to dry, dry combination, combination oily, and oily skin types.

Regardless of the particular strength, the new Clinique Clarifying Lotion helps you exfoliate skin, sloughing away dead skin cells and unclogging pores, without stripping or dehydrating skin. Key ingredients, then, include salicylic acid, the main exfoliating agent — this beta hydroxy acid softens keratin,a protein found in the epidermis, making it easier to polish off dry and scaly skin, plus it can penetrate the follicle and unclog pores, hence treating and preventing acne. This time around, however, the salicylic acid has been accompanied by moisturizing hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and trehalose (a natural occurring saccharide found in most “resurrection plants” in the desert, those trees, shrubs, and flowers that can cling to life in arid conditions and bloom rapidly upon contact with water). The combination of ingredients allows you to exfoliate daily without overdrying or taxing skin.

The new Clinique Clarifying Lotion is available in four types (Type 1 for Very Dry to Dry skin, Type 2 for Dry Combination skin, Type 3 for Combination Oily, and Type 4 for Oily) and is meant for use twice daily, after cleansing and before moisturizing.

I’ve been using the Clinique Clarifying Lotion Type 2 for quite a few weeks now and have been so thankful for what it’s done to calm my frenzied skin. Because I have dry skin, I tend to shy away from benzoyl peroxide and even salicylic acid (the milder of the two), using these only in spot treatments when a breakout erupts. And, since my skin is also on the sensitive side, most facial exfoliators, with their grainy particles, lead to irritated, red, and even swollen patches. This product, however, is an all new experience for me. For one, the “lotion” label is a bit of a misnomer given that this is a liquid formula that’s meant to be poured onto a cotton swab and swept over the face, as you would do with a toner. When you apply it, you’ll likely detect the slightly pungent, alcohol-tinged odor of the salicylic acid in the formula but, luckily, the smell doesn’t linger for very long.Your visage will tingle a bit when you first apply the Clarifying Lotion, but it’s a mild sensation that’s never uncomfortable or frightening (in fact, your skin will feel cool and refreshed). Once the “lotion” dries on the skin, your visage will feel refreshed but slightly in need of a moisturizing infusion, so it’s time to embark upon the third step of your skincare routine: applying your day or night cream.

If you’ve been pledging war on a constellation of blackheads or whiteheads, you’ll likely notice a visible reduction in pimple size and less redness within days of using the Clinique Clarifying Lotion. Even when your skin is cooperating with you, however, you should still use the Clarifying Lotion as the second step in your skincare regimen — after all, the daily exfoliation will enjoy you keep pores unclogged, hence preventing future breakouts.



Clinique Clarifying Lotion, $11.50 for 6.7 fl. oz. and $21 for 13.5 fl. oz. Available at Clinique.com

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