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Clinique 3 step skincare products seem to be "love it or hate it", with some people complaining that they contain too many chemicals and too much alcohol, making it harsh and stripping the skin. There is no denying that this is hardly the most natural skincare range, and I do like to use some natural products where possible, but when it comes to daily skincare I want something effective. Clinique make the claim that "good skin can be created". So does it work? In my opinion, that is a definite YES.
=== About the range - is type 3 right for you? ===
The 3 step skincare products are available in a number of different types:
1 - Very dry to dry 2 - Dry combination 3 - Oily 4 - Very oily
It is important to make sure you are using the right version of the 3 step products and that is particularly important with this clarifying lotion. I really recommend that you look at the video on the website or if possible have a consultation with someone at a Clinique counter before you start using this, just to ensure you are using the right product. Some people who don't get on with this are clearly using one not suited to their skin type. One reviewer here on Dooyoo has stated that type 3 is suitable for "all skin types" - this is really NOT the case at all and it should ONLY be used if you have oily skin. If it irritates or burns, then you are using the wrong product and you should stop.
== Usage ===
I use this clarifying lotion twice a day as part of my three step routine, after cleansing and before I moisturise. The bottle is sturdy plastic with a pink liquid and comes in 200 ml or 400 ml sizes. It has a screw top. You should tip the bottle onto a cotton pad or cotton ball and sweep it over the face. The clarifying lotion has a slight chemically smell to it. When I first used this product I found it quite noticeable but now that I have been using it for a long time I am used it and it doesn't bother me at all.
A 200 ml bottle lasts me about 6 months. In my view, "tactically" it is better to get the 200 ml, as then you are more likely to need a replacement when the Bonus Time promotions are on, when Clinique regularly give out excellent free gifts worth much than the slight saving you make by buying the 400 ml version.
=== What does it do? ===
Clarifying lotion is not just a toner, as many people seem to think. It is a chemical exfoliant. Clinique says that daily exfoliation is an important part of your skin care routine as it removes dirt, impurities and dead skins cells, letting the stronger and brighter new cells come to the surface. Exfoliating removes excess oil and keeps the pores small. This enables your moisturiser to sink under the skin more easily and there is no old skin blocking the way. Exfoliation prevents breakouts and removal of oil helps keep the skin matte, which stops shine and stops your makeup sliding off. Many exfoliators are physical rather than chemical, with small balls or bits. This lotion is completely fluid. This means it does not scratch or scrape the skin, and doesn't cause redness like some physical scrubs can do.
When I first started using this, I felt and saw a difference within days. My skin feels very soft and smooth when using this, my moisturiser sinks in immediately afterwards and the lotion leaves a completely clear and refreshed surface. I feel a slight tingle, like with some toners, and all the tightening and refreshing properties of a toner can also be found in this lotion but with the added thorough exfoliating benefits.
Again it is worth saying that if you feel more of a stinging sensation than a tingle, you are using the wrong product and should switch. Clinique are usually very happy to exchange within 30 days.
This clarifying lotion, like all Clinique skincare, is hypo-allergenic, meaning it has been rigourously allergy tested, so when using it correctly there should be no reactions. I have sensitive skin and never suffered any negative skin reaction from this. It is also fragrance free, as apparently most reactions stem from the fragrances used in skin care.
=== Overall ===
This clarifying lotion is probably the part of the 3 step which is the most different from other skincare routines which just include a toner. It makes the most visible difference and is the one I could not do without (although I would not want to go without my Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel either!)
You can try 3 step in a small travel sized kit at £20 for smaller versions of all the 3 steps, which includes 100 ml clarifying lotion as well as the facial soap and moisturiser. Otherwise it costs £15.00 for 200 ml or £24.00 for 400 ml of clarifying lotion.
It works very well for me and I do think that good skin can be created with this product. It is a 5 star product for me.
I have also published this review on Dooyoo under the same username.