Clean white counters and muted colours. People in white coats. No, I wasn't in the hospital...I was at the Clinique counter. I wasn't planning to walk in, but the guy at the counter asked me if I was interested in a skincare consultation, and I had time to kill, so I agreed. They also offer makeup consultations and recommend the right makeup depending on the skin type and specific concerns, but I opted for the skincare consult. Have to say, I find the staff at the counter very helpful and friendly.
The skincare consult involved answering a few questions about my skin type and some staring at my face through what looked like a huge magnifying glass. I am a bit of a clean freak, and the SA used a hand cleanser - just in case anybody else reading this is like me!
Clinique classifies into 4 types. Mine, I was informed, is Type 3 - combination oily to oily skin.
Now comes the 3-step process - Cleansing, Toning/Exfoliation, Moisturizing. This is what Clinique says: "Custom-fit steps give your skin exactly what it needs to be great skin. Cleanse deeply but gently. Exfoliate to sweep aside dulling flakes, refine pores, soften fine lines. Moisturize and build a barrier against impurities. Each step helps the other work better. And after 3-Step, treatments work better. Makeup looks better, too."
I was given a kit containing sample sizes (15 mL each) of the products in the 3-step process to try for about 2 weeks so I can decide if it suits me or not. This is what impressed me the most with Clinique. I so wish other companies would pick up on this idea too.
|Clinique 3-Step Skincare System |
Liquid Facial Soap - Clarifying Toner - Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
So, what's in the kit? "Just 3 products, 3 minutes, twice a day—it’s that easy. Cleanse. Exfoliate. Moisturize. Three simple actions, morning and night."
Step 1: Clinique Facial Soap: The sample I got contained the liquid soap. Clinique also has bar soaps. I liked the product, and it does last a long while judging by what I got in the sample, but I would look around for a cheaper alternative.
Step 2: Clinique Clarifying Lotion: This to me is a toner. Clinique, however, says it sweeps away dead skin to reveal clearer skin, so "exfoliation." The Clarifying Lotion for type 3 skin has alcohol in it, and I am not okay with using it. I use a water-based toner, and that is all I am comfortable with. To be fair, it works amazingly on my oily skin, but I am not okay with the alcohol content. I subsequently bought the Clarifying Lotion type 2 and prefer that milder version.
Step 3: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion or Gel: Since I have a type 3 skin, I was given Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. The lotion is for the drier skin types. I have purchased a full size of this and am currently using this as my daily lotion. I think the name is very apt, is really something different. Feels like I am rubbing some kind of thick water over my face. It absorbs pretty well, and all I am left with is super smooth skin. I use this regularly only now that it is summer, though. For winters and drier times, I prefer something more substantial. I was recommended the moisturizing lotion but have not tried it. Need to use a separate sunscreen/sunblock as this is as basic as a moisturizer can get, but that's not a problem for me - I actually prefer it that way.
What I liked about Clinique's 3-Step Program: Very simply, IT WORKS. That's what I liked about it. What I didn't like: I got a few dry patches on my skin - but that was in winter. Absolutely suitable for a place with a more humid climate or for Bangalore summers. The concept is just so simple and I think very fool-proof. Plus, the products are hypoallergenic, and they have a separate line for sensitive skins.
For those interested in ingredients...have just copied it down from the cover. Might have made mistakes while typing it, so please check on the cover of the products at the counter :-)
Liquid Facial Soap - Oily: Water, Sodium laureth sulfate, lauramidopropyl betaine, cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, sodium chloride, sodium cocoyl sarcosinate, tea-cocoyl glutamate, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, Serenoa serrulata (saw palmetto) fruit extract, PEG-120 methyl glucose dioleate, sucrose, menthol, hexylene glycol, polyquaternium-7-laureth-2, caprylyl glycol, sodium sulfate, EDTA, disodium EDTA, sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol.
Clarifying Lotion 3: Hammelis virginiana (witch hazel), alcohol denat, water, salicylic acid, butylene glycol, disodium EDTA, benzalkonium chloride, Red 6 (CI 15850), orange 4 (CI 15510), Ext. Violet 2 (CI 60730)
Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel: Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Butylene Glycol, Bis-Peg-18 Methylether, Dimethyl Silane, Glycerin, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Lactobacillus ferment, Polygonum cuspidatum root extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Caffeine, Trehalose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Polysilicone-11, Silica, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Oleth-10, Laureth-23, Laureth-4, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp Copolymer, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Disodium-Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Yellow 5, Red 4, Yellow 6.