As a maker of cosmetics for people who don’t have acne issues, Clinique is well known for its products that work well on dark skin tones. It not only makes foundations for olive, tan, brown, Asian, and black skin, it also has unique mattefying ingredients that help these products smooth away small bumps and scars and imperfections. Clinique uses the latest skin-identical ingredients in its skin repair formulas and its eyeliners and lip liners are a very good value for the money. But what about Clinique Acne Solutions?
Clinique Acne Solutions Products that Get Our Highest Rating
There are two Clinique Acne Solutions we think are terrific. One is the Acne Solutions Emergency Gel Lotion. The other is the Acne Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask.
The Acne Solutions Emergency Gel Lotion is the kind of product you want to have on hand for “pimple emergencies.” It’s a benzoyl peroxide formula, and that in itself is nothing special. But the unique advantage of Acne Solutions Emergency Gel Lotion is that it contains 5% benzoyl peroxide, not the 10% in Clearasil, along with a lot of anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Benzoyl peroxide is great for killing acne bacteria but it can be irritating, especially if you have dry skin. A benzoyl peroxide formula in a 10% strength is a little like firing heavy artillery against germs in your pores. It gets the germs and it gets them fast, but there can be collateral damage in the form of flaking, peeling, drying, and redness. Most people just can’t use a 10% formula at all, and almost no one is comfortable with a 10% benzoyl peroxide formula on unblemished skin.
A 5% formula kills acne bacteria about 12 hours slower than the higher-strength 10% formula. And, frankly, some people have trouble with this strength, too. The Acne Solutions Emergency Gel Lotion, however, offsets the potential irritating and drying effects of the 5% formula with dimethicone, green tea extract, Faex (yeast extract), and cola nut extract. These additional ingredients don’t cut it when benzoyl peroxide is in the product in a 10% strength, but most people find them to be very helpful when benzoyl peroxide is in a 5% strength. The green tea reduces sebum production and the Faex “trains” your immune system to fight acne with less inflammation. This reduces redness and swelling the next time pimples come around.
The Acne Solutions Oil Controlling Mask is a little pricey at $20 for 3.4 fluid ounces (about 100 ml). One container is usually just enough for one treatment. The mask contains 1% salicylic acid. The mask really is not at the right pH for the salicylic acid to peel away dead skin and keratin that covers whiteheads and blackheads, but has just enough of an effect on tough skin that it helps exfoliants you use after the mask work just a little bit better. The really smart thing about the way that Acne Solutions Oil Controlling Mask is formulated is that contains a lot of the right botanical ingredients, all of them soothing, none of them irritating, aloe, inulin, chamomile, and gentian among them. The gentian helps bring out natural skin tones. The aloe and chamomile reduce allergic sensitivity. And the mask as a whole is a great way to help control shiny skin.
Clinique Acne Solutions Products We Give a High Rating
Several other Clinique Acne Solutions products strike us as being really well designed. Probably the best of these is Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup.
The first thing you notice about Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup is that it is extremely light. There is no worry that it might clog pores. You don’t have to worry about it caking on your face. It brings out skin tones without “looking like makeup.”
This Liquid Makeup really isn’t useful for fighting acne, although it contains just enough beta-hydroxy acids to fight redness—a little. You’ll still need to use concealer to cover up pimples and you will still need to use other lotions and gels to get rid of whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. But except for the peach and fresh beige tones, which should be used with caution, it’s a great way to bring out the full tone of your unblemished skin without aggravating your acne.
Another Clinique Acne Solutions product we like is Clinique Acne Solutions Clearing Concealer. You have to like the idea of treating a pimple while you are concealing it. Some kinds of concealer actually make pimples worse. This product contains 1% salicylic acid (BHA) to break up the pimple even while the makeup is hiding it. If you really want to get the best results with this product, do your regular cleansing routine and then take a clean cotton swab to dab just a little bit of fresh lemon juice on the pimple. Let it dry for maybe 30 seconds, and then use the concealer. It lasts all day.
We have just one cautionary note for this product. It comes in different shades and you can match the concealer to your natural skin tone. But unless you are trying out for the part of Wicked Witch of the West in a revival of the Wizard of Oz, stay away from green.
And What About Other Clinique Acne Solutions Products?
Keeping the tone of this product line review positive, there in one other Clinique Acne Solutions product for which we would like to put in a good word. It’s Clinique Action Solutions Clearing Moisturizer, Oil-Free.
There a lots of moisturizers that actually dry out your skin because they are made with alcohol. That tingly feeling you get on your skin when you use an alcohol-based moisturizer isn’t the result of cleansing your skin. It’s the result of killing your skin, at least the very top-most layer of skin cells. These skin cells dry out and make your skin look dull. They also “strangle” pores so that they accumulate more oil. And they trigger a repair reaction in the skin, making oil glands even more productive.
The other approach to moisturizing the skin is using pure oil. It works. But if you have just small areas of skin that are dry and your T-zone (nose and forehead) are oily, oil in your moisturizer can do more harm than good.
That’s the beauty of this Oil-Free Clearing Moisturizer. It feels silky without oil. It goes on smoothly because of dimethicone. It contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, too. This is enough benzoyl peroxide to keep acne bacteria from coming back although it’s not really enough to get rid of them. And the formula contains all the botanicals that reduce oil production and soothe the skin.
The only reason we don’t refer to this product as one of our top picks for the product line is that it contains a little bit of mint for scent. This smells good—but some people react to it. But if mint and peppermint and wintergreen don’t bother you, it’s a great oil-free moisturizer that also fights acne germs.