Monday, May 2, 2011

Clinique's 3-Step Skin Care Program

My secret skin care shame is that I don't preach what I write. Yup, guilty as charged: I do not cleanse-tone-moisturize as often as I should. This is mainly because of laziness, but lately, after the sudden weather change from winter-y to hellish (read: SUMMER!), I find my skin more problematic than usual.

Here's my skin condition as of the moment:
Thanks, Camille, for the photobombing.
  • Oily at the T-zone, with the oiliness sometimes spilling over to my cheeks
  • Dry around the mouth area
  • With small pores around the nose
  • Occasional blemishes and breakouts
  • Skin tans when exposed to the sun
  • With anti-aging concerns

All my life I've been convinced that I have a combination oily skin, having an oil slick of a face. But two summers ago, my face reacted differently after spending the day under the sun. My face started to be extra oily on the T-zone and extra dry around the mouth area. Researching more about my condition, I found out that my skin got dehydrated while under the sun so it produced extra oil

Skin that's under-moisturized gets dehydrated, and while it may not become truly "dry," the skin's natural reaction is to produce extra oil in an attempt to capture more moisture.

So that summer, it was my first time to try moisturizers. I must admit, my moisturizing non-habit comes and goes, but it all changed when I got the chance to try Clinique's 3-Step Skin Care during Project Vanity's Clinique Party Part 2.

Turns out, I was a Skin Type 2 - Dry Combination
  • You have combination skin, which means you're oily in the T-Zone but cheeks are uncomfortably dry when you don't use a moisturizer.
  • Your priority is to keep skin in balance - add moisture to some areas and keep oily spots under control.

All my life I have been treating my skin with anti-oily products to the point that I may have stripped my face of its natural moisture! I couldn't accept it at first (LOL. I was still in denial), but after giving the Clinique Type 2 Trial Packs, I was obsessed (to say the least)!*

Step 1: Clinique Liquid Facial Soap, Mild for Normal to Dry Skin

The first step in Clinique's 3-Step Skin Care System. All the benefits of Clinique's dermatologist-developed Facial Soap in a liquid formula. Cleanses without stripping protective lipids. Preps skin for the exfoliating action of Clarifying Lotion. Convenient pump dispenses just the right amount.
Let me just say that this facial cleanser feels like butter when applied AND when washed off! It doesn't have that tight feeling after washing that I really, really hate! It's unscented and didn't make my skin dull after a week of using it (yes, I used it for a week! Using only tiny dabs of it to save what little is given on the sample. LOL). My skin felt really supple and hydrated after use.

It makes sense though that I'm given a mild formula for normal to dry skin to avoid stripping too much oil from my face. Remember, too much washing can strip your skin of its natural oils and will trigger your skin to produce more oil than usual.

Step 2: Clinique New Clarifying Lotion 2 for Dry Combination Skin

Helps clear away pollution, dulling flakes for smooth, glowing skin. Helps pores look their smallest. Skin accepts moisture better. Grows more resistant to impurities. Stays healthier, younger. Dermatologist-reformulated to be comfortable, non-drying.

Liz once told me to skip on the toner just so I won't be too lazy to moisturize. This tip, however, doesn't work for me because I always see toners as a safety net to remove all the dirt your facial cleanser failed to clean.

Clinique's New Clarifying did just that and as far as making my pores look smaller, it did make them disappear in pictures. LOL. What do you expect? I was only given the sample size.

The clarifying lotion has a slight sting and alcohol scent to it, but I don't mind. It may be its way of preparing my skin to "accept moisture better." All in all, I think I can live without it, but your Clinique 3-Step Experience may not feel complete without it. Just my two cents.

Step 3: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

The oil-free moisture “drink” developed by Clinique’s dermatologists to maintain optimal moisture balance for skins comfortable in the cheeks but oily in the T-zone or oily all over. Oil-free formula softens, smooths, improves.

According to the Skin Consultants, gels are better suited for oily skin types because these are lighter than normal moisturizers. If you will notice, this is the only product that is prescribed to remedy my oily skin. Do not be afraid of moisturizers even if you have oily skin. Again, having excess amounts of oil on your face may mean your skin is actually thirsty for moisture.

Additionally, Mira said that this should not take the place of your moisturizer. The Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel prepares your skin to absorb your moisturizer. I see now how Clinique's 3-Step Skin Care routine works well together and with each other because each step really complements the next.

The Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is a lot more dense than the Moisture Surge Gel which I also got a generous sample of (20 ml, I think!). When applied, you have to wait a few more minutes for it to settle before you apply your main moisturizer. Also, I found out the first day that when over applied, you will end up with a pool of oil on your face when you wake up (or throughout the day). So use this product sparingly!

In summary, it's safe to say that I am IN LOVE with Clinique's 3-Step Skin Care System! I used it every night for one week and I woke up with soft and supple skin every time! No breakouts, reduced oiliness, and most definitely no dryness.

If I have the cash to burn right now, I would've splurged on the entire line within minutes! But Clinique, as I see it, is an investment brand. You buy their products if you expect great results within days and if you want to invest in your skin.

If you find local retail prices exorbitant, here's a tip: buy it abroad and in duty free shops. Also, when you travel, do not skip out on cosmetic duty-free stores. While shopping around Changi Airport, I found great airport-exclusive Clinique Skin Care sets for 125 SGD (full sizes) and 50 SGD (travel sizes with additional travel Moisture Surge Gel and All About Eyes). That's around PHP ~4400 and PHP ~1700, respectively, or around 30-40% cheaper than local rates.

How about you, guys? Are you obsessed with any skin care products lately?

*DISCLAIMER: I was given sample sizes so all gushing and obsession are based from 5 trials tops. Long-term effect was not observed due to, er, lack of product.

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