Product Information (from clinique.com)
Step 2: Clarifying Lotion
The difference-maker. Exfoliates to bring brighter, smoother skin to the surface. A gentle tingle tells you it's working. Apply Clarifying Lotion with a cotton ball after cleansing with Clinique Facial soap. Sweep gently over face and neck, avoiding eye area and lips. Available in five different strengths, one for every skin type
I have mentioned this Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 quite a few times on this blog as I have been using this for the past one year. The bottle lasted me a long time, so it made the price tag quite worth while since you only need a little each time. I bought this at the duty free shop at around S$43, I'm not sure what the retail price is.
Clinique claims this to be an exfoliating lotion but I don't see which ingredient really exfoliates. But I do believe that it does clean the skin well because I always know when my cleanser underperformed when I see yellowish stains on my cotton pad after cleansing. I did, however, see salicylic acid in Lotions 3 and 4. Salicylic acid is a BHA and an effective exfoliant, but since those two are supposedly for oilier skin types, I don't think i will be trying them.
Clinique Clarifying Lotion vs Clarifying Moisture Lotion
This toner contains witch hazel, which is an astringent and some say witch hazel has anti-oxidant properties. This Clarifying Lotion also contains a high alcohol content. I find it amusing that sales assistants actually have this common excuse that the higher ups probably taught them to teach customers when they ask about the alcohol content - they claim it is medical-grade alcohol, which is okay for the skin. We all know that alcohol is drying but I bought this Clarifying Lotion instead of the Clarifying Moisture Lotion as the SAs uniformly claim it has better exfoliating properties than the Clarifying Moisture Lotion (I plan to get the Clinique Clarifying Moisture Lotion the next time I travel - it contains more natural ingredients and does not contain alcohol).
As mentioned, it cleans off any remaining dirt and oil off very well. I always know when that my skin is not clean when I see yellowish stain on the cotton pad and when I test with another new cotton pad and the Clarifying Lotion, it remains white. It works as it claims and that is a good thing, in my book.
It caused redness and stinging for the first one or two weeks but my skin was used to it after that and I didn't experience any sensitivity. It didn't dry out my skin, but I will be switching to the Clarifying Moisture Lotion next to avoid the high alcohol content as I find it a tad harsh.
This Clinique Clarifying Lotion contains menthol, which can be an irritant, but it didn't irritate my skin. I kind of liked the cooling after-feel.
When I read reviews of this toner online, I saw reviews at the two extreme ends. People either love it or hate it. I think it is a matter of choosing what suits your skin. I got samples from the counter and also asked the same questions at different counters, which is why I found their generic answer silly when we all know what alcohol does to the skin. I think the Clinique Clarifying Lotion can be a bit harsh if you have sensitive skin, try it out before buying. The SAs are generally okay with giving out samples if you say you have sensitive skin.