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Skin Care & Makeup FAQs
Quick Answers for your most-asked questions from our Clinique Online Consultants.
When should I start using Clinique 3-Step?
The ideal time to start a consistent skin care program is in your early teens, or as soon as you begin to experience concerns such as breakouts or excess oil. Keeping skin properly cleansed, exfoliated and moisturized is the key to a lifetime of clear, healthy skin.
How do I determine the right 3-Step Skin Care System for me?
Our Skin Diagnostic makes it quick and easy to find your customized 3-Step System. We also offer individual consultations—including photo upload and text chat online—with an Accredited Clinique Consultant from 10am–8pm ET Monday through Friday. And a visit to your local Clinique counter is also a great way to get started on a great-skin routine.
Do I need to use all 3 steps?
For the healthiest skin, yes. Clinique’s 3-Step Skin Care System is dermatologist-developed to work synergistically, with each step enhancing the next. Our gentle, non-drying soaps help loosen the dead skin flakes that Clarifying Lotions sweep away—which in turn helps skin better absorb moisture and other de-agers.
Why does Clinique recommend a soap? Will it dry my skin?
Clinique's dermatologists believe there's no substitute for the thorough cleansing you get from soap. It's simply the best way to remove facial dirty and oil. Our non-drying bar and liquid formulas do the job gently, rinse off completely, and leave all Skin Types feeling fresh and clean—never taut or dry.
What is Clarifying Lotion and why do I need it?
Clarifying Lotion is our gentle, Skin-typed exfoliator. We call it 'the Difference-Maker'—for good reason. For drier skins, it gently sweeps away dead, flaky cells to allow moisturizer to penetrate into skin, help makeup glide on more smoothly and reveal skin's glow. For oilier skins, it sweeps, away the dead skin cells and excess oil that can clog pores and promote breakouts. Skin looks fresher, feels cleaner—and makeup wear is improved, too.
What is the difference between Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ and Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel?
Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ is a lightweight lotion that replenishes moisture and strengthens skin's moisture barrier by 54% in 8 weeks. Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel provides all the superior moisturizing benefits—but in an oil-free gel formula that's a favourite of oilier skins.
Can Clinique be used by sensitive skins?
Yes! All Clinique products are allergy tested, meaning they have been clinically tested by a medical research organization under the supervision of dermatologists. Using repeat-insult tests, if anyone in the test group demonstrates allergic contact dermatitis, the Clinique product is not released for manufacture. Additionally, because fragrance is a major cause of sensitivities, all Clinique skin care and makeup products are 100% fragrance free.
Will 3-Step Skin Care help with my breakouts?
If you usually experience that once-a-month breakout, your customized 3-Step Skin Care System will help keep skin clear. When breakouts do occur, add Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel to help speed healing. If your breakouts are more frequent, it might be time for our Acne Solutions Clear Skin System. It effectively treats acne without drying or irriating the skin, and even contains anti-irritants to help calm and soothe.
What's the difference between BB Cream and CC Cream?
Clinique's Age Defense BB Cream and Moisture Surge CC Cream are both oil-free, multitasking skin perfectors that offer broad-spectrum sun protection. BB Cream helps control oil and blur imperfections; it delivers moderate-to-full coverage with a semi-matte/matte finish. CC Cream helps colour-correct anything sallow, dull, grey or red; its lightweight, moisture-giving formula provides sheer-to-moderate coverage and a naturally radiant finish. Both can be worn alone or under foundation.
How do I choose a makeup primer?
Superprimer is a line of lightweight, oil-free face primers that create a smooth, perfect canvas for a flawless makeup finish. It uses opposing shades to colour correct complexion concerns so foundation shades look colour-true. Yellow corrects redness. Pink colour-corrects dullness in lighter skin tones. Soft Bronze corrects dullness in deeper skin tones. Peach colour-corrects discolourations. Lavender colour-corrects sallowness. For all skins, Superprimer Universal Face Primer smooths fine lines and wrinkles and helps perfect the look of prores to enhance makeup wear.
How can I find a foundation shade that’s best for my skin?
At Clinique, we believe foundation needs to fit your Skin Type as well as your skin tone to be a perfect match. Try our online Foundation Finder: In just 60 seconds you'll discover the foundation you were born to wear. We also offer photo upload chat from Monday through Friday 10am-8pm ET with an Accredited Consultant who's an Expert in finding just the right formula and shade. For an in-person try-on, simply visit a Clinique Counter near you.
How do I get the longest wear from my foundation?
1. Start by creating an ideal makeup canvas with your appropriate Superprimer; it helps smooth skin and allows colour to glide on evenly. 2. Next, apply your Clinique foundation with our Foundation Brush. 3. Finish with a loose powder, like Blended Face Powder, to 'set' foundation and encourage longer wear.
How do I use a brush to apply my foundation?
When using liquid foundation, apply a small amount to the back of your hand and dot the brush into the foundation. Dab it onto the skin where needed, starting at the center of face, blending outward with smooth strokes. When using cream or powder foundation, sweep the brush over the surface of the compact; apply with broad strokes on larger areas like the cheeks, and with edge of the brush for more precision around the nose and eyes.
What's the best way to apply bronzer?
To get a sun-kissed glow without exposing skin to harmful UV rays, use our Bronzer/Blender Brush to sweep bronzer where the sun naturally touches—forehead, nose, cheeks and chin.
How can I keep my eye shadow from creasing?
For starters, avoid using oily products in the eye area. Then before shadow goes on, prep lids for improved application and wear with All About Shadow Primer for Eyes. It helps create a smooth, perfected canvas—and holds All About Shadow eye colour in place for up to 12 hours.
What's the best way to prevent lines and wrinkles?
Clinique’s guiding dermatologists tell us that 80% of the lines on our face are due to daily sun and environmental exposure. That's why using SPF 15 or higher on a daily basis is the single best anti-aging step you can take, complemented by customized, twice-a-day care like our 3-Step Skin Care System.
I’m concerned about aging. What products are best for me?
Clinique has targeted de-aging options, from defense against the first signs of aging, to repair for the look of lines and wrinkles, to firming and lifting to bring back skin's 'bounce.' Check out our Skin Care Routine Finder to find the customized products for your skin’s needs. We also offer individual consultations—including photo upload and text chat online—with an Accredited Clinique Consultant to address your unique skin concerns from 10am EST – 8pm EST Monday through Friday.
What can I do about visible lines and wrinkles?
To keep your skin looking youthful, strengthening your support structure and guarding from additional environmental damage is important. Our de-aging Repairwear Serum is a great start. Repairwear Laser Focus for the face and eye area delivers results comparable to a dermatological laser. Apply 3-4 drops twice a day over entire face and around eyes after your 3-Step Skin Care System. Follow with your appropriate treatment moisturizer and daily sunscreen.
How long does it take to see results with Repaiwear Laser Focus?
With twice-a-day use, you'll notice a visible reduction in lines and wrinkles at 4 weeks and a 63% improvement at 12 weeks.
What can I do about dark spots and discolouration?
To fade darker areas and even skin tone from hormonal changes, sun exposure or past acne discolouration, as well as help prevent new spots from forming, use Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector. It's clinically proven to visibly reduce dark spots and discolouration, and even skin tone with results equal to a leading prescription ingredient. Apply it twice a day over your entire face (avoiding immediate eye area) after your 3-Step Skin Care System. Remember: since UV rays stimulate the production of darker pigment, using sunscreen every day is a must.
How long does it take to see results with Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector?
With twice-a-day use, you’ll notice a more even tone within one week, a 1-2 shade reduction in dark spots and discolourations at 4 weeks, and a visible 58% reduction in dark spots at 12 weeks.
Why do I need a serum and a treatment moisturizer?
Serums are targeted to particular concerns, but are not meant to provide moisturization. When skin lacks moisture, its barrier function can become compromised, diverting energy from repair. By layering your treatment moisturizer over your Clinique serum, you're giving skin the best environment to promote repair: barrier-strengthening moisture plus a double-dose of ingredients targeted to your concern.
Do I need a separate eye cream?
The skin around your eyes is different from skin on other areas of your face—it’s only one-tenth as thick and has very few oil glands. That’s why it’s one of the first places to show visible signs of aging. Targeted care that's specifically formulated for this delicate skin can help defuse the effects of eye-area aggressors, now and in the future.
Does Clinique have an eye cream that prevents aging and has an SPF?
Yes, we do. Superdefense Age Defense Eye Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 is a hydrating eye cream that helps protect against the early signs of aging caused by UV rays—as well as stress, pollution and dehydration.
I have breakouts, do you have skin care and makeup to help clear my skin?
Absolutely. Clinique's Acne Solutions Clear Skin System works to clear away dead skin cells and excess oil so you'll start to see clearer skin in just days. Partner with medicated Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup; it helps to both clear and cover blemishes to create the perfect canvas.