Thursday, March 13, 2014

Acne Fighting Skincare from Clinique*

Regardless of how perfect a person's skin may be on average, I have yet to come across anyone who hasn't felt the woes of a pimple. For some this is an occasional woe - maybe at that time of the month, after a particularly stressful week, or for seemingly no reason at all. But for us lucky individuals battling with some level of acne, the day to day pimple problem isn't a matter of "if" but of "how many".

In my own personal battle, I am constantly tweaking my skincare regimen and experimenting with different acne treatment products on the market. Although there are moments where I swear I've tried it all, something new is always around the corner. This time around it's Clinique that's stepped up to the plate.
Although Clinique has a long standing reputation of carrying high quality skincare and makeup, I somehow have managed to not try too many of their products. Needless to say I was pretty thrilled when I was contacted by Sephora and asked if it'd be interested in trying and reviewing some of their acne fighting products in anticipation of the launch of their new Clinical Clearing Gel. I received deluxe samples of three different products - Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam ($19.50 for 4.2 oz), Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel ($25 for 1 oz) and, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel ($26 for 4.2 oz). These products (and others from the Acne Solutions line) are perfect for the treatment of mild to moderate acne.

The Cleaning Foam is a gentle but effective cleanser that removes dirt and oil without being overly drying, and is formulated with salicylic acid to help control blemishes. Because I've been using a few different topical acne medications, I alternate using this cleanser with one that is non-medicated from am to pm.  I like that it makes my skin feel clean without simultaneously making it feel tight or dried out.

After cleansing, I apply the Clinical Clearing Gel, which also utilizes salicylic acid to fight off acne blemishes. For those of you who may be less versed in acne treatments, salicylic acid works as a chemical exfoliant, helping to speed up the process of cell regeneration, which brings impurities to the surface of your skin and clears up pimples more quickly. Compared to other salicylic acid products I've tried in the past, I find this Clinique formula to be pretty effective. It's a very liquidy gel that has a bit of a sticky texture when wet, but it absorbs very quickly into skin, without leaving any feeling of residue. Once dry, I've noticed that this can make my skin feel very tight afterward, which is usually remedied easily by applying moisturizer.

The Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is a fantastic everyday moisturizer, especially for people like myself with oily skin. Clinique's famous Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion is one of the few products I've dabbled with in the past, but I always felt that it was a bit too heavy for my greasy complexion. This newer gel formula is a lot more lightweight, and while being effective at keeping skin soft and smooth, also manages to maintain a matte finish. The only recommendation I would have for those of you who use this as a daytime moisturizer is to make sure you also add a serum or foundation with SPF, as it doesn't offer any sun protection.

In the past few weeks of incorporating this Clinique skincare into my daily routine I have noticed an improvement in the clarity and texture of my skin. While I think there are more effective products for spot treating nasty blemishes, these products do a good job of minimizing overall congestion and keeping skin a little less bumpy. While you can use these products up to two times a day, it's definitely important to ease your skin into any acne treatment regimen. If your skin is sensitive or starts to become irritated, I would recommend backing off to once daily or every other day use.

The same goes for those of you (like myself) who are already using acne treatment products. More products doesn't always mean better results. It's important not to be overly aggressive with your skin, because it can often just make the problem worse. In my case, I've been using Retin-A micro at night, and this Clinical Clearing Gel in the morning. Occasionally though, I will give my skin a medication holiday, especially if I notice I'm getting extra flaky, and take a day or night off.

If you've tried any of these Clinique products, I'd love to hear what your experience with them has been!

*PR samples compliments of Sephora and Clinique. This post contains affiliate links. For more information regarding my affiliations and disclosures click here.