* Prices may differ from that shown
My first encounter with Clinique was two years ago, when the horrible cold winter hit, and my skin became dry, flaky, and at the same time spot-ty. The nice lady from the counter at Boots store offered me this, and convinced me that these three steps would do wonder, and I believed her. And I have to say, Clinique is by far the best skin care brand that I have ever tried.
Three steps skin care is pretty easy to understand. I think clean, exfoliate and moisturise is the standard skin care routine anyone should do. Clinique three steps skin care re-introduced that principal for me, which as what the lady in Boots said, has worked wonder for me.
My skin improved within weeks. The spots gradually disappeared, the dry skin become plumper, and softer. They were, I should say, godsend.
My favourite is, of course, the dramatically different moisturiser. It just melted in my skin, and absorbed really quickly. And even though, I know it would sound like I am hard selling this, it did give a dramatic improvement in my skin.
What I like about these products is that they are fragrance free, and did not cause any allergic reaction. I believe in the first few days, it feels a bit harsh, but apparently it just exfoliated the flaky dead skin to prepare my skin for better absorption for the moisturiser.
Unfortunately, these products are very expensive. As my skin gets better, I could not see why I should keep using these products. Of course I really want to keep using them, but as I don't have a good income, I need to prioritise and buy a more affordable products.
However, I would definitely recommend these products. I think they are a really good quality products, and would improve your skin.
When I went in for a makeup trial to find product to use on my wedding day I found myself at a Clinique counter and while she prepared my face with the three step system I knew I had to purchase it as even with one use I loved it. I have combination skin but as it tips slightly more towards oily number 3 was suggested to me. My review is based on the number 3 skin type oily and there are other variations available for different skin types.
**Clinique Liquid Facial Soap (step 1 )**
I always thought you should not use any soap on your face so I was a bit hesitant to use this but as I was following a system I decided to give it a go and I am glad that I did .This packaging of this is great as it is a simple to use simply by squeezing the tube a small amount comes out. It claims to be 100% fragrance free as do all of their products however there is a scent and this smells rather floral but still has a chemical clean smell to it which I am not too fond off but it is very light and fades away as soon as it is rinsed.
I really like this I find it really helps with my skin it is very easy to use and only takes a few minutes. When you begin to work the soap between your hands with a tiny amount of water it really builds up a nice lather. The soap has silky feel to it and is the perfect consistency so it is not to thin and falls through your fingers but not too thick so that it feels heavy and is difficult to build in to a lather. I find there is no tightness after I use this product which I tend to find with similar soaps. You only need a small amount of the product and then either really wet your face before you begin to massage your skin or add a little water with the product in your hands and rub them together until the lather builds. This did not dry my skin out in the slightest and my oily t zone felt a little better but it is certainly not an over drying product which is great.
I like to remove my make up if using it in the evening and then I find it removes the excess makeup really well I spend a minute or so washing my face with this and the makeup comes away without any problem. As soon as I use this on my face and rinse it off with some water I can tell the difference my skin feels a lot cleaner and provides a nice deep clean feel. It leaves no film cover on my face and there is no sign of the product once rinsed away which is a major advantage for me. It is best to use this product morning and night which is what I tend to do as part of the three point system suggested by Clinique and it does leave your skin feeling clean as promised on the bottle.
**Clinique Clarifying Lotion (Step 2)**
This is basically a toner with extra exfoliating properties and when I first used it on my skin I was worried it was going to be a little harsh and nearly gave up using it. It has a screw top lid which reveals the open neck of the bottle so to use I apply it to a cotton wool ball and I only need to tip it up once with the cotton wool bud covering the opening for the pad to be completely soaked. Then work from my t zone outwards in circular motions working it into the skin.
It smells like chemical's and is really strong which I do not like in the slightest. The first week that I used it made my skin tingle a little and slightly felt like it was burning my skin, I was worried it was too much but after the first week of use this wore off and as my skin got used to the product and I began to see the results it was perfect. After further use I could still feel where I had used the lotion by a light tingle of the skin but it was nowhere near as intense as when I first used it.I have combination skin and I find this lotion perfect for helping to clear the skin and remove excess oil from my t zone area. I was a little worried that because it removes the excess oil from your skin that it may be a little drying but even when used without the Clinique moisturiser I really find my skin is fine no dryness or tightness.
After I use this clarifying lotion my skin looks more radiant with a more even skin tone and my pours are visibly smaller. My skin does feel a little tight but not uncomfortable just a nice clean feeling. I do find this toner is a little too much for the winter months as I find it is a little too strong and almost stings the skin so I tend to change to a regular toner when it is extra cold outside but other than that this is great for everyday use. Even when I cleanse my skin everyday this lotion seems to find its way into my pours and remove makeup and muck every single time without fail and I think it is due to the extra exfoliating properties that it works so much better than other toners.
Although while using this lotion I rarely have break outs I do find when I do if I swipe this product of the area needed then it really does make a difference at reducing the spots not only in appearance but it also removes any irritation I may have. Since using this lotion my skin has dramatically improved both in appearance and the feel of it and this is probably my most loved product of the three. This is the harsher toner of the three as my sister in law uses the number 2 of this set and I was extremely worried when the lady at the counter suggested this would be the best for me after testing my skin type. I'm not sure if that is why I felt like giving up with the lotion in the first week but after that it has caused no irritation to my skin and I love it as it provides a deep clean each and every time I use it. My only downside is I wish there was some sort of stopper to reduce the flow of the liquid as I am really clumsy and a few times I have knocked it over and the product tips out so easily and it can end up being an expensive mistake.
**Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion (Step 3)**
The moisturiser is the final of the three sets and because I have combination skin I was give the gel which is oil free so my skin can still receive the moisture it needs in the dry areas without cloggy it up with more oil. It comes in a squeeze tube bottle meaning I can use the product very easily and although it is a little watery it is not too thin so that it falls through your hand.
This has a slight smell but not as strong as the other two products and it disappear as soon as it dries's into the skin. I absolutely love this moisturiser I have never found a product that can match it and have I tried lots of different products. What I love about it is it is so versatile I find As soon as I use this my skin feels so much more hydrated yet it provides this finish without it being heavy on my skin or clogging up my pours which I tend to find with other products.
My skin feels a lot softer after using this and my cheeks feel more moisturised which is the area that is usually rather dry. I also find that I can use this as a day cream as it is very light and leaves no residue at all after use but it hydrates my skin enough to also be a night cream so I use the same product for both. Again you only need a small amount of the product and it is very easy to smooth all over you face. Then it sinks in almost instantly and dry's quickly meaning you do not need to sit around waiting for it to dry before you can get ready for the day or go to bed.
**Summary and prices**
I realise it works out better to buy the bigger bottle but my sister in law has a number of problems using the glass bottles so I prefer to buy the travel versions of this set. In the gift sets you get still get the half size products but they come in squeeze tubes which are a lot easier to use and I find these big enough to last for a few months.I love these products as I have very sensitive skin and never had a problem with any of them causing a reaction. My skin has really improved while using this system and although I have other products I always find myself coming back to these. I would highly recommend them to anyone they may be a little more expensive compared to similar products but the results are very noticeable.
I do find all of the products in the system are best used together as these provide the best results I have used each product separately and they do work well but nowhere near as well as when you follow the three point system they suggest. Always remember your skin may get worse in the first two weeks of using this system although I never found that at all. I found my skin became progressively better and better and it continues working. I found it best to go in store to make sure I selected the right products as there is variation for different skin types but there is also a section on the website that will help you identify which number system you will need. You only need a small amount of each product so it last for a fair amount of time.
Clinique Liquid Facial Soap £15 200ml pump bottle
Clinique Clarifying Lotion £16 for 200ml £25 for 400ml
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion 50ml tube £17 125ml bottle £29.50
Gift set which includes
50ml Liquid Facial Soap
100ml Clarifying Lotion
30ml Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel £20
Clinique claim "good skin can be created" and their famous 3 step skincare system is very popular among many women of all ages. Clinique have a number of different versions of the 3 step system to suit different skin types and these are as follows:
1. Very dry skin
2. Dry skin
3. Oily skin
4. Very oily skin
They also have "anti-blemish solutions" versions of some of the 3 step products.
The Clinique website has a virtual consultant who will help you find out which skin type you have by asking a few simple questions and work out which range from 1 to 4 would suit your skin best. If you go to a Clinique counter the assistant will also be able to do this for you in person.
The main difference in the products for the different skin types are as follows:
Step 1: cleansing -
Types 1 and 2 get the cleanser (Liquid Facial Soap) in "mild", whereas types 3 and 4 get it in "oily skin formula". There is also extra mild available for skin type 1 if necessary.
Step 2: clarifying -
There are 4 versions of the Clarifying Lotion, in different strengths, and the skin type number is written on the bottle in large, prominent print. They also have different colours so the bottles are easily distinguised from each other.
Step 3: moisturising -
Types 1 and 2 get the Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion, whereas types 3 and 4 get Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel, which is lighter.
You can buy the items separately or you can buy a starter kit containing smaller versionsfor £20 for the three. This kit is ideal for travelling or for testing the range to see if it is for you. I have had it for travelling a couple of times but usually buy full size. I have saved a smaller bottle of the Clarifying Lotion (100 ml) from the starter kit to refill for travel.
I use the 3 step system in type 3, so my review is based on that. I use the 3 step system every morning after my shower and at night after taking off my makeup.
=== Cleansing ====
The liquid facial soap in oily formula comes in a large clear green pump bottle with typical Clinique branding. I wet my face, then use one pump of soap to lather up in my hands and massage over my face. It usually lathers up very well, but occasionally I have found it doesn't produce enough lather and this is because my face was not wet enough. I find I have to completely soak my face and hands, with water sinking into the skin well, before the soap produces a lather.
Some people worry that it is not good to use soap and I often seen it recommended not to use soap as it is too harsh and strips away the natural oils. When I first started to use this I did wonder whether I would like it, but I found that I do. It does leave my face feeling slightly tight, but not excessively so and it does not feel bad. It definitely does strip my skin of oil, but as I naturally have oily skin I find that a good thing! Some people warn that stripping the oil only makes your skin produce more but I don't find that to be the case for me. It just removes all trace of oiliness and I don't get oily or shiny at all really. I wouldn't say it is just down to the cleanser alone, but the whole 3 step system working together.
The facial soap is dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic, like all Clinique products, and has never irritated me. It is fragrance free.
I am happy to use other cleansers now and again and sometimes try other brands for a change, so I suppose I am not too attached to the Clinique Liquid Facial Soap but I regularly buy it and I would say it is my preferred cleanser.
It costs £14 for 200 ml. I would give the cleanser 4/5.
=== Clarifying ===
Clarifying Lotion comes in a sturdy plastic screw top bottle in 200 ml or 400 ml sizes. You should tip a small amount of the liquid onto a cotton pad or cotton ball and sweep it over the face. The Clarifying Lotion has a slight chemically smell to it which I found quite noticeable at first but now that I have been using it for a long time I am used it and it doesn't bother me at all.
Clarifying lotion is not just a toner, as many people seem to think. It is a chemical exfoliant. Clinique says that daily exfoliation is an important part of your skin care routine as it removes dirt, impurities and dead skins cells, letting the stronger and brighter new cells come to the surface. Exfoliating removes excess oil and keeps the pores small. This enables your moisturiser to sink under the skin more easily and there is no old skin blocking the way. Exfoliation prevents breakouts and removal of oil helps keep the skin matte, which stops shine and stops your makeup sliding off. Many exfoliators are physical rather than chemical, with small balls or bits. This lotion is completely fluid. This means it does not scratch or scrape the skin, and doesn't cause redness like some physical scrubs can do.
When I first started using this, I felt and saw a difference within days. My skin feels very soft and smooth when using this, my moisturiser sinks in immediately afterwards and the lotion leaves a completely clear and refreshed surface. I feel a slight tingle, like with some toners, and all the tightening and refreshing properties of a toner can also be found in this lotion but with the added thorough exfoliating benefits.
This clarifying lotion is also hypo-allergenic, so when using it correctly (for the correct skin type) there should be no reactions.
A 200 ml bottle lasts me about 6 months.
I would give the Clarifying Lotion 5/5.
=== Moisturising ===
The Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel is available either in a 50 ml squeezy plastic tube with a silver lid, or a square plastic bottle containing 125 ml with a pump dispenser. I have used both of these, as well as the small 30 ml sized tubes which comes in the travel sets. The tubes and pump bottles both bear the large silver C of Clinique. Whichever option you go for, it is easy to control the amount of product you want to use. The pump dispenses quite a small amount at a time, so it is sometimes necessary to use a couple of pumps to cover your whole face.
I often find that moisturisers are too heavy or greasy for me and I don't like it when I can feel a layer of product sitting on top of the skin. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel is definitely the best moisturiser I have found, as it is oil free and sinks effortlessly and quickly into the skin without having to rub it in vigourously. It doesn't leave any greasy residue. It is a very light gel consistency but still makes my skin feel refreshed and plumped up. It leaves my skin smooth and moisturised but without all the other negative aspects I usually experience with a moisturiser, such as shine and that greasy feeling. My make up stays on longer when I use this moisturiser, as other moisturisers make my face oilier, leading to make up sliding off.
Because it sinks in so quickly, you can put on primer or makeup straight after using this and don't have to wait around like you do with some moisturisers.
A 50 ml tube costs £16.50 and a 125 ml pump bottle costs £29. This is more expensive than a lot of other moisturisers, but personally as I think this moisturiser is miles better than the competition, I am happy to pay it. You only need a fairly small amount and the 125 ml pump bottle lasts me around 6 months, so over all it is not bad value for money.
I give the Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel 5/5.
=== Overall ===
I find the Clinique 3 step system is easy to use, effective and works well together. The products are all pleasant to use, feel nice on the skin and although they are not natural products they are hypoallergenic and don't cause me any reactions. Some do find these products harsh, due to the soap in the cleanser and the high alcohol content of the Clarifying Lotion, but I have got on very well with them and from my experience I could only recommend them.
They are a little pricier than some other skincare brands out there but I feel the quality is worth it and they do last a long time. Clinique regularly runs Bonus Time promotions where you get a big bag of 6-8 freebies (makeup and skincare items in travel sizes) when you buy 2 items, at least 1 to be skincare, so if you take advantage of Bonus Time it makes it better value and brings a bit of excitement into buying your skincare!
Over the past couple of years I have been paying a lot more attention to my skin in order to get in the best condition I can and although I drink plenty of water and stick to a healthy diet, I still need a good cleanser, toner and moisturiser in order to keep it looking at it's best! I started using Clinique around a year or so ago when I recieved testers for the 3-step Skin Care through the post and after achieving great results I have continued to buy it!
~~What is it?~~
The Clinique 3-step skin care is a special skin cair programme specially devised by Clinique in which there are 3 different 'steps' in order to achieve 'great skin'. Clinique are not the oly brand to do this special 3-step system and I have noticed it becoming more popular with other brands as No 7 have not bought one out and athough I have not tried these so I cannot comment I will not be trying these as to me Clinique is the far superior one and has been amazing for my skin!
In the set there are 3 items - a cleanser, toner/exfoliater and moisturiser. Though what I like is that you can be the set depending on your skin type, so the 3-step system will be designed to work with your skin and help any problem areas. They sell introduction kits, which I think is a great idea if you are wanting to try it out in which they all contain the 3-step system in smaller sizes and come in order to suit the following skin tones; *Skin Type 1* - Very dry to dry, *Skin Type 2* - Dry combination, *Skin Type 3* - Oily, *Skin Type 4*- Very Oily.
I personally used Skin Type 3, so this is the one that my review will mainlty be based upon, though each of the sets have slightly different things inside depending on you skin, for example you may recieve a lotion moisturiser if you have very dry skin, yet a gel moisturiser if you have oily, so the items differ in order to work alongside your skin!
~~What Clinique say / the claim~~
Just 3 minutes, morning and night, to see clear, smooth, radiant skin in about two weeks. Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturise. Dermatologist-developed to meet your skin's needs and custom-fit by Skin Type. Works gently, each step enhancing the next.
~~Price and Avaliability~~
This differs mainly on what you buy. The full size items will cost you considerably more than the starter set will, however, the initial purchase will always be expensive and then you just have to repurchase which one runs out first (I tend to run out of the toner/clarifying lotion the quickest!).
The introductory set costs £20.00 and in it you recieve 50ml Liquid Facial Soap, 100ml Clarifying Lotion and 30ml Dramatically different moisturising gel. (These are the items you recieve in skin type 3.)
The full prices for these items are as followed:
Liquid Facial soap (200ml) £14.00
Clarifying Lotion (200ml) £15.00 OR (400ml) £24.00
Dramatically Different Moisturising gel (50ml - tube) £16.50 OR (125ml -with pump) £29.00
As you can probably tell it is not the cheapest skin care range, though I definitley feel it is one of the best and to me it is worth paying this - one thing I like is that you nearly always get free samples of other items from Clinique when purchasing there or you get a free fullsize item - they are currently offering a free duo lipstick worth £32 with certain purchases.
Clinique is avaliable online, clinique.co.uk, from Boots and there online store, along with places such as Debenhams, House of Fraser and other large department stores.
~~Using/Applying the products~~
I find the products all to be very simple and easy to use, they fit into my daily routine and I do not find that I have to put extra side to do this as to complete all 3 steps it only takes a couple of minutes!
--The Liquid Facial Soap--
This is very easy to use and I use it like I would any other face wash/scrub. The soap is almost clear in colour and has an ever so slight green tinge to it. It is quite runny and if you are not careful with it it could most likely be easily washed off your hands (I have done this before!). To use it states to start on the T-zone, then in circular motions to slowly work you way out, so this is what I do. I find it works up a very good, yet light lather. On the skin the facial soap feels really light and really strangely it actually feels moisturising. It is by no means harsh on the skin and feels really refreshing. I tend to have quite temperamental skin (teenager skin!) and find that is a product is too heavy or greasy it tends to leave my skin feeling tired or leaving it prone to a breakout, however, this soap is lovely and light and leaves almost no residue, whilst still being able to work deeply into the skin.
I tend to work this into my skin for a minute or so before then washing off, I also then wash off with cold water as the hot water that you wash with opens your pores to it is always a good idea to finish with cold water as this closes them. After washing it off there is no tingly / stinging sensation which my skin sometimes gets if the product is too harsh and my skin is left feeling smooth and soft. Alongside this product I do use a Clinique 'scrub' once a week aswell just to make sure my skin is getting a deep clean as I sometimes wonder whether the soap actually has exfoliating and good deep cleaning qualities.
The Calrifying Lotion is basically a toner and works in near enough the same way in that you apply it to cotton wool pads and apply after you have cleansed. It has all the qualities you would expect from a toner, in that is is liquid form and very runny. I use this product immediatley after I have used the previous as not only will this help to remove any impurities in my skin, it also helps to remove and cleanser or dirt left behind. I find this product to have a very different effect on my skin to the cleanser as although it feels very cool and refreshing, I also feel it feels slightly harsh on my skin and come sometimes make my eyes water. Though, it never actually makes my skin burn / sting, it is definitley not as soft or delicate to use as the cleanser. Nonetheless I do find it refreshing to use and when using it in the morning it definitley gives me that 'awake' feeling. When I am using this product my skin immediatley gets the feeling of being much cleaner and feels more radiant. This removes a lot of impurities / dirt from my skin as I often think I have removed everything from my skin when using the cleanser, however, I am always surprised to see the dirt left over from this on the cotton wool pad, which is why it is so important for the skin to be cleansed, toned and moisturised.
After using the product my skin feels really fresh and awake and still feels very soft and smooth, though I did find this to be harsher, it had be no way left it feeling damaged or had dryed out the skin.
--Dramatically Different Moisturising gel--
Due to my skin being of the slightly 'oily' skin type in my set I recieved the moisturising gel opposed to the lotion, this is so that it is lighter on my skin and will be less likely to clog up my pores or cause even more oils. The moisturising gel is a yellow in colour, though it is a slightly pale yellow and if you compare it to the moisutrising lotion then it looks considerably lighter. It is slightly runny and feels very light and 'clean' to the touch and does not have the same greasiness or thickness to it that other moisturisers can sometimes have. I again use this product straight after the previous and work it into my skin in circular motions. The gel feels very light on the skin, yet at the same time is able to moisturise the skin leaving it feel soft and smooth. Due to this product being very light, my skin feels very awake and radiant after it being applied and does not feel weighty in the slightest.
The only problem I have with this product is that in the winter, my skin sometimes gets very dry on my forehead and I find that the 'gel' texture of this in not quite good enough in order to cope with this so I do find I have to buy a moisturising lotion, opposed to the gel and use this for a month or two over that period, despite this I find that this product works well on my skin and works in sync with all the other products!
~~Results/ How did my skin look~~
I was thorougly impressed with how my skin looked after using this set and the difference in the overall condition and appearance of my skin is amazing! The first time I used the products I noticed a difference, not in the softness or clarity of my skin, but of how radiant it looked and it had a lovely weightless feeling to it!
It took around a week and a half for me to notice the real differences in the appearance of my skin and over this time I could see that my skin was clearing up and was developing a more even skin tone. My skin felt very soft and smooth to the touch and it was nowhere near as oily as it once was and did not have the same 'shiny' appearance. After around 3 weeks of using these products religously day and night is when my skin really started to appear really clear and even in tone. I really loved the fact that it never really felt dry and neither did it ever really feel oily and the Clinique 3-step system had somehow manage to balance out these two factors.
I am often prone to have breakouts, though since using this product I have had very few and if I do they are only very minor. Even after a year or so of using this product my skin has not become 'use' to it and therefore gone back to it's old ways, but the products still work as good now as they have always done! I am so happy with what these products have been able to achieve and I definitley feel a lot more confident in myself with clearer skin as although my skin was never what you would catergorise as being 'bad' it was definitley not the best which just goes to show that Clinique is right in saying 'great skin can be created!'.
I do notice that if I sometimes miss out on the first step (if I am feeling lazy!) and just use the lotion and moisturising gel then the results are not the same and my skin does not feel as good. The results are especially noticable in the morning if I did not do any of the steps at night then I will wake up and my skin will feel tired and 'groggy' like and I may even have a breakout. Therefore, I would say that the products definitley work, but only alongside each other and have to be used every morning and evening in order to see the best results!
~~How long will it last/ Is it good value for money?~~
The products all seem to last me a different period of time. The Clarifying Lotion seems to run out the fastest and lasts me between 3 and 4 months with daily use, every morning and night, whereas the liquid facial was last me between 8 and 10 months with daily use, every morning and night. I prefer the fact they they run out at different times as it means that every so many months I have to go in and buy all 3 products which would be very expensive in one go. I know that the cost is very high, though I do think they are good value for money. They are still more expensive than other brands, though they do last you a decent period of time before needing to repurchase and not only this but they also work and really improved my skin, which to me means that they are very good value for money!
~~Overall / Would I recommend~~
Overall, I love this 3-step system! It has helped improve my skin significantly and although I often thing that people are either blessed with good, clear skin or are unlucky and have slightly worse skin, I definitley beliee that this system can help anyone to achieve good skin. The most difficult bit is probably deciding what *Skin Type* to get as sometimes we can often mistake the type of skin we think we have for something else, however, the ladies at the counter are very helpful and are more than willing to talk you through your skin type in order to see what products will work best for you.
There is no doubt in the fact that I will recommend this product! I know the price may seem a little off putting for most people, especially the full size costs so I would recommend starting with the introductory kits just to make sure you have selected the right type for you in order for you to see the results for yourself! The initial purchase will always be the most expensive, though to me it is definitley worth it and I often buy mine from Boots as they always seem to have a selection of free mini samples they give you, along with that you can also collec Advantage Card points!
I am a college student and have had bad acne during my high school years. I started Clinique my senior year and I can really see great results after using Clinique for a year. The Clinique Skin system works for me even with my dry skin. The cleanser leaves your skin feeling really nice and clean and the toner is good for trouble areas. I would definitely recommend using the toner sparingly though, as it dries out your skin if used excessively. The mousturizer is great and doesn't feel very oily, which is always great in a moisturizer. I would definitley recommend this system to people who have acne prone skin. I would stick to using it because after a month you really notice the difference in your skin!
As someone who has suffered with less than excellent skin from beginning of her teens to the end of them, I can truly recommend these products and this system. It gives you a great daily and nightly routine that although doesn't work miracles, it will allow you to stay on top of your spots and blemishes.
I began using these products when I first started university in late September last year, and I can not begin to explain how much of a god send they were. Firstly, I'm the type of person who used to have to battle with lovely new spots appearing every day, and during a time when I'm meeting new people and am a nervous wreck, my skin was going haywire.
The effect, unfortunately, wasn't immediate, but after a few days I didn't need to check the mirror so profusely any more and my complexion calmed. Over time the products did begin to reduce my redness and general complaints, which for someone with bad skin you notice and are thankful for.
Three products come in this set, the cleanser, tonic and moisturizer. My personal favorite is the tonic, it leaves my skin feeling super clean and refreshed, its a bit of a wake-up or calm down into a morning or nightly routine. The cleanser and moisturizer are good too, because you can actually feel them doing their jobs.
The product lasts as well, I'm just using the last of it now, and I still probably have a good month or two to go.
Don't let the price scare you, overall this product is a good buy and investment for your skin, you won't regret it. I recommend buying this product when an offer is on in clinque, then you get a little bit more for your money and maybe some extra treats!
Having previously reviewed all 3 of the products included in this system seperately, I felt like it was maybe a bit of a cop out to review the system as a whole but after a little bit of thinking, I felt that an overall update over a year later would actually be more helpful than just an initial review as you'll be able to understand just what this system has done to my skin. If you're looking for an initial review on each of the products, then I reviewed them in March 2010, so you'll be able to find those reviews here on dooyoo too.
The 3 step system is something I first heard about almost 3 years ago and after a lot of thinking, I decided to splurge out and purchase it. At this stage in my life, I no longer feel like this is a splurge, I feel like it's more of an investment in my skin and would happily spend more on these products, but when I was in my mid-teens it was definitely a bit of a shock to be paying around £65 for the system when my other facial cleanser was around £2.50!
The system contains 3 products, a facial wash, a toner and a moisturiser. There are 4 different levels, plus the anti-blemish one, so each one is catered for your skin type (or as close to as possible) to ensure that they are doing exactly what your skin wants and needs.
You do get the choice of a liquid or bar facial wash, I always go for the liquid as I feel that it is cleaner - bar soaps tend to harbour bacteria, not something I want to be putting on my face when I'm trying to cleanse my skin!
Each toner comes in a clarifying lotion form (more of a liquid than a lotion, in my opinion) whereas the moisturiser will vary depending on your skin type. Skin types 1 & 2 (very dry, dry combination) will be given the lotion and skin types 3 & 4 (oily, very oily) will be given the gel. Again, this is just so that you're using the best products for your skin type. Each product also comes in a variety of sizes so that you can fit it into your budget. You can buy each set in a travel sized kit, this will provide you with enough to product to last you roughly 3 or 4 months and will cost you £20.
The liquid facial soap only comes in a 200ml bottle, costing £13.
The bar soap is 150g and costs £12.
Each clarifying lotion comes in both 200ml and 400ml, costing £14 and £23 whilst both moisturisers come in a variety of sizes. A 50ml tube will cost you £15, a 125ml bottle with a cap will cost £26 whilst the same bottle with a pump will cost you £27.
Okay, so now we've got the boring part over, let's get to the good stuff!
Before using this system, my skin was very problematic. This may have been down to my hormones as I was around 15 or 16 when I first used it, but either way it was very problematic. Luckily, I've never had to deal with acne but I did always have a breakout or two on my face, with dry patches in some areas whilst other areas were oily. I also dealt with a lot of redness and just generally looked like a bit of a mess. After taking the skin test on the Clinique website to determine which level of the system I should use, I was told I was level 2. You can take this test in store with the help of a Clinique sales assistant, but I personally cannot stand the girls at my local makeup counters as I feel that they care more about their commission than they do about helping me get a product that will work for me, but that's a whole other story!
I decided to buy my level 2 products from boots so that I could earn points on my purchase, and then took it home to test it out. This is not a system that will instantly change your skin, this is definitely a long term system but will give you results like none other. Within a month my breakouts had gone, the dry/oily patches were now even and normal, the redness had been dramatically reduced and my confidence had sky rocketed. This was a few years ago, so how is it now? Has my skin gotten used to these products and become problematic again? What about the changes it went through when I changed birth control and ended up with different hormones circulating my body?
I can honestly say that despite using this for years, my skin has never gotten used to the products in such a way that they stop working. If you're a fan of beauty products you'll probably be aware that hair products and makeup products can stop giving you the results you want when you use them for so long, but this skincare system consistently keeps my skin perfect.
Even with the added hormones of birth control, I never experienced any breakouts and even if my diet leans a bit more towards the unhealthy side, my skin still looks radiant. This isn't to say that I never experience a breakout, I usually get one or two pimples around my chin area during my period. I know that these are purely hormonal rather than a bad skincare routine because pimples around the chin, mouth and jaw area are hormonal whereas pimples on the cheeks, nose and forehead are not.
I use this system twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. This leaves my skin fully prepped for applying my makeup and then nice and clean for going to sleep at night. I have no need to buy a makeup remover anymore as the facial soap removes every single trace of makeup (which to be fair, is quite a lot in my case) with only around 15 seconds of lathering it up and rinsing it off. I then repeat with the facial soap to actually cleanse deep into my skin before finishing with the clarifying lotion and moisturiser.
So let's just summarise for a second, shall we?
My skin has gone from having breakouts to being clear...
Being patchy to being even...
Being red to being nice and peachy...
And all of these results have proven to be consistent over the length of time I've used the products. This is a winner for me!
I can quite happily say that although I occasionally get swayed by new products to try, I always return to this system as it has consistently provided the results I'm after. Like I said earlier, skin care is an investment to me, if you don't have good skin then your face isn't going to be looking it's best. I tend to only purchase this from boots so that I can earn advantage card points, but you can also pick it up in Debenhams where they now do a loyalty card - I'm not very clued up on that though, the Debenhams here in Aberdeen doesn't seem to say much about it! I'll be giving this system 5 stars, simply because I cannot give it 10!
I hope this update was somewhat helpful to you, I know that I personally find updates like this particularly useful because you're then made aware of whether the product works in the long run and is worth the money or not.
Thanks for reading!
When I first discovered and started using the Clinique 3-step skin care system many years ago it felt like a revelation. However, I haven't used it for quite a while now, because while I think it does what it does very well, there are other products out there that do just as well for much less money!
The three steps in the system are cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising. There are different formulations available for different skin types in each step. So for example in the exfoliating step, you have a four different clarifying lotions and you use the most suitable one for your skin type depending on whether you have dry/combination or oily skin.
For cleansing you use either bar or liquid facial soap. In the past these were separate formulations for different skin types but there seems to be one for all skin types now. For exfoliating you use the clarifying lotion mentioned above together with cotton wool pads. For the moisturising step you use the 'Dramatically different moistursing lotion' or a gel formulation for oilier skins.
As I have very dry skin I've always used the number 1 clarifying lotion, which is very mild. It basically does the same thing as a toner. The higher numbered clarifying lotions may be more exfoliating for skins that can take it!
What I found very useful when using this system was that it helped me to understand what kind of products to use and what to avoid on my skin, i.e. for dry, sensitive skin don't use any alcohol-based toner as it will just dehydrate the skin, and avoid heavy duty exfoliatiors as the skin can't take it.
However, now that I know this I see no reason to spend £13 plus a bottle of moisturiser/toner/cleanser. I find that much cheaper brands (Simple is a favourite) do just as well! In addition, I've never really got on with the Clinique moisturiser. It moisturises well enough, but I've always found it had a weird texture, slightly gloopy and sticky when applying - and why they made it yellow I'll never know!
My mother always told me as a child that I should moisturise on a regular basis. Throughout my teens and early twenties, I moisturised occasionally when I could be bothered, but now fast approaching 30, I decided I should be a bit more serious about it. I wear very little make-up, but try to buy relatively decent brands when I do, and Clinique was one of the first ones I bought. I therefore considered them whilst looking for a new moisturiser. Whilst browsing the shelves, a nice lady asked if I wanted to have a skincare consultation which I thoight - 'Why not?' so found myself answering bizarre questions whilst she prodded my skin before announcing I was a skin type 2. She suggested I tried their 3-step system and did a trial on me and showed me all the products. When I heard the price (between £50 and £60), I baulked and said I'd think about it, but then realised I could buy a trial -type kit for a fraction of the cost (£20) so went ahead and bought it on my next visit.
Clinique's philosophy is 'Great Skin Can Be Created'. Their products are supposed to be dermatologically developed, allergy tested and 100% fragrance free. They try to custom-fit different skin types and as a result during the consultation the lady worked out which skin type I was. They have 4 skin types ranging from dry to oily; type 2 is dry combination. This is the product I am reviewing.
--- The 3-step system:
Clinique recommend that you cleanse, tone and moisturise using their 3-step system twice a day. They advertise that it is 3 minutes out of your day to get great skin. The 3 steps include in my pack are a liquid facial soap (mild), a clarifying lotion, and a bottle of dramatically different moisturising lotion. The system is supposed to clean your skin without drying it and then rehydrate it and provide a base for other treatments to be used on, or for make-up. You are supposed to be able to see a difference in your skin in just two weeks.
In this trial pack, the soap is 50 ml. It comes in a green bottle which stands on its lid so that the liquid comes out easily from the flip lid. You are supposed to use this first to remove the dirt from your face. It comes out as a clear liquid which can be rubbed into your face and then washed off before going on to the next step. I don't find that my skin feels that different after using this, but it definitely removes the dirt well!
This comes in a bottle of 100 ml and is a purple colour in the bottle. This is to be wiped across the face to remove any other impurities and dead skin cells and is apparently the 'difference maker'. I use this on a cotton wool pad and have found that my skin feels a lot cleaner and softer after using it. It tingles slightly when you put it on and really hurts if you get it in a cut (!) but feels really nice on your skin once it soaks in.
---Dramatically Different Moisturising lotion:
The one that come in skin type 2 is a lotion and comes in a very annoying 30 ml bottle. It is a small square bottle with a screw lid and you have to tip it to get the lotion out. You can't squeeze it as the bottle is quite solid so I have found the best way to get it out is to shake the bottle first and then you can just tap it onto your finger to get it out. I have read reviews about this product where people have complained about it not being very good but I have found it to work well in conjunction with the other steps. On its own, it sits on top of the skin and doesn't soak in, but with the other steps as well, it makes the skin smooth and soft.
I have been using this for nearly a month now and have been pleased with the results so far. I don't always have time for a full use of these products so once a day I miss out the facial soap and just use the other two. My skin feels so much softer now as a result of using these and the wrinkles on my forehead (frown lines!) have definitely reduced in appearance. I have not had any outbreaks of spots whilst using this and I am very happy to use it. The soft smooth feeling lasts all day which is nice at the end of a long day. My biggest complaint with this it the moisturiser bottle as I do feel it is a silly design and I can imagine that when I get to the bottom of it I will find it hard to get any out. Other than that though, I feel very happy with my purchase. I think it will last me for at least two months but if you use it religiously every day it might not last as long. For £20, I feel that it is a good buy for the effect it has had and I would probably buy it again or purchase the individual products as they run out. 4 stars for me as I can't give it it 5 because of that silly bottle...
I'm a big fan of Clinique, purely because all of their products are natural and dermatolically tested so therefore I don't break out when using them. Unfortunately, I have dry, flaky skin and I've used most of tar products on the market claming to 'nourish and exfoliate' my skin but none seemed to live up to their claims unlike this 'Clinique 3 Step System.' In this package, you get a liquid pump soap; a clarifying lotion and a moisturiser. I brought this from Debanhams for around £40, I know that is expensive but you get quite alot of product for your money and I'm guessing it will last me atleast 3-4 months. The packaging looks very professional and sleek, like something you would find in a spa, and it looks great in my bathroom.
The system works in 3 simple steps:
STEP 1- Firstly, you just wash your face in hot water using Clinique's mild facial soap. The liquid is contained in a tall, pea green, 200ml bottle and claims to give gentle, effective clensing for the needs of dry cheeks and oily t-zones. Retrieving the soap is easy, just press the pump. I tend to use about half a pump, to avoid wasting any, and a small amount really goes a long way. Just wash your face with hot water and massage the soap into your skin and after just gently towel dry your face. After using, my skin feels clean and refreshed.
STEP 2- After the soap, the second step is to cleanse your face with Clinique's clarifying lotion. Similarly, the lotion is contained in a tall bottle and claims to exfoliate your skin and apparently it 'deflakes' your skin's surface to reveal clearer skin. This time, it is a 400ml bottle, which is flighty larger than the soap and in colour it is a cool, pastel purple, almost lilac in colour. For application of this, I use a cotton ball (as instructed) and just apply the smallest amount you can and sweep it lightly over your t-zone, cheeks, chin and throat. My favourite thing about this product is the 'tingly' sensation you get after using, and this apparently means that its working. Most importantly, if you buy this ALWAYS leave the cap screwed tightly on because the lotion is prone to evaporation. I just love the clean, smooth finish I get after using this. My skin doesn't feel tight and uncomfortable which is something I've found with other clensers I've used. Like I said, this also exfoliates but I think this is better than other exfoliators considering it is in liquid form and doesn't have any harsh sand or exfoliating beads in it that just drag the skin and cause premature skin aging.
STEP 3- Obviously, moisturisation is the key to healthy skin and this 'Dramatically Different' moisturising lotion does just that. The lotion is contained in a medium sized, lemon pump dispenser, it doesn't state how much is in the container..I'm guessing about 200ml? I think this moisturiser will last months! There's so much compacted into this bottle and the handy pump ensures no waste, and gives out just the right amount to cover my entire face. After a few uses, I definately saw amazing results - before I used Clinique's 3 step system, my skin always looked dry and I had a few unsightly lines but like the bottle states its a 'Dramatically Different' moisturiser and its definately made a big difference to my skins appearance. For instance, the texture and condition of my skin has improved and makes my complection seem glowing and healthy. Additionally, I use this before applying foundation because it soaks straight into my skin and gives a nice base to work on. The consistancy of this product is very light and it's not heavy like other moisturisers.
After using the 3 Step System, my skin has never felt and looked so healthy and vibrant. I have slight acne on my cheeks but this has definately reduced the redness of that and is gradually reducing the sight of blemishes. More importantly, my skin is no longer dry - it is more dewy and balanced. I will most definately purchase this again. You can buy it at all good retainers (Debanhams, John Lewis, Amazon etc.) and you can get different systems to match your skin type, e.g there is one for oily skin aswell. Great buy, a perfect, effortless skin regime to follow and gives superb results. 5 stars.
Before i used clinique 3 step I always had dry/combination spot free skin, and only used makeup wipes to remove makeup and sometimes a toner and moisturizer if i had time. Flaky skin whilst applying makeup was my biggest issue.
So i started exfoliating more and doing bits here n there to improve my skin but nothing helped long term, they were just temporary changes. I then purchased 3 step from no.7 which worked for about 4 months. At the age of 20 i broke out in big red spots all on my cheeks, a few on forehead and on chin. Although i had spots my skin was still dry and sensitive yet extremely oily in areas.
So i decided enough was enough and it was time to invest in a good facial skin care routine and who better to go to than the 'skincare experts' themselves ''Clinique''.
So i told the lady at the counter that i wanted a good routine and that i generally suffer with combination skin that recently broke out in mild acne. So she recommended system number 2 which includes, mild facial wash, lotion number 2 and dramatically different moisturizing lotion. She said the spots are from not having a solid skin care routine and with this system it should deep cleanse and they will clear up.
The soap part was OK, felt slightly drying after but this can be mistaken by a tight feeling which is apparently perfectly normal to get. The lotion i applied with cotton wool and gently wiped over my face avoiding my eyes which created a stinging tingly sensation, and lastly with the moisturizer i applied a small amount all over face that sunk in quickly however in the morning i would wake up and my skin felt extremely greasy.
This process was done every morning and evening. During the first 2 weeks my skin was extremely sore at times i felt like crying! My eyelids and underneath my eyes were also sore and extremely dry, no matter how much moisturizer i applied to the area, along with dry patches around my mouth and sore areas around the edges of my nostrils that felt like there were sharp cuts in my skin! after 3 weeks my skin adjusted more but i cut down on the number 2 lotion. i carried on this process for about 2 months my acne was exactly the same if not i had even more spots and my skin was still extremely dry and oily in different areas.
So i went back to Clinique. She put me on the anti blemish system, works exactly the same but specially designed for spot prone skin. The facial soap was fine really removed that greasy feeling, the lotion didn't really sting and the moisturizer wasn't too bad apart from i felt it didn't hydrate my skin enough. after 4 weeks i noticed my skin became itchy in areas and i had eczema rashes in areas on my face and neck! Around my eyes the skin was dry EXTREMELY ITCHY PUFFY DRY SWOLLEN and VERY VERY SORE! along with the acne i felt awful about myself. i had spent so much on these products and nothing helped get rid of my spots, only give me other skin issues to worry about.
I visited the doctors and they prescribed me with an acne treatment lotion for spots and a steroid cream around my eyes. i used and it all cleared up however took a good 2/3 months. I now only use a cheap Johnsons facial wash and lotion with an eye-cream and occasionally tone. However as a result from using Clinique i have very sensitive skin.
I will never ever use Cliniques products again. Many people i know have tried the moisturizer and its given them spots. For a company to claim that all their products are allergy tested making people believe in them and that they can create great skin for anyone i agree to differ! (Oh i forgot to mention when i returned the products the ladies answer was ''Clinique's products don't always suit everyone!'') It cannot be good for your facial skin to strip away layers with something that stinks of alcohol then to shove in artificial chemicals found in the moisturizer twice a day!
...For its price they can stick it where the sun don't shine!!
I started using Clinique three step around nine months ago and the products are the best I have ever used.
I use the range for dry skin which includes a cleansing bar,mild clarifying lotion and moisturiser,there is a liquid soap available too.
The cleansing bar cost £12 for 150g and although it may seem pricey for a bar of soap it lasts for a very long time and you only need to use a very small amount to get a good wash and it's very gentle.
I thought that my skin would feel dehydrated after using this but it doesn't.
The clarifying lotion cost £14 for a 200ml bottle;I use the mild one and that is the only size available but in skin types 1-4 there is a larger bottle available which retails at approximately £23 for 400ml.
The clarifying lotion is really gentle and soothing and doesn't sting at all.
The moisturiser comes in either a tube which costs £15 for 50ml, a bottle without a pump that costs £15 for 50ml or £26 for 125ml and for skin types 1 and 2 it comes in a pump dispenser and costs £27 for 125ml.
The one I use is the pump dispenser; only a small amount of the moisturiser is needed and it absorbs very well.
My skin feels really good after using these products and whilst I was previously using anti ageing products to keep away the fine lines I find that all I need now is Clinique three step.
I first tried these products back in February 2010. I was browsing through Debenhams and they made an announcement that if you spent over £40 on anything from the Clinique range then you would get a free make up bag with selected make up worth up to £30. I was getting married in 3 months and wanted to have flawless skin and some advice. I decided it was worth a go so I sat down at one of the seats and spoke to a representative.
She assessed my skin type and then proceeded to show me the products and try them on my skin. I was told I have a dry combination skin type. She gave loads of advice and explanations about my skin and how it works, also about skin in general.
She first used the liquid facial soap, then the clarifying lotion, then the moisturising lotion. She showed me where to apply the moisturiser so as not to make greasy areas worse. I was told to use this 3-step system every morning and every evening. I was told I may get a few spots to begin with but I would see a difference to my skin within a couple of weeks.
I purchased the trial 3-step system for dry combination skin. It cost £20 which included 50ml facial soap, 100ml clarifying lotion and 30ml moisturising lotion. It was more then I usually spent on skin care products but I believed it would work. I also purchased and eye cream for £22 which reduced dark circles and puffiness. More than I would normally spend but it was for my wedding day and I was willing to try anything for the perfect skin. Plus I wanted the free gift! I was so pleased it worked, even my husband commented on my eyes looking less dark!
Basically you have to remove your make up (I got a free make up remover with the free gift) then follow the 3 steps as instructed. I did this religiously and within about a week my skin looked radiant! I was so impressed and so happy with my purchase. The only problem I found was after about 2 or 3 weeks my skin started to feel very dry because the moisturiser was not meant to be used for all of my face so I was beginning to get dry patches. I changed the routine and only used it once a day, in the evening. My skin did start to feel better and not so dry. You can buy another sort of moisturiser to cover all of your face but I haven't bothered yet because I have a moisturiser that I'm happy with and I don't need much after completing these 3 steps.
All in all this is a really good product and I would recommend purchasing it if you have problem skin. I think it was well worth the £20 I spent.
I have been a regular user of the Clinique 3- step system for at least 10 years now! I can recommend its use like that of another reviewer- alongside other products such as dabs of a richer moisturiser especially across the upper cheek area (where my skin, for example, needs more 'juice'!). I still find the soap/ wash gel and exfoliator indispensable to my daily routine, however. I recently exchanged the 'purple' exfoliator (no.2) for the 'pink' one (no.3), as the Clinique lady suggested that I try alternating these as the skin apparently becomes used to the exfoliating qualities of one level. I can't say that I have noticed a huge difference between the two; I sense that it is 'softer' on my skin than no. 2, which is no bad thing since I still get dry skin across my cheekbones. I would advise experimenting with different levels across the product range and DEFINITELY replacing the ordinary moisturiser with an alternative which incorporates at least a factor 15 sunscreen. Clinique would advise that there is a sunscreen product in their range which needs to be added on top; however, the less expensive, more practical alternative to that suggestion is just to buy another moisturiser with that protection built in.
I had always heard so many great things about the clinique 3 step system, so when I finally had some spare cash, I was very excited to try it! My skin is quite dry, with occasional breakouts, and I was looking forward to using a professional brand of skincare that would sort it out for me. However, the experience I got was not what I would expect from a luxury brand.
First of all, the marketing. I liked having the opportuity to discuss my skins needs one to one with someone who could give me advice and tell me what product to use, but the sales pitch was a little to overbearing for me. For a start, there were the wild claims of the saleslady, which included the fact that 'the soap contains an ingredient that attracts oxygen to the skin, so it can breathe', I'm no scientist, but with even the most basic knowledge of biology I can categorically state that skin does not breathe! But I thought that the reviews I'd heard and read of the stuff were good enough evidence that it worked, so I purchased my mini 3 step system and went on my way.
The packaging is fairly standard, the box has a picture of the three products on the front, and there is an instructional leaflet inside the box. In the mini 3 step system box, there are three miniature sized bottles of the products. When I first saw them, I thought 'rip off!', but the bottles have lasted over a month, and all still have at least half their contents.
The mild liquid facial soap is in a green squeezy bottle, the clarifying lotion is in a clear bottle with a green top, and the dramatically different moisturising lotion is in a clear, smaller bottle with a silver top.
The mild liquid facial soap is clear, and is to be foamed between wet hands before rubbed onto the wet face. Massage it in for about 15-30 seconds. This is supposed to cleanse the face of impurities. The claryfying lotion is to be used next, it is a purple tonic (which smells awful, like paint-stripper!), and is applied to a cotton ball, which is then swept over the face for about 30 seconds. Finally, you use the dramatically different moisturising lotion, a small amount of which you massage into your face until it is absorbed.
Within two days of using the 3 step system (2, for dry/combination skin) my skin was a disaster zone. My cheeks were covered in dry, raw patches, my forehead, eyebrows and chin were covered in spots. I know that sometimes when you use a new product, however, that you can break out after using it, so I decided to persevere, and use more moisturiser! After using this product for about a month, I have discovered it keeps my skin perfectly clear as long as I don't use it too often. Instead of using all three products twice a day, I use the facial soap and the moisturiser once or twice a day, and the clarifying lotion two or three times a week.
I would recommend this product to people with oily skin, as I think if your skin needed drying out a bit, this would do this trick! If you have dry skin, I would advise using another moistuiser with it, and not using the clarifying lotion too often.
Although it keeps my skin clear now, it took trial and error to work out how best to use this product; if I'd continued to follow the saleslady's orders, my skin would still be horrific. It is very good for keeping skin clear, but can be drying of used to often, so use it sparingly if your skin isn't really oily!
Skin's moisture 'drink'. Helps replenish lost moisture and maintain optimal moisture balance for very dry skins, or skin dry in the cheeks and comfortable to oily in the T-Zone. Works to soften smooth and improve the texture and condition of your skin. To use: Apply twice a day to face and throat all over, or where needed.