Clinique Acne Solutions

Clinique Acne Solutions Kit
Basic Kit: Cleanser, Toner, Moisturizer in smaller sizes for $32.50 USD

Line also features: Spot treatments, concealer, scar treatment, mask

There are two kinds of skincare folks: those that despise Clinique's original 3 Step system and those that love it because it works for them.  The original 3 Step never worked for me. They tried to figure out my skin type (I believe my skin has it's own bizarre category) more times than I could remember, but it just never worked. So, when I saw they released an acne line I was also skeptical--but desperate. I needed a simple routine that wasn't super expensive like the products I had been trying (I have tried pretty much everything on the shelves in Sephora) and one that was easy to obtain.

The only other skincare line I have really had success with was Shiseido's Pureness line, but it had more steps, was expensive, and wasn't specifically focusing on blemishes. If you have oily skin with few blemishes, I highly recommend Shiseido's Pureness line. But if you need extra help, then I really think this line from Clinique is a great buy.

Though various products in the line use both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, these formulations aren't harsh (only the clear spot treatment stings me, but it works!) As you've probably read before, I have sensitive skin and need to be careful with everything I put on my face. Benzoyl peroxide has always been the most effective on my skin to treat blemishes, but the wrong concentration can burn and irritate instead of heal. Luckily with the Clinique Acne Solutions, the 2.5% concentration in the moisturizer is fantastic and suitable for use all over the face. The toner doesn't sting me and the foaming cleanser leaves my skin feeling refreshed.

Here's a tip: I don't use ALL of the products twice a day. I really believe the way and frequency you use products can affect how they work for you. See, since my skin is sensitive I could easily go overboard with this line and do more harm than good. So this is how I incorporate the line into my routine.

AM Routine:

  • Cleansing Foam
  • Toner
  • Prime
  • Makeup Time!

PM Routine:

  • Remove makeup with a cleansing oil (Do not use the foaming cleanser to remove makeup. I firmly believe in the double-cleanse method, where you use another product to remove makeup whether it is cleansing oil, jojoba oil, cold cream or whatever before you use your skin treatments. Otherwise it's like showering with your clothes on! Post on that coming soon.)
  • Wash face with cleansing foam using the Clarisonic brush. Clarisonic says to use a non-foaming cleanser with it, but I'm just a rebel like that :P
  • Toner
  • Moisturize (sometimes I alternate with a retinol cream like Philosophy's Help Me, which has been fantastic so far)
  • Spot treat (some people would say spot treat before, but I spot treat after since rubbing on moisturizer could rub the spot treatment right off!)
I understand my methods are probably different from what you might have read in beauty magazines or heard from your dermatologist, but this has been my experience:

1. Beauty magazines generalize way too much. Not everyone fits into one skin category perfectly, so what happens? You buy a million products based on recommendations that might not be meant for your SPECIFIC type. Don't be afraid to think outside the box. Experiment with skin care and break the rules.

2. But Lourdes, you're over exfoliating!  No, I'm not. My skin is VERY sluggish and if I didn't use the Clarisonic along with the products, which have exfoliants in the form of acids, my skin would be dull with clogged pores and more breakouts. This is the method that has worked for me after YEARS of experimentation (and many worthless visits to various dermatologists.) My esthetician has noticed a significant improvement and sees no damage to my skin because of this method. 

3. I can't say my method will work for you or guarantee anything, but I do know that skincare is rarely a cookie cutter experience. You need to experiment, learn about products and not just buy things because the label says "dry skin" or "oily skin" on it. There are many products for oily skin that are too harsh for me, just like there are dry skin products too rich for some dry skin types. If you use a "system" type skincare like the Clinique Acne Solutions, it also doesn't mean you have to use the exact products twice a day. 

I really recommend this line to those of you desperate to get your skin under control. It's not too expensive and if you buy it during Clinique gift time, you can get yourself some extra goodies! Make sure you ask about return policy in case it doesn't work for you and keep your receipt! If you feel the system is too strong at first, try alternating or cutting back on certain products like I did until you find the routine that works for you. I've  repurchased these products around 4 times now, so they are definitely a beauty favorite for me. I hope it works for you too!

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