Tried & Tested: Clinique 3-Step

candice-swanepoelWith products tailored to your skin type – Soap to cleanse, Clarifying Lotion to exfoliate, and Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion or Gel to hydrate, the Clinique 3-Step system remains one of the most simple, effective, and top-selling routes to a beautiful, healthy-looking complexion which is why I decided I needed to put it to the test by trialing the 3 step system everyday, twice a day for a month.

The 3 steps include:

1. Cleanse with Clinique soap in Extra-Mild, Mild, or Oily Skin Formula variations to refresh and purify skin without ever leaving it dry, tight, or uncomfortable.

2. Exfoliate with one of Clarifying Lotion’s multiple formulations to get glowing skin and help your moisturiser work its magic.

3. Moisturise with the global favourite Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion or Gel to give every skin the drench of moisture it needs to remain supple, soft and healthy looking.

Week 1

To start me on my one month trial I was booked in for a Clinique skin care consultation so they could work out exactly what skin type I was; type 2 skin – oily/combination , prescribe me with the correct products and of course show me exactly how to use them.

I am only a week into the trial so to be honest I haven’t really noticed much of a difference in my skin other than that it looks a bit brighter than it usually does, which is always a good thing I guess.

The one thing that does annoy me a bit about the system is having to remove my makeup before I cleanse (step 1). I hate having to remove my makeup at night at the best of times so having a makeup remover blended in with the cleanser would have been ideal.

I generally don’t use toners because they dry out my skin so I was a little skeptical about using the Clarifying Lotion (step 2) but to my surprise, it’s amazing. It is an alcohol based toner so it does have quite a strong alcohol smell to it but it works wonders in removing dead skin cells, reducing the size of the pores and it leaves your skin feeling fresh and clean without over drying. The one thing I will mention is for the first two or three days my skin did go a little red and sting after use but I think that’s just because my skin wasn’t use to the product as it has completely stopped now.

Week 2

The mantra of daily beauty care is Cleanse-Tone-Moisturise, but Clinique slightly changed this mantra to Cleanse-Exfoliate-Moisturise. For any woman who has ever used a beauty product, this can sound like a harsh regime to use every day, because exfoliating products often contain tiny solid particles that scrub away dead skin. Exfoliating makes skin soft, smooth, clean and glowing, but it’s really just a once-a-week ritual. But as I mentioned last week Clinique substituted something different for their own exfoliating step – a ‘Clarifying Lotion’ that ‘de-flakes’ rather than scrubs away dead skin. As you know I had a few issues with the Clarifying Lotion during week one (redness and stinging) but now I’m in love! It has honestly worked wonders on my complexion and I’m pretty sure it also ‘brightens’ my skin. I’m still using a facial scrub once a week or fortnight, I don’t think the Clarifying Lotion can replace that  but I’ve been very impressed by the clearness of my skin since I started the 3 step system, in particular the Clarifying Lotion.

P.S Even my boyfriend has already noticed a difference in my skin, apparently it’s never looked better!


Week 3

When I first started using the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion the directions indicated that it’s only to be used on dry areas of the skin, and that raised alarm bells with me straight away because it means that I have to use yet more products on the other ‘non-dry’ areas and take more time in the morning putting a little bit of this here and a little bit of that there.

In practice, because mornings can be a rush, I wasn’t terribly careful about hunting down the ‘dry areas’ to dab this on, and I was quite blasé about smearing this on my face and neck. A word of warning – if you use this and have quite sensitive eyes (as I do) leave a big area around them, because this moisturiser is very unforgiving and will sting if it gets onto the delicate skin around your eyes.

That said, Dramatically Different Moisturiser lives up to its reputation, and my skin felt incredibly smooth and soothed after applying it. It absorbs into the skin almost right away, and gives a wonderful sheer base for my make up – although I do wish the cream wasn’t bright yellow, which I think off-putting and unnecessary in a moisturiser!

Week 4 – Clinique 3-Step Overview

I must say when I was first asked to try the Clinique 3-step skincare system and blog about my results I was a little hesitant as it’s not often you find a skincare product that actually delivers what it promises. But as it turns out I can honestly say I think the 3-Step routine is amazing; it’s getting the right combination of products that’s the tricky part!

The key thing is to know your skin type (combination/dry/oily, and how sensitive your skin is) before you buy! I was impressed with some of the sales assistant’s knowledge, but some of his recommendations were a little off base for my skin and I think I should have been more aware of the product ranges beforehand. For example I was prescribed the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion which is for dry to combination skin and I suffer from combination to oily skin so think I would have benefited more from the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. Clinique are usually very good about giving free samples when you’re buying other products, so the next time you buy anything Clinique ask if you can try out a couple of the 3-step samples.

I would also note that you need to be careful about which Clarifying Lotion you use as you don’t want to completely strip the natural oils from your skin and the one I tried was very astringent, which was great for my oily skin – but even then, over-washing and applying astringents can make skin ‘rebel’ and over-compensate and become even more oily!

When I first started using the 3-step system I had heard of people experiencing breakouts in the first weeks from all the impurities being drawn out of their skin, then their skin started to clear up and the ‘good skin’ emerged. As a result I had prepared myself for this to happen but luckily it didn’t and my skin started to clear up just in a few days. The only minor issues I had to start with was a little redness and stinging as my skin got use to the new products.

Overall I was really pleased with the results, my skin is looking much healthier and has this beautiful glow about it so I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the 3-step system. But like I said before just make sure you get the correct products for your skin and try out some samples first so you can test your skins reaction.


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