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Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1 vs 2 (The Definitive Guide)

We’re back today with an in-depth comparison of two gems fulfilling the same step from Clinique's 3-step routine system: the Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1 and the Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2.

Let's dive into the nitty-gritty of these two skincare heroes and figure out which is best for you and your skin.

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Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1 vs 2

The Basics

As stated in the intro, both Clarifying Lotions 1 and 2 (not to be confused with steps 1 and 2) are options for step 2 in Clinique’s signature 3-Step Skin Care System, acting as the intermediary between cleansing and moisturizing. These dermatologist-developed liquid exfoliators are designed to clear away pollution, grime, and dulling flakes to reveal smoother, brighter skin. Plus, they prep the skin for moisturizer, allowing for better hydration and treatment product absorption.

The use instructions for both products are the same. After cleansing with facial soap, sweep over the face and throat using a cotton ball, twice daily. Following this, apply your favorite Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion or Gel. Remember, these products are for external use only, and it's always a good idea to avoid the eye area.

But, with so many similarities, what exactly sets these two apart? Well, the main difference lies in the skin type each product is designed for. Clarifying Lotion 1 is specifically formulated for Very Dry to Dry Skin (Type 1), while Clarifying Lotion 2 caters to Dry Combination Skin (Type 2). Understanding your skin type is crucial in choosing the right product for you.

Ingredients and Their Effects

Looking at the ingredients lists, you'll notice some overlaps (which is to be expected), but you'll also notice some unique ingredients in each formulation which might make you reach for one over the other. Both lotions contain Water, Denatured Alcohol, Glycerin, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), and Acetyl Glucosamine. These common ingredients contribute to the products' overall exfoliating and hydrating benefits.

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 includes an additional ingredient, Trehalose, which is known for its superior hydration properties. This might be the reason why it is recommended for Dry Combination Skin - the Trehalose would help to balance the hydration levels across different zones of the face.

On the other hand, Clarifying Lotion 1 boasts the inclusion of Salicylic Acid, a highly efficient exfoliating ingredient, and Tetrahydroxypropyl Ethylenediamine, which helps to adjust the pH of the product. In theory, this would make it a great choice for those with Very Dry to Dry skin who need extra help with exfoliation and moisture absorption.

What to Expect

With twice-daily exfoliation, both products help to minimize excess oil and keep pores clear. They also help remove surface flakes, which can be a barrier to moisture absorption. You'll likely notice that fine dry lines start to disappear after regular use, leaving your skin smoother and brighter.

But remember, while both lotions promise similar results, the skin type they're formulated for will impact their effectiveness. Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2, with its additional Trehalose, might deliver more balanced hydration for those with combination skin. In contrast, the Salicylic Acid and Tetrahydroxypropyl Ethylenediamine in Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1 could provide more efficient exfoliation and moisture absorption for those with very dry to dry skin.

It's also worth considering the fact that some people find the alcohol content of both lotions to be too much, especially with sensitive skin. Having personally tried Clarifying Lotion 2 (I have combination, dry skin), my skin felt nice and smooth upon first application, but I'm not entirely convinced that my skin would've been happy with me if I used it twice a day like Clinique suggests you should. I could already feel my skin feeling taut after the second use.

Final Thoughts

As we wrap up this comparison, it's important to remember that skincare is not a one-size-fits-all journey. Both Clinique Clarifying Lotions 1 and 2 have their unique strengths and formulations tailored for specific skin types. Lotion 1 is aimed more towards very dry skin, offering more potent exfoliation and moisture absorption. On the other hand, Lotion 2, which I have personally tried, is designed for dry combination skin, providing balanced hydration across different zones of the face.

However, it's crucial to note that these lotions, while delivering on their promises for most people, may not be for everyone. The alcohol content in both formulations could be a potential issue for those with sensitive skin.

In essence, these lotions epitomize the YMMV (your mileage may vary) aspect of skincare. What works for one might not work as well for another, even with the same skin type. It's all about finding the products that align with your skin's unique needs and tolerances, and sometimes it's a case of trial & error. When trying new skincare products, please remember to patch-test first!

Clarifying Lotion 1 by Clinique, gentle exfoliator sweeps away dulling flakes.

Clarifying Lotion 1 by Clinique

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Gentle exfoliator sweeps away dulling flakes.

What makes it special? Gentle, refreshing formula is the difference-maker for healthy skin. Sweeps away pollution, grime, dulling flakes to reveal smoother, clearer skin. Preps skin for moisturiser—exfoliated skin is more receptive to hydration and treatment products.

Which skin types? Very Dry to Dry skin.

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Clarifying Lotion 2 by Clinique, A clarifying lotion for Dry Combination Skin (Type 2)

Clarifying Lotion 2 by Clinique

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A clarifying lotion for Dry Combination Skin (Type 2).

What makes it special? Gentle dermatologist-developed liquid exfoliator sweeps away dulling flakes, excess oil, clearing the way for smoother, brighter skin. Preps skin for moisturizer.

Which skin types? Combination Dry skin.

Find the best price on Amazon

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