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Toners - Clinique - Clarifying Lotion #2



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rated 2.9(373 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 2.9
  • 46% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.0
  • Price: $$$

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rated 5 of 5 on 7/25/2011 11:22:00 PM More reviews by purplebox

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Black, Relaxed, Fine Eyes: Brown

The best facial toner and people probably keep this to themselves as it's their beauty secret.

Many people will tell you that this product is harmful because of the alcohol content, it smells worse than nail varnish, etc.

Let me explain:
1. Clinique values in producing skin care for the most sensitive skin.
2. They believe in fragrance free application - especially for the face.
3. Every toner in the world smells almost the same afterall they share similar ingredients. But to cover up the toner-ish smell, they pump it up with fragrance (Loccitane, Kiehls, etc) marketing them with fruits extract, etc.
4. Of course with Clinique, you're getting it simple and bare - without the fragrance.
5. The alcohol content in Clinique is very minimal and it's infused only to reactive the other ingredients to make it work gently. It does not, like most people claim, harm your skin. Clinique has been around for years and if this is a huge concern of the people, do you think they will continue with this? They're the skin experts.
6. Most toners from other brands eg. toners with cucumber extract, etc are all flavouring "to an extend" and it contains colouring. Colouring doesn't just evaporates, it has to go somewhere and therefore absorbs into your skin, and you're locking them in with your moisturizer = Not good.
7. People like to pick put specific ingredients to discredit its use on skin. Let me tell you that it's not about the individual ingredients but the "combination" of ingredients to bring the best out of each ingredients that works together = that's why they call it a 'formula'. You can have all the best ingredients in a bottle and yet react negatively with one another.

I've tried many other toners, Kiehls, loccitane, after trying Clinique as I was attracted to the gentle fragrance and smooth texture of the rest but always ended up coming back to Clinique. I want results. Not the comfortable process without producing results. Toner applications only take up 5 secs of your daily routine after all.

Clinique has truly set the benchmark for other skin care brands, trying to market better solutions to people with being oil-free, ALCOHOL-free, with a sweet attractive scent.

Clinique is all bare. Simple. fragrance free, minimal application. Just the right balance to make your skin clean, smooth, soft, hydrated and perfectly prepped to lock in moisture without colouring-fragrance-pretty packaging-fruity nonsense. And again, the alcohol level is so minimal and neccessary to activate and shifts the other ingredients in the mildest way to work with our skin.

It's the best toner for me, and unlike other toners which has fruit / high flowery extracts, I can keep my toner for ages and it still works the same. And will not turn yellow, or fungus-y. Just a simple formula without the unnecessary.

What I like about clinique products in general is that they are created with expert care and passion. That's why they have so few varieties under their label. Some brand comes up with everything...all kinds of products to meet this and that which just shows how simply the ingredients were matched just to market the product out of demand. Clinique, to me, values on only producing products that they have perfected and are passionate about. Every item was given so much trials and dedication to give us the perfect skin.

If u reject this toner after just a few application due to the smell, you are losing out. That's all I can say. I get compliments all the time due to my flawless baby-skin and this is my secret.

9 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 1 of 5 on 3/24/2006 1:23:00 PM More reviews by mirimiri

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

Skin type: Combination skin with slightly schizoid T-zone, very blemish-prone.




I have used Clinique's Clarifying Lotion #2 to and fro for about 10 years; longest coherent period of usage is probably around a month.




The price for this product is completely over the top; $20 (approx. here in Sweden) for what is basically laboratory grade alcohol with some witch hazel extract and colouring agents is bleeping ludicrous. The desinfectant properties of alcohol disappear quickly enough through evaporation and the witch hazel will at most act as an anti-oxidant (if there's enough of it) and anti-irritant -- though not enough of an anti-irritant to remedy the effects of the alcohol. Perhaps the glycerin could show some benefit, but I doubt it as there's not much of it.




I noticed no effect on my skin save for a temporary rosy complexion when using it and the tingly and rather unpleasant effect of the menthol (I'm a wuss, I know). No difference in the number of breakouts, and no difference in my complexion overall. Using this as a stand-alone toner instead of in the 3 step system didn't change anything either. I've finally decided to stop buying this and start using something that actually works instead.




If this toner works for you, keep using it. If you're considering buying it; don't. There's nothing in this bottle that could justify shelling out the money.




Ingredients: alcohol denat: aqua purificata (regular de-ionized water): witch hazel: glycerin: menthol: sodium borate: ext. D & C Violet no. 2 (Cl 60730), D & C Red No. 33 (Cl 17200), D & C Red No. 6 (Cl 15850).

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 12/14/2007 8:41:00 AM More reviews by lizaweissgerber

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

This product works if you use it correctly. It is not a toner. It is a chemical exfoliator. The sting is only the feel of menthol.
Use a cotton ball NOT a pad otherwise you will use too much. You only need to tip the bottle ONCE on to the cotton ball then wipe over your face ONCE not over and over. Keep away from your eye area. Use am then pm before ddml/ddmg and you will have great skin in no time. This does work but you need to use it properly, if you don`t use it the right way then you are likely to be dissapointed with the results. To all you clarifying lotion haters out there, give it another go!!

8 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 1/31/2011 3:23:00 PM More reviews by kms83

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I am writing to review the NEW, reformulated versions of this lotion.

I have been using Clinique on and off for the last 10 years. I always used Clarifying Lotion 2 (although I've had brief affairs with 1 and 3), along with the soap and DDMG. I have also used the Anti-Blemish range to great effect. But after it all got too drying and got fed up of using like 10 products to get reasonable feeling skin, I had sworn off Clinique for life.

With money burning a hole in my pocket and running out of my current stuff (Origins), I stopped off at the Clinique counter to ask them what was different about the new Clarifying Lotions. I was told by a helpful SA that they had added moisturising agents and an anti-oxidant package. I was still unsure, so she offered to try it on my skin. She went through the whole 3 step routine and tried each step on my face. When it got to the Clarifying Lotion, I felt the tingle and waited for my face to feel tight - but it didn't. It was soft and hydrated. She put the DDMG over the top and I walked out the store. Normally, I have to put a second moisturiser on, but went the whole day without it.

Every time I use it, my skin feels soft and smooth. Must say I wish they'd have done this sooner!

They were doing an offer where you buy the Clarifying Lotion and got a 30ml sample of the Liquid Facial Soap and DDMG for free. So I went back the next day and bought it. Waiting for bonus time to buy the soap and DDMG, although I might opt for the bar soap as I think the liquid soap is too drying (due to the SLS and SLES).



5 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 1 of 5 top reviewer on 11/2/2010 3:08:00 PM More reviews by Dive14

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Blond, Kinky, Medium Eyes: Green

Oh. My. God. Why do I do this to myself? Just why? My skincare routine (I barely had one) was so simple and working out great for me but then I randomly decided I needed a toner in my life. I blame the mantra "cleanse, tone, moisturize". I don't know anyone that cleanses, tones and moisturizes on even a sporadic basis and to me it actually seems like the ones who care least/do least to their skin always have the most flawless complexions!! Anyway, I would just like to clarify that this is, in fact, rubbing alcohol. If you would like to completely strip your skin of its protective acid mantle layer in one easy step then I urge you to try this. It also stings like a mother. This cannot be good.

5 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 1 of 5 on 12/4/2013 6:54:00 AM More reviews by Lochinvar

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Yuk. Just Yuk. Old fashioned stringent stuff that dries my skin out and doesnt' do my skin any favours.

Seriously, rubbing alcohol would be better value for money and less revolting on my skin.

This is everything a bad old fashioned toner was. Its everything a toner should not be. I regret spending money on this stuff. Isocol rubbing alcohol or turpentine would have been better value for money.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 1 of 5 on 1/28/2013 6:35:00 AM More reviews by pauvres

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I had a horrendous experience with Clinique products, considering that their toners would NOT balance out my combination skin, and would rather flare up my already flared up dry patches. The smell was horrendous, and it was interesting and rather disheartening to read on the back of the bottle that it is, indeed, flammable. Considering that liquids are generally flammable at 40% alcohol, you'll see why this toner is a definite no go. Why anyone would put this on their face is beyond me.

My sister uses hers as nail polish remover, let that sink in for a second.

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 1/3/2009 7:54:00 PM More reviews by SimplyManda

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Straight, Other Eyes: Other

First of all, this is NOT a toner. It is meant to be a gentle chemical exfoliant. I started using it a couple months ago in addition to the liquid cleanser in mild and I have just purchased my first full sized bottle (when I used up the trial sized). I am very impressed with how it exfoliates my the dull, dead skin on my face. It has also helped clear up my acne break outs when no acne wash could fully do so. My face is smooth and I can actually see the color in my cheeks now that the dead skin is gone. I hope to continue using this for a long time. A couple words of warning: the bottle is huge so get the trial sized first if you're not sure; the feeling is very intense especially at first and on any pimples it will sting, so be prepared; have someone at the Clinique counter find your skin type and aim for the lower one if you're not sure- they typed me as a dry combo type (2) and I was skeptical but now I'm glad I went with this because anything stronger would have been too harsh; give the results a few weeks to show, it will take at least three weeks. I'm very happy with my results.

Edit: Months later, I'm taking off a lippie because after continual use this stuff starts to feel harsh on my face. So I rotate it in now and then, but I can't use it all the time or my face starts to feel overexfoliated.

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 1 of 5 top reviewer on 6/10/2013 3:11:00 PM More reviews by Walko

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Why do Clinique keep giving me these awful toners as a GWP. I DO NOT want them!This stuff had the same effect on my skin as the last Clinique toner I tried.It burns!! I am not sensitive. Truly awful, but hardly surprising as alcolhol denat is 2nd on the ingredients list.And witch hazel and menthol, OUCH!!! This amount of alcohol is NOT a preservative. It causes cell damage and collagen breakdown.Even on young oily skins this will do more harm than good in the long run.The only Clinique toner worth consideration is the mild cloudy one.I do use Clinique products and love them , but this toner, exfoliant , clarifying lotion or whatever you want to call it makes me cringe!Stay well clear would be my advice!

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 3 of 5 on 3/28/2011 3:54:00 PM More reviews by kwcarr

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

Clarifying Lotion 2 - 3 stars for newest formula, 5 stars for original formula

It is hard to tell which Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 formula comments are being made on. There are 3 formulations and most of the Counter reps are not even aware of this.

Original Formula
INGREDIENTS: ALCOHOL DENAT., WATER\AQUA\EAU, HAMAMELIS VIRGINIANA (WITCH HAZEL), GLYCERIN, MENTHOL, SODIUM BORATE, EXT. VIOLET 2 (CI 60730), RED 33 (CI 17200), RED 6 (CI 15850), [ILN29288]

Clinique, please bring back this formula. It gently exfoliates, minimizes pores and firms and moisturizes the skin. Denatured Alcohol is very gentle and not the same as rubbing alcohol. It does not dry the skin as so many want to believe. It also was a very clean smell and feel and I donít need to use a moisturizer. Doubt if there is any of this formula left on store shelves or in back stock. I bought all they had at stores in my area back in Oct 2009. I still have 5 large bottles.

Reformulated late summer/early fall 2009, never announced
INGREDIENTS: WATER\AQUA\EAU, ALCOHOL DENAT., HAMAMELIS VIRGINIANA (WITCH HAZEL), GLYCERIN, MENTHOL, SODIUM BICARBONATE, EXT. VIOLET 2 (CI 60730), RED 33 (CI 17200), RED 6 (CI 15850), [ILN29288]

This was horrible. Clogged pores, caused acne. There was more water than denatured alcohol. Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) replaced sodium borate. And the overwhelming smell of Witch Hazel was very, very unpleasant. There is still plenty of this formula left on store shelves. Make sure you read the ingredients before buying. Clinique, please bring back the original formula.

Reformulated late 2010/early 2011 with magazine advertisements regarding new formulas
INGREDIENTS: WATER\AQUA\EAU, ALCOHOL DENAT., GLYCERIN, SALICYLIC ACID, HAMAMELIS VIRGINIANA (WITCH HAZEL), MENTHOL, TREHALOSE, SODIUM HYALURONATE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, DISODIUM EDTA, BHT, PHENOXYETHANOL, BENZOPHENONE-4, RED 6 (CI 15850), RED 33 (CI 17200), VIOLET 2 (CI 60730), [ILN37004]

This new formula is drying most likely due to the Salicylic Acids, doesnít exfoliate, minimize pores and firm skin as well. It does have the smell of the original formula for the most part. Clinique, please bring back the original formula.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No