This 3 step system has saved my skin. I have been using the 3 step for about 2 years now and with great success. I use everything right down to Clinique makeup. I dont find the 3 step to be too harsh either. Is it on the high side? Yes. Is it worth it to me? Totally!!
Clinique's slogan for this line was "Kill them with kindness" so I expected that my sensitive dry combination skin would react pretty well to this. I started out using all 3 steps twice a day, but had to taper down to using the moisturizer only at night and the toner once every 2 or 3 days because I just found it to be way too drying. The first week when I used this continuously my face was so tight that I had a hard time raising my eyebrows! Granted it was also winter so that probably didn't help. On the bright side, this helped to clear up some of the whiteheads and smaller pimples but didn't do anything for my cystic acne. It did seem to even my skin tone out a bit though. I eventually gave up on it just because cystic acne was my major concern and I was tired of having such tight, dried-out skin all the time. This may be better suited to those with oily, less sensitive skin.
Packaging was neat and clean looking, I liked the hygienic squeeze bottle for the moisturizer, pricy compared to drugstore brands but about the same price as other products from the same brand.
I have been using this for about a month now, and I really think it has made a difference. My skin is a lot clearer, and I haven't gotten a full-on breakout since I've started using it. However, there are a couple of things that I feel I should mention:
1)I don't like the moisturizer. I have very sensitive dry skin and I've found that clearing moisturizers just don't work for me. I tried using it just every other day but even that was too harsh. Now I just use the first two steps and moisturize using a very mild all natural moisturizer, which makes my skin a lot happier.
2)The toner can be a little harsh. It is alcohol based and it does sting a little bit when you apply it. It hasn't irritated my skin in any significant way, but I do try to only use it in my affected areas so as to not get flaky in other places.
3)You will probably need to exfoliate. Like I said, I have pretty dry skin, and sometimes when my breakouts go away they leave behind a little bit of flaky skin. Nothing major, but since this system is prone to make your skin dry, it's probably a good idea to invest in a good exfoliator. I believe there is an Acne Solutions one, but I've never used it, so I can't say if it's good or not.
All in all, I think this is a good system. It is a little more drying than I would prefer, but I can deal with that as long as it clears out my acne. I don't believe I will repurchase it, though. I'll probably go with the classic 3-step system, because I don't think it'll be a good idea to keep drying out my skin once my acne clears out.
Was recommended to use this product when I went to Clinique for my breakouts. I used the set religiously with no result but I figured I should just continue using it because it might eventually work, so I repurchased. Was totally disappointed for wasting heaps of money of this line. I liked the facial foam but the toner and moisturizer stings and smelled. Will not repurchase again, ever.
I've been using the Clinique Acne Solutions line for quite a while and here is what I've found...
#1. Don't use the liquid cleanser. The bar lathers more and feels like it actually cleans your face. Plus, it is a much better value, as it is less expensive and lasts much longer. Not to mention, if you travel much, the bar is more "TSA friendly".
#2. I have Combination/Oily skin. I started using the Acne Solutions Moisturizer every day, but that was too much. The benzoyl peroxide dried my skin too much. Now I use the Dramatically Different Gel every day. Then, occasionally, I will use the Acne Solutions Moisturizer at night, say if I get a period break out.
#3. I use the 7 Day Scrub every night. I like it, but I am looking into something that might help/eliminate the blackheads on my nose and chin area. Can't seem to really get rid of those. (Will take suggestions).
#4. LOVE the Acne Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask! Makes my face feel so soft and clean. I probably don't use it enough ( might use it once or twice a week, if that). Sometimes I use it as an overnight spot treatment.
Overall, I like these products very much. I am a picker and I've found that, while I still have the blackheads and the occasional pimple here or there, I generally have less to pick at.
HATE, HATE, HATE! I really like Clinique, but this was a huge loser for me. It took my skin 2 weeks to heal from 1 week's use. The first time I used this system was at night and boy did my skin sting. I knew right away I could not use 2x daily - so I stuck with nights only. On the third day I started using the toner only every other day. I kept with it for a while because I figured my skin just needed to acclimate. After 9 days I quit. My skin was red all the time and it HURT. Trying to rub in my foundation was excruciating! It took a week of babying for the sensitivity to pass after I discontinued and another week for the redness to fade. It literally burned my skin away. This is the worst product line I have EVER used.
This is one of the best products, for me, to help control hormonal breakouts. I break out during my period, so I use this line around that time of the month. It is a bit too drying to use regularly (I use Clinique mild 3 step with dramatically different gel or MB enzyme cleanser when not using Clinique Acne Solutions).
The price is just right. Of course, cheaper is always better, and I would not pay any more than this for this particular line. Packaging is fine (kind of which "acne" wasn't displayed on the package). Overall, this is a good product. I will continue to purchase.
I find it helpful to use Moisture Surge with this product line to help prevent flakey skin that might result from using this line.
UPDATE 9/20/2012: I changed my overall rating from a 4 to a 2. Here's why: I used this line for a few months... It worked very well (this is why i switched rating to a 2 and not a 1).. FOR A FEW MONTHS. Then, it just stopped working. I gradually got more and more breakouts, but my skin was flakey (so much that my makeup would be flakey). I don't know if Clinique changed the formula or what, but it just doesn't work now. I switched back to Mario Badescu products (I use a variety of products based on the issue I need to address), and a heavy nighttime moisturizer.
I purchased this in January after battling cystic acne on my left cheek for 6 months. I have been blessed with acne-free skin all throughout my teens but started breaking out last August. I have to say - this product is strictly okay. It didn't do much for my skin - other than dry it out. Of the entire line the only product I would recommend is the foaming cleanser - though I found it to be too harsh at times.
I've been working on curing acne from the inside out for the last few weeks and so far it's been working well. I've been drinking lots more water, green tea and lemon water - reducing my dairy intake and adding more fruits and veggies to my diet. I've also found cheap, natural alternatives to battling acne and so far so good. Here's what I've been doing:
- Wash my face with an acne cleanser (St. Ives, Neutrogena, Marcelle, etc.) I massage this into my skin for a minute and leave it on for additional 30 seconds before washing it off
- Apply cold water to my face immediately after to close pores
- Use a sea salt in a homemade toner (use a travel size bottle and fill 1/6 of it with sea salt and the other 5/6 water - shake and apply with a cotton ball - I use this twice daily and apply it with a cotton ball.) This has done more wonders for my skin than anything - and it is dirt cheap!! Please note, the first few times you use it, it will sting - which is normal. It won't burn your skin off I promise
- Apply a daytime spf moisturizer in the morning and VITAMIN A cream at night before bed. You can buy this cream from your local pharmacy - a little goes a long way. This cream is to be used at night only as vitamin A increases sun sensitivity.
Also, another trick I've learned is applying ice wrapped in a paper towel/napkin and applying to a pimple I feel is coming for 5 minutes a couple of times a day. If you have sensitive skin, apply for a minute, remove for 30 seconds nad continue.
I hope this helps. I've spend $500-ish on clinique alone and what a waste. Remedies that are more natural have been highly effective for me - though everyone's different, I strongly recommend using Sea Salt. A simple google search will lead you to hundreds of success stories.
Here's a video that really helped me:
I have used this line for about 6 months. In the fist 2 weeks I saw amazing results!. When I started using this line, I had some whiteheads in my forehead, many blackheads in my nose and I used to get cysts at least once a month...only one or two, but that was more than enough, they lasted for weeks and I hated them! I have combination-oily skin and this was the perfect solution for me. No more whiteheads, the blackheads in my nose have diminished considerably, and I haven't had a cyst pimple on the last 3 months...not even one! I do get VERY VERY little pimples (one or two) every month...hormones... anyway, this is how I have been using it
The first 1-2 months
-Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam- Day and night
-Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion- Day and night
-Acne Solutions Clearing Moisturizer Oil-Free- Night- Only nose and forehead
Once my skin was acne free, I started having dry skin from this products, so, I changed the routine and it has been working great for me. It controls my oil and keeps me free of acne.
The next 4 months
-Witch Hazel lotion- Day, right when I wake up with a cotton pad
-Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam- Day, I wash my face with this one while I'm on the shower.
-Neutrogena oil free moisturizer- Day
-Neutrogena fresh cleanser and makeup remover- Night
-Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion- Night after I washed and removed my makeup.
-Night Moisturizer- before bed
Acne Solutions Clearing Moisturizer Oil-Free- I actually don't use this one anymore.
I would repurchase again the foam (I just love it), but I'm not sure about the lotion (there are so many companies that do 2% salycilic acid at a much better price) and I would not purchase the moisturizer of this line.
I bought this with hopes to finish off what was left of my skin problems, which was acne. All I was dealing with was basically a few breakouts on my cheeks from time to time. I used this product for 2 weeks consistently twice a day. This product caused so much damage to my face its ridiculous. My neck and eye area is so dry it looks like i have eczema!! Makeup looks horrible because my complexion is so uneven and dry now. Most reviews say this is for people with extremely oily skin but I think this product is just too strong period. Dont waste your money because if you use this product you'll come out with more problems than you already had!! LISTEN TO THE REVIEWS!!