The container: Super City Block SPF 25 comes in a Clinique green, plastic tube with pretty but difficult to read white letters, a blue band on the front (if you own an SPF 15, you can’t tell from the back which one you’re reaching for) indicating the SPF and a standard, smooth, narrow, screw-top silver cap. I would prefer a wide-based, easy-to-use, flip-top cap so I could stand the tube securely on the counter and open and close it quickly without pain. A larger closure would also be more environmentally friendly by eliminating the need for the box that it comes in as the tubes would stand by themselves on retail shelves and not fall like dominos the minute someone would reach for one. And, wait a minute; wouldn’t a metal tube with a puncturing cap be better for keeping the product fresh and squeezing it out to the last drop? There are things I like about the packaging: the DIN number, the expiry date, the tiny opening, the blue color of the SPF band on the front and the fact that the tube is travel friendly. Herein lies the rub: 1- There is no tamper-evident feature on the tube, like a seal over the opening. 2- When I don’t have the strength to squeeze any more cream out of the tube (very frustrating when I am away from home), I take a large pair of scissors, cut the tube just above the blue band in the front and scoop out the unexpected amount of product left, that is either stuck near the opening or clinging to the sides of the tube. 3- The large enough last portion of product (last time, I scooped out enough to fill a mini 15 ml/15 g Dior jar) is then transferred to a non-identifying jar where (being from now on exposed to light, air and bacteria) its lifespan is quickly reduced.
The product: In addition to titanium dioxide, the active or “medicinal” ingredient, in a concentration of 8.8 %, this cream contains a “boosted level of anti-oxidants” to help protect the skin against environmental aggressors. Which anti-oxidants? I don’t know. I can’t find an ingredients list anywhere, not on the tube, not on the box, not on the 12 x 20 cm paper insert; it’s as if Clinique Labs didn’t have enough space to write it on. (Funny thing though, the last time I bought two of these, I received a package of bonus products including a paper insert listing the ingredients in all of the bonus products!) Regardless, November is coming (month when the new law requiring mandatory ingredient labelling on all cosmetic products sold in Canada comes into effect) and Clinique’s Super City Block SPF 25 provides high level, broad-spectrum sun protection while being gentler to the skin than chemical sunscreens due to its sensitive-skin-friendly physical block. The formula is in fact so gentle that it can even be worn on delicate eye-area skin. ONE no-nonsense product for the entire face – I like that. That’s what got me to buy it in the first place quite a few years ago and it has been my daily “face protector” since. Also, I have no intention of switching any time soon regardless of its less than modern, problematic packaging and its insipid Clinique green color which sticks out like a sore thumb among my other products.
The way I use it: I wear Super City Block SPF 25 alone under my mineral powder foundation. I wait a good ten minutes after applying and blending it carefully – go get coffee, make my lunch, put on my clothes, etc. – to let it fully absorb before I apply my foundation. In my experience, these two products work very well together because the oil-free, non-sticky formula of the cream provides all the moisture I need (I have normal/combination skin). On top of that, it just doesn’t feel or smell like sunscreen: Super City Block is very lightweight and fragrance-free. On special occasions, to make my skin appear extra smooth, I wear Lise Watier’s Base Miracle underneath it. Clinique’s website advises to apply and blend Super City Block on clean skin after all treatment products and before makeup. (Putting it on top of treatment products will prevent loss of potency or effectiveness of the active ingredient.) Clinique Labs add that this cream must be removed with an appropriate makeup solvent, one designed to remove long-wearing color. I use Neutrogena’s Fresh Foaming Cleanser which does a great job.
The look: Clinique Labs claims that Super City Block SPF 25 is “invisible under makeup or alone”. The formula is sheer but the cream is not invisible on me when worn alone (I have medium skin tone and sun damage). Had I not spent so much time in the sun, unwittingly unprotected, during my childhood and teen years, I might now have the type of skin that this product would look invisible on. The cream is tinted a light beige – probably to camouflage the whitish cast of titanium dioxide – and needs to be blended. This doesn’t stop it from working very well under makeup though and it somehow makes my pores look a little less noticeable.
The effectiveness: Clinique Super City Block SPF 25 Oil-Free Daily Face Protector has been granted the Skin Cancer Foundation’s International Seal of Recommendation. Yay! And I have personal proof that this product is effective: 1- I have never returned home from a motorcycle trip with sunburn on my face since I started using it; and 2- the “sun spots” that sneaked up on my face before I started using it have almost vanished and no new ones have appeared.
The cost: At this moment, Clinique’s Super City Block SPF 25 costs $21.50 in Canada for 40 ml or $16.50 in the US for 1.4 oz, a good value in my opinion for such a great face protector if you buy it during Gift with Purchase events at your local Clinique counter. I usually buy two in order to qualify for the bonus. continued >>
This is the only Clinique product I like, and the only sunscreen I like. I am uber pale and very prone to acne so it's important I use a sunscreen and that it won't break me out. I stick with the physical sunblocks because every chemical sunscreen I have ever used has left me feeling greasy and has stung my sensitive skin. There is no whitening effect with this sunblock. In fact, it has a light tint that evens out my skin tone a little bit. This tint might not work so well with darker skin tones. I have repurchased this product many a time. Even if I stray and try something else, I always end up back with this one.
I'm highly satisfied with this sunscreen but I dont think its my "HG" sunscreen. Most sunscreen tends to get greasy on my face since I'm more combo-oily during the summer. This was the only sunscreen that didnt get my face too oily. It spreads easily over moisturizer and the texture isnt too thick.
I've been using this on and off for years - thinking that some new fandangled (i.e. advertised) sunscreen would be as pleasing...but no...I always return like a prodigal daughter back to this. I like it b/c it's got a high spf but doesn't cake over or become too shiny and oilslick like...and most importantly doesn't make me break out. I mix a bit with my dermalogica moisturisor and find it does what I want it to do. My only gripes are that I go through about a tube a month (exp on student budget) and that it's a chemical based sunscreen - I've yet to be impressed by a physical block sunscreen.
I hate this! So hard to spready. They tell you to use just a tiny amount but you can't get all over your face.
I really like this facial sunscreen. It has a very light feel, is easy to remove, isn't drying (as many can be), and contains some very beneficial ingredients (vitamins C/E and anti-irritants, etc). I like that it has a slight tint (not much, though, just enough so that it doesn't have a whitish cast), and it functions as a 'foundation' for me except on days when my skin is very upset (I have rosacea, so it can go from great to not so great rather quickly if I don't treat it right). Matches my pale, pale skin very nicely. Unfortunately, I am finding that I can't really use physical sunscreens that utilize titanium dioxide in an SPF higher than 15. I had the same trouble with mineral make-up: too much titanium dioxide. As the day wears on, it makes my face start to itch and sting, especially in areas where I sweat. Unfortunately, it seems that I will have to try the SPF 15 version. I will continue to use this up on my neck/chest. However, I would still highly recommend this to people who are looking for a purely physical sunblock that have normal to dry skin, as my face is way too testy for most people to use as a basis for comparison.
I have been using this for several years now and I even used it regulary as my foundation. I've since moved on to a Prescriptives foundation since I need more coverage. Super City Block 25 is very sheer with a very light tint that blends easily into my PPP complexion. Unfortunately, this sunblock leaves my skin looking greasy. Overall, a nice, sheer sunblock that may be better suited for drier skin.
While this may seem a bit oily at first, it blends easily and is very moisturizing. It doesn't provide much colour/coverage; but I don't need much anyway. It can start to feel a bit greasy during the day, especially in Summer, but a sweep of light face powder takes care of that. It doesn't have an unpleasant smell (a plus!) and you get a reasonable amount in the green and silver tube. I will continu to buy this until I can find something better.
break me out so bad, made my face ichy and then give me zits,colour too dark for my fair skin.
This came in a green tube with a silver-colored cap. The product has a slight pinkish tint, and is a bit oily once applied. It goes on smoothly, and gives sheer coverage.