Clinique 3 Step Skincare System: 2 Dry Combination

After a fantastic consultation at Manchester’s Selfridges, Exchange Square, I was shocked to learn that for the first time in my life, the perfect Clinique system for me is Number 2 – Dry Combination. Most of my life I’ve used Clinique’s Anti-Blemish solutions, but over the last year my skin seems to have finally vanquished its spotty outbreaks, at last. Being allergy tested and 100% fragrance free, Clinique claim that in just two weeks, I’ll have “that famous Clinique glow… watch your skin become softer, smoother, more radiant—instantly and over time.” Clinique do a men’s range that is slightly stronger but it looked like the traditional range was the best thing for me.

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild 2

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild 3

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 2

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion 1

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion 3 copy

The Dry Combination system is the most commonly sold system in the brand and the yellow Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion is an iconic, cult product. I’m going to be trying this system over the next two weeks, along with some of Clinique’s treatment products which I’ll be posting about as I go, and seeing how my skin feels at the end of the trial. Even though I can be lazy on some evenings, I’m going to do my full regime both morning and night, which I’m told shouldn’t take any longer than 3 minutes.

Liquid Facial Soap Mild

I’ve continue to say how much I like a good face wash, something that foams and effectively cleanses without leaving my skin dry or tight. It really leaves my skin soft and Clinique claim this is the first important step in loosening dead skin cells and dislodging dirt, ready for the next step.

Clarifying Lotion 2

Clarifying lotion gets a lot of bad press and whenever I talk about it here or on twitter I’m sounded out by people telling me that it’s over abrasive, it strips paint, all that horse garbage. Well funnily enough, if you douse your cotton pad in it, and work it over your face like a toner, rubbing and scrubbing, then you’re going to over-exfoliate, whether with this, or any other exfoliating liquid. The important thing to bear in mind when using it is it’s one or two flicks onto a pressed down cotton bad or cotton wool ball and a quick sweep over the face, never going over the same area twice. It’s one of, if not the most popular product from the brand, so not everyone can be wrong, can they?

The formulation actually changed in 2009 when Clinique decided that because of the big environmental changes since it’s launch in 1968 more hydrating ingredients needed to be added. The formula relies mainly on the exfoliating properties of salicylic acid, combined with the conditioning properties of witch hazel and menthol, hydrating with hyaluronic acid and trehalose.

It feels fantastically refreshing on the face and by gently removing the dead layers of skin, it really allows your moisturiser to absorb more easily. There’s a great test Clinique show on counter with the Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion, massaging it into a hand that has been clarified, and the other that hasn’t. On the hand that hasn’t, it foams up and sits on the surface, feeling a bit greasy and gross, but on the other, it completely sinks in and my hand is left so soft.

Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion

There’s very little I can say about this product that hasn’t already been said in over 40 years. It’s the granddaddy of all moisturisers, we all know it. It’s pretty boring-looking, it has no sun-screen, no promises of anti-ageing benefits so why is it so popular? Clinique claim that this is the closest thing their dermatologists could get to of the skin’s natural oil and water and this is exactly what it is.

The principal behind the yellow peril is that when the skin is balanced with oil and water, it becomes highly responsive to any treatments layered over the top. I remember this from my mum’s dressing table for as long as I can remember, in fact she still uses it, even if she uses treatment products from another brand, it all comes down to a base of Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion.

Using one to two pumps, rub between your finger ends and pat first in the areas that you have dryness, in my case, the cheeks. Then with what’s left, apply it to the rest of the skin. Providing you’ve done the first two steps, I think you’ll be as gobsmacked as I was as to how quickly it disappeared into the skin. Let’s see how this goes. If you want to join me, you can pick up all the products and take your own custom-fit consultation online here over at Clinique.

Posted at 23:42 April 9, 2013

Hi Thom ! It’s been a month since I began using the 3 step program (the traditional range, like you do). I can say that’s the best thing that happened to me, (and my skin !). I have two questions this time.
1. Is there a crucial difference, between the traditional range and the mens’ range ?
2. If yes, what made you choose the traditional range over the mens’ range ?

Posted at 16:41 February 24, 2013

I was told from a Clinique consultant that it is ok to mix up the traditional 3 step products with the ones for men. For example, my case was this : I was thinking of purchasing the liquid facial soap for oily skin and the clarifying lotion 3 (traditional) and replacing the dramatically different moisturising lotion with the maximum hydrator for men (that I have purchased as a standalone product before considering buying these two, and could therefore use it with them). Do you think that’s ok after all ?

    Posted at 18:25 February 24, 2013
    Thom Watson

    Hey Kostas. There shouldn’t be a problem mixing it up, but I am questioning the recommendation of the Maximum Hydrator as your balancing moisturiser to be applied as soon as you’ve clarified. As far as I’m aware the Maximum Hydrator is a ‘treatment’ product and is best applied after the complete 3-Step, so using the M-Gel Lotion, M-Lotion, M-Protect, DDMLotion or DDMGel before hand. It’s a similar concept to Moisture Surge, you use the maximum hydrator if your skin needs topping up. But then my other point would be, is this working for you? If it is, then there’s no problem. Hope that helps.

    Posted at 11:16 February 25, 2013

    Thanks. I was in a big dilemma. On second thought, I do believe that having the complete traditional three step program works best as you’ve said in your post and reply. Thanks again for helping and keep up the good work !

Posted at 09:12 February 23, 2013

I’ve used the exact same for a while last year. Really loved it but felt the moisturiser was quite ‘light’ and I needed something with a bit more body to it. Other than that I was really pleased with it! Looking forward to hear your opinion on it. :-)

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