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Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 Review

Not sure where to start with the Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2. Talk about mixed reviews – this Clinique 2 toner seems to be like marmite….


Not sure where to start with the Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2. Talk about mixed reviews – this Clinique 2 toner seems to be like marmite. People either love it or hate it!

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2

Clinique Clarifying Lotion is the second step in their 3 step skincare program. There are different types of clarifying lotion you can get depending on your skin type. There is a ‘mild’ lotion, a 1, 2, 3, a 4 and also an ‘anti-blemish solution.

I have Clarifying lotion 2, which is aimed at dry/combination skin. My skin is mostly dry, yet I can get an oily t-zone.

It’s the ingredients that I’ve seen criticised the most, so let’s take a closer look… at Cliniques Clarifying Lotion.

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 Ingredients


Water, Alcohol Denat, Glycerin, Hamamelis Virginiana (witch hazel), Menthol, Acetyl, Glucosamine, Trehalose, Soudium Hyaluronate, Butyene Glycol, Sodium Bicarbonate, Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 33 (CI 17200), EXT Violet (CI 60730)

Woah. What the flying frick does this mean?

I did a bit of research because I don’t know the first thing about this crap. I’ll summarise what I’ve learnt so you can see what fun chemicals I’ve been putting on my face. Yay I’ve only looked at the top 5 because I’m lazy these were the ones that kept coming up time and time again.


Hi, water. We’re friends already no need to explain this one.

Alcohol Denat:

This is alcohol that’s had something added to it to prevent it from being drinkable. Doom, I usually like my alcohol drinkable. It’s used in skin care products because it’s a preservative, an anti-bacterial, it increases the penetration of key ingredients and it’s an astringent – stripping oil out to get rid of shine and give a matte/dry feel to oily skin.

There are lots of for and against arguments out there regarding using alcohol in skin products. I’d stay away if you have really dry skin as it is very drying, it strips your skin of moisture and can also be irritating. It’s also used in a lot of acne products to dry out spots but could be bad in the long run for acne by hampering your lipid barrier.


Glycerin can be made from natural products like vegetable oil or synthesised from propylene alcohol. It’s also known as glycerol. It gives the skin a healthier, more natural-looking appearance and most people are very tolerant to it, experiencing no irritation. It’s good for skin diseases such as psoriasis as it encourages the skin to mature in normal fashion, rather than shedding to quickly.

It can also help wounds heal faster. It also helps prevent dry skin by attracting water and helping skin keep a healthy water balance which is how it helps it look healthier and more natural. 


Hamamelis Virginiana (witch hazel)

A great product for skincare – it’s great for acne, reduces inflammation and redness, it reduces pore size and removes excess oil from the skin while promoting moisture. It’s also great for soothing sunburn.


Menthol comes from natural sources, such as peppermint and eucalyptus plants. It can also be produced synthetically. As it has a cooling sensation, it’s often used in products that refresh and revitalise skin. 

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2

What Clinique Clarifying Lotion Do?

It’s supposed to be a toner/exfoliating lotion. It claims to remove any dirt or excess oil missed by cleansing and remove any dead skin cells. It also refines pores. The removal of dead skin cells is said to help moisturiser and makeup apply evenly.

Does the Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 work?

I can’t answer that question for you, from what I’ve read from reviews it is very hit and miss. Like I said in the opening of this post, some loved this product and others hated it and wanted to stab it in the face.

I would suggest you give it try if you are able. I usually have very sensitive skin, but this did not irritate me at all so I felt a bit weird reading reviews telling people with dry skin to stay away!

I was a bit frightened at first as the Clinique toner smells like nail varnish remover. The sensation it gives to my skin is so strange, it’s like putting nail varnish remover on my skin. It’s very cooling and I can see how it could sting some people’s skin. I had a mild tingle, at most. I kind of liked it. But I’m not a normal person though, so how you take that is up to you.

The best thing about this is that I’ve never had a toner that has moved so much dirt after cleansing as this. The cotton pad is always very dirty when I’ve used it, even if my face is cleaned right before and looks and feels fine! It’s scary how much is picked up by this toner.

I can’t say it makes my skin look much better, but it feels fresher, cleaner and really helps with my dryness.

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2

Have you tried it? What do you think?

You can get your own here.


  1. I’ve always thought if a tonor is removing that much dirt then you need a better cleanser! Tonors can be so harsh too so I’d only say use this as part of your evening routine! Can’t wait to here How it goes, positive clinique reviews seem few and far between!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  2. I’m not sure I would pay full price for this as, like you said, it can be very hit and miss from what I have seen, although it’s a great price on Cohorted! What a fab review!

  3. Great review Corinne! I have tried it a long time ago. I’m probably one of those how can’t say I love or hate it! It’s not for me but you made a good bargain. For this price I say it’s a good product!! I have checked out the site. I don’t think they ship outside the UK 🙂

    xx Mira

  4. I used this clarifying lotion in the past when I was in my twenties and I was happy because it ended with my blemish but then my skin became drier and I quit this brand. Kisses, Corinne:)

  5. Hi Corinne, I have tried this before and unfortunately it hasn’t been the best product for my extremely sensitive skin. Hope your week is going well 🙂

  6. HaHa Corinne! I’ve witnessed the same kind of reviews. They scared me so, that I haven’t tried clinique. Don’t know if I will. What I’m impressed about is how you took time to look up the ingredients! You get a big THUMBS UP for that! I always wanted to know and this told me a lot. You’re an awesome blogger girl! WOOT WOOT

  7. found the bit on the chemicals really interesting! I really want to try the Clinique cleansing balm, it looks amazing!

  8. I’ve been meaning to try Clinique for a while now and nearly got this off Cohorted too! I’ve managed to buy four products off there in the last 2 weeks!

  9. I’ve never tried Clinique Clarifying Lotion though I have tried denatured alcohol. I think the Clinique product would have been better for my skin. I usually don’t use much of anything on it unless it starts getting annoyingly scaly or pimply or some other condition, which it almost always does beside my nose and under my ears and near the corner of my mouth. Now that I’m thinking about it I guess I should try it.

  10. I have tried this and it was too strong for my skin, made it really dry but then again I have really sensitive skin! 🙂

  11. You are now featured as promised-

  12. I have certain Clinique and Clarins products that I use, this is an occassional I love it but it is strong used every day it dries my skin. It is good at keeping black heads at bay and removing dirt and dead skin. Use sparingly though once/twice a week is sufficient Lucy x

    1. Ohh, interesting! I’ll reduce how many times I use it if I come into issues. Did you use it daily at one point?

  13. I like the way you lay out your posts, with different sections. I hear a lot of criticisms of the clinique skincare. It really is crazy how much still comes off on pads after cleansing!

  14. I’ve not tried this but have also seen very mixed reviews. Great post – a really interesting read 🙂

    Style Sunrise

    🙂 x

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