I’ve reviewed Clinique’s 1st step – the cleanser – and now it’s time for the 2nd step – toner.
Clinique’s previous formula was known as the Clarifying Lotion and it came in several types in various strength. Mine is the 3rd strength in pink, whereas ksuan uses Clarifying Moisture 2 which is a milder version of mine. Briefly speaking, mine smells quite strongly of swabbing alcohol whereas the ‘moisture’ version leaves a layer of moisture on your skin.
Clinique considers the 2nd step to be extremely important as their formula claims to exfoliate dead skin cells, revealing fresher-looking skin underneath. With daily gentle exfoliation, your skin cell turnover is quicker and your skin becomes brighter with regular use. I used to use the purple one (strength 2) but found it too mild for my skin, and ended up with strength 3.
The great thing about Clinique’s step 2 is that it helps to exfoliate the dead skin cells without harsh scrubbing. I felt like I was prepping my skin for the moisturizer and when I was using my 3-step with Clinique’s Turnaround Concentrate, my skin was probably at its best (at that time).
The not-so-great thing is probably the smell. I am used to it but my colleague said it smelt too strongly of alcohol and that did worry me a little. After all, alcohol is drying and I’m not entirely sure if it was helping to alleviate my oily skin. It’s strong to the point that if I accidentally inhale it, I do feel it burning my nostrils a tiny bit.
Now the strange thing is, the oilier your skin, the stronger the toner. Dry skin either uses strength 1 or the Clarifying Moisture types.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with the toner, and a 400ml bottle retails at RM125. I like it because it does the exfoliation job well but the smell may get some time to get used to. However, I think that the old adage of not having an ‘alcoholic’ toner on your face may ring true for most people, including myself :). The old formula was RM115. You can get it cheaper at Strawberrynet.com but I think it’s the old formula that’s still available.