Despite its cult status and army of loyal followers, I never cared much for Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. Why? Its formula was very basic and boring. It just featured a bunch of moisturizing ingredients, like Mineral Oil, preservatives and colorants. That was it. It may have been a good formula in the ’60s, when it was created, but since then things have changed a lot.
Most moisturizers today contain antioxidants, retinoids, sunscreen agents and other goodies for your skin, so a cream that only moisturizes it doesn’t cut it anymore. So, when Clinique decided to reformulate it, I thought, “It was about time!”. But my excitement instantly died the moment I saw the new formula, which is now called Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus.
What Clinique says
Dermatologist-developed formula combines all-day hydration with skin-strengthening ingredients to help skin look younger, longer. Helps strengthen skin’s own moisture barrier by 54%, so more moisture stays in.
FULL INGREDIENTS LIST
Water, Mineral Oil, Glycerin, Petrolatum, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Oil, Urea, Lanolin Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Trisodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 33.
The most important changes in the formula are the inclusion of three humectants – Glycerin, Urea, and Sodium Hyaluronate -, and a new preservative system (parabens were replaced by Trisodium EDTA and Phenoxyethanol). Let’s take a look at these ingredients, shall we?
Glycerin is one of the most common ingredients used in skincare products. It’s a humectant that has the ability to attract water from the environment into the skin. This reduces water loss, increases the skin’s moisture levels and strengthens its natural barrier.
Urea, like we all know, is a component of urine. Ew! But, luckily, the type used in cosmetics is synthetically made in a lab, so don’t worry . You’re not putting pee on your face. But what does it do? Like Glycerin, it binds water to the skin, reducing water loss, and helping skin stay hydrated.
Sodium Hyaluronate, aka Hylauronic Acid, has the ability to hold 1000 times its weight in water! It reduces water loss and increases the skin’s moisture levels, but also has moderate antioxidant activity. Plus, unlike most humectants, it works well in both low and high humidity conditions. That’s why this is considered the best humectant on the market. However, its molecules are too big to penetrate skin. It stays on the surface, keeping skin hydrated and nothing more.
Mineral Oil is one of the most maligned and misunderstood ingredients in cosmetics. It is derived from petroleum, but that doesn’t automatically make it bad. Cosmetic grade mineral oil undergoes a refining process that eliminates all the toxins and bad stuff from it, making it safe to use. That means that not only it doesn’t cause cancer, but it is not even comedogenic. Not on its own at least.
Mineral oil is one of the most moisturizing ingredients available. It reduces water loss by forming a protective barrier on the skin that prevents it from evaporating. However, this barrier also traps other ingredients underneath it. If these other ingredients are comedogenic, breakouts can occur. Mineral oil is bad only for people who suffer from acne, but then this lotion is not designed for them.
Despite being among the most effective and gentlest preservatives available, the undeserved bad reputation parabens have been gaining has caused more and more companies to ditch them in favour of less-studied and less-effective alternatives. Here, their place has been taken by Phenoxyethanol and Trisodium EDTA.
Phenoxyethanol is effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, while Trisodium EDTA prevents the product from going bad by binding itself to metals that are harmful to it. It’s difficult to say whether they protect from as many bacteria, yeast and fungi as parabens, but at least the opaque, airtight bottle prevents the formula from being contaminated, so the risk of something nasty growing in it is very small anyway.
Final considerations on the formula
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus was created to help dry skin stay hydrated and look plumper. That’s exactly what it does and extremely well too. The formula is certainly very hydrating and can help prevent dryness. However, I’m very disappointed that Clinique didn’t take this opportunity to add some antioxidants or sunscreen agents to the formula. In 2014 (or 2013, when it was reformulated), and especially at this price point, a moisturizer should do more than simply keeping skin hydrated. It should also help skin fight premature aging and give it some protection from the sun and this one doesn’t.
The Bottom Line
If you have dry skin and are looking for a basic moisturizer that will keep your skin soft, smooth and hydrated for hours, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus will do the job very well. However, you shouldn’t expect anything more than that. If you also want to keep premature aging at bay, you’ll have to use a different serum or cream.
Have you tried Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus? If so, how does it work for you?