review clinique dramatically different moisturizing lotion plus

I’ve never jumped on the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion bandwagon – and NOT just because my skin isn’t SO dry to need something so heavy duty.

I just think it’s boring. Take a look at the ingredient list: it looks like something that came out of a 60s lab. Revolutionary at the time. Nothing special now.

So when I heard that Clinique was giving it a makeover, I thought “About time!”. And then I saw what they did with it…

Turns out, the new Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus ain’t that different from the original…

For the series “the more things change, the more they stay the same”…

Clinique just added a bunch of humectants (moisture magnets that steal water from the air) and changed the preservative system. Out are parabens and in are Trisodium EDTA and Phenoxyethanol.

Did Clinique make the right call here? Let’s investigate:

What’s In Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus?


There’s a reason you see glycerin in 99% of skincare products out there. It’s a wonderful humectant that attracts water from the environment into the skin.

Now that skin has way more moisture than before, it becomes softer to the touch, gets plumpser so fine lines and wrinkles look smaller and takes on a dewy glow.

Related: Why Is Glycerin In All My Skincare Products (the full story)?!


Yep, urea as that thing that’s in your pee. Ewww!

Don’t panic. There’s no pee in Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus. You can make urea in a lab these days (who said that was a BAD thing?!).

So what does pee – ermmm, I meant urea – does for your skin? Urea is a moisture magnet on steroids (like glycerin but way better). Here are all its superpowers:

In other words, urea is super hydrating, soothing and helps you treat all kinds of skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.

Related: Why Urea Is The Most Underrated Ingredient In Skincare

Sodium Hyaluronate

Yep, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus has one more moisture magnet: sodium hyaluronate.

Sodium hyaluronate is a form of hyaluronic acid that can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water! Can you image how much moisture your skin is getting?! Mind blown.

All this extra moisture is going to make your skin softer, plumper and dewier than ever before.

Related: Why You Should Add Hyaluronic Acid To Your Skincare Routine


All this extra moisture is good BUT it can’t fight dry skin alone.

Here’s the deal: skin is dry because moisture evaporates through its DAMAGED protective barrier. You can add all the water you want to your skin but if you don’t fix the cracks in that barrier, it’s gonna do NOTHING for you.

That’s where mineral oil comes in. It forms a barrier on the skin that keeps water in.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus could have used ceramides or any other natural components of your skin’s protective barrier instead than something with such a bad rep. But hey, I guess mineral oil was cheaper.

While we’re on the subject, let’s debunk a couple of myths:

  • Mineral oil isn’t comedogenic: If you use products with comedogenic ingredients before putting it on, it’ll trap them into the skin and lead to breakouts. But alone, it won’t give you any pimples.
  • Mineral oil isn’t carcinogenic: Yes, it may be derived from oil but it undergoes a strict purifying process before it’s added to your lotions and potions.

Related: Is Mineral Oil Bad For Skin?


You know what else won’t kill you? Parabens. I could write a long blog post about why they’ve been unfairly maligned and to show you the science that PROVES they’re safe.

Oh, wait. I have written a blog post like that. Go read it here.

Are you back? Good. So now you know that parabens are the safest and gentlest preservatives around. They protect your lotions and potions both from bacteria, yeast and fungi and don’t irritate skin.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion got rid of them and switched to Phenoxyethanol and Trisodium EDTA. Too bad they AREN’T as effective.

Phenoxyethanol kills gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria but struggles to get rid of fungi. Trisodium EDTA prevents the product from going bad by binding itself to metals that are harmful to it.

Oh well, at least the bottle makes it difficult for bacteria and other nasties to find their way inside anyway…

Related: The Truth About Parabens Alternatives


Not as thick as you’d think, but not runny either. Somewhere in between, it sinks in quickly into the skin.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

Morning and/or night. In the AM, use it before sunscreen. At night, it’s the last step of your skincare routine.

clinique dramatically different moisturising lotion plus review

Performance & Personal Opinion

Clinique promises you that Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus strengthens your skin’s protective barrier so moisture stays in. On this, it delivers 100%.

If you’re just looking for a basic moisturiser that well… deeply moisturises skin and keeps it soft and smooth even in the coldest of weather, this is it.

If you’re new to retinol and your skin’s flaking like crazy, again this moisturiser can help. It counteracts the dryness from retinol so your skin can tolerate it better.

So what’s my problem with this? It’s the 21st century, ladies. ANY moisturiser nowadays does that. These days, I expect a few antioxidants to fight wrinkles too. Where the heck are those?!

Not here, I tell you.

Who Is This For?

Dry and sensitive skin in need of a basic moisturiser.

Who Is This Not For?

  • Oily and acne-prone skin
  • Anyone who wants a moisturiser with anti-aging properties


Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus comes in a yellow bottle with a pump dispenser. It’s hygienic and practical.

Does Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus Live Up To Its Claims?

Genius yellow moisturiser hydrates all day. I wouldn’t call it genius, but it does keep skin hydrated all day.
Slips on easily, absorbs quickly. True.
Helps strengthen skin’s own moisture barrier, so more moisture stays in. True.

Price & Availability

£18.00/$28.00 at Feel Unique, Nordstrom, Sephora and Ulta

Do You Need It?

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus is by no means a must-have. I’d only recommend it to those with dry/sensitive who are looking for a basics, frills-free moisturiser.


Dupes & Alternatives

Have you tried Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion Plus? Share your thoughts below.


Water\Aqua\Eau , Mineral Oil\Paraffinum Liquidum\Huile Minérale , Glycerin , Petrolatum , Stearic Acid , Glyceryl Stearate , Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Oil , Urea , Lanolin Alcohol , Triethanolamine , Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract\Extrait D’Orge , Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract , Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake , Propylene Glycol Dicaprate , Sodium Hyaluronate , Butylene Glycol , Pentylene Glycol , Trisodium Edta , Phenoxyethanol , Yellow 6 (Ci 15985) , Yellow 5 (Ci 19140) , Red 33 (Ci 17200)