How do you solve a problem like Vitamin C?
This powerful antioxidant brightens your complexion and keeps wrinkles away, but it’s so unstable, it often goes bad before you can finish a whole bottle. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to pay full price if I can’t get the full benefits…
Clinique’s solution? Putting Vitamin C in an isolation zone. Literally.
Their Renewing Powder Cleanser with Pure Vitamin C and Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10% have what they call “Stay Fresh packaging” to isolate Vitamin C from water, light and air and anything else that could spoil it before it has a chance to get onto your face.
You can find mini sizes of both in Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System with Pure Vitamin C Set. It’s very handy for travelling or trying out the range to see how well this approach works. Or you can just read this review. 😉
How Does Vitamin C Help Skin?
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that comes in many forms. The pure – and most powerful – is L-Ascorbic Acid. Research shows it:
- Fights the free radicals that give you wrinkles
- Boosts the production of collagen, the protein that keeps skin firm
- Reduces transepidermal water loss, helping to keep skin hydrated
- Brightens skin and fades away hyperpigmentation
The catch? There are two:
- Irritation: In high doses (10% and higher), it irritates sensitive skin
- Instability: It’s highly unstable and spoils quickly when exposed to light, air and heat
Instead than meddling with L-Ascorbic Acid, Clinique focused on creating packaging that’d keep it away from all its enemies, giving it the best chance of survival. Did it work?
Related: The Complete Guide To Vitamin C In Skincare
Struggling to put together a skincare routine that minimises wrinkles, prevents premature aging, and gives your complexion a youthful glow? Download your FREE “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):
Clinique Renewing Powder Cleanser with Pure Vitamin C Review
Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System with Pure Vitamin C Set contains 7×0.5g packets of the Renewing Powder Cleanser with Pure Vitamin C.
Like the name suggests, the cleanser comes in powder form. You need to mix it with water to turn it into a lightweight, slightly foaming cleanser you can massage onto your skin to remove dirt and impurities.
Why the extra step? Vitamin C doesn’t like water. The more it stays in touch with it, the sooner it goes bad. That’s why water-based Vitamin C serums often go bad within a couple of months.
By adding the water to the mix the second before Vitamin C touches your skin you ensure the antioxidant stays fresh and effective.
Not that it does you much good in this case… If you want to get all its anti-aging benefits, you need to leave Vitamin C on your skin, not rinse it away and down the drain…
Vitamin C fiasco aside, Clinique Renewing Powder Cleanser with Pure Vitamin C is a good cleanser. It uses a gentle blend of surfactants (Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate , Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate and Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate) to help water mix with oil and dirt so they can be rinsed away.
These surfactants are so gentle, they remove all traces of excess sebum and impurities (but not makeup) from your skin without drying it out or stripping it bare.
I have mixed feelings about this cleanser. I do like the formula a lot, but I’m not willing to waste a few seconds every day for an extra step that turns out to be useless.
Not to mention, the waste all those plastic packets generate. I guess they can come in handy for travel, but for my everyday routine, I’ll pass.
Related: Do Antiaging Cleansers Work?
Clinique Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10% Review
Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System with Pure Vitamin C Set features 1x 8.5ml vial of Clinique Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10%. The juice inside will last you for 7-10 days. Here’s what it contains:
- L-Ascorbic Acid: 10% is more than enough to fight free radicals and boost collagen – without irritating skin. It’s an amount that even sensitive skin can use safely.
- Squalane: An oil so similar to human sebum, it sinks in immediately without leaving a greasy residue behind. It’s super moisturising, too.
- Antioxidants: Algae, mulberry and grape fruit extracts (to name a few) have antioxidant properties that neutralise free radicals before they give you wrinkles.
- Hyaluronic Acid: A moisture magnet that attracts and binds to the skin up to 1000 times its weight in water.
I’m a bit bummed the antioxidants don’t include Vitamin E and ferulic acid. Research shows they boost the effectiveness of Vitamin C and help protect you from sun damage.
Still, it’s an excellent formula… If you can be bothered to use it. Here’s what you need to do to pour it out of the bottle:
- The first time you use it, remove the foil seal at one end of the bottle (the one opposite to the needle-like dispenser)
- Press the button previously hidden by the foil to release the powdered Vitamin C into the serum.
- Shake for 15 seconds to activate it.
- Press the button again to dispense the serum out of the bottle.
- Either apply it alone or mix it with your fave moisturiser.
Sounds complicated? Clinique has included instructions (with pictures) on the packaging to help you out.
Again, I’m on the fence. On the one hand, I understand this type of packaging keeps Vitamin C safe and effective for longer. Until you press that button, you can keep the vial on your skincare cabinet for months and it won’t go bad.
On the other hand, it’s a hassle to use and is not environmentally friendly. I personally prefer to stick to ready-made Vitamin C serums even if they have a shorter shelf life.
But if you don’t mind the extra steps and want something that lasts longer, Clinique Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10% is a good option to consider – especially if you have sensitive skin. The serum is fragrance free and doesn’t contain any common irritants.
The gel-like texture is super lightweight and sinks quickly into the skin without leaving any sticky residue behind. It makes my skin softer and a little bit brighter, too.
I usually use serums with 15% or higher concentrations of Vitamin C. This isn’t as brightening, so I don’t recommend switching down.
This is for people who can’t tolerate higher doses or want to try Vitamin C for the first time. It’ll give you good enough results to make you fall in love with this antioxidant and get you started on your antiaging journey.
Available at: Fresh Pressed Set, $39.00/£25.00; Cleanser, $29.50/£24.00 and Booster, $76.50/£58.00 at Feel Unique, Look Fantastic, Saks Fifth Avenue and Sephora
Clinique Renewing Powder Cleanser with Pure Vitamin C Ingredients
Maltodextrin , Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate , Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate , Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate , Kaolin , Ascorbic Acid , Sodium Chloride , Sapindus Mukurossi Peel Extract , Salicylic Acid , Allyl Methacrylates Crosspolymer , Cyclodextrin , Coconut Acid , Ethylbisiminomethylguaiacol Manganese Chloride , Water\Aqua\Eau , Disodium Edta
Clinique Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10% Ingredients
Water\Aqua\Eau , Ascorbic Acid , Glycerin , Dimethicone , Squalane, Butylene Glycol , Dipropylene Glycol , Acetyl Glucosamine , Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract , Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract\Extrait D’Orge , Morus Nigra (Mulberry) Root Extract , Molasses Extract\Saccharum Officinarum\Extrait De Mélasse , Laminaria Digitata Extract , Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract , Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 , Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract , Algae Extract , Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 , Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 , Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 , Alcaligenes Polysaccharides , Caffeine , Sucrose , Whey Protein\Lactis Protein\Protéine Du Petit-Lait , Betaine , Salicylic Acid , Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein , Sodium Hyaluronate , Caprylyl Glycol , Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’S Wort) Extract , Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane , Propylene Glycol Dicaprate , Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake , Allyl Methacrylates Crosspolymer , Carbomer , Glyceryl Polymethacrylate , Xanthan Gum , Potassium Sorbate , Peg-8 , Polysorbate 20 , Sodium Citrate , Disodium Edta , Phenoxyethanol