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Does Clinique Liquid Soap Cause Breakouts?


Blondie beckons…I was on Allure.com and there were several users who claimed that Clinique Liquid Facial Soap worked wonders on their face. I have used Clinique moisturizer before and it worked well with my skin, but I am skeptical about using their facial soap. I have sensitive skin and Clinique is on the more expensive side; I do not want to waste my money on something that does not work or will break me out. But I would really love to clear up the acne spots on my face.

The Right Brain bounces back

From our research it looks like the Clinique Liquid Facial soaps are good quality, mild cleansers although they’re a bit expensive. Let’s look at the ingredient list for the three different versions: Extra Mild, Liquid, Mild, and Oily Skin Formula.

Clinique cleansers

The Extra Mild type is said to contain caprylic/capric triglyceride, olive oil, and sucrose stearate to gently cleanse the skin and “potent” humectants such as sodium PCA and sodium hyaluronate to moisturize. While it’s true that these cleansers are very mild, they’re also don’t clean particularly well. You may find they don’t get your face clean enough. The humectants they mention are really marketing hype ingredients because they only work when they’re not rinsed off, which in this case they are.

The Mild version is based on an amino-acid derived surfactant, TEA-Cocoyl Glutamate, which is considerably better at cleansing and still very non-stripping. It is also said to contain sodium hyaluronate, aloe, and sucrose to “help bind moisture to the skin, comfort and soothe, leaving skin refreshed and conditioned.” Again, these only have benefit when not rinsed off.

Finally, the Oily skin version adds cooling menthol and a lightweight conditioner Polyquaternium-7 to its cleansers. Despite it’s positioning this cleanser doesn’t contain any acne medication.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

All these products would probably be good for if you’re bothered by harsh detergents but there’s always the chance that the product’s fragrance could irritate you. And Clinique won’t be good if you have a sensitive bank account. Also, while they shouldn’t make your acne any worse, there’s very little they can do to make it any better either. Finally while it doesn’t look like any of these version will dry out your skin, the ingredients that they claim are moisturizing are pretty much rinsed away, so don’t expect to much in that regard.

What’s your favorite way to wash your face? Leave a cleansing comment for the rest of the Beauty Brains community.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Lizzie February 22, 2016, 12:44 pm

    I used this facewash for the first time the other day. And my face broke out in the worse heat rash itchy spots I’ve ever had. I look awful, I wish I could send you a picture of my skin. I had really clear skin, beautifully clear after 6 weeks of using Johnson’s baby wash and lotion. Then I swap to clinique and theres not a 2cm patch of my skin that hasn’t got a red spot bump. No whiteheads just red itchy bumps 🙁

  • Julia March 17, 2016, 1:58 pm

    I had exactly the same experience 🙁 I bought the mild face wash and within 24 hours my cheeks are flaming red, bumpy and so itchy 🙁 My skin was in great shape before this.

  • Kay March 28, 2017, 7:21 am

    Julia and Liz, I feel you. I also have the exact reaction on my face and I had bought their jumbo sizes…and I’m scared to finish the bottles but my friend suggests that I do

    Now I have those sore red headed pimples popping out for the first time in my life, everyone is asking me the same question…..after these I might just go back to my dove soap and ponds 🙁

  • Maria August 22, 2017, 6:01 am

    I bought the 3-step routine in travel size and after a few days of use I had A LOT of red bumps on my forehead, but I had no idea which product caused them. Now they extended between my eyebrows too, but thanks God I know what causes them. I thought it’s just me, but apparently not.

  • Star Miller April 1, 2019, 7:00 pm

    I’ve been using Clinique off and on for the past 3 years. Mainly due to laziness of not keeping a regular schedule of washing my face with the facial soaps.
    I use the 7 Day Scrub Cream and then the facial soap for oily skin And the last thing i use is the “clarifying lotion #2” really its just like rubbing alcohol sorta to an extent.

    But ya i use these products but every time i start out washing my face i break out, and i usually don’t have anything crazy going on with white heads. Idk i don’t break out in a rash, but I do break out from not using it in a while. And every time it makes me apprehensive to use it again.
    Idk im gonna test it out one last time and see how I personally do.

    And as a Side note my mom uses the same products i do and she claims that it works well. She often typically wears her makeup longer than i do and also has oily skin as well.
    Personally for me after using the soap once a day religiously for a few weeks my skin gets better. It’s just the 1st week that makes me break out.
    Also i do highly recommend Clinique’s Acne Solution Foundation that has Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment in it.
    The reason i recommend specifically and only this foundation out of the many times they have is because of the acne solution that’s in it.
    Everytime I’m about to break out all i have to do is put on some foundation for a day or so and evetually the acne spot disappears.

    Anyways I hope I was help to someone and good luck if you do plan on or already are using these products

  • Danielle October 24, 2019, 3:24 am

    I’ve only just started I’m noticing little black heads and some pimples appear not sure if I should stop using clinique I mean the lady told me that it’s normal. I also can’t use the toner as it felt like it was tingling so I just use the face wash and moisturiser seems to keep my skin nice and smooth..

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