Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Clinique Derma White Super City Block SPF 40++

I've been using this Clinique Super City Block SPF 40++ from their Derma White line for nearly a month now. This sunscreen is formulated especially for Asian skin, and is available exclusively in Asia. It comes in an ounce tube which retails for about 400 RMB, or roughly $40.00 USD. Unfortunately, I don't think you can purchase this from the Clinique website anymore in the states. I got it off their website over a year ago during one of their bonus times, and it was probably a clearance item since I only paid about $28.00. This product has been marked way up from that price at other online stores like Strawberry.net. CosmeticGarments.com was selling this for $22.50 around Christmas, but now the price has bounced back up, sadly. If price is a deterrent, you'll probably want to skip on this one. Personally, I am willing to spend a lot of money on skincare, especially sunscreen--as long as I find something that really works. And since I'm beginning to look into skin whitening products, this product seemed like a good place to start.

I'm terrified of tanning, so I've always been very vigilant about applying sunscreen, but until just last year I never ventured beyond using Oil of Olay All Day Moisture Lotion Complete SPF 15. I have always wanted a higher protection sunscreen in a similar formula and consistency...BUT, we all know that the higher the SPF is, the more greasy it becomes. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out this sunscreen is completely oil-free and greaseless. I could really tell that it was oil-free because though I had it in storage for several months, the product didn't separate (in some sunscreens, the cream settles and the oil floats to the top). When smoothing it onto the skin, it feels like any regular lotion. Though this sunscreen contains silicone (dimethicone), I can't feel it in the texture at all, unlike in my prior experience with MAC Prep + Prime SPF 50. It goes on very smoothly, yet still quickly dries to a matte finish. The finish allows this sunscreen to be easily worn under your makeup. It's actually formulated to also act as a makeup primer. I like that this sunscreen dries quickly, but I think it dries a little too quickly. I like my lotion and creams to remain moist so I can smooth it over as much of my face as possible before it dries, but because this sunscreen dries quickly, it doesn't spread very well, though this product is quite watery. I end up applying more product on my face than I would normally with other sunscreen. So though I have combination skin, I prefer a sunscreen that feels more moisturizing and less matte. I suppose in the summer I'll appreciate this product more, haha.

The Derma White Super City Block also looks like a tinted sunscreen, or a pale bb cream or tinted moisturizer. However, this sunscreen isn't meant to provide any coverage, so it shouldn't be a substitute for foundation. At the same time, this sunscreen contains silica, which seems to have been milled so that after applying the sunscreen onto your skin it reflects light. I actually don't particularly like this aspect of the sunscreen. Somehow my skin looks really artificial; though I can't see any discernable flecks of silica, I oddly look more tan, almost as if I'm already wearing a poor quality foundation. I cannot wear my normal Skinfood bb cream over this foundation, and I have to dust on Make Up For Ever HD Finishing Powder to offset this bizarre artificial effect. Fortunately, my skin only requires a tiny bit concealing here and there, so I'm able to pull off this sunscreen without looking funny. I can imagine gals with a lot of blemishes not liking this sunscreen very much. I've never experienced anything quite like this before...should I call it a "matte disco ball" effect? Maybe the lighting is the culprit...but I find myself missing the subtle glow of MAC's Prep + Prime SPF 50 over this one.

The following is a list of ingredients I've typed up off the side of the box.

Active Ingredients:
Zinc Oxide 8.8%, Octinoxate 7.5%, Titanium Dioxide 6.6%, Octisalate 2%
Water/Aqua/Eautrioctyldodecyl Citrate, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Steareth-2, Silica, Aluminum Stearate, Angelica Acutiloba (Japanese Angelica) root extract, Porphyra Yezoensis (Algae) extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) extract/Extrait d'orge, Zizyphus Jujuba fruit extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa (peony) root extract, cucumis Sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) seedcake, Saccharomyces Lysate extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (safflower) flower extract, Rosa Roxburghii fruit extract, Paeonia Albiflora (peony) root extract, Gardenia Florida extract, lecithin, Poria Cocos Sclerotium extract, Propylene Glycol dicaprate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), yeast extract/faex/extrait de levure, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (licorice) root extract, citric acid, peg-100 stearate, Betula Alba (birch) bark extract, acetyl glucosamine, tocopheryl acetate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) extract, caffeine, magnesium ascorbyl, phosphate, squalane, glycyrrhetinic acid, Gentiana Lutea (Gentian) root extract, Oryza Sativa (rice) bran extract, Ceteth-2, peg-40 stearate, sorbitan tristearate, magnesium aluminum silicate, polyglyceryl-6 polyricinoleate, tricaprylin, sucrose, stereath-20, sodium rna, sodium stearate, isopropyl titanium triisostearate, stearic acid, pantethine, Rosmarinus Officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Glycine Soja (soybean) seed extract, glycerin, barium sulfate, glucose, caprylyl glycol, hexylene glycol, polyethylene, peg/ppg-18/18 dimethicone, Citrus Unshiu peel extract, xanthan gum, disodium edta, bht, chlorphenesin, phenoxyethanol, mica, iron oxides (Ci-77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), titanium dioxide (Ci 77891) [ILN29176]

Though I'm turned off by the silica, I was so impressed with how many fruit and plant extracts Clinique stuffed into this sunscreen. Also, notice how there are NO parabens. Amazing! All you natural gals will probably like this sunscreen, since it's very hard to find a quality, non-greasy, high SPF product. (But if any of you spy any other harmful preservatives in the ingredients, please let me know, and I will immediately retract my recommendation!)

Honestly, this review is probably still somewhat premature, since I started using this product way before any of the other Derma White products I've recently acquired. I tried the Moisture Milk and Brightening Essence for the first time a couple days ago, and was struck by the revelation that this sunscreen is probably one of those products that should only be used with other products from the same line : ). So, I will review the other 2 Derma White products shortly and then do a product update on the sunscreen. Let's see if Clinique Derma White's "whitening" properties really work!

You can check out the rest of the complete Derma White line here, but remember that it's not available in the US, so everything is in Chinese text.


fuzkittie said...

Great detailed review! Thanks a lot~ It is definitely not easy to come across high SPF (40+) blocks that are really nice.. unless you're in Asia, hehe.

Hiew said...

It only cost RM130 in Malysia. hehe