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Clinique Introduces Its Best Ever Anti – Blemish System

  1. Behind the Scenes of Anti-Blemish Solutions 3-Step System

    Tom Mammone, Executive Director of Research and Development Worldwide, Clinique

    What causes blemishes?

Blemishes start when the sebaceous glands produce too much oil. Sebaceous glands attach to the skin’s hair follicles like little sponges. Normally the cells lining the hair follicle slough off regularly and the oil passes to the surface of the skin. But when this fails to happen, a pore becomes plugged and bacteria multiply, causing inflammation.

How did you go about developing the best treatment for blemish-prone skin?

About two years ago, Clinique put together an Blemish Task Force that included people from R&D and Product Development, as well as outside researchers, consultants and academics. This global team of experts in skin biology, blemish and sebum is still working together to ensure that we stay on top of the latest developments.


What did you discover about treating blemishes?

We know that there are four key areas that contribute to blemishes; dead surface cells that clog pores, increased oil production, a buildup of impurities and irritation. There is no one dermatological treatment or ingredient that treats all of these areas. For example, Retinoic Acid will reduce oil but not impurities and Salicylic Acid will exfoliate but not control excess oil. So we focused on finding a multi-prong approach that would address all four of these areas. What we discovered was that the best way to do this is to use a system or regimen of products.

So does each product in the line target one cause of blemishes?

No. There are ingredients in each product to address all four causes; however, each product in the system does have a focus. The cleanser focuses on preventing blemishes, the clarifying lotion focuses on exfoliation and excess oil control and the moisturizer focuses on reducing irritation and oil control. See the fact sheets for additional details on the ingredients.

Who is prone to blemishes?

Anyone can be prone to blemishes but the extent of the condition can vary quite a bit. Blemishes are most common from puberty to the late thirties but it is not only teenagers that suffer from breakouts. There are many people who had minimal breakouts in their teens that develop more blemishes later in life. There are also many people that have persistent blemishes throughout their whole life, meaning they always have a few lesions on their face every day or they consistently break out on a regular basis.


The factors responsible for blemishes, regardless of age or gender, are the same – heightened sebaceous gland activity triggered by a genetic predisposition, hormonal influences, impurities, hyper-keratinization (clogged pores) and individual irritation response. Stress, environment (dirt, sweat, etc.), fluctuating hormonal changes and other imbalances can also play a role in breakouts.

When should Anti-Blemish Solutions 3-Step System be used?

People who have recurring or persistent blemishes, should use this Clear Skin system. As I mentioned before, this includes someone that always has a few lesions on their face every day or someone who consistently breaks out on a regular basis.


If you experience occasional blemishes, there are products such as Anti-Blemish Solutions Spot Treatment Gel (Clear Blemish Gel – UK) that are designed to address them. This Clear Skin system is not intended for sporadic breakouts and it is not an “instant” fix. It is really designed for someone with continual or recurring blemishes.


If you suffer from severe or cystic blemish, you should see a dermatologist.

How long should I use the Anti-Blemish Solutions 3-Step System?

Every person is different but there is a peak time for blemishes which is during the adolescent and teen years. If you are prone to blemishes you should definitely use Anti-Blemish Solutions 3-Step System as your daily skin care throughout that time and at any other time in your life that you find yourself developing blemishes. You should use the Clear Skin system for as long as the problem persists and also for maintenance after the problem clears.


Your skin turns over every 30 to 60 days – we can call this one cycle. Any product should be used for several cycles to ensure that the maximum benefits are received. If you feel that your skin has completely cleared after using Anti-Blemish Solutions 3-Step System for several cycles, you may consider alternating between Anti-Blemish Solutions and Clinique 3-Step, using one in the morning and one at night. If your skin is responding well to this new regimen after several more cycles, then you may want to consider returning to Clinique 3-Step twice a day.

 Do I really need to use Anti-Blemish Solutions 3-Step System twice a day?


It’s necessary to use the Clear Skin system twice a day because twenty-four hours is a long time to go before repeating the process. Oil glands continue to function twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, making it imperative to repeat the system.


Do people with blemishes really need a moisturizer?


All skin types should cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize twice a day, every day. Moisture is not simply about adding oil. It is about balancing and caring for the skin. It is not true to say that everyone with blemishes has oily skin. Blemishes are a skin condition, not a skin type and therefore, there are people that have quite a bit of oil production and blemishes but whose skin in between the oil glands is quite dry. This requires them to balance their blemish treatments with moisturization.


Also, moisturization is an important part of addressing the anti-irritation prong. Cleansing removes oil and surface impurities, and exfoliating unclogs the pores which goes a long way to preventing the formation of blemishes. But cleansing and exfoliating are like a work out for your skin and since irritation is one of the main causes of blemishes, it is important to soothe and calm the skin with the appropriate moisturizer. People with oily or blemish-prone skin should choose a moisturizer that is right for their skin type, for example, an oil free moisturizer like the one in the Anti-Blemish Solutions 3-Step System.


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