Face cream
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Clinique Clarifying Lotions come in different numbered varieties that are designed to address oily skin issues. The higher the number, the oilier the skin is that needs help. Some ingredients are used in all the formulas, while others are just in certain ones.

Ingredients in All Formulas

Five basic ingredients are in Clarifying Lotion 1, Lotion 2 and Lotion 3. These include water, witch hazel, alcohol or denatured alcohol, Red 6 and Violet 6. Witch hazel, a plant-based additive, removes surface oil, like an astringent. Alcohol works as a base to move ingredients over the skin and keeps them there. It evaporates quickly. Red 6 and Violet 6 are dyes that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


Dyes included in the lotions are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use. Red 33 is included in Lotion 1 and 2 while orange is in Lotion 3. Colorings add nothing of use to the mixture and can sometimes be an allergen.

Benzalkonium Chloride

This additive in Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3 acts like a preservative in keeping the product fresh and protected from mold, fungi and bacteria. It has an alternative use as an antimicrobial agent.


Added in Clinique Clarifying Lotions 1 and 2, glycerin is a hydrator that aids in allowing a mixture to glide over the skin’s surface.


Menthol is an additive present in Lotion 1 and Lotion 2. Menthol derives itself from peppermint and may irritate the skin.

Sodium Borate

This additive in Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 preserves the formula and may act as an irritant. Sodium borate acts in this compound as a preservative that will keep the freshness of the product and hinder spoilage.

Sodium Bicarbonate

Added in Clarifying Lotion 1, sodium bicarbonate neutralizes acid. Another name for it is baking soda; it is in the formula to activate pH balance.

Salicylic Acid

An additive in Lotion 3, classified as a beta hydroxy acid, exfoliates the skin. Effectively sloughing off dead skin cells and leaving behind newer, smoother skin, it reduces oil in the pores, says the Derma Doctor.

Butylene Glycol

Butylene glycol is also known as propylene glycol and added in Lotion 3. A glycol acts like a humectant and humidifier, adding moisture to the skin’s surface. Alternate uses of butylene glycol include aiding the active ingredients in the mixture, allowing them better penetration in the skin.

Disodium EDTA

Disodium EDTA, an additive in Lotion 3, stabilizes cosmetic formulas and prevents minerals and other elements from binding together, says the Cosmetics Cop website. Additives who act in this function are chelating agents. EDTA is an acronym for ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid.