History of Clinique Cosmetics

By Cicely A. Richard

Clinique is one of the largest cosmetics and fragrance companies in the world, being sold in more than 80 countries worldwide. The history of Clinique Cosmetics stems from the idea that all women's skin is not created equal. They understand that one product does not fix all skin-care need. It was the first company of its kind that treated its customers like individuals and not as one unit.


In 1968, the Estee Lauder Company decided to create products that fit the individual skin care needs of women. Realizing that one beauty product doesn't work for every woman, they customized their beauty items.

The 3-Step System

Clinique chemists and dermatologists worked together to create the 3-step system of cleansing, toning and moisturizing skin. The basis of this method was that, no matter what kind of skin a person had, hygiene and cleanliness were the basis for healthy skin.

Allergens and Fragrances

Clinique was one of the first companies to produce skin care products that were hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. The only products that contain fragrance are their perfumes.

Customization System

Clinique formed a system in which customers' skin types are determined by completing a questionnaire in which they state their skin-care challenges. This customized system looks at such things as skin types, eye colors, and face and lip types. This system also looks at environmental factors that determine customers' skin care needs.


In 1999, Clinique Cosmetics expanded their line of specialized products with the introduction of Stop Signs, its first anti-aging serum. This product contained natural ingredients like whey protein and ascorbyl phosphate, which reduce fine lines and wrinkles and stimulate collagen production.


In 2000, Clinique Cosmetics introduced another anti-aging product, Anti-Gravity Firming Lift cream. This product protects the skin's thin outer layer, which helps skin cells work properly to maintain a healthy, longer life.