With the words “clinical”, “radical”, “corrector” and “interrupter” in its name, the Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter ($115 for 30ml, $150 for 50ml) sounds like a task force being sent to deal with pesky pigmentation on my face.
As the key product in Clinique’s #EvenBetterYou campaign whose aim is to enable women to achieve better skin and put their best face forward, you could say this is a serum on a mission indeed. Think of it as the springboard that sets you on your way to more radiant, even-toned and better-looking skin.
After all, when you look better, you feel better about yourself too. It’s a journey that Clinique feels strongly about supporting women in.
The war against pigmentation
Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter makes this promise: It’s going to fade the appearance of dark spots and old acne scars, and at the same time, disrupt the formation of future pigmentation.
The secret lies in what Clinique calls “damage erasers” that are supposed to treat your pigmentation issues – whether it’s the dark spots and acne marks you’ve carried around for years, or those your skin is developing at this moment, or preventing the pigmentation to come.
This is done using patented Clinique skin tech. First, the Corrector part of the serum. Simply called CL302, it’s a complex that targets existing dark spots with a double dose of brightening ingredients. The brand has developed a brightening molecule that works the same way as a TCM herb called Dianella Ensifolia, that’s known for its brightening properties, working alongside vitamin C derivative ascorbyl glucoside, glucosamine, yeast extract and salicylic acid.
The ingredients break up pigmentation clusters, so your dark patches and old blemish marks look less obvious, and your skin tone, more even. It also gently sloughs away melanin-laden skin cells for a clearer complexion.
Now to the Interrupter part of Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter, which prevents future pigmentation. This is done through a cocktail of soothing ingredients: gyokuro (a premium variety of green tea), mulberry root, rice bran and licorice extracts along with a complex of olive squalene, barley and wheat germ extracts.
It’s meant to both protect against free radical damage and calm skin, minimising inflammation that can trigger excess melanin production.
What happened when I used it for 7 days
Day zero. Before I start using the Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter brightening serum, I spend a good five minutes staring at my face in the mirror. I memorise every pigmentation spot (argh – since when did I start getting age spots on my left cheek?) and old blemish marks that have taken up permanent residency around the chin and lower face.
Upon first application, I noticed that there is a slight slip (the kind you get with silicone). Honestly, I’m not a fan of this feeling. But fortunately, it is ever so slight, so I’m prepared to overlook it.
Texture-wise, the serum is a little viscous, and not as thin as the other serums I’ve tried. But it absorbs easily and feels comfortable on the skin.
It’s also fragrance-free, so it doesn’t irritate the skin or senses. It states that one pump is all that’s needed each time, and it is indeed true. Once, I accidentally ended up with two pumps and found that it was a little too much for my face, which ended up with a shiny finish.
Among the must-dos, the instructions also add that “daily sunscreen is imperative”, so if you’re only using a moisturiser or foundation with SPF, you might want to include a separate sunscreen to ensure that your skin is well protected.
After the first week
It’s been a week since I introduced this brightening serum into my daily skincare regimen.
I usually combine it with my regular vitamin C serum, in addition to other anti-ageing serums. This added one doesn’t feel heavy on the skin, and most importantly, it doesn’t aggravate or cause any breakouts.
Has it lightened my pigmentation or blemish marks? Not to the naked eye at least, even though I’ve been staring at my face every morning. But since incorporating Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter into my routine, I have noticed that my complexion looks somewhat clearer and it feels a little more hydrated too.
These days, I can get by with a light coverage of BB cream and concealer on the undereye area and on my more stubborn blemish marks when heading out, which in itself is a big step in my quest to achieve a clear and glowing complexion.
The second week and beyond
I wasn’t really expecting my pigmentation spots and stubborn acne marks to complete disappear – brightening skincare takes time and dedicated use to work. But overall, my complexion seems a little more even and looks smoother too. In short, using the serum has been so far, so good.
Most importantly, while the science behind the formula can seem intimidating with its powerhouse of different ingredients, it is still gentle enough to be used twice a day and on all skin types (though for really sensitive skins, you should still do a patch test, just in case).
Of course with all skincare, there is no overnight miracle. You have to give it time to do its thing and work its magic. So only time will tell if it does all that it promises to.
The Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Correct + Interrupter is available at all Clinique counters.