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Review: Clinique Pore Refining Solutions

By 15:31 , ,

I've had visible medium-sized pores for as long as I can remember. I've actually given up hope on ever having a smooth complexion or even smaller pores. Okay maybe smooth complexion is pushing it a little, perhaps a lot but if smaller pores is achievable then that will help loads. To put a damper on things, did you know that there are 300,000+ pores on our face and will double in size from age 25-50!

More often than not along with visible pores there is the oily skin concern. Oily skin is just unflattering especially when flash photography is involved. Take it from me I've been trying to sort out my oily skin issues almost my whole life until recently when I managed to find products that has helped to balance out the oil and moisture levels making it less oily then before. Blotting sheets are still a must though.

For about three weeks now I have been trying out Clinique's Pore Refining Solutions range to see if there is a difference with my pores and oiliness issues. Clinique Pore Refining Solutions range is designed to keep pores clean and refined for a fresh and healthy looking skin.I will go through the products individually before getting into my review for you guys to get a clearer picture on what each product is suppose to do.

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum is a new formula that instantly diminishes the appearance of pores while simultaneously helping to strengthen and tighten skin's surface over time. It claims to visibly reduce the appearance of pores is reduced by 58% in just 2 weeks!

That's a strong statement. I'm sure you're just as curious about it when I first heard it. How exactly does it works to minimise the pores? It contains a unique Pore Refining Complex that works in three ways to help minimize pores.
  • Supports cell maturation: Uses Padina Pavonica Extract to activate a natural skin enzyme that helps ensure cells are healthy and fully developed when they reach skin's surface, preventing rough texture, a weak skin barrier and large pores.
  • Balance oil production using "Smart" Technology: First, Laminaria Saccharina Extract minimises sebum production. Then Hydrolyzed Soy Proteins and Coconut Acid work to "seek out" areas with excess sebum and balance production so skin is never too oily or too dry. Better sebum balance means less clogged and distended pores and a more youthful appearance.
  • Keep skin smooth with gentle desquamation: Salicylic Acid and Acetyl Glucosamine gently clear out dead or dulling skin cells that build up around the edges of pores, keeping pores clear so they don't stretch out and appear larger than they really are.

Enlarged pores are also caused by:
  • Environmental and surface stressors
  • Sagging skin - Aging skin quickly looses its elasticy. Ursolic Acid and Rosemary Extract boost skin's support structure to provide a more poreless look
  • Dehydration - The serum provides light hydration to keep surface cells plump so that pores appear minimised
For shiny surface, the Silicone Polymers evens out surface imperfections and deliver mattifying and light diffusing effects to instantly blur the appearance of pores without clogging them. Yes you read right, Silicone. As you guys would already know by now, I'm not huge fan of products containing silicone of any variant. So we'll see how this serum works on me.

The Correcting Serum comes out as an opaque gel-like consistency and is quite light in texture. When applied on to the skin it absorbs quite easily but I can't help but feel that there's a very thin film clinging to the skin. It comes in a pump dispenser which easily controls the amount required. I only use 3/4 of a pump, not even a full pump. The amount is enough to cover my entire face.

Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum can be used all over the face or just on areas with visible pores - morning and night followed by moisturiser of choice.

To compliment the serum there is the Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay-Matte Hydrator if you choose to use this after the serum. The Stay-Matte Hydrator instantly mattifies the skin, controls excess sebum and provides oil-free hydration throughout the day. It also contains innovative technology to instantly diminish the appearance of pores.

This moisturiser controls surface shine and excess sebum production with ingredients such as Laminaria Saccharina Extract which results in less surface over time and Alcohol Denatured which gives a cooling pore tightening sensation leaving the skin feeling refreshed.

The skin's moisture is also rebuilt with a Granlipid a cocktail of natural ingredients. It also helps support cells while they mature which helps the pore wall remain strong.

Siegesbeckia Orientalis Extract helps support skin helping to make then pores apprear smaller and tighter. While Acetyl Glucosamine is a skin exfoliating technology of amino-sugar that helps keep pores clear of dead surface skin cells.

The texture of the Stay-Matte Hydrator is impressively lighter than Clinique Gel Moisturiser, watery almost. It readily absorbs into the skin. However I felt that it didn't give enough hydration compared to my usual moisturiser. This also comes in a pump dispenser which you can easily control. I use a full pump for this which is more than enough for my entire face. Perhaps I was just paranoid that my face may not be getting enough hydration.

Here's something to apply in the day after the Stay-Matter Hydrator, Clinique's Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector. It has been upgraded with "smart" sebum-balancing ingredients that not only provide an immediate reduction in the appearance of pores by over 50% but also help minimise excess sebum production, which is an important long-term approach to diminishing pore size.

The new Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector incorporates a blend of Hydrolyzed Soy Protein and Coconut Acid to help minimise sebum production only where needed. This "smart" technology helps maintain skin's stability by using ingredients that seek out areas with excess sebum and normalise oil production creating a healthy poreless look for up to eight hours.

The Instant Perfector is made of cross-linked silicone polymers. Yes, it's the 'S'  word again. Upon application you will notice that there is an invisible breathable film that fills in and smoothes out the pore surface. It immediately absorbs the oils leaving a matter finish. Sophisticated spherical optical diffusers and soft focus materials help diffuses light to minimise imperfections. Vitamin E and Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate provide necessary antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection.

As for the Instant Perfector, the consistency is a bit thicker than the Correcting Serum. I tried applying a very thin layer after the Stay-Matte Hydrator but it felt as though I had an obvious layer of film on the surface. I also experienced a slight itching sensation. I'm assuming the percentage of Silicone Polymer in this product is higher than the serum. I also noticed that it enhanced some of my acne spots that were drying up instead of minimising the appearance. But it did make my complexion appear much smoother. I went on to apply my liquid foundation and kept checking in the mirror every 15 minutes. I'm a tad paranoid with melting makeup. I noticed some blotchy parts after about 2-3 hours later. When I blotted, my foundation came off which doesn't normally happen. Eventually it melted off. Tried it for a few days but I just couldn't get my foundation to stay on. I assume that it was the Silicone at work. So I decided not to continue with it.

If you're interested in trying this, it is available in 3 skin-perfecting tints - New Invisible Bright, Invisible Light and Invisible Deep. Ths advanced, long-wearing formula conceals without adding colour to the complexion, and can be worn under or over foundation, with just powder or alone. It can be used over the whole face or just in the t-zone and be reapplied as needed throughout the day for touch-ups.

The Review

I spent the first 4 days trying to figure out the frequency of use that is suitable for my skin as I had some minor issues with the products on my first day. If you noticed from the product introduction I mentioned that two of the products contain Silicone Polymers - the Correcting Serum and Instant Perfector, one more than the other. After trying out all three products I realised that I was unable to use this range in the day as I couldn't get my liquid foundation to stay on.

So I settled on using the Correcting Serum and Stay-Matte Hydrator at night only and completely omit the Instant Perfector from my routine. I will however show you photos of what my skin looks like while wearing the Instant Perfector.

As this range promises results in 2 weeks, I have been using is for about 3 weeks and bare in mind it's only at night. In the day I go back to using my usual gel moisturiser from Clinique 3-step.

With the pores, I didn't really notice a difference within the first few days. I started to see a difference in a bit over a week especially at the nose area and the cheek area nearest to the nose, that's where my pores are most obvious. My pores seem to look some what smaller. When I went on to apply foundation over it, it looked less obvious.

Using it for three weeks now, there is some difference in pore size as well as oiliness. My pore size seems to have reduced by almost 35% and my oiliness by about 40%. It's taking a tad longer to see results with the pores due to my frequency of use. I still blot by the way, not that my face has been rid off oils completely. It's just that my complexion is not as shiny and oozing oil much as before and. Check out the photos below.

It was a pleasant surprise waking up in the morning though. My skin which usually looks like I could scrape off some of the oils to fry an egg, looked less oily by about 25% within the first few days. Currently it's like 40% less oily. I mean the oils are still there but it's a lot less and it doesn't look as shiny. Which means I can only fry half an egg with it now. *laughs*

I thought not using it in the day might counter the effect the products had the night before but my oils were decently controlled throughout the day with less blotting in between. How unexpected is that? The oil controlling effects seems to last. My skin also showed obvious signs of oiliness about 4 hours after applying my makeup. It's usually an hour after application. Seriously.

That said,I higly recommend the Correcting Serum and the Stay-Matte Hydrator if you are concerned with visible pores and/or oil control. I was sceptical as first due to the silicone content but perhaps a small amount in combination with the right ingredients could make a difference.

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions range is available as of August at all Clinique outlets.

Price list
Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum RM200 for 30ml
Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay Matte Hydrator RM165 for 50ml
Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector RM88 for 15ml

*Note: Products are press sample.

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  1. Great in depth review! Thanks for posting. I'm considering purchasing this range and this review was very helpful!

  2. hi dear, i've bought this few days ago but i'm not sure whether to apply this before or after i apply the other brand of serum and moisturiser. can you give some advise?

  3. Hi Shanna,

    Happy to know this review helped. Thanks so much for dropping by! :)

  4. Hi there!

    The Instant Perfector should be applied after serum and moisturiser as it's meant to work some what as a base apart from minimising the pore size. Hope this helps. :)

  5. Thanks for this thorough review! Really helped me to decide whether to get some of these or not ;)
    Christina ♥

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