Rated 3.74 out of 5 stars
The negative reviews of this product surprise me and that some are saying that the directions are not clear. Any time one uses a Retinol product, you HAVE to apply a moisturizer over it. If you don't, you will end up with red, dry, painful skin. The directions on the pkg insert as well as here under the product description or How to Use are very clear in stating to use an additional moisturizer over this product. All that said, I am loving this product and am thrilled that Clinique finally offers a retinol face cream. My skin feels smoother, looks brighter and my large pores appear to be slightly reduced. In addition, my lines seem to be a little smoother. I've only been using this for a week every other night, so I'm certain I will see more pronounced results after 4-6 weeks. Retinol is not an over night cure and does take quite a bit of time (up to a year with every other night application allowing a 1-2 week break every 4-6 weeks) to see drastic results. The directions are VERY CLEAR to start out applying Every Other Night to see how your skin reacts (especially if you are a first time Retinol user or haven't used it in a long time) and to apply a moisturizer over this. Even if your skin is pretty tough, extra moisturizer is a must when using any product containing Retinol. If you start out slowly (every other night) and apply moisturizer on top of this (I.e. after you apply retinol, then apply a moisturizer right away), I promise, you will love this product and see results. I'm 56, and have fine lines on the neck skin under my chin and the area between my lower lip and chin bone. I also inherited smokers lines from my mom's side....not to mention the dreaded 11's! Hang in there with this, be patient and give it time and above all, apply a moisturizer over it every time you apply it.
I used this product as directed and had to discontinue it before I even made it out of the two week period where you only use it every other day. As a disclaimer I wasn't even going outside (thanks COVID) so it wasn't like I got a bunch of sun and messed myself up. I really did use it as directed.
First my face started peeling like I was a snake shedding an entire layer of skin, which didn't bother me because that's sort of what it's supposed to do. I did experience burning when applying the product, which again I anticipated.
The problem was that it opened up a 25 year-old, very faint, scar on the bridge of my nose and it turned back into a scab. At that point I got a bit worried and stopped using the product and thankfully my nose healed back up in a few days.
Now my forehead is perpetually shiny, which I hope will go away at some point.
So - definitely not the right product for everyone. Way too intense for my skin and scared me by reopening a super old wound.
Erin from Monterey, CA
Do not wear outside. Makes wrinkles 200 times worse. Sunscreen does not protect from sun. Must stay indoors. Crazy strong. I saw results in two days. Then went outside and wrinkles came back worse. Can't live without sunlight unless you're a vampire. Thank god I can return it.
RK Dunn from NC
Retinol's take time to see results (a long time) you have to stick with it. I have been using this retinol product for a year now and I really like it. It has good moisture and it doesn't make my skin as flaky as prescription Retin-A. After applying the retinol I use the Clinique Smart clinical repair. I use the retinol a few nights then I skip a night when I feel my face it getting warm meaning, if I feel like I'm about to get a sunburn feeling, I'll skip a night. I am 51 and I have used retinols for 11 years. My skins looks better now than it did 10 years ago. Clinique has made a wonderful product I love it! I will continue to use it as long as they don't charge it.
Michelle from Joliet IL
The first time I used this product I used it 2 nights in a row. My face, neck and chest felt burnt and itched for 4 days and 4 nights. The pores on my nose shrunk! My face, neck and chest are glowing. Moving forward I will use once a week. Great product!
Jean from California
I received this as a sample with a Clinique purchase. Since I've found other serums a little irritating, I used it only on my neck and not more than about three times a week. It was moisturizing, but I didn't notice any improvement in fine wrinkles, not surprising since I used it only lightly, but my skin did become more sensitive and began to experience a light burning feeling. I wouldn't recommend this for older or more sensitive skin types.
Terri725 from Chicago
I was a little skeptical at first with some of the reviews mentioning redness and peeling. Glad I went for it. I use a pea-sized amount mixed with Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. Once absorbed, I use another nighttime cream over the top (I use Smart Night). In the morning and on opposite nights, I use the Vitamin C serum in place of this Retinol product in a similar type regimen but with a daytime lotion on top of the mix. (Have been using the Vit C for years). After just the first couple of uses, I noticed that my skin is brighter, smoother and pores seem smaller. I experienced absolutely no redness. It's truly incredible how nice my skin looks. I'm 55 and I could easily go without makeup now. Wow, never thought I'd say that. I highly recommend to anyone who's skeptical.
Lisa26 from Philadelphia, PA
I started using this back in October so I'm almost at the six month mark. This retinol is the best retinol product I have ever used! I used to pay double for a brand that did half of what this product does. Now, I'm in my early fifties with fair, combination skin, so I can turn pink/red. I did have to go through the "purge" phase where I had the largest pimples on the sides of my chin but after a few weeks it was all over. If you have very sensitive skin I probably wouldn't use this. Why risk it when you can just use the clinical wrinkle serum and clinical wrinkle moisturizer. All you need is patience and this retinol product will work for you if have less sensitive skin. I use the retinol at night after I cleanse my face and put the clinical wrinkle serum on prior to this product. If I need more moisture I apply the clinical wrinkle moisturizer as my last step. Also, I use the clinical wrinkle serum and moisturizer on my neck. Added bonus is using the clinical wrinkle eye cream…omg, the best :)!! This collection has turned my skin around. I had a woman the other day at work who swore I was only in my late thirties. Yeah, she's my new bestie ;). Thank you so much Clinique. I'm a returning customer and I ain't leaving :)!
from Oklahoma City
I should have read the instructions better which I wasn't made aware of when I bought it. I used too much too often for a few days in a row and burned my skin. But now my skin feels so new. It exfoliated my top layer and left me with smooth skin. So I'll now follow directions.
Hroxy31 from Florida
People be aware that retinoid products are not for everyone, but that does NOT mean that the product is bad. I have been using this product for years and I love it.
Renee S from New Jersey
Received this product as a holiday gift and it excited me. I coincidentally had to start using it with other brand of toner, so at first I didn't know which was bothering my skin. I didn't want to stop using this product. But today I have to admit this little tube have irritated my skin and it's flaky and red and sore, sore like sunburned peeling. I didn't have this kind of reaction with other retinol products, so it's too bad.
Bonnie from Greenville SC
I used Clinique for years... and never had a problem with any of their products until this product. I was using the Smart night cream for years and loved it! When it was discontinued this product was recommended. I was unaware of the problems that retinol can cause. I am outdoors a lot and have fair sensitive skin. This product was the worst! My face and neck broke out. My eyes are still swollen from using this product. If you have sensitive skin or in the sun do NOT use this product. Very disappointed with Clinique and this product!
Sneaker from NJ
Used to it for way longer than I should have. Kept trying to get past the purge phase but five months later and it's still causing cystic acne. It's a no for me.
Even_Elen from Waynesboro, VA
I have highly sensitive skin and I am really cautious with retinol serums and lotions. This one was recommended by a salesman to me and I decided to try it. I can say it didn't cause any irritation but it somehow left my skin dry. I cannot explain that. I will use it but not going to purchase again.
Chris from Santa Fe
I'm 63 and this product was recommended by an Ulta clerk after the Smart night moisturizer was discontinued. My face became red like a sun burn, the texture was like an alligator and then it started to peel off and flake terribly. I would caution those of you with sensitive skin not to use this product. I have used Clinique for years and will continue to do so, but I feel the store clerks should inform customers of the adverse effects.
JR from Idaho
This retinol is nice but start slow. I thought my skin was ready for this but nope. I got very sensitive around the eyes after the first use. But it works wonders on acne around my chin and jaw. Also use it on my neck and lessened the wrinkles
JennP from Swansboro NC
I am 42 yrs old, combination dry skin, few laugh lines (and side of eyes) and dark circles. I recently started researching retinol to add to my skincare routine. (I first started with a store bought brand that was too strong and made my face red). I wanted something with Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid. (Which I now see a lot of Clinique products have the Hyaluronic Acic for moisture. And carry retinol stuff and I never noticed. Ha! ) So, I search the website and accidentally ordered this Night clinical MD multi-dimensional Repair instead of the Smart Repair Wrinkle Correcting Serum. So I gave this a try anyway. And I MUST SAY, I was really impressed! IT HAS DONE Wonderfully on my skin in just a couple weeks. My skin is softer, Looks fresher, and I don't even wear as much make up. I also use Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Eye Cream, and The Moisture Surge cream twice a day and Clinique Smart Night Custom-Repair Moisturizer sometimes at night. I do need to find a better SPF to use when I start going outside more. Hope these results will continue.
sara from ca
My skin is getting brighter and smoother and works very well for my sensitive skin.
Nancy from NY
It does make a difference to the way my skin looks. It's a bit drying and irritating for sensitive skin so cannot use it everyday. On the packaging it says after the initial week can use eveyrdya night? But i use it eveyrday 2-3 days and think it's great.
Lkpolo from Pennsylvania
This is a good retinol for those that can't tolerate a prescription formula. Since my skin is sensitive I started out at one day a week then after a couple weeks I reduced it by one day every couple of weeks. I followed up with Moisture Surge 100 hour and for breakouts I used the Clearing Gel. I went through a stage with breakouts and skin that just looked terrible with makeup then I gradually started to see good results that told me to keep going. It seems like a higher cost than some products like this but it contains some good ingredients you would need to add otherwise. I can't stress enough how important it is to use a retinol especially after 40 or 50 and a sunscreen. This seems to be a good product for those of us that can't put a lot of product on our skin and not wake up broken out or irritated.
Sjc619 from Midwest
I love this product but I didn't love it to start with. It takes time for skin to adjust to it. I only used it every two nights to start with and gradually worked up to every night. Now, I love it and my skin is better for it. I'm 69 years old and have fought with oily skin and breakouts since my teens. Finally, with this product, no more breakouts and my skin is smoother and more even. You're not going to see results immediately but if you give it time, it's worth the adjustment period and the hefty price tag!
BluStateRefugee from SD
Omg, this stuff is terrible! Don't waste your money!!
Based on other reviews, I used it very sparingly, like once every 10 days, and only on a couple wrinkly spots, never my whole face. Like clockwork, within 3 days of application, my face was peeling like a healed sunburn, right in the areas where it was applied. We're talking flaking, diseased looking skin that only recovered after days of gentle exfoliation and straight jojoba oil.
I'm usually pretty happy with Clinique's products but this one should be recalled.
Mindy from Oklahoma
I tried the retinol for several weeks and oh my goodness my face broke out and looked like I was going through puberty all over again. I stopped using it and starting researching and came across what's called retinol purging.. I decided to start
using the retinol again. I am so happy I did.. my skin is absolutely stunning. My face finally cleared up and my pores has shrank. My skin did get sensitive at times, but during those times I applied facial moisturizer more frequently. I highly recommend this product but definitely encourage patience and consistency
Sunj from Fla.
Love this creamy treatment!
Zuly from Puerto Rico
With dry/combination skin type, I've been using this product at night for 1 year, in combination with dramatically different lotion + and moisture surge overnight mask. And I can say that at 45 yrs old, my fine lines are visibly and dramatically reduced. 100% recommended.
Kelsey from Milwaukee, WI
I am 29 now and recently started noticing fine lines on my forehead. I got worried about losing my youthful appearance and was going down a rabbit hole of information all the way to botox treatments. I learned about retinol and found that Clinique carries it, which made me feel more comfortable about trying it. I have been using it for 2 weeks now and feel like I am already noticing a difference I am satisfied with. If nothing else, it feels good to have a solution and to start taking care of my skin!
Kh from Virginia
Love this product! I have very sensitive skin and can't use prescription retinol. Only use this every 3 days and after 2 months see an amazing difference in texture, pores and hydration. It helps my moisturizer sink in. Start off slowly with any retinol product