Come the hot summer months, skin often becomes oilier. For those with drier skin types, this is not a problem, but for those with oily or acne-prone skin to begin with, this can become an issue. One of my friends recently told me she felt like she had so much grease on her face that she could “fry an egg.”
Enter the Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay-Matte Hydrator ($34.99, Amazon.com). This product is one of the most clever formulations I have ever come across for oily or acne-prone skin. The secrets are two-fold: One, a clever meld of lightly hydrating, silky silicones and denatured alcohol, and two, mica and titanium dioxide, to dry with a matte finish.
About Denatured Alcohol
Despite everything you may have heard from Paula Begoun and even myself in my younger years, denatured or ethyl alcohol is not always bad in skin care products. Denatured alcohol gets such a bad name because it is pretty bad when used on its own. When you take denatured alcohol and apply it directly to your skin, it binds to the water present in the uppermost layer of your skin and “flies away” with that water, leaving your skin pretty parched.
However, when present with a large dose of silicones, as in Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay-Matte Hydrator, denatured alcohol merely thins the formulation. Alcohol does this by interacting with chemical groups, called hydrocarbon chains. This makes it more appeasing to oily, acne-prone skin.
In turn, this thinning of the solution can also enhance the penetration of other ingredients in the formulation to your skin. This is because denatured alcohol shrinks the volume of solution the other ingredients have to travel in order to reach your skin. Other ingredients, like sodium tridecyl phosphate and ethoxydiglycol, do this as well.
So while I don’t often tout the benefits of alcohol, the true secret to Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay-Matte Hydrator is in fact a clever meld of denatured alcohol and silicones, as well as its ability to dry with a finish of mica and titanium dioxide.
Personal Use and Opinions
I had a friend who wishes to remain anonymous try Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay-Matte Hydrator for FutureDerm. After application, she claimed the product felt “silky and non-sticky.” She felt that it substituted as a primer, and that it was easy to apply makeup over top of it. She noted a “significant difference” in her skin oil levels, but still noted a bit of production after 6 hours, unlike the label, which claimed “8-hours oil-free”. Still, she said for the first time she didn’t have to reapply her makeup during her lunch hour, which I thought was perhaps the biggest testimonial for Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay-Matte Hydrator of all.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay-Matte Hydrator can make a huge difference. My only wish is that this gem contained sunscreen – though I do have recommendations for sunscreen in an earlier post, The Best Sunscreens for Oily/Acne-Prone Skin.
Ingredients in Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay-Matte Hydrator
Water, dimethicone, glycerin, denatured alcohol, polymethyl methacrylate, silica, talc, butylene glycol, trisiloxane, hydrogenated polyisobutene, hydrogenated lecithin, sigesbackia orientalis extract, triticum vulgare, hordeum vulgare, laminaria saccharina extract, cholesterol, soybean protein, sucrose, linoleic acid, squalane, diethylhexyl succinate, polyethylene, acetyl glucosamine, polydodecanamideaminium triazadiphenylethenesulfonate, ethylene/methacrylate copolymer, phospholipids, hexylene glycol, tocopherol acetate, isopropyl titanium triisostearate, caprylyl glycol, polyvinylalcohol crosspolymer, sodium carbomer, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP copolymer, chlorphensin, phenoxyethanol, mica, titanium dioxide