Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Corrector ($39.50 for 1 ounce) is a product many will be tempted to try, and why wouldn’t they be-this product claims to erase discolorations from sun damage and acne in four to six weeks.
Supposedly, Clinique’s multi-level approach targets pigment problems (including redness from acne) and exfoliates those unsightly marks away.
In terms of exfoliation, Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Corrector contains less than 0.5% salicylic acid (confirmed by Clinique via email; that’s why it’s not listed as an active ingredient), which is a meager amount at best.
However, no matter the amount, the pH of 4.4 prevents it from functioning as an exfoliant. The tiny amount of acetyl glucosamine doesn’t exfoliate either (and there’s no substantiated research proving otherwise), but it likely has merit as a water-binding agent. I don’t know how Clinique can position this serum as a skin-lightening product because the only ingredients it contains that have that potential aren’t present in impressive amounts, and research into these ingredients (mulberry root and ascorbyl glucoside) is not conclusive, nor have concentration protocols been established for skin-care products. What you may notice from using this silky-textured serum is an improvement in your skin’s appearance because of its moisturizing benefits, and that’s about it. Although the plant extracts it contains don’t have a solid history of efficacy for eliminating hyperpigmentation from sun damage and acne, they do have antioxidant potential. Couple that with the soothing agents and skin-identical substances Clinique included and you have yourself a very good serum for normal to very oily skin, and the price isn’t terribly high either.
This isn’t quite as impressive as Clinique’s Repainvear serum or Lauder’s Perfectionist [CP+] Wrinlde Lifting Serum, but both of those cost considerably more. As long as you don’t expect this serum to banish discolorations, you likely won’t be disappointed with its performance. In fact, the acne-prone may find that using a product like this to keep skin in a healthier state may result in faster fading of red marks (post-inflammatory Pigmentation) from blemishes. Even Better Skin Tone Corrector is fragrance-free but does contain artificial coloring agents.