So around the New Year, I decided this would be my year of Skin. Along with the breakout problems I had been having, I noticed that there were pigmentation and uneveness issues that I wanted to address and fix.
For Christmas I always order my mom the Clinique Dark Spot Corrector because it’s sort of her favorite thing, skin care wise. As a woman in her 60s (she claims to eternally be 18 lol) she has really nice skin actually, and it’s because of the past 8 or 9 years of work she’s put into it. She’s tried a lot of serums, and I think she always goes back to the Clinique for her dark spot corrector.
Given that I’m only 24, and that I don’t really have all that many skin issues, I never really paid attention to what needed to be fixed, let alone prevented. So when I decide this year would be Year of the Skin, I didn’t really know where to start.
It’s obvious to me now that “anti-aging” routines should start as soon as possible, because when I really take it into perspective, I’ve been hard on my skin.
I competitively swam for 14 years. It’s a lot of time spent outside. A lot of time, admittedly, without sunscreen. A lot of time being sunburnt. A lot of time wearing no hats. A lot of time treating my skin as if it would stay teenage-soft forever. And while evaluating what I need, I’ve noticed a lot of damage that I had previously done without even realizing it. Moral of this post #1 – always wear a sunscreen.
Going back to the breakouts I’ve been having, I also noticed a lot of hyperpigmentation due to those healed breakouts. And then going back into the “anti-aging” thing, I just decided that if I’m going to start nourishing my skin, I may as well start preventing future issues as well. Otherwise, other things I target for my skin would be redness, and large pores.
With my little mental checklist, I went onto Sephora’s site and started browsing all of their skin care products.
Now, I don’t know why I didn’t initially look into Clinique, but I basically ended up with only a handful of products that claimed to take care of what I wanted in a skin care item. I had all the nourishing and acne items handled, with my favorite masks and acne solutions. I also had all of my oily skin issues handled with my cleanser, toner and moisturizer. So what I realized I was looking for was an all-in-one anti-aging serum.
Of the handful of products Sephora offered, this Clinique one was the one I decided to try because I’ve had really good luck in the past with Clinique, and my mother swears by the brand.
Here is what Sephora provides as what the Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum does:

What it is:
A powerful serum that understands your skin’s needs, targeting uneven skintone, lines, and wrinkles for firmer, more radiant skin. 

What it is formulated to do:
Clinique Smart Smart Custom-Repair Serum contains calming ingredients that help deliver targeted repair—as needed, where needed. Recommended for all skin types, ages, and ethnicities, it visibly addresses uneven skintone, lines, and wrinkles for visibly firmer, more radiant, and more youthful-looking skin. 

What else you need to know:
This product features patented technology developed over five years of research. 

Suggested Usage: Apply twice daily, morning and night. Place two pumps into palm of hand. Apply all over your face in an upward motion. Apply remaining serum onto neck. Mornings, follow with sunscreen to maximize results. Pair Clinique Smart with a targeted moisturizer for a double dose of customized repair.

I originally started using it twice a day, along with a new sunscreen (which will be reviewed soon), before my moisturizer and sunscreen, but after my toner and Lush Greased Lightning Spot Treatment. For about two weeks, I used it everyday, twice a day, until I started noticing more clogged pores and blackheads.
In the past, whenever using serums, I’ve noticed this happening. My pores I guess just tend to get clogged more easily with the addition of serums like this. It’s an unfortunate side effect, but I sort of just deal with it.
I cut down to once a day then. However, I noticed a lot of small pimples starting to form in my chin area, which is something irregular for my skin because when I break out, it’s usually in larger, cystic breakouts. Because of that, I basically cut out all the new products I had started using. I think the sudden change and addition of a lot of new products sort of freaked my skin out.
I just recently started adding back the serum into my routine, and now I only use it once in the evening, and use about half a pump’s worth of product. I’ve also added in a once a week exfoliating product (again, it will be reviewed soon), and my skin has been faring much better this time around.
After using it for a month, I can’t tell you exactly how useful this product is in terms of it’s claims, but I have noticed a difference. I have noticed a slightly smoother skin surface, and some of my older acne scars have started to fade. I can’t positively attribute the scar fading to this product though because it may have just faded because it was an older scar. However, my skin feels softer to the touch, and makeup has been going on smoother, meaning I need less makeup to cover my face. I don’t have all that many wrinkles, so I haven’t noticed a difference in that. I have recently gotten more compliments on my bare face though so that’s a plus. Redness issues have subsided a little bit as well.
If your skin is prone to clogged pores, then I would be a little bit wary of using this twice a day. I’d also be wary of this if you have sensitive skin, and start using this once a day just so your skin adjusts to this product.
This product retails for $60 for 1 oz, which is pretty pricey, however in line with a lot of products at Sephora, so it’s sort of a “you win some, you lose some” situation – I haven’t found an all in one product at the drugstore like this one so there really isn’t a less expensive alternative as far as I’m concerned.
For me, this product just needs to be monitored in its usage. I don’t have really any negatives to say about it because after I adjusted my usage of it, my skin responded fairly well to it.
I’ll post a final review of this product once I’ve finished an entire tube of it. I just wanted to post a mid-way review to make sure that I remembered what I initially had issues with. It’s sort of like a progress report 🙂
Do you guys have any miracle skin savers? Let me know!

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