Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion!

by Paris B on · 32 comments

in New on shelves,Product Reviews,Skincare,Toner/Lotion,Treatment

Reviewed by:
On February 13, 2014
Last modified:February 12, 2014


Earlier this year, I predicted that 2014 shall be the year of treatment lotions, and you know what? I’m being proven right! We’re now in February and I’ve already showed you one from Estee Lauder which had gotten a lot of interest. Forward one month and I have for you another from Clinique and you know what? I have another waiting in the wings! Gosh, I’m a soothsayer, I am icon biggrin Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion!

clinique even better essence lotion Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion!

The Clinique Even Better Essence Lotion is yet another Asia exclusive product for now, which pretty much gels with my earlier theory that the brands are releasing these treatment lotions in Asia first because consumers in Asia are already familiar with these sort of treatment lotions thanks to the indoctrination received from multiple Asian skincare brands.

Seeing it come out from the big Western brands however makes me realise just how much attention is focused on the Asian market and just how much more they are willing to cater to Asian skincare preferences, which is always a good thing. For friends in the Western world, you could find this popping up at a counter near you in time to come – hopefully! icon smile Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion!

So, what is Clinique’s essence lotion offering like? I’ve been trialing this for a month or so thanks to a preview sample from Clinique Malaysia and these have just gone on shelves too. At an affordable price, I might add, so it’s a good time to tell you about it! icon wink Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion!

Clinique placed their Essence Lotion under their Even Better range which targets skintone correction (the whitening range, as it were) and introduces their Even Better Essence Lotion to perform 3 skin functions:-

  • Hydrate - Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Extract, Pyrus Malus Fruit (Apple) Extract, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Extract, Sodium PCA (NMF complex) and Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract
  • Brighten - Pyrus Malus (Apple) Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis (Root) Extract, and Cucumis Sativas (Cucumber) Extract
  • Calm - Sucrose and Caffeine, Cladosiphon Okamuranus Extract and Algae Extract, Tamarindus Indica Seed Extract

Interestingly also, it comes in 2 formulations – 1,2 for dry to very dry skintypes and 3,4 for combination to oily skintypes and their key ingredients are:-

  • Skin Type 1 & 2 - Olive Squalane, Barley Extract, Wheat Germ Extract and Jojoba Esters to help keep skin hydrated and supple
  • Skin Type 3 & 4 – Laminaria Saccharina Extract to normalize excess sebum production over time.

The reason I’ve included the key ingredients above is because I don’t have the full ingredient list and this is the best I can do for now until I get it. It does specifically say that it is formulated without alcohol for those who have this concern icon smile Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion!

As I do tend towards having dry skin, I’m using the Type 1 & 2 version which is a rather thick, opaque emulsion consistency. This isn’t watery like the Estee Lauder Micro Essence and SK-II Treatment Essence, nor does it have the liquid-gel consistency of La Mer Treatment Lotion. It is like a gel emulsion and I will tell you, will suit only those who really do have dry to very dry skin. The majority of you therefore will likely go for the one for Type 3 & 4 which has a lighter texture.

clinique even better essence lotion swatch Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion!

You may be able to notice the slightly opaque and runny emulsion texture of the Essence Lotion that brings to mind barley water.

As I have personally discovered myself, when my skin is dry and dehydrated, it looks lacklustre and dull and whatever freckles or pigmentation I have shows up more prominently. It is for this reason (and because so many whitening products dry my skin out) that I had forsaken using whitening creams and serums and focus on keeping my skin well hydrated and have been since 2011. The plus side of this shift in focus is that I ended up with better looking skin and while my pigmentation doesn’t go away, it does look less prominent and my skin looks better. When I slack off, it looks worse. Skincare is an on-going process!

So this is where this Clinique Even Better Essence Lotion comes in. It serves as both an essence and a lotion to be used after cleansing and toning and before serum and moisturiser. It helps add moisture to skin, keep skin more hydrated and in the long run, also help to brighten skin. This isn’t a brightening serum however. Clinique has the Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector Serum for that (which is one of the more effective products I’ve used) so you would use this in tandem not as a replacement.

clinique even better essence lotion instructions Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion!

I use this as recommended, by dropping a few drops on my palm and then applying to my face, and follow up with my other skincare. I did run into problems, however. You see, it’s a solid bottle and the emulsion is quite thick so it’s really really hard to get it out of the bottle without being able to squeeze the bottle.

Shaking the bottle doesn’t help very much and I always risk dispensing too much product, so I have to be quite patient and allow 2-3 drops to fall into my palm on their own accord. I don’t know if the more liquid version fares better, but I believe this is a bit of a design fault that Clinique might want to look into for their Type 1 & 2 version.

In terms of hydration, I will vouch for this lotion’s hydrating properties. My skin does feel nice and hydrated. Does it make my skin look even better? It’s hard to say. Remember, I’d been using the La Mer Treatment Lotion before this and then followed by the Estee Lauder Micro Essence lotion. I cannot in any good conscience or honesty show you a before/after because I don’t see any drastic improvement, just maintenance.

I can tell you however, that it does make my skin feel very comfortable and it does hydrate well. Any improvement in skin radiance will I believe come at a much later date because I ran into another problem.

This product contains Olive Squalene and my skin tends to react to anything with olive extract in it, which means simply I can use this but only once a day and on alternate days (which works because I use Liquid Gold every alternate day) so I use it at night on non-Liquid Gold nights and it’s fine. If I’m overzealous, I get little spots but that is quite unique to me coz of my olive extract problem – truly, I haven’t come across anyone else complaining about this since Olive extract is so well known for having lots of benefits! icon razz Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion!

clinique even better essence lotion2 Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion!

Coming in at RM125/150ml and don’t quote me, but coming from the Estee Lauder group, I’d say this is an affordable option to the other essence lotions that we’ve been seeing coming from the same group of companies. It will most certainly offer competition and the different formulation for different skin types is also an added bonus. If your skin will accept it that is icon smile Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion!

In a nutshell

The Clinique Even Better Essence Lotion is a treatment lotion to be used after cleansing and toning and before serum and moisturiser. The purpose is to help hydrate and keep skin hydrated as well as brighten and calm skin over time. It comes in 2 formulations for Dry and Oily skin types and has 2 different textures. I used the Type 1 & 2 for Dry to Very Dry skin which has an emulsion texture. It felt comfortable on skin although the inclusion of olive squalene meant I couldn’t use it too often as my skin can break out from using olive extract (I’m an odd case). My skin did feel hydrated and comfortable with this which is probably the best I can say. It is affordable and useful to have in your skincare routine to boost skin hydration, if you have been thinking of using similar products. My quibble will be with the packaging, which isn’t practical considering the texture of the product and Clinique might want to rethink that.

Pros: Skin does feel hydrated after using this, Easy to use, Absorbs quickly without a sticky feeling

Cons: The dispenser isn’t suitable for the thicker consistency of the Type 1 & 2 essence lotion, My sensitivity to olive extract means I cannot use this daily

Who will like this: Anyone interested in these new treatment lotions and wanting an affordable alternative, Anyone who wants to add a treatment lotion or hydration treatment lotion to their skincare routine

Clinique EBEL v EL Micro Essence vs La Mer Treatment Lotion vs SK-II FTE

Alright, time to read minds again! icon biggrin Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion! Since this is one of the many treatment lotions that have been coming out, how do they stack up next to each other?

Again, SK-II is a non-starter as it breaks me out quite badly but I put it in here because it’s the most recognisable treatment lotion out there.

Pitting Clinique EBEL against Estee Lauder Micro Essence is a bit of a toughie because of the different textures. Clinique caters for different skin types, while Estee Lauder applies to all skin types. The textures are different and I believe my skin reacted differently as a result. However, due to the fact that my skin can’t handle too much of the Clinique EBEL, I’m picking the Micro Essence as my preference between the two.

Clinique vs La Mer results in La Mer winning, but I also picked La Mer against EL so I’m just being consistent here icon smile Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion!

For me: La Mer > Estee Lauder >= Clinique > SK-II

If not for my olive extract sensitivity, I’d pick Clinique over Estee Lauder simply due to it’s lower pricetag for essentially a similar product (ingredients not withstanding).

Whew! Thanks for reading my thesis icon smile Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion!

Are you intrigued by the Clinique Even Better Essence Lotion then? Have you tried the other treatment lotions I’ve mentioned before this?

This Clinique one just went on shelves and if you head down to the counters, you could be able to snag some samples and see if this works for you. Again, manage your expectations because we will all react to skincare differently, but do let me know how you find this should you try it! icon smile Another treatment lotion hits the shelves and Clinique tries to make it an Even Better Essence Lotion! Oh and I believe this is available only in Asia for now.

Paris B

Clinique Even Better Essence Lotion comes in 2 types: Type 1 & 2 for Very Dry to Dry combination skin and Type 3 & 4 for Oily to Oily Combination skin Price: RM125/150ml Availability: All Clinique counters and the online store, Asia only until further notice

Disclosure: Featured product was a press sample for consideration. Our commitment is to provide honest opinions. For posting guidelines please read our disclaimer.

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[ 32 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

kel February 13, 2014 at 8:46 am

I was intrigued until you mentioned olive extract..breaks me out too…I too steer clear of anything that has olives in my skin care…:)


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Oh good! (or maybe bad!) I’m not alone in my olive “allergy”!


Sheila February 13, 2014 at 9:08 am

I love using treatment lotions and I wish more Western brands would release them here in North America! It’s so much better than the usual toner they sell here; that’s normally chock full of alcohol.


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 4:49 pm

I fully agree with you Sheila! I get clarifying toners, but they dont’ have to pack it with alcohol for it to work, there are so many other better ingredients out there! I hope some of these Asian toners get your way soon :)


Leonard Goh February 13, 2014 at 9:59 am

Hey Paris :) recently I bought this Stri-Vectin WH whitening serum which I don’t recall what is it actually called for my mother and it seems be to working for her :) but I only dab the serum right on the dark spot only . It’s only been three days and she’s very happy with it! With lots of love ;D u should try it! I did not buy the whole range as it’s cost a bomb just to get the serum!! But wth right! My mom needs some extra TLC :)


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Thanks for the rec, Leonard :) I have tried that serum but it dried out my skin although it was fairly effective. I just didn’t like how drying the whole range was and also part of the reason I’ve stopped using whitening products :( You’re so good to your mom! Good on you :)


Dee February 13, 2014 at 10:03 am

Great review! thrilled to have a more economic option from Clinique :) easier for us limited budget babies to upgrade our skincare routine a little without having to have bread and water for lunch for the next month :P


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Haha true, true! :D But because they all have different ingredients, it pays to see which will work better for your skin so don’t be afraid to ask for samples!


Victoria February 13, 2014 at 10:15 am

This is certainly a more affordable option compared to Estee Lauder and La Mer. Still have not jump on the lotion as toner bandwagon yet. LOL. Too many products and routines in the market and just have to find that I can be comfortable with in the long run.


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 4:55 pm

I know what you mean. Quite often, I’m totally confused as well especially when people start introducing new products to be slotted in between established routines! I think these treatment lotions are a good alternative for those who are used to the idea, but when you are (like me) using a clarifying toner and a hydrating toner/spray already, it sort of becomes too much!


Firn February 13, 2014 at 11:13 am

If it’s squalENE, it’s known to be very comedogenic as it’s the main component of sebum! So no surprises there. I also broke out when I tried Elizabeth Arden’s ceramide capsules, which has it as the main ingredient. Squalane is supposed to be less cloggy and is the star ingredient in HABA’s products. I haven’t really tried anything with this in it so I can’t comment on its comedogenicity…


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Ah thanks for the info Firn! I blamed it all on the Olive element so I was partially right, just not wholly haha!


Emy February 13, 2014 at 11:39 am

I’m currently using an Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence — which is one of those “dupes” for SKII — and I’m really liking it so far. I’ll definitely have to try this if it’s released in the Western market. :)


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Innisfree products in general. I remember it was one of those little more exclusive Korean brand products but I haven’t tried many items from them. For some reason, Korean brand products don’t sit well with my skin but if this is an SK2 dupe then it sounds promising! :) Good to know it works for you


Parita February 13, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Wow I am quite surprised at the price range! that is so affordable from clinique! for the price point I might just pick this one up :)


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Yep it most certainly is! Do try a sample if you can first, to see if it suits you :)


Tracy@Beauty Reflections February 13, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Well, you’ve just convinced me I need the La Mer is what you’ve done HAHA. The SK-II one breaks me out too son-of a gun. So, I’m going to go with what works for us LOL!


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 4:58 pm

HAHAHAHA! Yes, the La Mer one is really nice! See if you can snag yourself a sample? ;)


Cynthia February 13, 2014 at 4:56 pm

You’re so right! Treatment lotion is everywhere now. I just bought a treatment lotion from IOPE-Korea too. Can’t wait to see how it works.


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm

How interesting, I haven’t come across IOPE-Korea before but then I can’t keep up with the Korean brands out there haha! I hope it works well for you! It’s actually fascinating how the Western brands are catching up!


Sunny February 13, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Hey Paris, I am a total treatment lotion newbie, but I have been really intrigued by these releases! I have to say that so far, the EL one seems the most promising to me, but perhaps it is simply because I love ANR and that one is supposed to give ANR a boost!


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Hey Sunny, actually if you ask me, any treatment lotion gives ANR that boost because they all do roughly the same thing – encourage skin energy! ;) At the end of the day, I think it comes down to budgetry concerns and preferences haha


Lily February 14, 2014 at 9:53 am

*I hope I’m not commenting twice*
But I was just saying that SKII also breaks me out, and that I NEED to try that La Mer one!! You’ve convinced me :-D


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 5:08 pm

See if you can get a sample of the La Mer one. The little sample bottle can last a week or two and it’ll give you an idea if it’ll work for your skin :)


Tracy February 14, 2014 at 8:19 pm

I am quite intrigued by this too! I picked up the intense moisture surge moisturizer and hydrating mask in Dec last year and have been happy with their hydrating powers. Now I am a mini Clinique fan :)


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Oh nice to know the Moisture Surge Intense and the Mask work for you Tracy, they didn’t for me :( See if you can snag a sample of this Clinique lotion before investing in a bottle :)


Jennifer February 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Your skin reaction to Olive extract brings to mind how Hada Labo cleansing oil didn’t work out for you. Pricing wise, this is certainly the most affordable of the lot if compared to the more established and mature “madame/sister” brands like La Mer, SK-II and EL. Previously I was using the EL Optimizer Intensive Boosting Pore Minimizing Lotion. The texture was slightly viscous which I loved :) It felt hydrating. Then I moved on to Hada Labo lotion and tried SK-II. I am happy with these two products and interestingly, they are on the extreme opposites of the price scale.

However, I have not had convincing experience with Clinique products, sad and very much sorry to say. I mean they are ok but for a lower price perhaps, I can get other products which works too.

Thanks for sharing your honest and comparative review on the treatment lotion invasion this year :) I have sachets of EL Micro Essence which I have not tried. Somehow, products in sachets are only considered when I am traveling hehe, which is not often.


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Good memory, Jennifer! I’m the only person out there who isn’t raving about the Hada Labo cleansing oil haha! :D I think like all skincare brands, Clinique products are also hit or miss. I can’t use the basic range, but their treatment ranges are ok for me. And better break into the sample sachets – I’ve learned it’s never wise to keep them for too long coz you’re liable to forget about it and there’s no expiry date printed on them!


Ting February 21, 2014 at 11:26 am

hello Paris! Does it absorb quickly? :)


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Yep! It does. There is a lighter version though so check that out coz the packaging sucks for the thicker version :P


GUSONE SOPHIE April 10, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Hello Paris B,

Could you send me a picture of the ingredient list please…it would be so nice of you !!




Paris B April 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Hi Sophie, I’m afraid I can’t as I don’t have it myself!


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