Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion vs Clarifying Lotion 1.0

There was a moment of panic earlier this year when Clinique very quietly stopped restocking Mild Clarifying Lotion, and equally quietly, slipped 1.0 Clarifying Lotion out with the standard ‘we’ve just improved Mild Clarifying Lotion! This is an updated/cleaned-up version!’.

Let’s be clear, the only thing these two products have in common is that they are both by Clinique and both called ‘Clarifying Lotion’. They are completely different. It is not the case that Clinique have cleaned-up Mild and revamped it with 1.0, they’ve just deleted Mild Clarifying Lotion from their range and brought out 1.0 as a replacement, which is obviously their right to do, but it doesn’t make much sense to me.

For ease of comparison I’ll list things side by side with comments below each comparison:


Salicylic listed as fifth ingredient/ Salicylic listed as ninth ingredient

In the US, ingredients do not have to be listed in order of quantity in the product, in the EU, they do, so by this standard there is a lot less salicylic in 1.0 than there was in Mild, rendering this almost pointless for oilier skins looking for a glycolic-free acid to target spots.


The packaging is see-through on Mild, and green coloured plastic on the new 1.0. This has eliminated the need for the synthetic colourings present in Mild. This is good.


1.0 is in a witch hazel base, an improvement on the high amount of butylene glycol in Mild.

Listed for ‘Delicate’ skins/Listed for ‘Very Dry to Dry’

I’m unsure why a dry to very dry skin would need salicylic acid. They’d be better off with lactic. This makes me think that the salicylic acid content in the new 1.0 is purposely mild, and suited to twice daily use. I suspect this is labelled towards dry/very dry as those skins would be contraindicated in using the other Clinique Clarifying Lotions.

So how do they compare when used? 

Although the sting factor was very low on Mild – I mean you literally had to use it on an open spot to notice there was an acid present, there is absolutely no sting factor on 1.0. Which is great for you if you don’t like a sting, and love Clinique toners, but would class this as a beginner acid/suited to all skins.

Clinique are one of the few brands that have the means and resources to bring out proper acid toners, the current Clarifying Lotions have long needed revamping, they could remove the alcohol content and replace them with different acids suited to differing skin issues, instead of offering what are essentially ‘traditional’ toners graded from ‘drying’ to ‘nail varnish remover’ in the case of Clarifying Lotion 4.

If you have combination skin and would like a toner with a little salicylic, this is for you.

If you are dry to very dry, which this is targeted towards, I would suggest a lactic may be better for you. Witch hazel can be drying used at such a high percentage, and could potentially cancel out the hyaluronic content.

Clinique 1.0 Clarifying Lotion is £26.50 for 400ml and available from all Clinique stockists.

Clinique 1.0 Clarifying Lotion – Sephora

*Excuse the photographs of the ingredients. Not one site listed them, including Sephora.