Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream Review

Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream has long been touted as a staple of the Clinique brand. Noted as “gentle, polishing, and refining,” Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream contains a high concentration of exfoliating polyethylene beads in a cushiony, fatty acid-and-emollient-rich formulation.

My issue with Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream is that it was originally formulated as “Clinique Seventh Day Scrub Cream.” Meaning, it should be used for exfoliation purposes only once a week; not every day. While those in their teens and early twenties can get away with exfoliating daily, for those in their 30’s and older, you shouldn’t be exfoliating (or using peels) more than once per week. That’s because your skin only naturally produces so many hydrators, including vitamin E, fatty acids, cholesterol, squalane, and ceramides, and as you age, the natural hydrators you do produce are of less high-quality. So stripping your skin of these natural hydrators isn’t a good idea. You may accelerate cell turnover, but that effect is negated by the fact that your skin is drier and thinner. Once per week is a good sweet spot. (And, if you’re in your 70’s like my mother, I recommend no more than twice a month, honestly).

For more on Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream, read on!

Exfoliating Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream Review

Polyethylene is a Superior Exfoliant, But Not Without Its Share of Controversy

In terms of benefit for the skin, polyethylene beads are superior exfoliators. They are round, first of all, so they don’t have rough or ragged edges that catch in the corners of your pores and scratch or even stretch them. (Yes, this does happen, as is the case with apricot scrub). They also are large enough where they are not absorbed by the skin, so you don’t have to worry about absorbing plastic via Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream (The Derm Review).

The real issue with polyethylene is that the small beads end up in the oceans, harming marine life. So many countries and brands have discontinued their use of polyethylene beads. Admittedly, Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream is one of the few products that hasn’t.

Exfoliating Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream Review

Again, I Don’t Mind Parabens

Parabens were prevalent in skincare products as preservatives until the 2010’s, not because companies were cheap or careless, but because parabens were super effective against a wide range of bacteria and fungi, and were more gentle to the skin than other alternatives.

Yes, there is research out there associating parabens with everything from birth defects to breast cancer. But when you put those ultra-scary and alarming terms aside and actually delve into the research, you end up ingesting far higher concentrations of parabens through foods like blueberries (source) and bananas than you ever did through personal care products. Your body also naturally produces parabens.

Furthermore, if personal care products with parabens caused cancer or birth defects, you would’ve seen higher prevalence of cancer in countries like South Korea or Brazil, where people use more products than in the U.S. or Europe. Instead, the converse was seen. (A far greater correlation exists between breast cancer and weight, which people don’t like to talk about and would rather cut products out than diet, and I don’t blame them).

I’ll probably get beaten up by people for this paragraph. I realize that parabens have been banned in Europe, and all but banned in the U.S. But, I stand behind my opinion. And if you don’t believe that companies sponsor scientific research to further their own interests, look at what happened with Allergan’s Latisse and Jan Marini Lash Enhancer. That’s all I’ll say, because I don’t want to get embroiled in anything myself, but if you believe science is all facts and no business or politics nowadays, that’s a good rabbit hole to go down to prove otherwise to yourself.

Exfoliating Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream Review

Bottom Line

Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream will make your skin smoother and brighter. It’s a solid exfoliant, but it’s not without its share of controversy around it because it is supposed to be seventh day scrub cream (not 7-day, implying daily use), and it also contains polyethylene beads and parabens.

Ingredients in Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream

Water (Aqua Purificata) Purified, Tridecyl Stearate (thickening agent and emollient), Tridecyl Trimellitate (skin-softening emollient, adds a cushiony feel), Dipentaerythrityl Hexacaprylate/Hexacaprate (fatty acid used as an emollient, emulsifier, and thickening agent), Butylene Glycol (penetration enhancer), Glyceryl Stearate, Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polyethylene (exfoliating beads), Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Sorbitol, Isocetyl Stearate, Bisabolol, Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Dea-Oleth-10 Phosphate, Tea-Carbomer, Stearyl Alcohol, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben <ILN4692>

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Gabriel de Bonilla
    July 10, 2022 9:59 am

    Hi Nicki, just curious as to where you purchased your CLINIQUE 7-Day Scrub Cream? I have been using this product for the last few years since it has been reformulated and it now contains SILICA as the exfoliating agent, not Polyethylene… You may have been sold old stock? or has CLINIQUE USA been slow to change the formula there? In Australia, you will find CLINIQUE’s 7-Day Scrub Cream with Polyethylene completely omitted from the ingredient list. Very surprised to see CLINIQUE still using this ingredient.

    Also in regards


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