Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion: Old School Relief for Dry Skin

You know when I started to feel like a real grown-up lady? It was the day I turned my back on drugstore skincare and decided to brave the lions in the cosmetics department. I wasn't going to use Noxema or Clearasil any more -- that was for kids. I was going to be sophisticated, like the upper classwomen in my college dorm. I was going to use Clinique.

I started buying Clinique back when they only made about five different products. They had that soap in the light green plastic container. They had toner -- the kind for oily skin was so strong it almost doubled as nail polish remover. And they had Dramatically Different Moisturizing lotion, which is a makeup bag classic.

I recently found myself back at the  Clinique counter, only this time around, I was shopping for acne products for my daughter. And Clinique sells a dazzling variety of moisturizers. Including my old friend DDML. And it hasn't changed a bit. It comes in a bottle, pump bottle, or tube, which is convenient -- but the formula is the same.

At this point, DDML gets no respect from makeup mavens or professionals in the field. Paula Begoun, The Cosmetics Cop and author of Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, calls DDML "basic, mundane," and "out-of-date." Also, there are 1.990 reviews of DDML on MakeupAlley.com, and only 34 percent of the reviewers would buy it again.

Everyone who writes reviews has pretty severe things to say about Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, beginning with the fact that it's neither dramatic nor different. It's just a light water-in-oil emulsion. The oil is a combination of mineral and sesame oil, and the water, rather than being fermented seaweed broth or herbal tea or aloe, is actually water.

And yet ... unlike moisturizers with copper, I can use DDML with a product containing Vitamin C -- and vice versa. It doesn't break me out, it doesn't give me the ghostly pallor I get from titanium dioxide, it doesn't clog my pores, or irritate the skin around my eyes.

It is what it claims to be: A basic drink of moisture for my skin.

I've been using it at night and under makeup, and it's great. It's not for everyone; it's a lightweight moisturizer meant for dry to very dry skin. Rachel of Minimalist Beauty Reviews, Laurie of Product-Girl.com and Renee of Beauty Fool admit that it's hardly exciting -- but that's the point. When you're tired of trying to keep up with the science of cosmecueticals and feel you can't stand to learn about one more miracle anti-aging ingredient, it's nice to apply a simple, classic product like DDML.

Poppy maunders on at her personal blog, The Opiate of the Masses, and on Mondays and Fridays at Mamarazzi.

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