REVIEW: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+

by teejayes


Originally called “Yellow Moisturizing Lotion”, Clinique’s DDML was first created in 1968, and is one of the most recognised beauty icons in the world! So why have they changed it?

“DDML stands alone – it’s over 40 years old and in that time the formula has never changed. It’s a cornerstone of the brand and for that reason we wanted to ensure it had the optimum efficacy we could provide. It was designed for the 1968 environment, but patients I see now have different skin complaints due to changes in the environment. We wanted to respond to that.” says Dr. David Orentreich, Clinique’s guiding dermatologist.

For an article that is critical of the value of DDML original, see here. This article points out that really there’s not much to DDML original, and it seems surprising that so many people love it! It would suggest that it was “about time” that they changed it.

I have had mixed reports (even from Clinique themselves!) about whether this will be replacing the DDML original, or just be a third item added to the DD line. I’m pretty sure it’s a replacement, and the people who said it was an addition were misinformed.

The new formulation of DDML+ does not have parabens. Parabens are a bit of a buzz words in the beauty world at the moment. They are said to exist in cancer cells and hence we should be avoiding products with parabens as they may be linked to cancer. The problem is that this was a preliminary trial with a small sample size, and more investigation needs to be done. See here and here and here for some critical discussion about parabens and the evidence for and against.

My review and (horrific) experience with the new DDML+ :

I received a small sample of DDML+ in the mail to try out. I did my usual two steps of the skin care routine and then applied the DDML+. First, it stung. The texture felt thicker than the original and it did not sink into my skin and disappear like the original did. It felt mildly tacky and sat on my skin like a heavy moisturizing cream usually does. I left it on for 3 hours and as i had dinner and watched TV it felt increasing itchy! At the end of the night I was in a fair amount of pain (stinging) and discomfort (itching). I looked in the mirror and whatdoyouknow? My face was seriously red, a little swollen, and I had some little bumps (like hives) forming on my skin. I tried this another three nights in a row, just in case the reaction wasn’t caused by the DDML+, but  I had the same reaction every time. The third night, I admitted it to myself: I can’t use this new DDML+, and I even cried a little bit! I HAD AN ALLERGIC REACTION 😥 I had to go and get my steroids 😥

Now, you might say that it doesn’t make sense that I would have a reaction to the DDML+ since clinique do extensive allergy testing on their products. Firstly, how extensive really is this allergy testing? Cosmetic companies are only able to use products that have already been approved by pharmaceuticals and undergone serious scientific testing. When it comes time for the company to test the product, they already know its components are safe because they’ve been approved for use. They only have to test the product on a few testers to see if they like it. In fact, if you ever read the fine print from clinique’s (and most other cosmetic brands’) you will see that they often say things like: 58% of women reported an increase in skin suppleness after just one application* *As reported by 22 women in the trial. 

Secondly, I sort of think the whole allergy testing of products is bollocks anyway. I am (moderately) allergic to cats, tomatoes, yeasts fungis and moulds, to penicillin, certain perfumes, cetaphil, clinique make up remover, nivea lipbalms, and so on. Yet I am not allergic to petroleum, lanolin, wool, cheap banana boat sunscreen, dogs, dairy, gluten, and so on. Some of these things are natural and some aren’t, being natural (or not) is not what matters. Being safe for some people is also not what matters, since people are allergic to different things.

I can only hope that Clinique decides to keep the DDML original and continue to sell it along side the DDMG and the new DDML+. In case they don’t, today I bought two more pump bottles of DDML original to tide me over while I search for a new HG moisturizer.

Let’s check out the difference in ingredients:

My understanding is that ingredients must be listed in order of quantity, so the lists of ingredients would suggest that some of the ingredients are still there, but in different quantities. I have underlined the ingredients of DDML+ that are not in DDML original.  Apparently the DDMG gel, since it is fairly new, is already the “plus” version, and so it will not undergo a reformulation. I will underline the ingredients in the DDMG gel that are different from DDML+.

DDML original ingredients:

  • waterclinique-dramatically-different-moisturizing-lotion
  • mineral oil
  • sesame oil
  • propylene glycol
  • TEA stearate
  • glyceryl stearate
  • lanolin alcohol
  • petrolatum
  • methyl paraben
  • propyl paraben
  • yellow 5
  • yellow 6
  • red 33

DDML+ Ingredients:

  • water
  • parafin mineral oil
  • glycerin
  • petrolatum
  • stearic acid
  • glyceryl stearate
  • sesame oil
  • Urea~wmills v0 @ 11/30/2012 @ 1:05 PM
  • lanolin alcohol
  • triethanolamine
  • barley extract
  • cucumber extract
  • sunflower seedcake
  • propylene glycol dicapratate
  • sodium hyaluronate
  • butylene glycol
  • pentylene glycol
  • trisodium EDTA
  • phenyloxyethanol
  • yellow 6
  • yellow 5
  • red 33

Ingredients that have been removed are: • TEA stearate, • methyl paraben, • propyl paraben.

DDMG gel ingredients:

  • Water
  • Dimethicone
  • Isododecane,
  • Butylene Glycol
  • Bis-Peg-18 Methylether
  • Dimethyl Silane
  • GlycerinDDMLG
  • Brown Algae Extract
  • Yeast Extract  (well, that’s out for me then!)
  • Cucumber Extract
  • Barley Extract
  • Sunflower Seedcake
  • Caffeine
  • Trehalose
  • Sodium Hyaluronate
  • Tocopheryl Acetate
  • Chamomile
  • Polysilicone-11
  • Silica
  • Propylene Glycol Dicaprate
  • Oleth-10
  • Laureth-23
  • Laureth-4
  • Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate
  • Carbomer
  • Tromethamine
  • Disodium-Edta
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Methylparaben
  • Yellow 5
  • Red 4
  • Yellow 6

“The ingredients we’ve added are all found naturally in the skin and are there to improve efficacy. It’s a great product anyway so we didn’t want to do anything too dramatic, or to alienate existing customers” – Dr. Tom Mammone, executive director of Clinique research & development.

This to be seems rather funny given there are SO MANY differences between DDML original and DDML+