Review: Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

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Finding the perfect moisturizer is much like finding a perfect relationship, the good should outweigh the bad! I was quite happy with my go-to moisturizer, the Origins Make a Difference + skin treatment. That being said, I’m always looking for something better for my skin! I was hoping the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief (watta mouthful, eh?) would be a great replacement for my old moisturizer.

I’m no stranger to Clinique and was an old Dramatically Different moisturizer fan. The Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief promises to be light yet deeply hydrating. The formula was meant to provide round the clock moisture, something that this dry, haggard face needs!

What is it: Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

Here is what the Brand has to say about this product:

Lush cream-gel penetrates skin, enhancing natural hyaluronic acid—nature’s perfect moisture magnet. For 24 satisfying hours, skin is plumped, dewy, glowing—from the inside out. Oil-free.

What Clinique didn’t mention in its product description is that Moisture Surge contains silicone. I thought the silicone-y feel is just my imagination but searching reviews on Makeup Alley, I discovered that Moisture Surge contains several silicones including dimethicone, which is second on the list of ingredients.

A pot of Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief contains about 50 ml. of the product, which is the standard amount for moisturizers.

The Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief made lots of promises and at this price point, I am expecting results. The last thing I want is to make an expensive mistake. So is it any good?


The moisturizer has a lightweight, gel consistency that spreads and absorbs easily. That’s one of the things I love about this product. I don’t have to tug my skin nor leave it damp to spread the product all over my face. It has a lovely cooling effect so the moisturizer is such a joy to use. It feels so luxe and comforting on the skin.

I love how this moisturizer is unscented. It’s formulated with sensitive skin in mind. I don’t mind a little fragrance but if I had a choice, I’d rather use unscented skin care products! On my vanity table, the serum and the moisturizer look fabulous together. Packaging is definitely gorgeous. Unfortunately, those are the only things I like about this moisturizer.

For one thing, the Moisture Surge isn’t as intensely hydrating as Clinique promised. Sure, the peeling areas around my nose aren’t as crusty but my skin feels parched in places still.

Also, the moisturizer doesn’t really sink into the skin. It feels as if it sits on top of the epidermis like a mask. My skin doesn’t feel tacky but somehow my sheets stick on my face, which is annoying. Although it leaves the skin soft and refreshed, it doesn’t refine the pores, at least not right away.

Week 1 Update:  I see zero changes in my skin. My old moisturizer could literally transform my skin the morning after. My pores would be smaller, my skin more radiant. As soon as I wake up, I can see the difference in my skin. This does nothing!

Granted, the Moisture Surge didn’t really promise to refine the skin but my skin doesn’t really look glowy using it.  I’ve been using the moisturizer for a week now.

Week 2 Update: Still not seeing much changes on my skin, especially in the mornings. My pores are still noticeable, my skin tone looked the same as the night before.

Week 3 Update: Now on my third week, I finally started seeing little improvements on my skin. My skin feels smoother in the mornings. My gaping pores look smaller. I made my observations as I wash my face when I wake up.

However, it’s worth noting that I started using my old Origins moisturizer in the afternoons (I use the Moisture Surge at night) to use it up before it expires. This means these changes could be attributed to my old moisturizer, not necessarily to Moisture Surge.

Week 4 Update: My skin looks plump and felt smooth especially during the mornings, right before I wash my fez.

I do think that my facial skin looked somewhat dewy. That said, the sides of my nose were still dry and flaky. My pores do not look shrunken down. I stopped using the Origins moisturizer around the three-week mark.

Check out the comparison pics above. On the left, I’ve used the Moisture Surge for a week. The second image was taken exactly 3 weeks after. Unsure if it’s the lighting (please forgive the crappy shots) but my skin did appear smoother in the second picture. Also, my pores aren’t as large, I feel. The pesky darkness around my nose is also lighter in the second image.

Full Disclosure: I don’t use facial wash when I wash my face in the morning, just rinsed my mug with water. Then I took the pictures immediately so this explains why my skin looked smoother in pictures.

Final Thoughts

I have to admit, I was ready to call the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief an expensive mistake two weeks into the use. But on the third week, I saw minor improvements on my skin. But this was around the time I was using my old moisturizer too so that may have enhanced the effects of Moisture Surge.

Do I recommend it? For folks with normal skin, yes. But for those with dry skin, get the Moisture Surge Intense instead of the Thirst Relief (yes, the line offers two variants). This one’s just not enough to provide the deep kind of hydration the product promised.

I suppose the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief is best for those with slightly dry skin. For perpetually thirsty skin like mine, there are better moisturizers out there. For reference, I have dry combination skin.

Will I repurchase this? No. As much as I liked the lightweight formula, I feel that the Moisture Surge is a little overpriced for what it is. I would gladly pay more if I saw significant improvements on my skin. I didn’t. I feel that the product made my pores look smaller because it has silicones that blurred the skin.

Do note that I used the moisturizer together with serum throughout the testing process. That means, individually, both products might not be all that impressive.

I also dislike the way it sits on top of the skin, it feels like a primer. I hate silicone-y moisturizers especially those that I use at night. Overall, eh.

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Tina Lee

Tina Lee-Almazar is a writer with an insatiable appetite for all things bright, shiny, and beautiful. She's a beauty junkie, a shopping connoisseur, a book collector, a purse addict, and a budding mom-tepreneur. Tina has a long-standing (and well-documented!) but one-sided love affair with cats. Special talents include: the ability to eat again an hour after eating, shopping at 3 different malls in 1 day, and taking a 3-hour power nap every day including weekends.

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