05.08.2015
15
5138
Essentials Foaming Facial Cleanser, Sensitive Skin
Rating
8 fl. oz. for $5.29
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:05.08.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Essentials Foaming Facial Cleanser, Sensitive Skin is not only Clean & Clear’s best cleanser, thanks to its gentle yet very effective water-soluble formula, but is also one of the best beauty buys at the drugstore. It would be even better without fragrance, but that’s a minor concern because it is rinsed off quickly. This cleanser removes makeup easily and is suitable for all skin types except for very dry and those with extra-sensitive skin or rosacea.

Pros:
  • Effectively removes makeup.
  • Gentle formula works well for a wide range of skin types (though may not be the best for extra-sensitive skin).
  • Inexpensive and readily available at most drugstores.
Cons:
  • Contains a negligible amount of fragrance, but this could cause irritation if you have extra sensitive skin or rosacea.
Claims

This sensitive skin formula is formulated not to overdry or irritate sensitive skin. It gently cleans your skin by removing oil, dirt, and make up - impurities that can cause breakouts. And, this oil - free formula rinses clean, leaving no residue that may irritate sensitive skin.

Ingredients

Water, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-150 Distearate, Sodium Lauroampho PG Acetate Phosphate, Fragrance, Tetrasodium EDTA, C12-15 Pareth-2, Quaternium-15

Brand Overview

Clean & Clear At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; an excellent 10% benzoyl peroxide product; some very good cleansers.

Weaknesses: The majority of products contain irritating fragrant extracts, alcohol, menthol, menthyl lactate, or other problematic ingredients; below-average moisturizers; poor options for those struggling with breakouts or blackheads (at least if your goal is assembling a helpful skin-care routine using only Clean & Clear's products).

The name of this Johnson & Johnson–owned brand clearly communicates what it attempts to provide, and may seem to be a beacon of hope for consumers struggling with acne. The products are heavily marketed toward teens, with commercials and print ads featuring attractive young models with nary a blemish in sight, presumably because these fresh-faced teens adhere to a routine consisting of these attractively packaged products.

Although there are some great, inexpensive cleansers available, blemishes have nothing to do with how clean your skin is; the two issues are completely unrelated. The other failing is that unlike sister company Neutrogena (also owned by J&J), almost all of Clean & Clear's anti-acne products contain irritating ingredients that won't improve skin problems and end up making matters worse. Even a couple of the pH-correct BHA options are marred by troublesome ingredients that only make blemished skin more inflamed and impede the healing process. Moreover, the issue of sun protection is inadequately addressed, with the only option failing to provide sun protection without added irritants. What kind of message is that for teens trying to put together an effective skin-care routine? Clean skin is attainable from these products, but the company's road to "beautifully clear" skin has too many speed bumps to make this a one-stop destination for the blemish-prone.

For more information about Clean & Clear, call (877) 754-6411 or visit www.cleanandclear.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
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06.22.2015
Probably Not My Type

I have combination acne prone face that is sensitive. Besides problems with skin, I also have sensitive nose. Anyway, I was looking for a normal cleanser that won't irritate my skin was priority. Came across this product and decided to pick it up. Scent was too strong for my nose and face and caused irritation on both. Scent is the only thing I complain about though. Someone who is alright with fragrance might work all right with this product.

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Reviewed by
Pandora C
05.14.2015
Fragranced!!!

please don't put fragranced products in your sensitive skin section it's a waste of everyones time. Fragrance is a huge irritant.

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Reviewed by
lauren
05.15.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  Thanks for your feedback.  In general we do avoid adding products to the sensitive skin section if they have strong fragrance but since this is a cleanser (that's rinsed off almost immediately) and it's so low on the ingredient list (and passed our sniff test!) we added this one (but made sure to recognize both the fragrance and the ambivalence some may feel regarding its addition in the CONS listed in the review).  :)

—Admin
05.07.2015
Quaternium-15

I have not used this cleanser, however, I have used a comparable cleanser that contains Quaternium-15. It is a formaldehyde releaser that I believe needs to be disclosed on the review on this product. If you have sensitive skin, steer clear!

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Reviewed by
Maegan B
05.08.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  Because this product rinses off quickly and this ingredient is at the end of the list, we did not originally mention it.  The review has been updated to advise that although this product is made for those with sensitive skin (and is indeed very gentle!) it may not be the best for those with extra-sensitive skin.

—Admin
04.25.2015
Good cleanser that won't break the bank

It's so refreshing to find a good cleanser that I can buy for less than $4 at walmart. I switched to this having read Paula's 4 star review, and I completely agree with this rating. Many cleansers I have used caused me itchiness and and tight, uncomfortable skin. This wipes away just enough for that fresh, squeeky clean look and feel without any irritation; it's even tough enough for my super oily skin. I've noticed my face having less breakouts.. Love, love, love it.

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Reviewed by
Petra
12.16.2014
My new fav!!!

I was using Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser previously and the way it burned my eyes and heavy perfume smell was getting to me so I did a bit of research here on Beautypedia, and found this. So glad I did because this cleanser is absolutely fantastic! I use it morning and night with no dryness or tight feeling ever! It does such a great job at removing my makeup that there is hardly a trace on the cotton pad when I use Paula's toner. Finally, THE perfect cleanser!

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Reviewed by
Michelle C.
06.13.2014
Excellent Cleanser

This cleanser does do a good job of cleansing the skin without being over-drying. Also, it does a good job of removing makeup. One question....Although this is apparently identical to Purpose Gentle Cleanser I prefer Clean & Clear to Purpose....I read the ingredients and it seems that Clean & Clear has a few extra ingredients....C&C seems to due a better job of cleansing oily/combo skin...is this true or am I imagining this?

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Reviewed by
Joan N.
05.07.2014
Totally agree!

I have to agree with this. I was looking for an affordable cleanser that really felt like it was accomplishing a good cleanse. Not irritating at all and can practically go right over the eyes. I love the extra foam too.

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Reviewed by
marissa d.
04.10.2014
Great but Not the Best

I bought this product because of the low price and the Beautypedia review saying that it was suitable for all skin types. I have combination skin, and this product cleans it effectively, but causes inflammation on my jawline. My skin gets less inflamed each time I use it, but it remains a discouraging side-effect for face-washing.

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Reviewed by
Mel
10.19.2013
fragrance bothersome

This product might be okay for some folks, but the fragrance made it necessary for me to wash it off with something else right away. For those who aren't so sensitive to fragrances, it might work.

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Reviewed by
S. B.
08.27.2013
Best deal at the drugstore!

What can I say that hasn't already been said? Cleans very well, rinses easily, not drying; all at a great price!. This is the perfect cleanser.

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Reviewed by
Natalie S
07.29.2013
Foaming Facial Cleanser, Sensitive Skin Works! It is a great product for the price!

I have sensitive combination skin with an oily T-zone. I bought it as a good, gentle cleanser for 2x a day use because of the Best rating and I haven't regretted it! I had previously been using Cetaphil Daily Cleanser, which too drying on my skin and left it very flakey with an oily layer on top. This cleanser leaves my skin fresh and clean without flaking! And what's more, it even helps to control my oily T-zone! It does leave me a little tight right after washing, but moisturizer solves that!

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Reviewed by
Ashley K.
06.23.2013
Great value!

Cleans off all makeup beautifully without drying or irritation. And the large bottle lasts forever. I do hope they continue to make this for years to come.

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Reviewed by
Carol B.
02.01.2013
Awesome stuff!

Fantastic price point and great cleansing properties. I only use this cleanser religiously. It removes makeup and does not leave skin dry. It's awesome stuff.

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Reviewed by
JulieP
12.18.2012
Great Buy

My skin goes crazy in the NY winters, and finding a good cleanser is usually difficult. I have often spent 5 times as much money at the department store for a cleanser that does not perform well. Not the case with this, it is very gentle, takes all the makeup off and doesn't dry out my skin.

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Reviewed by
Zade
12.09.2012
Clean and clear foaming cleanser, sensitive

I use this on my normal but sensitive skin. I find it cleans well, isn't overly drying and handy in the pump bottle. I like that it doesn't make my eyes sting and the the fragrance is very slight and not irritating for me.

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Reviewed by
Rae
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