Blackhead Eraser (Discontinued)

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This tacitly named product is a small, battery-powered device meant to erase blackheads. Supposedly, it does this thanks to the device’s vibrating motion coupled with pads steeped in a solution that features 1% salicylic acid as the active ingredient.

First, you insert the included battery into the bottom of the device, affix the base, and attach one of the included cleansing pads. Wet the pad, then turn the device on; with the device vibrating, you move it around your face in a circular motion. It’s nice to think you can just scrub blackheads away, but that just isn’t possible. And if you have raised acne lesions along with blackheads, this device can be too aggressive, causing the pimples to rupture and become more inflamed, and potentially causing scarring. Scrubbing your skin with this device or even with a plain washcloth may remove the top layer of the blackhead, but the root of it is still deep in the pore lining well beyond the reach of any scrub or abrasive action, which means the original problem will surface again before long.

What about the 1% salicylic acid solution? When properly formulated, salicylic acid can penetrate into the pore lining and help eliminate the oil, whose buildup is what causes blackheads. The downside of this product is that the pH is greater than 5, which means the salicylic acid won’t function as an exfoliant. Completely separate from the pH issue is that this cleansing solution also contains menthol, an ingredient that is always a problem for skin, and even more so when it’s part of a system that involves manipulating the skin under the pretense of scrubbing blackheads away.

Blackhead Eraser uses a gentle vibrating motion to exfoliate dead surface skin to remove dirt and oil more effectively. The foaming medicated pads, containing our exclusive blackhead dissolving serum, penetrate your pores to reduce the number of blackheads. After cleansing, you'll be left with cleaner, smoother and visibly healthier skin.
Active: Salicylic Acid (1%), Other: Benzalkonium Chloride, C12-15 Alkyl Lactate, Cetyl Lactate, Citric Acid, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamidopropyl Pg Dimonium, Chloride Phosphate, Decyl Glucoside, Fragrance, Glycerin, Lauryl Methyl Gluceth-10 Hydroxypropyl Dimonium Chloride, Menthol, Methylparaben, Peg-8, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Water

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

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