This water-soluble cleanser is medicated with 2% salicylic acid, but this proven anti-acne ingredient is of little use in a cleanser because it is rinsed from the skin before it has a chance to work. The inactive ingredients in this cleanser are listed in alphabetical order, which is permissible according to FDA regulations for over-the-counter drug products (salicylic acid is considered a pharmaceutical agent in acne products). Although this cleanser avoids menthol-type ingredients, its main cleansing agent is sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, which makes it too drying for all skin types.
CLEAN & CLEAR ADVANTAGE 3-in-1 Foaming Acne Wash goes beyond cleansing to treat acne as you wash, while working to prevent future breakouts. The innovative formula combines a breakthrough oil dissolving technology and acne-fighting ingredients to thoroughly cleanse skin and control breakouts.
Active: Salicylic Acid (2%), Other: Benzalkonium Chloride, C12-15 Alkyl Lactate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamidopropyl Pg-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Polyquaternium-7, Polysorbate 20, Red 33, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Hydroxide, Ext. Violet 2, 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 www.cleanandclear.com.