Advantage Acne Cleanser contains 2% salicylic acid in a base with a pH of 4, but because this cleanser is quickly rinsed away, the BHA will have little to no impact on the skin. In addition, this cleanser contains sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate as its main cleansing agent, which makes it too drying for all skin types, plus the cinnamon and cedar extracts are irritating. For an “advanced formula,” this is quite a letdown.
With regular use, this daily cleanser works to clear up breakouts and helps keep new ones from forming.
Active: Salicylic Acid (2%), Other: Acrylates Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Capryloyl Glycine, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Extract, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Citric Acid, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, Fragrance, Glycerin, Glycol Distearate, Hexylene Glycol, Laureth-4, Methylparaben, Phosphoric Acid, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Potassium C12-13 Alkyl Phosphate, Propylene Glycol, Propylparaben, Sarcosine, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Hydroxide, 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.