Advantage Oil Absorbing Cream Cleanser Oil-Free
5 fl. oz. for $6.99
Last Updated:11.20.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

With all of the cleansers Clean & Clear sells, they really didn’t need another one, especially not one whose formula is so similar to others they sell. This cleanser is medicated with 0.5% salicylic acid, an amount that’s questionable for great results and mostly useless in a cleanser because its rinsed down the drain before it can help your skin.

This cleanser is said to contain special particles that keep absorbing oil even after you’ve rinsed, but the formula contains some rather heavy ingredients that actually make it tricky to rinse completely. Perhaps their special oil-absorbing ingredient is the rice seed protein, but this has no special ability to cling to skin and keep absorbing excess oil long after you’ve cleansed your face.

As with most Clean & Clear cleaners, this contains menthol for its cooling, tingling sensation. Unfortunately, that sensation isn’t a benefit; it’s your skin telling you it’s being irritated. The irony? Irritating oily skin can stimulate more oil production at the base of the pores, so, in essence, this cleanser that claims to absorb excess oil may end up making oily skin worse!


There are cleansers. And then there’s ADVANTAGE® Oil Absorbing Cream Cleanser, the only one with PowderParticles™ that absorb oil—even after you wash. The cleanser leaves you with a soft, powdery-finish that helps control oil so your skin stays less shiny all day.


Active: Salicylic Acid 0.5% (Acne Medication), Other: Water, Cetyl Alcohol, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Glycerin, Steareth 21, Titanium Dioxide, Polysorbate 60, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Seed Protein, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Disodium EDTA, C12 15 Alkyl Lactate, Menthol, Benzalkonium Chloride, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate

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.

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