Products like this are fundamentally flawed because they reinforce the mistaken belief that acne (pimples) can be dried up. In fact, water is the only thing you can dry up, and simply making a breakout drier with problematic formulas like this will only hinder healing and lead to red marks that take longer to fade.
This thick paste is medicated with 0.5% salicylic acid, a proven anti-acne ingredient, but the amount is too low for it to be of much help for acne, especially given that the pH of the product is too high to allow it to work as an exfoliant.
What’s particularly disappointing is that this paste contains occlusive ingredients that may clog pores and make breakouts worse, and the ingredient menthyl lactate (a menthol derivative) causes irritation that hurts skin’s healing process while offering not a single benefit.
- Formula causes dryness, flaking, and irritation that can delay healing and make red marks from acne worse.
- Irritation from this product can stimulate excess oil production that leads to more breakouts, but you’re not getting any significant benefits because pimples cannot be dried up.
Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation, which impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes vital substances your skin needs to stay young. Irritating ingredients stimulate excess oil production at the base of the pores, making oily skin and the accompanying breakouts worse, which in turn makes red marks from acne worse. So, products like this actually make matters worse.
For these reasons, it is best to minimize or eliminate as much as possible your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant anti-acne formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients.
The Clean & Clear Advantage Popped Pimple Relief drying paste is specially formulated to target the unpleasant appearance of acne blemishes, including popped pimples.
Active: Salicylic Acid (0.5%), Other: Water, Hydrated Silica, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Isoceteth-20, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Titanium Dioxide, Phenoxyethanol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Citrate, Dimethicone Propyl PG-Betaine, Fragrance, Menthyl Lactate, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, C12-15 Alkyl Lactate, Citric Acid, Benzalkonium Chloride, Blue 1
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.