Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub, Oil-Free
5 fl. oz. for $5.49
Last Updated:11.20.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Because this cleanser-scrub hybrid contains the irritating ingredient menthol, it is not recommended. Without it, Clean & Clear would have had a very good scrub for normal to oily skin. For additional details on plastic microbeads in cosmetics, see the More Info section below.

More Info:

Plastic Microbeads in Cosmetics: This product contains polyethylene beads, which is an ingredient that has come under controversy in the recent past. In December of 2013, research published in the peer-reviewed journal, Marine Pollution Bulletin demonstrated that although polyurethane beads are non-toxic to humans, they are not filtered during sewage treatment and are accumulating in waterways. This means the beads have the potential to negatively affect marine wildlife who mistakenly consume them (Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2013).

Additional research published in December of 2013 demonstrated that polyurethane beads have the potential to absorb pollutants while in waterways. This research was conducted to establish the potential of absorption, however, and was not conducted using samples from actual waterways (Cell, 2013).

Beautypedia does not take an ideological stance in reviewing skincare products; rather, our reviews are based upon each product's potential harm or benefit to skin contingent upon what independent peer-reviewed scientific research has demonstrated. On issues like polyethylene beads in cosmetics or animal testing, we present the facts without judgment so that you may make your own decision whether or not this product is right for you.


Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub is designed to invigorate skin by cleansing pores deep down and gently exfoliating surface skin. Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub Provides A Tingly, Cooling Sensation As You Gently Massage The Scrub On Skin — The Unmistakable, Revitalizing Feeling Of A Deep Cleansing Action.


Water, Methyl Gluceth-20, Lauryl Glucoside, Polyethylene, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Peg-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dimethicone PEG-8 Meadowfoamate, Fragrance, Microcrystalline Wax, Methylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Menthol, Polyethylene, DMDM Hydantoin, Panthenol, Disodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-7, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Blue 1, Yellow 5, Red 30, Talc, Ultramarines

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.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Alternative to Polyethylene Beads

Target's Up&Up brand of this product uses Polylactic Acid beads as a safer/better/natural alternative to synthetic Polyethylene beads, and is otherwise formulated the same. Good, gentle, cleansing scrub.

Reviewed by
Andi, D
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