Just about the only thing this anti-acne product will do rapidly is cause irritation due to the amount of alcohol and menthol it contains. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s also plenty of fragrance to stir up more potential irritation. Although this gel is medicated with anti-acne superstar 2% salicylic acid, its pH is not within range for it to exfoliate, so it will have little to no effect on pimples and blackheads.
Applying irritating ingredients to oily skin stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores, so skin ends up being more oily and pores become (or stay) enlarged. If you want to see improvements in oily skin, the best approach is to treat your skin gently with effective products designed to absorb excess oil, exfoliate inside the pore, and help normalize pore function (Sources: Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366; and Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23).
Visibly reduces pimple size and redness in as little as 4 hours.
Active: Salicylic Acid (2%), Other: Water, Alcohol Denatured, Polysorbate-20, Sorbitol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hydroxide, Menthol, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender), Lavandula Stoechas (Lavender) Extract, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Helichrysum Italicum Extract, Cistus Monspeliensis Extract, Fragrance
Strengths: Inexpensive; effective topical disinfectants with 10% benzoyl peroxide; a good BHA option for those who prefer pads; a decent selection of water-soluble cleansers and topical scrubs.
Weaknesses: As is true for most anti-acne lines, irritating ingredients with no benefit for skin take precedence; only one sunscreen and it's part of a lackluster three-step kit; no lower-strength benzoyl peroxide products (10% has a higher chance of causing irritation than 2.5% and 5% versions).
Perhaps no other line is more synonymous with decades of zapping zits than ever-present Clearasil. The brand debuted in 1950 and was the first to offer anti-acne products to a teenage audience. The company has had several owners over the years (including Procter & Gamble), but has always kept its place on store shelves. The current selection of products is larger than in years past, yet they remain overwhelmingly disappointing because most of them contain irritating ingredients that don't help blemish- or blackhead-prone skin. Alcohol, menthol and its derivatives, and witch hazel show up repeatedly in these and other anti-acne products at the drugstore, creating a precarious situation that leaves shoppers who are dealing with acne faced with few genuinely effective choices. Luckily Clearasil comes through a few times with some very good benzoyl peroxide products for effective disinfecting, a very good BHA option, and a few other gems.
By the way, although Clearasil has products directed toward adult (instead of teenage) acne, the basic cause and treatment of acne is the same regardless of age. The protocol for handling breakouts does not require a separate category of products; the treatment basics remain the same.
For more information about Clearasil, call (866) 252-5327 or visit www.clearasil.com.
The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.
Paula is right, this product is not going to help with acne. I've had this product for probably a year. I keep trying it hoping that it will work, but I've never gotten any positive results. After reading Paula's review on this, I'm tossing it in the trash.
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