This product is sold as a cleanser and mask in one, but based on its formula it’s first and foremost an absorbent clay mask best for oily skin, although not a very good one. The cleansing action is secondary and this certainly won’t get your skin as clean as a regular facial cleanser. Plus, leaving a cleansing agent on your skin for an extended period of time is absolutely not good skin care. Ceansing agents must be rinsed from the skin quickly because even the most gentle cleansing agent can become irritating if left on skin for too long.
This does contain the anti-acne ingredient salicylic acid, but the pH of the product is too high for it to work as an exfoliant.
Red or pink marks from acne are known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The lingering redness is a sign of your skin’s immune response to breakouts. Without question, these marks are a source of frustration for most people with acne, and they can take a maddeningly long time to fade. Although this product has merit as a mask for oily skin, its core ingredients have no benefit in the way of preventing or healing red marks, and leaving cleansing ingredients on your skin, as you would with a mask such as this, actually can impede healing.
Salicylic acid can be helpful for fading red marks, but it is most effective in a product that you leave on your skin (and it must be carefully formulated so the salicylic acid can work as an exfoliant). Please see our list of Best Anti-Acne Products for prime examples of recommended salicylic acid (BHA) products.
Active: Salicylic Acid (2%), Other: Water, Bentonite, Hydrated Aluminum Silicate, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Niacinamide, Sodium Lactate, Xanthan Gum, Cocoglucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Hexyldecanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Sodium Chloride, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA, Bisabolol (L-Alpha), Cetylhydroxyproline Palmitamide, Stearic Acid, Brassica Campestris Sterols (Rapeseed), Titanium Dioxide, Blue 1, Yellow 6
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.
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