CLENZIderm M.D. Pore Therapy
4 fl. oz. for $38
Last Updated:12.05.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

CLENZIderm M.D. Pore Therapy is a terrible alcohol-based toner that also contains menthol and two menthol derivatives, making for potent irritation. Note that the inactive ingredient list for this product is in alphabetical (rather than descending) order, which is permissible because this is classified as an over-the-counter drug.


Unclogs pores and helps clear skin of acne-causing bacteria. Prepares the skin to deeply absorb a liquefied serum that targets acne at its source. Menthol cools and calms irritated skin. Specially denatured alcohol helps kill acne-causing bacteria quickly while removing dead skin cells.


Active: Salicylic Acid (2%), Other: Benzalkonium Chloride, Benzyl Alcohol, Ethoxydiglycol, Fragrance, Glycerin, Menthol, Menthyl Lactate, Menthoxypropanediol, SD Alcohol 40-B (Alcohol Denat.), Ext. Violet 2, Water

Brand Overview

Obagi At-A-Glance

Strengths:Selection of good water-soluble cleansers; some effective skin-lightening and tretinoin products.

Weaknesses: Expensive; some products available only via prescription, which can be inconvenient; disappointing anti-acne products; moisturizers should contain more state-of-the-art ingredients.

Obagi is a skincare line which got its start back in 1988, spearheaded by Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi, who has since left the brand. Choosing to focus on the skin issues that plague many aging adults (chiefly, skin discolorations from sun damage and other sources and wrinkles), Obagi offers a mixed bag of cosmetic and prescription products sold only through authorized physicians, plastic surgeons, and accredited medical spas. That exclusivity may increase this line's cache with consumers, but let me assure you that most of what's offered isn't all that exceptional—and what's available by prescription can be prescribed in other forms by any dermatologist, so you don't need to seek one that retails Obagi's products. The highlights of this line are actually the prescription products. Several options with 4% hydroquinone are available as well as two products with tretinoin. There is a significant amount of research demonstrating that 4% hydroquinone, especially when combined with tretinoin, has a high success rate for persons dealing with stubborn skin discolorations or the skin condition melasma (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2007, pages 36–39; Cutis, January 2005, pages 57–62, and March 2006, pages 177–184).

The skin-care products Obagi sells to support the prescription-only options are either standard or below-average formulas that are easily replaced by less expensive options from other lines. Beware: This is a line whose proponents are adamant about the products being used as a system, so expect pressure to purchase an entire routine rather than cherry-pick what you really need. Savvy shoppers will find some viable options from Obagi, including a very gentle, fragrance-free sunscreen for someone with sensitive skin.

For more information about Obagi, call (800) 636-7546 or visit www.obagi.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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Pore therapy

Be careful with this product. I have always used very harsh products and have never had any problems until I used the pore therapy step 2 liquid. It burnt my face leaving it very red, puffy, and itchy. I thought it may have been caused by something else and decided to try it again. It burnt my face again.

Reviewed by
Amanda H
Still love it

I completely understand why this got a poor rating based on the ingredients, but this is, along with the foaming gel (which also rated poor), the only combination that has completely changed my skin. I have acne-prone SUPER oily skin and I've tried so many different products and this was the only thing that really worked for me. So while I agree with this review, I can't say I'll stop using this because it works too well for me

Reviewed by
Savannah C.
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