clear days ahead oil-free salicylic acid acne treatment cleanser

by philosophy  
Price:
$21 - 8 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Blemish/Acne Treatments
Last Updated:
7/1/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This water-soluble gel cleanser is medicated with anti-acne salicylic acid, but in a cleanser this ingredient is rinsed down the drain before it can benefit your skin; plus, the pH of this cleanser is above the range salicylic acid needs to exfoliate. You’re directed to massage this cleanser over your skin for 60 seconds, but doing so is ill-advised because the formula contains a couple of problematic ingredients that you don’t want to leave on your skin for even a few seconds. Chief among them is the main cleansing agent, sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate. It can be quite drying, even for those with oily skin, and massaging this over your face for a minute only makes the potential dryness worse. Of lesser concern, but still worth mentioning, is the orange extract that lends this cleanser its citrus scent and the tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide, which can kill acne-causing bacteria but also causes acute free-radical damage and should not be applied to skin on a daily basis. All told, there are more gentle, less expensive cleansers for those with acne-prone skin to consider. Paula’s Choice CLEAR Normalizing Cleanser is one; you’ll find others from Neutrogena as well as Clean & Clear, but first check our Best List to be sure you are getting the right ones.

Pros:

  • Light gel texture rinses without a residue.

Cons:

  • Expensive.
  • Salicylic acid is wasted in a cleanser because it’s rinsed from the skin.
  • Main cleansing agent is drying and not as gentle as many others.
  • Contains fragrant orange extract.
  • Hydrogen peroxide puts skin at risk for excessive free-radical damage.

clear days ahead oil-free salicylic acid acne treatment cleanser deeply cleanses and helps reduce acne-causing bacteria to promote clearer skin.

Active: Salicylic Acid (1.0%) Other: Water, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Acrylates Crosspolymer-4, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Polysorbate 20, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Panthenol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Jojoba Esters, Disodium Capryloyl Glutamate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Sulfate, Potassium Chloride, Butylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrogen Peroxide, Propylene Glycol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, O-Cymen-5-Ol

Believe in miracles. That's the "lifestyle" branding statement philosophy makes, which is an approach that is decidedly different from their former positioning, which encompassed family values and spirituality along with a dash of department-store élan and endearingly clever quips. The miracle angle may grab your attention, but the company is also quick to point out that its history is steeped in providing products to dermatologists and plastic surgeons worldwide (so, in addition to miracles, philosophy has a serious side, too). Although its heritage may have included providing clinically oriented products to doctors, we have yet to see or hear of any medical professional retailing philosophy products. And that's a good thing because, by and large, most of philosophy products are resounding disappointments. Moreover, several products, including almost all of their sunscreens, contain one or more known skin irritants. We would be extremely suspicious of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who recommended such products to their patients, and even more so if they actually believed some of the more farfetched claims philosophy makes.

Interestingly, when you shop this line at department stores or at the cosmetics boutique Sephora, what you'll notice is the preponderance of food- and drink-scented bath products, all in vivid colors or cutely boxed for gift-giving. It seems that somewhere along the way, the company decided to promote these nose-appeal products while downplaying their more serious-minded, simply packaged skin care. Perhaps the body lotions and bubble baths have become philosophy's bread and butter. Given the hit-or-miss nature of their facial-care products, that's not surprising. Then again, they've also heavily promoted their anti-aging-themed Miracle Worker products...

So what's to like if you're into the vibe philosophy puts out? Well, this is still a line with some well-formulated staples, including an AHA product, some retinol options, and a handful of state-of-the-art moisturizers. The products that get the most promotion at the counter are the ones you should avoid, such as the at-home peels, scrubs, pads, and anti-acne products. However, the somewhat confusing, conflicting image philosophy presents shouldn't keep you from considering their best products—but it's not a lifestyle brand in the sense that using the entire line will somehow bring you a more joyful existence, or significantly improved skin. The philosophy line is now owned Coty, a cosmetics brand primarily known for their fragrances. Their acquisition of philosophy is their first major foray into a widely-distributed skin care brand.

For more information about philosophy, call (800) 568-3151 or visit www.philosophy.com.

Note: philosophy opts to use lowercase letters for every product they sell, so the listings below are simply following suit.

philosophy Makeup

Minimalism is a big theme among philosophy's dwindling, uneven range of makeup. Whereas the color options from this company used to be extensive, well-organized, and at times clever, what's lining the counter now needs help, in more ways than one. The major issue is the plethora of ordinary products that cost far too much for what they don't offer, which is innovation and, in almost every case, selection. The line shines brightest (pun intended) with its lip color offerings, though the best products in this category are counterbalanced by glosses or lip balms with needless irritants. If you're a fan of philosophy's skin-care products and are considering their makeup, you don't want to try to build a comprehensive color wardrobe with it. However, you'd be wise to explore the handful of pleasant surprises here, including an excellent bronzing lotion, foundation primer with sunscreen, and the multi-use makeup brush.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice 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 herself.

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