This BHA exfoliant from Clearasil has a lightweight, non-greasy lotion texture that makes it suitable for combination to oily skin struggling with breakouts and clogged pores. The formula is medicated with 2% salicylic acid, which is also known as beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and considered an excellent option to reduce acne, blackheads, white bumps, and large pores. Salicylic acid needs a specific pH range in order to be effective, and we're thrilled to report that this product's pH of 3.8 is within that range!
All of the above is great, but what kept this from earning our top rating is the inclusion of fragrance and fragrant plant extracts (notably, lavender) that pose a slight risk of irritation. Some of the plant extracts have documented anti-inflammatory action, yet also contain constituents that can be sensitizing, so their benefits are a mixed bag.
Brands such as Paula's Choice and philosophy offer BHA exfoliants without the fragrance and with the soothing anti-irritants this Clearasil BHA product lacks. Still, there's no denying that Ultra Rapid Action Treatment Lotion has a near-bargain price and it is capable of exfoliating inside the pore lining, which absolutely helps reduce breakouts and clogging.
Works with the skin to unblock pores and deliver max strength active ingredient into the pores to treat pimples - in as fast as 4 hours.
Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid (2%) Inactive Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Octyldodecanol, Steareth-2, Cetyl Alcohol, Steareth-21, Dimethicone, Polyacrylamide, Glycerin, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan gum, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Laureth-7, Fragrance, Lavandula Stoechas Extract, Helichrysum Italicum Extract, Cistus Monspeliensis Extract, Titanium Dioxide
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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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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