Clean and Clear is a popular acne treatment brand sold in drugstores. Items can be purchased separately but work best as a set for people with frequent acne outbreaks. A three-step Clean and Clear regimen consists of cleanser, moisturizer and a spot treatment.
The products were developed by the well-known company Johnson & Johnson. Laboratory studies were part of product development.
How does Clean and Clear fight acne?
Step 1: Cleanser
Like other acne control treatments sold at Walgreen’s and similar outlets, the original Clean and Clear cleanser (step 1) relies primarily on benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. These ingredients are effective against whiteheads and blackheads but aren’t so powerful against cystic acne beneath the surface.
This isn’t the best line of skincare for people with dry skin or adult skin that’s just waiting to get wrinkles. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can be overly drying and cause flaky skin. If you use Clean and Clear to dry up pimples, you’ll want to saturate the area in question with a lot of moisturizer afterward.
There are currently more than 20 types of Clean and Clear cleansers available.
Step 2: Moisturizer
Step 2 of the Clean and Clear system is hydration. Take note: Since the moisturizer contains salicylic acid but no sunscreen, it isn’t a sufficient skin protector on its own. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid make your skin very sensitive to ultraviolet rays. Be sure to use an SPF of 25 or higher that won’t clog your pores.
Step 3: Spot Treatment
The third step in the Clean and Clear system is the optional acne spot treatment. It dissolves surface oils and encourages cell renewal. The main ingredient is salicylic acid. Some other ingredients include alcohol, witch hazel, glycerin and Atlantica bark extract. The bark extract might sound appealing and oh-so-natural but it’s just a fragrance that might be irritating to skin.
You can choose from many other Clean and Clear products, but they all work in much the same way.
Overall reviews of Clean and Clear
The happiest Clean and Clear customers are teenagers who have oily or combination skin. Other people tend to consider this line overly drying. However, it does provide quick cell turnover. You can use this system to dry up pimples within a day or two. For long-term skin care though you should choose a line of products that better nourishes your skin.
Teens also tend to like Skin ID by Neutrogena. Skin ID has people answer a comprehensive questionnaire before recommending specific skincare products. You can get an introductory kit for just $19.99 online or by phone.
Finally, you might consider the impact of regulating your hormones or improving your digestion in order to fight acne. Many skincare systems today try these approaches by including herbal supplements with their traditional anti-acne cleansers and lotions. Derma Cleanse by ZenMed and the Murad Acne Complex by Dr. Murad of UCLA are some holistic acne treatments that we’ve given good reviews.