Advantage 3-in-1 Foaming Acne Wash
The main cleansing agent in Advantage 3-in-1 Foaming Acne Wash is sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, which makes it too drying for all skin types. The fact that it’s fragranced is another con, especially if you have temperamental skin.
As for the 2% salicylic acid that this cleanser contains, that’s a great anti-acne ingredient for exfoliation when used in a leave-on product, but it is far less effective for exfoliation, if at all, in a cleanser. That’s because it is rinsed off before it can begin to work. In other words, if you are hoping for this cleanser to provide exfoliating benefits think again.
See our Best Cleansers list for superior options.
- Works well to remove makeup.
- Harshly drying, fragranced formula makes this an iffy choice for all skin types.
- Doesnt live up to its claims.
CLEAN & CLEAR ADVANTAGE 3-in-1 Foaming Acne Wash goes beyond cleansing to treat acne as you wash, while working to help prevent future breakouts. This formula contains max-strength acne-fighting Salicylic Acid, to thoroughly cleanse skin and help prevent future pimples.
Clean & Clear At-A-Glance
Strengths: Inexpensive; an excellent 10% benzoyl peroxide product; some very good cleansers.
Weaknesses: The majority of products contain irritating fragrant extracts, alcohol, menthol, menthyl lactate, or other problematic ingredients; below-average moisturizers; poor options for those struggling with breakouts or blackheads (at least if your goal is assembling a helpful skin-care routine using only Clean & Clear's products).
The name of this Johnson & Johnson-owned brand clearly communicates what it attempts to provide, and may seem to be a beacon of hope for consumers struggling with acne. The products are heavily marketed toward teens, with commercials and print ads featuring attractive young models with nary a blemish in sight, presumably because these fresh-faced teens adhere to a routine consisting of these attractively packaged products.
Although there are some great, inexpensive cleansers available, blemishes have nothing to do with how clean your skin is; the two issues are completely unrelated. The other failing is that unlike sister company Neutrogena (also owned by J&J), almost all of Clean & Clear's anti-acne products contain irritating ingredients that won't improve skin problems and end up making matters worse. Even a couple of the pH-correct BHA options are marred by troublesome ingredients that only make blemished skin more inflamed and impede the healing process. Moreover, the issue of sun protection is inadequately addressed, with the only option failing to provide sun protection without added irritants. What kind of message is that for teens trying to put together an effective skin-care routine? Clean skin is attainable from these products, but the company's road to "beautifully clear" skin has too many speed bumps to make this a one-stop destination for the blemish-prone.
For more information about Clean & Clear, call (877) 754-6411 or visit www.cleanandclear.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.