Keep It Clear Acne Foam Cleanser
Tula’s Keep It Clear Acne Foam Cleanser is a product that simply cannot work as claimed, and even worse, it can potentially irritate skin, making it a product you should definitely skip.
We do like the aesthetics of this cleanser: it’s packaged in an opaque plastic bottle and has an easy-to-use pump that dispenses an ultra-lightweight foam. It works well to cleanse skin thoroughly without making it feel stripped, which sounds great for acne-prone skin, until you get a few more details…
Tula makes claims that this can treat and prevent acne thanks to the salicylic acid it contains. While salicylic acid is gold-star exfoliator to help control blemishes, it’s most effective in a leave-on product – not something to be rinsed from skin (see More Info for details), so you simply can’t count on that benefit.
This also contains azelaic acid, probiotics, soothing licorice extract, and antioxidants (including noni and blueberry extracts) – but again, these can’t function very well in a rinse-off product. While azelaic acid can help brighten skin and fade post-acne marks, it just can’t do that in the limited amount of time it’s left on skin here.
What could have an impact is the amount of tea tree oil that’s included – the smell is apparent as soon as you open the container, and lingers on skin even after this is rinsed. While tea tree oil can help with acne breakouts in higher concentrations, it can also irritate skin, eyes, and nasal passages.
In the end, there are superior options you can find on our list of best cleansers.
- Lightweight foam effectively cleanses skin without making it feel dry or tight.
- Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
- Salicylic acid is more effective in a leave-on treatment.
- Azelaic acid cannot brighten skin or fade post-acne marks in a rinse-off formula.
- Contains tea tree oil, which puts skin, eyes, and nasal passages at risk for irritation.
BHA Ingredients in a Cleanser Making Exfoliating or Anti-Acne Claims: This cleanser contains salicylic acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid, or BHA), which included in a well-formulated leave-on product works beautifully to gently exfoliate skin. However, in a cleanser or scrub, BHA is far less effective, if effective at all, because it is rinsed off before it can begin to work.
So, if you’re hoping this cleanser will provide exfoliating benefits, think again. On the other hand, the BHA can provide hydrating benefits during its brief contact with skin.
Some companies recommend leaving these types of cleansers on skin for a longer period of time so the BHA can absorb, but that means the cleansing agents also are left on longer, which can cause dryness and irritation.
Because Tula makes acne-fighting claims that are not likely to occur, its rating is not as good as it would have been. We don’t want you spending money on a product whose exfoliating ingredients probably can’t perform as claimed. Instead, look for leave-on BHA exfoliants.
Treat & prevent acne with this powerful foam cleanser formulated with 2% salicylic acid, the highest percentage without a prescription. Probiotics help soothe skin while azelaic acid helps brighten & fade marks left by breakouts. Alcohol & fragrance-free, skin is never left dry or tight. This foam cleanser is where clear skin begins.
Tula Skincare is a brand focused on an emerging group of skincare ingredients: probiotics. While it’s long been known that probiotics (such as those found in yogurt) were beneficial for health when consumed via certain foods and supplements, new research shows they’re also beneficial applied directly to skin. Internally, probiotics (which are live microorganisms that live in and on the body) can regulate digestive health; externally they play a role in managing a key component of skin’s surface known as its microbiome.
Tula was founded by Dr. Roshini Raj, a still-practicing gastroenterologist who says she noticed that many of her patients who had consumed probiotics showed signs of improvement in their skin. This concept of balancing skin became the core foundation of Tula, a word which means “balance” in Sanskrit.
To that end, all Tula products contain probiotics (in the non-living form of lysates, which retain many of the same topical benefits as live probiotics), along with some pre- and postbiotics as well. Postbiotics are exciting because these by-products from the breakdown of probiotics give each person’s microbiome key substances skin needs to be strong and healthy.
There are a couple of standout options, but unfortunately, Tula includes fragrance in the majority of their offerings, and fragrance – whether synthetic or from natural sources (essential oils and extracts) such as Tula uses, puts skin at risk for irritation. Irritation can disrupt skin in a way that counteracts the anti-inflammatory benefits of probiotic ingredients, so these formulas would be better minus the fragrance.
As far as packaging goes, with a few rare exceptions (such a couple of products in jars), Tula does a good job keeping its skin care in opaque containers that protect its best-yet-most-delicate ingredients from losing their potency in the presence of light and air. Overall, it’s a hit-or-miss brand – with some top-notch options, some that are good (except for the fragrance), and others to skip altogether.
To find out more about Tula, visit https://www.tula.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.