01.25.2012
3
Clean & Clear Advantage 3-in-1 Foaming Acne Wash
8 fl. oz. for $8.49
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ingredients
Brand Overview
Expert Reviews

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. 

Pros:
  • Works well to remove makeup.
Cons:
  • Harshly drying, fragranced formula makes this an iffy choice for all skin types.
  • Doesn’t live up to its claims.
Last Updated:01.04.2017
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Community Reviews
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.

Ingredients

Active: Salicylic Acid (2%), Other:Water, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Propylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Fragrance, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium hydroxide, C12-15 Alkyl Lactate, Benzalkonium Chloride, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Polyquatemium-7, Citric Acid.

Brand Overview

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 and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.


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