Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam would have been an excellent liquid-to-foam cleanser for normal to oily skin, but the skin-aggravating peppermint that it contains goes and ruins everything…and may potentially make breakouts worse (see More Info to learn why).
This cleanser does contain some very good (and unique) water-binding agents, but their impact on skin is overshadowed by the sensitizing peppermint.
We also have to note that this cleanser contains salicylic acid, an ingredient that when used in a well formulated leave-on product can work beautifully to gently exfoliate skin. However, salicylic acid is far less effective for exfoliation, if at all, in a cleanser because it is rinsed off before it can begin to work.
Some companies recommend leaving these types of cleansers on skin for a longer period of time so the salicylic can absorb, but that means the cleansing agents would also be left on too and that can cause dryness and irritation.
We don’t want you spending money on a product that can’t perform as it claims and aggravates skin in the process. See our Best Cleansers list for superior, non-irritating options instead.
Whether you can see it on the surface of skin or not, using harsh, skin-aggravating ingredients is a serious problem for all skin types but uniquely so for those with oily, combination, and blemish-prone skin.
Research has clearly established that when skin is aggravated the oil gland is stimulated by nerve endings to make more oil creating a perfect environment for blemishes, breakouts, and clogged pores to get worse.
Using any product that’s gentle and completely non-irritating is without question the only approach to taking the best care of your skin; doing otherwise hurts your skin.
References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology, January 2016, pages 25-30
Journal of European Dermatology and Venerology, May 2014, pages 527-532
Journal of Dermatology, May 2012, pages 433-438
Clinical Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, April 2011, pages 41-53
Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2004, page 764
Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17-23
European Journal of Dermatology, September-October 2002, pages 422-427
Goes to work immediately to help clear and prevent acne. Removes dirt and excess oil. Unclogs pores.
Active: Salicylic Acid (2%), Other: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sucrose, Disodium Phosphate, Arginine Cocoate, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Cola Nitida (Kola) Seed Extract, Caffeine, Algae Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint), Sea Whip Extract, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, PPG-6 Decyltetradeceth-30, Lactobacillus Ferment, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Longifolene, Acetyl Glucosamine, Capryloyl Glycine, Perilla Aldehyde, 10-Hydroxydecanoic Acid, Polyquaternium-7, Beta-Caryophyllene, Phospholipids, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Salicylate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chloroxylenol
Strengths: A few excellent moisturizers and serums; excellent sunscreens; very good cleansers and eye makeup removers; unique mattifying products; impressive selection of foundations, good concealers; some remarkable mascaras; much-improved eyeshadows, lip colors and blush formulas.
Weaknesses: Bar soaps (which can clog pores and dull skin); alcohol-based toners; unfortunate choice of jar packaging for antioxidant-loaded moisturizers.
Estee Lauder-owned Clinique launched the concept of cosmetics being "allergy-tested," "hypoallergenic," "100% fragrance-free," and "dermatologist tested." Of those marketing claims, the only one with significance is "100% fragrance-free," which, for the most part, Clinique maintains (although it does add some fragrant extracts to a few products). Unfortunately, terms like “hypoallergenic” and “dermatologist tested” aren’t regulated by the FDA and can mean anything—thus, you still need to rely on the ingredient list to tell you whether their product contains any ingredients with the potential to irritate skin.
That inconvenient fact aside, Clinique is leading the way with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums, plus some formidable makeup and more than a few excellent sunscreens. While Clinique has some products that we see as missteps for reasons discussed in their reviews, more than ever, what they offer is quite good (just have realistic expectations, as some of their claims go beyond what their products are capable of).
Turning to makeup, Clinique continues to offer a vast palette of colors and textures, especially with their enormous selection of foundations—many of which feature effective sunscreens. Without a doubt, the numerous formulas offer something for every skin type and almost every skin color—though the blushes, eye makeup and lip colors are frequently not pigmented enough for deeper skin tones.
The bottom line is that, despite a few shortcomings, Clinique is one of the most comprehensive (and comparably affordable) department-store makeup lines, and it is completely understandable why they enjoy such broad appeal.
Note: Clinique is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Clinique does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Team.
For more information about Clinique, call (800) 419-4041 or visit www.clinique.com.
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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