SKINCARE | Clean & Clear Essentials Review

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When I think of Clean & Clear, I am immediately taken back to my teenage years of oily skin and every blemish you could think of. Though I never had severe acne, I did have pimples and constant whiteheads across my forehead and cheeks that gave my skin a consistently "textured" appearance. Sexy, I know. I remember trudging on over to London Drugs and not knowing anything about skincare, picking up a Clean & Clear toner because it sounded like it would kill all the bad and give me my pre-pubscent skin back. Low and behold, it helped with some of the congestion on my forehead and the rest is skincare history. I haven't used Clean & Clear in about 10 years so let's see how this curated skincare regime fared on my now more "mature" skin!

The Facial Foaming Cleanser* is the first step in the Clean & Clear Essentials line for those who just want clean and beautiful skin. Even though this is shown on the website as something that works for any non-sensitive skintype, the presence of salicylic acid in the other two steps of the routine make me think this is more suited to blemish-prone skin. This cleanser is oil-free and has a very fresh, soapy scent. It is a fairly thick gel cleanser that foams slightly leaving my skin with that squeaky clean feeling. Some people like this, but at this point in my life means that I am going to have to amp up the moisturizer like nobody's business after cleansing! For those ingredients junkies, this cleanser is not paraben-free.

Step 2 is the toner step which in the Essentials routine is the Deep Cleaning Astringent* which contains 2% salicylic acid and is alcohol-based (very first ingredient). This toner was far too strong for my normal skin and even the scent was very "alcohol-y" to a medicinal point.I would only suggest this toner if you have oily skin. Even if you have an acneic skin condition, I would not suggest drying out the skin with an alcohol-based toner indefinitely. 

The Dual Action Moisturizer* contains 0.5% salicylic acid and is oil-free allowing it to absorb quickly into the skin. Again, I would recommend this for oily skin types or for those in humid climates because in seconds my skin felt like it needed MORE HYDRATION! So, I had to slap some facial oil on top. Don't get me wrong, I love salicylic acid in small doses because there is nothing like a good BHA to clear out the pores, but using this moisturizer alone was really not enough for me. I need much more! For the ingredient-conscious, there is dimethicone in the first half of the ingredient list which contributed to the smooth, silky finish I felt on my skin. The scent was very pleasant and I wish more moisturizers smelled this way!

Final verdict: If you have sensitive skin, you should look into Clean & Clear's sensitive product solutions as the combination of alcohol, salicylic acid and lack of oils might prove to do more harm than good. However, if you have an oily skin type that is prone to breakouts, the Essentials trio is a great way to control oil and breakouts if you don't already have a routine. While I found the astringent to be quite drying, the moisturizer was my favourite of the group and would have come in handy when I was in the more humid climate of Montreal this past summer. My skin was so congested from using my skincare regime from Vancouver!

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