Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment ($6.99) is a product designed to treat acne problem areas. You have that raging zit that just won’t quit? That’s what a spot treatment is for. Spot treatments are generally known for also speeding up the zit-be-gone process. For those who missed it, I broke out something awful when I used a silicone-based primer, and to clear everything up is a challenge. I finally caved and went to the drugstore to get a spot treatment product (for some reason, there are no drugstores that close by–I’m so used to not having to drive more than a few minutes, not 10 or more–so spoiled).
While I was browsing the shelves laden with acne “miracle” products, I landed on Clean & Clear’s. I’ve used one of theirs in the past, and it seemed to work OK. I don’t really expect any spot treatment to be miraculous and reduce a monster zit to nothing in an hour or even overnight for the most part. I had already used 10% benzoyl-peroxide to no avail, and I think I must draw the conclusion that my acne always responds better to salicylic acid over benzoyl-peroxide. Most acne products contain either of these ingredients. 2% salicylic acid products are about as high as you can get over the counter, I believe, and this one is that.
The rest of the ingredients are harder to pronounce, and judging from the list, I’d say it’s probably not a great combination of ingredients. But my skin is made of tough stuff other than that terrible reaction to silicone (totally new experience for me–the worst kind, of course), so I got it anyway. The key with this product is to apply it in a thin area, and the product does say apply it one to three times a day. I opted for two, since it made the most sense; once before bed, and then once after I showered and put on makeup.
Beyond pimple reduction, this product also helps to reduce redness, which for me was a major concern. The last thing I want to do is put foundation on my face when it’s trying to clear itself up and heal, but at the same time, I don’t relish walking outside without it! So I usually end up with a light layer of foundation on. This helped make it easier to go out and not worry about how red those zits were. This product also did not dry out my skin at all, which is a huge plus. Many acne spot treatments will dry your skin out, but it is still important to use a good moisturizer along with the spot treatment to ensure you don’t dry out.
Sometimes the product seemed to work, sometimes it didn’t do anything. This product does seem to speed up the process, though. I would say that most pimples were reduced over two or three days, depending on their original size. Larger, angrier pimples may make it easier to see efficacy with this product, but I only had one or two of those. For the price, I’d recommend having one of these on-hand just to combat those pimples that just crop up. I don’t recommend spot treatments as a general rule for those who suffer constant breakouts, because at that point, it is more important to find a skincare routine that can really clear up your face. This is a temporary solution; a way to salve your self-esteem when a product has made your skin angry.