Clean & Clear’s slogan is “Clean and Clear and under control”, and that sums up much of their product line. The brand has a strong focus on fighting acne and controlling sebum. Their formulations may be good for teens struggling with hormonal acne – and Clean & Clear even says it’s “a brand for teens, by teens” – but that may not reflect the needs of many skincare buyers. Perhaps that’s why 38% of respondents voted it the worst drugstore skincare brand.
Trends these days have favored protecting the skin and glass skin barrier, not harsh acne care. Clean & Clear lacks products and ingredients that address these trends, as well as other concerns such as anti-aging and hyperpigmentation.
Dermatologist and YouTuber Dr Dray gave her take on the drugstore mainstay, saying that while she would recommend certain Clean & Clear products to patients, their ingredients aren’t right for everyone. In particular, she criticized the brand’s use of strong fragrances and menthol, which can be irritating to people with eczema, rosacea and sensitive skin.
Skincare expert Hyram also claims that some of the brand’s ingredients can be irritating to many skin types. Additionally, he noted that Clean & Clear relies on physical exfoliators in many of its products, from face washes with beads to granular scrubs. According to Well + Good, overdoing it with these types of exfoliators can irritate delicate skin.