Clean and Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment: Declare Your Independence from Acne

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Product Reviews, Skin Care


Clean & Clear makes a pretty bold statement on each and every $7 tube of Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment


“100% of people showed clearer skin in just one day.”

Even though I have to disagree with them, because for me it took a little longer than one day to see results, I gotta give credit where it’s due. Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment works, and it works without benzoyl peroxide. This stuff’s got some serious anti-acne game.

The active ingredient is salicylic acid, 2%. The instructions suggest applying the milky, non-stick formula up to three times per day. Because it dries quickly and completely vanishes once massaged into the skin, it can be used as an on-the-go spot treatment when time’s of the essence.

I’ve been using it for about a month now, once in the morning before applying sunscreen, and then once again at night before moisturizing. An amount the size of a pea covers all of my acne hot zones — forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. With daily use, a single tube should last between one and two months.

Pimples just hate this stuff. Usually, right after (*ahem*) “Aunt Flo” pays a visit, tiny pimples erupt on my forehead and remain there for about two weeks. This time around, my forehead still broke out, but it was much clearer within four days of using the spot treatment; by the end of a week, my forehead was smooth and zit-free.

My face is an equal opportunity pimple factory and has been since my late teens… Whenever I’m feeling stressed out or don’t get enough sleep I get painful red pimples, especially around my nose. Most of the time, they’ll take at least a week to go away, but Clean & Clear has cut that down to three days. I just hope it continues to work as well as it has.

Other Anti-acne Stars

Ironically, I’ve gotten mixed results from products containing salicylic acid. That’s why I was so surprised by this one. Up until I hit my 30s, I was strictly a benzoyl peroxide user.

If Acne Spot Treatment doesn’t work for you, don’t get discouraged. Every acne sufferer I’ve ever known has had to try a BIG number of different products to find ones that work for them. Acne can feel like a weight on your shoulders (I know from experience), but if you feel you’re looking for answers (also try yet haven’t made much progress on your own, consult a dermatologist if you can. They may be able to offer suggestions you haven’t considered before.

Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment

Price: $7 for a 0.75-fl oz tube
Use: To treat and prevent acne
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+


Pick up Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment at your local drugstore or order a tube online.

Happy Fourth of July! I hope you got the day off from work. So far, I’ve been a buzz of productivity. I’ve done five loads of laundry since dawn! I wanted to get a bunch of stuff done before El Hub and I start our little barbecue this afternoon. Hot dogs, chips and onion dip, potato salad, corn on the cob and sweet tea, comin’ right up! What fixings would you like on your hot dog (or your veggie dog)? I’m having mine with lots of ketchup and sweet relish, please. πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. If you liked this post, subscribe to my updates by email.


Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 33 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Loni says:

    I just read The Female Brain, and it says that women who have problems with acne also generally have a higher sex drive than their smooth-skinned peers. So, maybe there’s a silver lining. πŸ™‚

  2. Dao says:

    Happy 4th of July Karen! I’ve been having one too many of those red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Those are good stuff I’m telling ya!

    I think you and I are in the same boat regarding the zit issue. I also have hormonal acne but mine usually gets worst the week before. I got the Wexler acne serum from Bath and Body Works yesterday, I’m going to give it a try to see what happens. After all, Dr. Wexler is the dermatologist to the stars.

    Daos last blog post..Victoria’s Secret Loot

  3. Glosslizard says:

    Happy 4th! I’ll have mustard & saurkraut if you’ve got it! πŸ™‚

    I know you don’t respond well to it, but Clindamycin has made my life better! Always good to have a next resort, though and Clean & Clear is an affordable one! Thanks!

  4. Marisol says:

    Glad that it worked for you. I am still loving Benefit’s Boo Boo Zap.

    Marisols last blog post..Movies I am looking forward to seeing this summer

  5. sarahPUFFY says:

    I bought this my freshman year of high school, and its my HG. I actually saw a difference in one day [I used this and the blackhead scrub]. Stuff still works to this day.

    sarahPUFFYs last blog post..Happy July 4th!

  6. Samm says:

    this one didn’t work for me
    but clindoxyl gel kind of works (ask your dermatologist)
    and since we’re on the topic of acne.
    herbalism soap by lush is amazing for my face (i have very oily skin with frequent acne. even worse when aunt flo is around)
    i’ve been clear for a while <3 : )

  7. ladyv says:

    I have been using this stuff for YEARS! It’s funny, I buy tons of expensive creams and whatnot, but I’ve always stuck with this same treatment. Works like a charm.

  8. Roxy says:

    Normally I have pretty much clear skin, but I noticed ever since I started wearing make up more, my skin’s been breaking out. Is it because it’s not used to wearing make up or is it the weather? [cause its been getting super hot here] I’ve been breakin gout on my forehead like crazy!

    Roxys last blog post..small haul

  9. Karen says:

    Hi Loni,

    I learn something new every day. For silver linings, that’s not bad πŸ˜‰

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    You know, I’ve never had red velvet cake. I’ve seen plenty of pictures though… looks really yummy.

    I hope that serum works for you. What’s the active ingredient?

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    One hot dog with mustard and saurkraut coming right up! πŸ™‚ How about a side of potato salad?

    Ah, I used Clindamycin many years ago to disastrous results. I’m terribly allergic to it (had to get one of those allergy shots with a big ole’ horse needle). I do remember it working really well, though.

    Darn zits. I wish they’d go away already!

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    I know lots of women who are devoted to Boo Boo Zap. Do you apply all over, or just as a spot treatment?

  13. Karen says:

    Hi SarahPUFFY,

    I might have to try that blackhead scrub. It never hurts to add more to the anti-pimple arsenal.

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Samm,

    Thanks for the recommendation. I haven’t heard of that soap before. What does it smell like?

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Ladyv,

    It’s great, yah? I hope it keeps working, because it’s great.

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Roxy,

    It could be a number of things. I’ve found when my skin goes nuts, it could be a number of things: change in weather, a new skin product or makeup.

    One thing my skin can’t tolerate is MAC foundation. It really made my skin break out terribly.

  17. Michelle says:

    I’ve used Murad’s acne line, and it really did wonders for me. I was afraid the three step process would end up making my skin dry, but it didn’t. I stopped using it after my skin cleared up & it’s stayed that way since. Of course now that it’s summer I do get one or two zits now & then. I ordered Mario Badescu’s (hope I spelled that right) healing powder because of hearing about it from magazines and beauty blogs. I hope it works on me. Have you ever tried it Karen?

    Hope you had a Happy 4th! We had a pizza party and watched fireworks. The weather was beautiful.

  18. Jen says:

    I have been using the Paula’s choice 2% BHA lotion for the last month and it is the best stuff I have ever used- and I have used many prescription products (currently use retina a as well) I don’t usually get much help from any over-the-counter products as they are too harsh and just don’t work that well but I have had phenomenal sucess with the PC BHA, plus it is less than $20 for 4 oz.

  19. Jen says:

    I picked up two beautiful cargo eye shadows today at Sephora (why didn’t I buy stock in that place??) Cypress – a pretty bronze shimmer and aegean – a shimmery blue-green to use as a liner. I think both colors would be lovely on you-

  20. Daya says:

    I currently use the Clean and Clear πŸ™‚ My acne may be a tad smaller in appearance the next day, but its not gone. I am one of the two to three times a day users πŸ™

  21. Kanita says:

    Hi Karen!

    I’ve been using this acne treatment for years. Although I’ve never really had much acne, I’ve still tried every product out there and this really works the best. I was actually getting kind of worried that they were discontinuing it because I’ve been having trouble finding it in stores. Last time I bought acne treatment I actually ended up buying the “clean and clear persa-gel 10” and that works really well too, but it does have benzoyl peroxide.

    Hope you had a great 4th of july!

  22. Dao says:

    the active ingredient is good ole 2% salicylic acid and she adds MMPi-20 as an anti-aging ingredient. I always have better results with serums so I have high hope for this one.

    Red velvet cake is basically a chocolate cake with red coloring. If you have one, you can detect a very faint taste of chocolate but not too much to overwhelm you. It’s a thing from the South, that’s what I’ve heard.

    Daos last blog post..This may help?

  23. sarahPUFFY says:

    Yeah, its damn good stuff. I use it 4-5 days out of the week, to maintain clear skin. Its really creamy [so it feels great on the skin], and its got the perfect amount of “scrubbies”. I recommend it to all of my girls that don’t have super sensitive skin. I also use the Maximum Strength Invisible Blemish Treatment, but I think that it could be the same as the Advantage. The Maximum Strength takes a little longer to kick in, but it does the job.

    sarahPUFFYs last blog post..Happy July 4th!

  24. Samm says:

    smells. i suppose minty and a bit herb-y
    it looks funny though.

  25. Karen says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I’ve heard of that product from Mario Badescu but I haven’t tried it. I’ve known a few women who’ve tried it and liked it, though. Right now I’m really lovin’ on the BHAs, but when I need something new and I try it I’ll let you know if it works. πŸ™‚

    It sounds like your 4th was fun. Pizza and fireworks are always a good combination!

  26. Karen says:

    Hi Jen,

    I know it gets raves on several sites like Makeup Alley. I’m so happy that your skin is responding well to it; that’s so great!

  27. Karen says:

    Hi Daya,

    Do you end up putting it on top of makeup? I can’t figure out when to sneak in that third application!

  28. Karen says:

    Hi Kanita,

    I hope this never gets discontinued! It works really great; I just wish I found it sooner!

    I’ve seen the persa gel but have been too terrified to try it. I think it’ll dry my skin out like crazy; plus, it’s a pain to worry about bleaching with the BP. Did it dry you out?

    Hope you had a wonderful 4th o’ July, too, girlie!

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    I went to a cupcake shop today and they had something similar to red velvet cake. Too bad all the cupcakes in the flavor were gone, though! I ended up getting carrot cake. If you ever make it to SF you have to go visit this shop to get your sweet fix:

  30. Karen says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Hmm, I think I might try it. I have somewhat sensitive skin so I’m a lil’ worried about it drying my skin out, but hey, you never know! Thanks again from the recommendation.

  31. Karen says:

    Hi Samm,

    LOL… so I guess I must be a total weirdo because I want to eat that! It looks like pistachio ice cream! πŸ™‚

  32. sarahPUFFY says:

    No prob at all – it does dry you out a bit [I have combination skin], but if you have a good moisturizer, then its not a problem at all.

    Oh, and if you use the treatment over makeup…be careful; it’ll peel later on, and it’ll look creepy…I learned the hard way. Be especially careful when you apply powder over it!

    Take care. xx

    sarahPUFFYs last blog post..Happy July 4th!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge