Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Bar for Face and Body: Bacne Be Gone!

Published in: Product Reviews, Skin Care

I should probably file this under “too much information,” but beauty isn’t always a pretty subject. Ladies, I’m in the midst of a breakout on my back (aka “bacne”), and it has been totally suck-tacular 1) because the pimples are big and painful, and 2) because I’ve had to skip on all the pretty backless summer tops I’ve wanted to wear during the recent heat wave here in the Bay Area.

Making matters worse — as if that’s even possible — one crop of zits took roost smack dab in the middle of my upper back, at the base of my neck between my shoulder blades, which means they’re within reach and easily scratch-able. I know that scratching ’em constitutes a big, gross no-no, and I’ve resisted the temptation so far, but it hasn’t been easy.


Because I’ve gotten great results from Clinique skin care products in the recent past, I decided to try Clinique’s Acne Solutions Cleansing Bar ($12.50) in place of my go-to back breakout product, Neutrogena’s Body Clear Body Wash. Clinique’s mild cleansing soap bar contains salicylic acid, a popular active ingredient used to prevent and treat breakouts on both the face and body.

I showered with it several times, rubbing the clunky, cylindrical white bar onto my back while daydreaming about tube tops. I like the eucalyptus-ish, medicinal fragrance and the light foaming action, but I do have one problem with the product…

It hasn’t really worked.

Every morning since I’ve started using the bar, I’ve checked my back for signs of improvement, but there haven’t been any. No two breakouts are the same, so I’m willing to cut Clinique some slack. That said, in the past when I’ve used Neutrogena Body Clear, all it took was one or two washes to clear up even my worst bacne breakouts.

After a week with Clinique’s Acne Solutions Cleansing Bar, bacne still prevents me from looking my best in a halter top.

The product hasn’t been strong enough for me, but it may work better for you if you’ve had luck with mild acne treatments in the past. Finding the right acne treatment can take a lot of trial and error. As far as my skin is concerned, I hit pay dirt when I found Neutrogena Body Clear a few months ago.

Tube top by BCBG

Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Bar for Face and Body

Price: $12.50 for a 5.2 oz bar
Use: To prevent and treat acne
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: C

To learn more about Clinique Acne Solutions Bar, check it out at your nearest Clinique counter or read about it online.


TGIF, ya’ll! This deserves an all-caps WOOT! Right now I’m off to coffee and pastries with a friend. Hopefully I don’t spontaneously combust. It’s still unseasonably hot out here.

Do you have plans for the weekend? I wish we could all go haulin’ together.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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So far, 35 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Jess says:

    Hi Karen, I soo wish we could go haulin together! Do you ever go to Walgreens in the middle of the night for makeup? I do that a lot!

  2. Grace says:

    yesss finally TGIF!! I have 2 more weeks of classes and then exams =(
    but this wkd I plan to do some major MAC online & drugstore hauling!!

  3. Terre says:

    Hey Karen,

    I tried a bacne spray that Clinique introduced about 3 years ago, but it didn’t work for me. I use the Neutrogena and that works much better for me too!

    Enjoy the weekend everyone!

  4. Holly says:

    Hi Karen,
    Im in the middle of the strangest breakout ever at the moment, i have big red blemishes all over my jaw line, a couple on either side of my neck and some on my upper back, ive never had spots there before its really weird! Im putting it down to a mixture of stress and hayfever, roll on 3rd June!!!!!

    A good friend of mine reconmended the new Clinique anti blemish solutions body spray which is oil free and the spray works upside down which is a plus for reaching difficult parts of the back! I haven’t tried it yet though, i may pick one up in work tomorrow I may even try out one of those Clinique glosses you have been trying to convert me too if they are having a gift offer or something!

  5. Breezy says:

    Argh Karen, I feel your pain girl. I’m about to be in a wedding NEXT weekend and yeah since its been super hot in LA too we’re all having issues! The one thing that seems to work really well is a combo of Tea tree oil (I put it in a little spritzer, diluted halfway w/water, super easy to get it all over your back that way) and Neutrogenas 3 in 1 stress acne lotion. Those 2 together are awesome. ESPECIALLY the tea tree oil – its an antiseptic – hello, so it’ll make those bad boys smaller asap.

    p.s. I usually get the TTO at Target, they have it in the vitamins section go figure. Hope you get to wear your summer tops soon! Oh and I wish I could go haulin this weekend too, but I’m graduating WOOT WOOT!! Have a good weekend!

  6. JK says:

    Hey Karen,

    This might also be TMI, but last summer I got a lot of bacne because I would go jogging and get all sweaty, and my sports bra wasn’t breathable enough, so I just got loads of clogged pores and pimples, right where my sports bra was. Could it be something like that?

    Thank god for Neutrogena.

  7. beautytalk says:

    Oh, I’ve had the same problem and Neautrogena always does the trick for, sigh.

    FYI, I’ve been missing because I got laid off at my job last Thursday. Stupid recession and stupud publishing world 🙁 Thank God I had some freelancing as back up and I’ve managed to secure more. But, it’s been hectic and I haven’t been able to devote my time to my blog at all!

    Good news: I’m vacationing in Toronto right now where my best friend lives 🙂

    beautytalks last blog post..TAGGED! 6 Quirky Facts About Me

  8. Karen says:

    Hi Jess!

    LOL, I used to when I was a student. I gotta get up pretty early so now I haul after work. 🙂 Eating an ice cream from Rite Aid and looking at the makeup section is one of my favorite ways to unwind. What was the last thing you picked up from a midnight makeup run?

  9. Karen says:

    Hi Grace,

    NICE! Hang in there. The two weeks will go by quickly so stay focused! Then you can play all ya want.

    What are you going to get online? I just got back from the Pro Store and got two things — MAC Wipes (needed new ones) and Powersurge Kohl.

    Can’t wait to hear about your haul and HAPPY FRIDAY! 🙂

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Terre,

    Thank goodness for Neutrogena. Seriously, I couldn’t live without it.

    How’s your Friday been?

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Holly,

    Oh no, you poor thing. I’m guessing stress could be the culprit. I know that I break out like crazy when I’m stressin’. Hang in there, girl! You’re almost there.

    Yay! I hope you give the Glosswears a try! I even got my friend who *never* wears lipgloss to love them.

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Breezy,

    CONGRATULATIONS! What a huge accomplishment. I am so happy and proud of you! GO GIRL!

  13. Karen says:

    Hi JK,

    Yeah, I’m guessing that’s part of it. I’ve been running more, plus it’s been super hot which lends to lots o’ sweat. I’ve also been really stressed out, so that doesn’t help, either.

    Thank gawd for Neutrogena. Which one do you use? I’ve used both the regular Body Clear and the one with the exfoliating beads.

  14. Karen says:

    Hi BeautyTalk,

    Sorry about your job. It’s rough at there right now. I hope you find something soon; will keep my fingers crossed for you.

    How fun that you’re on vacation and hanging with your best bud. How long have you two been friends?

  15. Terre says:

    Hey Karen, it’s been pretty good! I got home from college the other night and spent the day catching up with the fam and friends. I’m graduating on Sunday – whoo hoo! I have the dress, shoes, and nail polish ready to go but am still figuring out the make-up. (Can’t decide how much or what I want to wear!) Got any tips?

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Terre,

    Congrats on your upcoming graduation! That’s fantastic. What will you get your degree in?

    Hmm, you might want to go for something waterproof; dunno if you’re the teary type but it never hurts to be prepared.

    My biggest tip would be to not go out to a house party the night before the ceremony with your good friend under the guise of “getting home by midnight,” because you might have one too many cups of jungle juice and end up dancing all night, and then next thing you know it’s 4:00 and you’ve only got two hours to get some sleep before having to get up at 6:00 to get ready for the 7:00 ceremony call time. Not that I’d know or anything!!! 😉

    But seriously, if you’re going to take pictures, make sure to wear concealer if you plan on going out the night before!

  17. Joana says:

    I had the same problem on my back some time ago and nothing seemed to work until a doctor recommended me a sulfur soap and it’s great,it’s 100% effective despite the awful smell!

  18. kae says:

    proactiv body wash worked for me 😀 it’s the one that comes in a pump and you can use it as a body wash and a scrub because it has little bead thingies. i would use it every other day as a body wash and every few days as a scrub for a more deep down and direct cleaning. plus, the beads weren’t harsh. try it 🙂

    kaes last blog post..1

  19. Beth says:

    Hey Karen

    Unfortunately for some sick evil twisted reason, you can’t get the Neutrogena wash over here in the UK so I’ve tried a few different things. I always found the Clinique Back Spray to be pretty decent and I’ve just bought this cleansing bar but haven’t tried it enough to notice a difference.

    If you want something yummier that works really well, scooch on over to and treat yourself to some Lemslip buttercream. Its like jelly-soapy-non edible lemon meringue pie filling and its *amazing*! Also, while you’re there I’d totally recommend Mask of magnaminty for your face or your back if you can get someone to slather it on for you!

    Hope your weekend is going well!


    Beths last blog post..A Picnic in the Park

  20. Alicia says:

    I use to have bacne too! Try using dove bar soap the original formula. It works wonders and leaves your skin so soft too.

  21. Ash says:

    Wow thanks Beth. That website is cool. I cant believe they discontinued neutrogena body wash here in the Uk. ugh.

  22. Terre says:

    Hey Karen, thanks for the tips! You’re totally right about the waterproof – I didn’t even think about that. I’m getting my degree in Spanish & Political Science, thanks for asking. I’m going to also layer up on the sunscreen and let’s hope for a sunny day!

    🙂 Bye

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Joana,

    Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂 I might check it out when I finish up my tube of Body Clear.

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Kae,

    I’ve used Proactiv on my face in the past and had good results. I didn’t know they had a body wash, so thanks!

  25. Karen says:

    Hi Beth,

    Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve been to the Lush store in SF a few times and the smell is always a little overwhelming, but next time I’m in the neighborhood I’ll pop into to the store to look for that buttercream. 🙂

  26. Karen says:

    Hi Alicia,

    Wow, old school Dove! Who would’ve guessed. I’m glad that it works for you, and thanks for the recommendation, girl!

  27. Karen says:

    Hi Terre,

    You’re welcome! Congrats again to you. 🙂 Graduation day was one of the happiest days of my life, so I hope you have a fantastic day tomorrow!

  28. Kat says:

    Hi Karen!

    I started reading your blog a couple of weeks ago, and enjoy it very much. Your posts are so friendly and informative, thanks for that!

    I used to have bacne too, for years, and boy was it painful and annoying! I tried several kinds of soaps, scrubs and tea tree products. My skin therapist finally recommended a body spray from MD Formulations called Vit-A-Plus something, which I kept using for a couple of months. Finally the skin on my back cleared up, thank God! I read somewhere that it can take a while for the skin to react to the products we apply, but it’s hard being that patient… Good luck!

  29. Megan says:

    Bummer…switch to the body clear…I use it too after you reviewed it last time…

    hope it clears up soon.

  30. Jess says:

    LOL! Yup bacne is a touchy subject, excuse the pun. Bacne, I have never heard it called that before! =)

  31. Patricia says:

    You should try using Avene’s Cleanance gel. I use it on my face and my back and it’s awesome!

  32. Nederland says:

    This one is quite refreshing. I like the shampoo version also. The bodywash version on the other hand has way too much scent and irritates my skin surprisingly.

  33. Rae says:

    you know, another option which works great is neutrogena t-gel shampoo. I use it with a big body brush to help work out the embedded debris, let it sit on my skin for about 5 min in the shower, then rise off. Works wonders at clearing up bacne, and it lasts forever! The active ingredients used to fight psoriasis on the scalp also fight acne.

  34. Jackie2 says:

    I’ve ALWAYS had some acne but I would get one or two really bad pimples that would last forever and scar. I tried every product from neutrogena to Clinique and after those failed attempts I gave Citrus Clear’s products a try – first only the cleanser. Skin does better without too many steps! I’ve used it for 3 yrs and only got maybe 5 pimples total (not kidding). I will never change! Their moisturizer is good too, but the Tangerine Tingle was too strong for my skin. . .

  35. kyliej says:

    I used to use Clinque for my acne – but it didnt work that well, it was harsh on my skin and WAY too expensive! I have combination/oily skin and after meeting with multiple dermatologists, I settled on the Citrus Clears products and they are the only thing gentle enough for my super sensitive skin. The Citrus Clear Moisturizer moisturizer is absolutely fabulous!

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