This is a dual review for the Clearasil Daily Clear Refreshing Superfruit Pads and the Hydra-Clear Oil-Free Pads.
About a year ago, the occasional breakout on my jawline and neck became full-blown persistent acne, in an attractive combination of deep cystic acne and regular acne bumps. Lovely, considering that I'd made it through adolescence and my twenties with only the occasional zit.
None of the products I'd been using for the occasional breakout would clear this up. I tried benzoyl peroxide products, which only made the problem worse, as my sensitive skin soon developed an extreme sensitivity to benzoyl peroxide, even in the 3% formulation, the gentlest one available.
I made an appointment with a dermatologist, but in the meantime, picked up Clearasil Hydra-Clear Oil-Free Pads out of sheer desperation. I hadn't used a Clearasil pad since high school, but I was at that point willing to try anything, and since the active ingredient in these is salicylic acid, I thought they'd be safe enough.
Lo and behold, I finally found something that worked. I started using these three times a day -- morning, afternoon, and night. Within a week, the worst of the surface acne was 80% gone. Within two weeks, almost all of the surface acne was gone, and so were most of the cystic acne spots. Best of all, unlike the benzoyl peroxide products, these Hydra-Clear Pads did not dry my skin out, or make me itch.
What's strange about this is that one of the products I'd been using for years, Clean & Clear Advantage Moisturizer, also has salicylic acid as its active ingredient. I can only surmise that it's either the straight-up salicylic acid, no moisturizers, in the Clearasil pads that makes them work so much better, or the exfoliating action of the pads themselves. Whatever it is, it works -- by the time I got in to see my dermatologist, my acne was so much better that he concluded that the benzoyl peroxide might have been compounding the problem, and told me to keep using the Clearasil pads.
I've been using the Clearasil pads for over three months now, and though I still get the occasional zit (especially if I get lazy and forget to use the pads like I should), it's nothing like it was. I truly wish I'd have taken before and after photos, because it's unbelievable the difference these have made; I just hope I'm not jinxing myself by gushing!
In that three months, I have used both the Hydra-Clear pads and the Superfruit pads; they have the same amount of salicylic acid, and the only difference I can tell between them is the scent, really. Hydra-Clear smells more cucumber-y and clean, whereas the Superfruit pads smell vaguely fruity.
I can't recommend these highly enough for anyone with sensitive skin and acne, especially if benzoyl peroxide products, which usually work well, haven't worked.
I would advise users that these pads, in both formulations, will leave your face (and neck and chest -- go ahead and use them there, too) feeling slightly sticky; a first, this drove me nuts, but it's something I'm willing to live with for how well these work. If you use sunscreen or moisturizer right afterward, it doesn't seem to cause a problem for makeup application, so there's nothing to worry about there.
these are really lovely! effective, yet gentle. i've used them both after cleansing as well as on their own (when i don't need a full washing) and i've had great results both ways. i have oily skin prone to white and blackheads, and these pads nicely exfoliate, while adding a bit of moisture, so i have this fresh look all the time. well done!
After using Stridex pads for years, I started to see that they weren't helping reduce my breakouts like they used to. I saw these and figured why not. After a solid 4 months if using, I can honestly say these are the business! I haven't broken out in at least 3 months, woo! It doesn't overly dry out my skin and it doesn't sting, which were my two qualms with the Stridex ones. The pads themselves are nice and thick and easy to pull apart. I have very dry sensitive skin and these things are gentle and effective.
I picked these up on a whim - mostly because I needed something to use on my face on nights or mornings when I don't shower and/or don't feel like washing my face completely. I've always been a benzoyl peroxide girl, so the 1% of salicylic acid in these seemed useless. But for $6, I figured it was a worth a shot and better than nothing.
I've been using this nightly, rather than sporadically as I indicated before. After my moisturizer and toner I wipe one of these all over my face. They don't smell like alcohol which is a huge plus - I mean, they don't smell like lip gloss either, but the cranberry-raspberry scent that Clearasil markets is definitely noticeable and definitely better than the icky alcohol scent of most pads. They do exfoliate, in a weird sense, they feel scratchy almost and can sometimes even hurt at points, but it's not enough to sway me from using them. However, if you have really sensitive skin then maybe I'd lay off. The solution absorbs quickly on the skin and doesn't leave it feeling tight or dry.
I do think that they work. They definitely help, in alliance with my benzoyl peroxide heavy cleanser, at keeping my skin clear. Especially during my period and if I only use makeup wipes to get my makeup off before bed, I like to use them to sort of compensate for not washing my face with cleanser.
The packaging, however, could be better. I'm not sure how they would this exactly though. 90 pads come in a small screw-top plastic jar, and are sitting in the liquid solution, so if you tip it over then it's going to go everywhere.
Overall, I do like these and I think they will become a permanent step in my skincare routine.