The 2% salicylic acid gel I had been using on my face was discontinued, so I cruised the aisle looking for a decent price and picked up two tubes of this BOGO1/2off. I looked mostly at the active ingredient and did not consider the other ingredients, which was a mistake. I have used most of one tube and the problem is that (whether because of the plat extracts or the alcohol), unlike my other gel, this is too irritating to use all over my face and *has* to be used as a spot treatment.
Does it work as a spot treatment? Sure. It's got the maximum over the counter strength of 2% SA, so it's exfoliating and anti-inflammatory. Diligent use of this gel on zits, and no picking, will aid in shrinking them more quickly and reducing their redness. It has kept my nose reasonably clear of its usual clogged pores as well.
HOWEVER, when viewed as a salicylic acid product, it's really horrendously overpriced. The wee tube and the gel consistency provide the impression that it's super duper laser strength gel especially for the worst spots, but the fact of the matter is that most people who use SA can use a 2% solution all over their face. Looked at in that light,$7-9 for the tiny .75ox tube is laughable. Paula's Choice offers 2% SA products in a couple formats that are half the price per ounce. If you prefer only to dab them on your zits, feel free, but you'll be able to dab them on twice as many zits for the same amount of money.
I would give this three stars if it was a regular acne treatment that did not make the claims that this product did. I find any acne treatment is effective if you catch the blemish in its early stages (in the first couple hours, tiny bump, not red yet) and this treatment is included. However, this does nothing once a pimple has any redness whatsoever. The product did not visibly improve my acne in four hours, but took several days to see any improvement (I couldn't tell if it was the product or natural healing). It did not work for me personally, and I might as well pay half the price for the basic Clearasil treatment instead.
This is a great option for Salicylic Acid treatment. I use a moisturizer with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide, but despite that, I still get pimples and clogged pores. I have been using this as a spot treatment in the evening and I mix it in with my moisturizer in the morning. The combination has been doing wonders for my skin, healing acne scars, making pimples go away faster, and getting some persistent clogged pores clear. I've been doing this for about 1 week now and I am pleased with the results. I will be integrating this product with my regimen for the long term and will update this review in the future.
Yesterday morning I woke up with 2 huge, painful zits on my chin! I had to wait until this morning for the head to begin to show and to pop it. I dabbed some on using a q-tip, and voila! 5 hours later and the zits are significantly less red, huge, and painful!
**I find that carefully popping out the puss then putting it on allows the product to seep in and work a lot faster than just leaving it on the surface. It burns a little but that's reassuring to me to know that it's killing and keeping germs and bacteria out of my zits. Also, be sure to continually reapply to see fast results!
NC25 Chinese, acne prone skin, mid 30s. **UPDATED review, what a difference a year makes! I finally learned my acne trigger (food sensitivity test = dairy, see my notepad) and for the first time in 15 years, my skin is clear... not a single cystic and very little congestion.
And in this past year, I've tinkered w/ alot of MUA "loved" products...Avene / LRP / Acne.org / etc etc. Still trying to work thru my box of Stridex (red box w/out alcohol 2% SA), but now that my skin horror is more or less taken care of, this is the product I truly love as a great preventative.. my HG acne product (with some spot dabbing w/ Acne.org BP Treatment for anything bigger)!
**Original 12/10/11 Review**After Accutane 5 years ago, I still needed something for the minimal but regular small red acne bumps. Loving the Dermalogica Medibac overnight clearing gel, I figured the 2% salicylic acid was the magic ingredient my face liked. Hopped to Target to find this product w/ the same active ingredient.
Two weeks later, testing each product on either side of the face, both products were equally effective in PROACTIVELY keeping my jawline smoother and more acne free. I apply a thin layer in the evening across the jawline and lower cheek, not as a spot treatment. If your skin responds well to salicylic acid, then try this one.
It is not perfect, but the best so far. I get bored occasionally b/c of the lack of cool-highend-magic-appeal, so I tend to breakaway from it or stop using it, but over the past few years, it is the only one I will consistantly go back to.
FYI Clean & Clear makes a very similar treatment called "Advantage Mark" which smells like Elmer's glue. The pictures posted here look like a mix of the two products, so buy the "pointy" capped one....
I love this product! I have an acne wash that I use regularly but we all know that there will be that one pimple that will appear out of nowhere. And when it does, Advantage Acne Spot Treatment to the rescue! This stuff is great. If I put it on at night, I wake up happy that the pimple has greatly reduced or completely vanished that next morning. It comes in hand to keep in your purse as well.
I purchased this spot treatment when it first came out. I remember wincing as I paid for it- I know it was at least eleven dollars. It's down to 7.99 at my local drugstore now...darn. I could have bought an elf blush with that three dollars. Anyway.
I love the packaging. The little squeezey tube with the thin opening makes it so easy to get the 'right' amount for whatever I need to dab- or glop -this on. The product itself is completely clear, which I really like. I can wear it durring the day and no one would know...until about an hour in. It really irratates my skin! That's so weird, because normally salacylic acid doesn't bother my skin. Also, it gets super dry and flakes off. Now, I could deal with that...but it doesn't work for me. If you have different skin and more whiteheads than cystic acne, I think this would be an okay bet. I don't get a lot of cystic acne or whiteheads anymore, I mostly just have scarring, but whenever a blemish pops up I really don't feel so good about using this.
It didnt really do anything for my spots but the again salacyic acid does NOTHING for me haha. will not repurchase D;
I have been using this for just 3 days, and I can say that this is the best spot treatment I've ever used!! To start off, my skin is combination but more on the dry side this time of the year (it's very cold in Sweden in the winters) and lots of pimples around my temples and mouth. I put this gel on the spots every night before I go to bed, and sometimes even on the day before putting on makeup, and it dries out the pimple completely! I used to have three big active pimples that was horrible, I put this on and now only a few days later they're gone. I am blown away! As someone below said, it does dry out the skin around the pimple and makes it a bit flakey, but with a good moisturizer that's nothing to worry about. This together with LUSH's Angels on bare skin and arctic aqua 24h deep hydration moisturizer from Lumene is slowly but surely changing my skin! I couldn't be happier :)
EDIT: Noticed that the one I have is called Advantage spot treatment gel and says "Fast action" below.. Don't know if it's the same as the "acne spot treatment" this is referring to.
This product can be a hit or miss, Miss if I just lather on my face, a hit if i spot treat and put a bandaid over the spot! That method works wonders!