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I’m no stranger to the original range of Johnsons & Johnsons Clean & Clear; it was put on the market designed to attract endless teenagers who were buying up stocks of Clearasil and trying to offer a different state of chemicals and smells with claims to match that products like C&C are free of harsh agents. Or so Johnson & Johnson would have you believe. At one point in my life there was a certain C&C product I used, and had used it with my dark blue face cloth. In the morning on my return the face cloth had turned a whitish colour on the patches where the certain product had been used. So in lieu of past memories, I initially gave J&J's Clean & Clear Exfoliating Daily Wash a miss for many years following my "bleach" experience. Because if it did that to a face towel, it didn't take me long to wonder what it was doing to my face. Four years later I eventually decided to give this product another chance, not just because in 2008 it got a "Product of the Year Award," but also I had bought Clinique Supplies for Men facial scrub and at £16 to £11 a pop, it wasn't cheap!
The Price, The Product & The Promise
Nowadays Clean & Clear Exfoliating Daily Wash costs £2-85 to £3-99 on average for a 150ml tube dependent on high street sellers. I usually buy mine either at independent pharmacies, Super Drug or Boots - and even with the Advantage card points on offer, it always seems to be Boots are the most expensive.
This product comes in a squeezy tube similar to the Witch Hazel products and countless other rivals, especially those by Garnier. Clean & Clear has the main emblem located at the top of this tube in blue and white whilst underneath a banner rectangle in red and white emphasizes that this product is “Oil Free.” The product advertises that it has “gentle micro beads” which are designed to open up your pores upon contact and smooth your skin.
Like most Clean & Clear products, this tube uses the majority of sky blue and white colouring blended in. It comes with a dark blue flip up cap and due to its wide size, looks quite imposing in the bathroom. It is also very fussy in its details with a lot of . claims on this package so its best to either consider it literally on face value or just put it back on the shelf!
The Scent & Consistency
The scent is something that I could define as being masculine. It smells like a balanced aftershave but nothing that I can put a finger on. It smells positive though, not heavy and when actual aftershave is applied, the scent of this facial wash doesn’t interrupt it. What I do notice rather immediately are those “micro beads.” contained in this slimy whitish gel like cream; its not off putting to the feel in between my fingers but to look at, its not the most prettiest of facial wash creams I’ve used and about to paint my face with! So the beads do have an exfoliating action, but they aren’t harsh, not like St Ives facial Wash Scrub which is one of the most abrasive scrubs I have used in the past.
These beads gently disappear over my face once water is splashed on. There are other ways of using this product of course, the tube suggesting that you apply directly to a wet face, massage into a lather and rinse thoroughly. The cream does lather up quite quickly but not into a bubbly mess which is good news as most facial washes I’ve used work themselves into frenzied bubbles which inevitably starts to fall off your face the moment water is applied and then you have the joy of washing out the basin or trying to get the stain out of your shirt. I just smoothed the product on with my hands rather than use a face cloth - even after 8 years or so from the original formula - I just don't use a face cloth "just incase" I get a shock the next day - and that's with any product these days!
What is more noticeable about these exfoliation beads that disappear the moment water is added to your face, is the simple fact that my face actually feels as if it has been through an exfoliating routine without being harsh. It doesn’t make my skin feel under nourished or makes me want to go through the whole process again; infact my skin is clear of impurities and my skin feels fresh, ready to cope whatever life throws at it. People have noticed a slight change in my skin texture, so that’s a good sign that something is happening!
After using Clean & Clear Exfoliating Daily Wash for a week, I noticed some difference in the quality of my skin. “Clean & Clear” appears to cover every part of the skin that this cream is applied to and the results are impressive as the red blotches disappear, skin feels smooth and throbbing and it does appear to work. On blackheads, Clean & Clear exfoliates these quite well without being stingy or painful. Of course the usual warnings on the elaborate tube are there for all to see, warning that if any skin irritation occurs, to stop using this product immediately. As with other rivals then, there are also the usual warnings about direct contact with eyes, which must be avoided and to flush eyes out with water immediately if you do get it in your eyes.
In use, and used if I go by the marketing, every day, I find that after a few hours, patches of skin get quite dry and they can be painful. Closer inspection reveals that these areas of skin aren’t inflamed though but it could be down to the fact that the product does contain an anti-bacterial agent and I have had problems with similar products with this additive that caused painful dry skin to reveal itself. Clean & Clear make a daily moisturiser which I have also bought the third week after purchasing this facial wash. Sadly that moisturiser doesn’t condition my skin as well as my Clinique Superdefense and as a result I only use this product every three days to combat redness as well as try to limit what I’m washing into my skin and to reduce the dry patches. At least I don’t look like I’ve been slapped with a dirty chamois any more!