Last month, an Influenster VoxBox brought me the full Mary Kay Clear Proof Acne System. The Clear Proof set comes with four items and are meant to be used together for the best effect. Mary Kay also sells a fifth Clear Proof product that is not included in the set, the Pore Purifying Serum, which I did not get to try. All products in this system are fragrance free.
CLARIFYING CLEANSING GEL
I love a nice, cooling, cleansing gel when my face is inflamed in breakouts. This gel cleanser washes to a lather and rinses away squeaky clean. I like this cleanser a lot as a dupe for Murad’s Clarifying Cleanser. It has 2% salicylic acid, which is one of the number one ingrediants to fight acne. Although the concentration of salicylic acid is pretty good, (compare to Murad’s Clarifying Cleanser, which has 1.5%), keep in mind that since the product is only on your face for a short time and then rinsed away, its effectiveness won’t be as high as a different type of product with the same concentration (for example, a toner…).
BLEMISH CONTROL TONER
This is the worst product in the series – I forced myself to use it for a week for the sake of the trial, but I just couldn’t take it for any longer than that! It is incredibly astringent and feels/smells strongly of alcohol. Even if you have oily skin, using skin care products with alcohol overly strips your skin of its protective acid mantle, resulting in dry, damaged skin. This product has 2% salicylic acid like the cleanser, but according to the Beautypedia, the pH of the toner is too high for it to even function properly (and if /r/SkincareAddiction has taught me anything, its to be careful about the pH of your product!). Gosh. For a salicylic acid product that actually has the proper pH and doesn’t make your eyes sting, try Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (click here to get $10 off your order).
ACNE TREATMENT GEL
This acne treatment gel is medicated with 5% benzoyl peroxide, a heavy hitter when ti comes to killing acne-causing bacteria. It has a leg up on other benzoyl peroxide treatment gels, in that it doesn’t leave a film (I’m looking at you Clinique) nor does it make my skin itchy (Murad is guilty of this). As far as spot treatments in general goes, its not as immediately effective as Kate Somerville’s EradiKate (which has sulphur and AHAs), but it does work. Over the course of 3 days in my first week of use, I saw one of my persistent closed comedones come to a head and then dry up. Out of this set of 4, this treatment gel is my favourite product.
OIL-FREE MOISTURIZER FOR ACNE PRONE SKIN
One of the most persistent misunderstandings about acne prone and oily skin is that because there is too much oil, you don’t need to moisturize. This is absolutely wrong! Neglecting to moisturize your skin will cause it to overcompensate by producing more of the very oils that we don’t want (I learned this the hard way). This moisturizer is a lightweight lotion, and best of all, it contains niacinamide, which is an antioxidant that also helps your skin to increase the natural production of ceramides, lipids which keep your skin hydrated. There are only two problems – first, the formula is so lightweight its runny, and its tube packaging makes it hard to not dispense too much. Second, on the area of my face around my lips, this moisturizer gives me a weird numbing tingle. Not sure that that is, but it’s a dealbreaker for an otherwise effective moisturizer.
All in all, the Clear Proof Acne System is a generally effective and wallet-friendly set that is suitable for people with mild to moderate acne. The system takes care of the big essential ingredients for combating acne with products featuring salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and niacinamide.
The Clear Proof Acne System retails for $45, and you can also buy each piece from the series individually.
I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.