Monday, 17 February 2014

Clean & Clear Blackhead Clearing Daily Scrub: Review

Once upon a time there was a tiny black dot called a blackhead. He looked at the spotless nose around him, and he quite liked what he saw. He decided he would conquer the entire territory. Slowly, one by one, he and his descendants started growing, expanding their kingdom until they had covered the entire nose. And there they stayed, guarding their territory. That is, until I discovered their arch nemesis - The Scrub. 

I have the most stubborn blackheads perched around my nose thanks to my combination-oily skin. Even though I'm not a huge fan of scrubs, I've been stocking up on them ever since I waged war on the blackhead colony on my nose some years back. This was my very first scrub, so I thought I should review it. My initial intention was to get the Garnier Pure Active Scrub, but since the shop near my house didn't have it, I ended up purchasing this instead (I had quite liked the Clean & Clear ads on TV that were so frequent back then - I know, buying a product based on advertisements is something you should never ever do, but sometimes you can't help yourself, you know?). 

What Clean & Clear Claims: A unique blend of micro-scrubbing beads works to break down trapped dirt, oil and dead skin cells that can cause blackheads. Next, the natural apple extract formula penetrates deep down into the pores to help soften stubborn blackheads and prevent new ones from forming. Its gentle exfoliating action gives you visibly less blackheads in just 3 days for a clean, clear and beautiful skin. 

Price: Rs. 55 for 40 g (I remember it being Rs. 49 when I got it) 

Shelf Life: 3 years 

Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Propylene Glycol, Lauryl Methyl Gluceth-10 Hydroxypropyldimonium Chloride, Polyethylene, Glycol Distearate (and) Laureth-4 (and) Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Carbomer, Salicylic Acid, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Polyethylene (and) Cl 77289, fragrance, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetra Sodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone (and) Methylisothiazolinone, Water (and) Propylene Glycol (and) Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (and) Alcohol, Water (and) Butylene Glycol (and) Malic Acid (and) Actindia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Juice (and) Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Juice (and) Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Juice (and) Pyrus Malus (Apple) Juice (and) Trideceth-9(and) Prunus Amygdalus Dulcius (Sweet Almond) Extract. 

I remember now what first drew me to this product. I wasn't too impressed with the blue packaging (though blue is my favorite colour) and the regular flip open cap. It was convenient, hygienic, travel friendly and all the things that mattered, but it just wasn't pretty. What was pretty awesome though was the visibly less blackheads in just 3 days. A claim like that was guaranteed to have everyone flocking to pick up a tube (and not just the college girls Clean & Clear tends to generally market its products to), especially with it being so pocket friendly. What else attracted me? Two words on the cover highlighted in pink - Oil Free. Oil-free is just what my oily skin needed. The scrub is pale blue in colour, with tiny dark blue beads inside, to aid the scrubbing process. For my first scrub, I quite liked that the beads were tiny, since they weren't too harsh on my skin. Consistency-wise, the scrub was a bit runny, but that wasn't an issue. The fragrance too was gentle, mild and pleasant, and vanished after a couple of minutes of using the scrub. I needed only a tiny quantity of the scrub for my face - another thing that I liked about the scrub. 

Notice the runny consistency and how
 minuscule the beads are?
So was it the perfect scrub then? Not by a long shot. I tried it with hot water, with cold water, and all the various ways I could think of. But my blackheads did not budge. And I definitely could not see visibly less blackheads, not in 3 days, not in a week, not in as long as I was using it. So it pretty much defeated its purpose entirely. I discovered it recently, tossed away in the back of my stash somewhere and decided to give it a go again (since it will expire soon and I hate throwing away products I've barely used unless they're harming me in some way.). Since this scrub, I've experimented with a bunch of others, and have managed to get the blackhead problem under control to an extent. Using this, I observed, helped keeping blackheads at bay (to an extent). But I've been using it daily in the shower (since I need to finish it soon, it is a daily scrub and the beads are too small to work unless regularly used anyway), so I guess if I'm scrubbing daily, it kinda has to work, doesn't it? All in all, I had high hopes for this brand and the product, but was seriously disappointed by this scrub's performance. I haven't bought a C&C product since (though there have been some that I wanna try). I don't completely hate the brand, but I don't love it as much as I used to either.

What worked for me:
  • The price - C&C targets college students, so it's always pocket friendly 
  • The packaging - sturdy, travel-friendly, convenient 
  • The beads - Though too tiny to properly cleanse, they are mild and very gentle on skin so it definitely won't break those with sensitive skin out 
  • The fragrance - pleasant, mild, gentle 
  • Salicylic Acid helps in oil control 
  • Doesn't clog pores 
  • Regular use prevents new blackheads from forming 

What didn't work - at all:
  • Huge never-ending list of ingredients (read chemicals) 
  • Blackheads don't reduce at all (forget 3 days) 
  • Needs to be used daily to have any kind of effect at all 
  • Beads are not even big enough to properly cleanse, let alone exfoliate (like a scrub should)

My Verdict:
3.5/10 (Why 3.5? Because it's pocket friendly and the beads are gentle. For something that doesn't work at all, I feel that maybe even 3.5 is too generous.) 

Will I repurchase it? If you're still reading this, it means you've clearly skipped to the end of the review. Absolutely not. No point in purchasing something (however affordable) if it doesn't work, is there? If you're looking for a mild gentle daily scrub for maintaining healthy skin, this might work, along with another stronger scrub (used say 1-2 times a week). It's very affordable, so if it doesn't work for you, it won't leave you broke. If you're looking for something to reduce your blackheads (like me), look elsewhere.

Disclaimer (Since on re-reading my review seemed way too harsh, I decided to put this in): Please bear in mind that the blackheads I had back then were extremely stubborn and the gentle beads this scrub has were simply no match for them. I have read some positive reviews of this product too, so if your problem is not as severe as mine (used to be), then you could try this. What doesn't work for me could work for you.

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