Clinique Clinical Clearing Gel


Hey guys! If you have acne prone skin, I’m sure many of you guys have heard of this product: The Clinique clinical clearing gel with salicylic acid. It’s pretty popular and the person who gave this bottle to me also really enjoyed it but she fell off of it. Read on to find out why!

Claims: On Sephora’s website they say

“This daily treatment gel starts clearing blemishes upon application and helps prevent new ones from making an unwelcome appearance. If you have acne-prone skin with persistent breakouts, you can use it all over the face or as a spot treatment. Regular use helps make visibly clearer skin a way of life.”

This product is meant to be a spot treatment that both clears and prevents breakouts. They say you can use it call over the face which is pretty shocking to me because of how drying it is.


Alcohol Denat., Water , Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer , Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) , Laminaria Saccharina Extract , Sea Whip Extract , Butylene Glycol, Benzalkonium Chloride.

The very first ingredient I see is Alcohol Denatured, which is really disappointing. Not all alcohols are bad and you can read about them here, but Alcohol Denat., is one of the bad ones. It might be helpful in reducing excess sebum but it is extremely harsh and will strip, dry, and weaken your skin barrier. Overall, it’s not worth it. Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer gives the product it’s thick gel texture and is safe for skin. Witch Hazel is pretty good for reducing inflammation as is Sea Whip Extract. Laminaria Saccharina Extract is another word for algae/seaweed extract and works effectively to draw out toxins. Butylene Glycol is a very common type of good alcohol that works to moisturize and enhance textures. Finally, Benzalkonium Chloride works to preserve the product. I’m really not sure where exactly the salicylic acid is in this pretty short ingredient list, and I’m quite confused. If anyone knows why this is, please let me know in the comments but overall, I’m not loving this ingredient list. I think this product has been effective for some people because of the intense concentration of denatured alcohol, but it’s really not a great trade off.

Price: 30 mL

Sephora: $27 (free shipping on orders over $50)

Ulta: $27 (free shipping on orders over $50)

Amazon: $25.82 (free shipping on orders over $25)

Gel, thick texture

The Run-Down: 

I’ve read so many good reviews about this product, and I really hoped it would become a staple for my acne care routine, but it ended up really disappointing me, both with the ingredients list and the effectiveness. It didn’t do anything for me. It tingled a little when I first put it on, but that feeling quickly disappated and I was left with a thin film over my breakout. The next day, I noticed the area was a little dry, but the breakout had not subsided in any way. My friend who gave this product to me said that it was extremely effective at first, but after a while her skin got used to it and it was no longer enough. So there’s my two stories about this product, and you can take what you like from them, but I would not recommend this product.

Pros and Cons:


  • Some have claimed effective


  • Mostly comprised of denatured alcohol
  • Not effective for my skin

Who Should Use:

I can’t really completely recommend this to anyone because denatured alcohol is literally the first ingredient on the list, which means it’s the highest percentage of concentration. If you’re looking to reduce sebum, please try using foaming cleansers, ahas and bhas, gel moisturizers, but NOT alcohol.

Rating: ⭐⭐

2/5 stars

I just didn’t see effects, and with this ingredient list, I would prefer not to use it again.

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