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Clearing the Way? My Journey with Dermalogica’s Clearing Skin Wash

Get ready to dive into a crystal-clear review of Dermalogica's Clearing Skin Wash, where we're not just clearing up skin, but also any doubts about this buzzworthy cleanser! Buckle up for an honest, pun-intended journey to find out if this product is truly a 'clear' winner in the crowded world of skincare.

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Dermalogica’s Clearing Skin Wash recently found its way into my skincare routine, and I’ve got some thoughts to share. This cleanser, boasting a 0.50% concentration of Salicylic Acid, promises to tackle those pesky skin issues many of us face.

Known for its acne-fighting prowess, Salicylic Acid is the star player in this formula. But it’s not just about this one ingredient; the wash is packed with a cocktail of botanical extracts and other skin-loving goodies. So, let’s dive into my experience with this product and see if it lives up to the hype.

First Impressions

When I first got my hands on Dermalogica’s Clearing Skin Wash, the sleek, professional-looking packaging definitely caught my eye. It’s the kind of bottle that makes you think, “This might just be the real deal.” As someone who’s always on the lookout for effective skincare, I had high hopes, especially given Dermalogica’s solid rep in the beauty world. I was curious to see if this wash could be the answer to my skin’s prayers. Spoiler alert: it’s a bit of a mixed bag, but more on that later. For now, let’s just say my initial vibes were a mix of optimism and cautious excitement.

Did It Work?

Diving right into the application experience, Dermalogica’s Clearing Skin Wash is a bit of a sensory journey. The first thing you notice is its texture – it’s a light gel that lathers up nicely without going overboard. It feels gentle and non-stripping, which is a plus in my book. Now, the scent is a bit of a wild card. It’s herbal, thanks to all those natural extracts, with a hint of medicinal vibe from the tea tree oil. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of strong scents in my skincare, but this one didn’t bother me too much.

Using it was pretty straightforward – a small amount on damp skin, a gentle massage, and then a rinse. It left my skin feeling clean but not tight or dry, which is often a fine line with cleansers. There’s a mild cooling sensation, likely from the menthol, which is quite refreshing, especially on those warm mornings or after a workout.

Now, let’s talk about the long game – efficacy over time. I used this wash consistently for several weeks, both morning and night. In the first week, I didn’t notice any dramatic changes, which wasn’t surprising. Skincare isn’t magic, after all. However, as I continued using it, I started to see some subtle improvements. My skin seemed a bit clearer, and those smaller blemishes appeared to be taking a back seat. But here’s the thing – while it was effective in keeping minor breakouts at bay, it didn’t do much for the more stubborn spots. I still had to rely on my spot treatments for those.

Another aspect worth mentioning is how my skin’s overall texture felt. There was a slight improvement in smoothness, and my skin did feel a bit more balanced in terms of oiliness. However, I didn’t notice any significant changes in my pores or deeper acne scars. It’s a good cleanser for maintaining a certain level of clarity, but if you’re expecting it to completely transform your skin, you might want to temper those expectations.

The Bottom Line: the application experience with Dermalogica’s Clearing Skin Wash is pleasant and fuss-free, with a refreshing feel and gentle cleansing action. Over time, it does its job of managing minor skin issues, but it might fall short for those with more challenging skin concerns. It’s a steady player in a skincare routine, but perhaps not the star of the show.

Let’s Talk Main Ingredients

Alright, let’s geek out a bit and talk about what’s actually in this bottle of Dermalogica’s Clearing Skin Wash. We’ve got a lineup of ingredients that sounds like a botanical garden mixed with a science lab. The main headliner is Salicylic Acid, sitting pretty at 0.50%. This superstar is known for its ability to dive deep into pores, clearing out all the gunk and helping to reduce breakouts. It’s like a bouncer at the club of your skin, keeping the troublemakers (aka pimples) at bay.

Then there’s a whole bunch of natural extracts. We’re talking Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, also known as lemon balm, which is all about calming and soothing your skin. Angelica Archangelica Extract sounds like it’s straight out of a fantasy novel, but in reality, it’s great for its skin-purifying properties. Echinacea, both the Angustifolia and Purpurea varieties, brings its A-game with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, which is like giving your skin a protective shield.

Let’s not forget about Allium Sativum (Garlic) Bulb Extract. Yes, garlic. But fear not, you won’t smell like an Italian kitchen. It’s known for its antimicrobial properties, which is a fancy way of saying it helps fight off skin nasties. Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, a.k.a. chamomile, is your skin’s best friend for calming and soothing. Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract brings its refreshing and antiseptic qualities to the table, which can be a game-changer for oily and acne-prone skin.

Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Extract, Passiflora Incarnata Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract… the list goes on. Each of these has its own superpower, from toning and astringent properties to being rich in antioxidants and vitamins. It’s like a superfood smoothie for your face.

Now, beyond these plant extracts, there are some other key players. Tea Tree Leaf Oil is like the cool cousin of Salicylic Acid, known for its antibacterial properties. Lactic Acid gently exfoliates, helping to keep your skin smooth and bright. Algae Extract is the hydration hero, keeping your skin moisturized without feeling heavy.

Lastly, we’ve got Menthol for that cool, refreshing sensation and Camphor, which can help reduce redness and irritation. It’s a carefully curated mix designed to tackle a variety of skin issues, from breakouts to dullness.

TL;DR: This skin wash is more than just a pretty face; it’s packed with ingredients that each bring something special to the party. It’s like having a team of skincare superheroes in one bottle, ready to combat whatever your skin throws at them.

The Pros And Cons

Alright, let’s break down the highs and lows of Dermalogica’s Clearing Skin Wash. It’s like any good story – it has its ups and downs.


  1. Ingredient Powerhouse: This wash isn’t messing around with its ingredients. You’ve got Salicylic Acid for the blemish-busting action, a whole garden of botanical extracts for soothing and healing, and some good old hydration heroes. It’s like a skincare cocktail that’s been thoughtfully mixed up.
  2. Gentle Yet Effective: For a wash that’s targeting blemishes, it’s surprisingly gentle. It cleans without stripping your skin and leaving it feeling like the Sahara. It’s got that nice balance of being tough on breakouts but kind to your skin.
  3. Refreshing Sensation: That cool, tingly feeling you get from the menthol and camphor? Super refreshing, especially if you’re using it in the morning or after a workout. It’s like a wake-up call for your face.
  4. Non-Drying Formula: Despite its deep-cleaning prowess, it doesn’t leave your skin gasping for moisture. For those of us who’ve suffered at the hands of harsh cleansers, this is a big win.


  1. Scent Might Not Be Everyone’s Cup of Tea: The herbal, medicinal aroma can be a bit much if you’re sensitive to scents. It’s not overpowering, but it’s definitely there.
  2. Slow on Major Blemishes: While it’s great for keeping your skin in check overall, don’t expect overnight miracles on those bigger, angrier pimples. You might need extra help from other products for those.
  3. Price Point: It’s not exactly a budget buy. If you’re watching your pennies, this might feel like a bit of a splurge. But, as with many things in life, you often get what you pay for in terms of quality.
  4. Not a Miracle Worker for Serious Skin Issues: If you’ve got more severe skin concerns, this might not be the end-all solution. It’s more of a supporting character in your skincare routine rather than the main hero.

My Final Verdict

Wrapping up my experience with Dermalogica’s Clearing Skin Wash, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster, but mostly the kind you don’t mind riding. This cleanser brings a lot to the table with its impressive ingredient list, gentle yet effective cleansing action, and non-drying formula. It’s like that reliable friend who’s always there to help you out, even if they can’t solve all your problems.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not a magic potion. If you’re dealing with severe acne or deep-rooted skin issues, you might need something a bit more specialized. But for everyday maintenance and keeping those smaller breakouts in check, it does a pretty decent job.

Now, about the scent – it’s a hit or miss depending on your preferences. If you’re not into herbal or medicinal aromas, you might not be a fan. And while it’s a bit on the pricier side, the quality and results could justify the cost for many.

For those who are conscious about their product choices, you’ll be pleased to know that this cleanser is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Dermalogica is known for their commitment to cruelty-free and ethical practices, which is always a big plus.

So, where does that leave us? I’d give Dermalogica’s Clearing Skin Wash a solid 7.5 out of 10. It’s a good, reliable option for daily cleansing, especially if you’re after something that balances effectiveness with gentleness. It’s not a cure-all, but it’s a strong player in the game of skincare, especially for those with normal to combination skin types.

If you’re in the market for a new cleanser and don’t mind splurging a bit for quality, this could be a great addition to your routine. Just keep your expectations realistic, and remember, skincare is all about finding what works best for you.

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