Review: Clean and Clear Deep Cleaning Astringent

Clean and Clear Deep Cleansing Astringent contains salicylic acid, a common ingredient found in many over-the-counter acne treatment products that may help reduce oiliness and mild breakouts.

Truthfully, though, the biggest reason this product caught my eye was because of those two distinctive words: deep cleaning. Their marketing department must know something, because I bought it.

It didn't hurt that it was just under six bucks, too. I figured, even if I didn't love it I wasn't out much.

Although I didn't absolutely love this toner, I did think it fairly good. It does a nice job of removing excess oil. No denying my skin felt cleaner and more refreshed after using it.

And it has nothing to do with how the product works, but the color really appealed to me as well. The astringent itself is a cheery salmon color with a purple cap. I concede this is a turnoff to most of the male species. But the color works for teen girls especially; they love it.

The scent is another factor that I adored. It has a sweet, bright, fruity smell, almost reminiscent of grapefruit. Again, we ladies tended to like it. The guys, not so much. One teen boy told me the smell was "kind of girlie." So, all in all, it scored much better with the gals than the guys.

Here's the bad news: it stings a fair amount when it's applied.

If you have open pimples or irritated skin, watch out.

Even if you're pretty tough, most of my testers admitted it burned the sensitive areas of their skin, like around the eyes and the corners of the nose. I attribute this to the high amount of alcohol it contains.

If your skin is already dried out from acne treatments, or you just naturally have drier-than-average skin, this astringent will probably be much too strong for you.

I would definitely stay away from this if your skin is at all irritated (like, say from Retin-A or Tazorac treatment). In fact, if you're using any type of prescription medication you should ask your dermatologist before using this astringent.

For mild breakouts, you can use this astringent along with other OTC acne treatment products as long as it doesn't leave your skin feeling too dry. 

If your skin is fairly tough and fairly oily, you might want to try this product. Otherwise, a more gentle, less-drying option will be a better choice.

Active Ingredient:

Salicylic acid 2%


About $6 for an 8 oz. bottle

Where You Can Buy:

This astringent can be found at your local drugstore or big box store like Target and Walmart. You may even be able to find it at your grocery store in the skin care aisle. It’s also available from online retailers.


  • It's inexpensive.
  • It has a sweet and fruity scent.
  • The toner leaves your face feeling clean.


  • Astringents can be too drying for some people, and this one is no exception.
  • The packaging probably won't appeal to teen boys and adult men.
  • It can burn sensitive skin.

The Bottom Line:

Clean and Clear Deep Cleaning Astringent may help improve very minor breakouts, but it won't do anything for moderate to severe acne.

  It's a better astringent choice for those with very oily skin. 

Next Steps:

How To Choose an OTC Acne Treatment

Do You Really Need an Astringent?