Clean and Clear Essentials Deep Cleaning Toner Review

Clean and Clear Essentials Deep Cleaning Toner for Sensitive Skin is an over-the-counter toner designed for sensitive, acne-prone skin. The active ingredient is 0.5 percent salicylic acid. This toner is part of the Clean and Clear Essentials line, which includes a facial cleanser and moisturizer. but you can use this toner on its own. This product may be useful if you have oily skin, mild acne,​ and blackheads.


  • It's inexpensive.
  • Wide availability: You can find it at most local stores, including drug stores, big box store, supermarkets, and online retailers.


  • The super strong scent lingers on your skin long after you've used it.
  • It contains alcohol.
  • It might not be gentle enough for truly sensitive skin types.
Beautiful woman cleaning her face with a cotton pad
andresr / Getty Images

Full Review

This product is appealing because it is easily available and inexpensive. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to give this variety a try. Salicylic acid is the active ingredient in this toner. Salicylic acid can help with mild blackheads and pore blockages, but it isn't a super effective acne treatment on its own. Don’t expect this toner alone to clear up your acne.

To boost its effectiveness, you could pair it with a drugstore benzoyl peroxide lotion and create your own OTC acne treatment routine. Even then, this toner will only really be effective for mild acne, so keep this in mind when you're using it.

Essentials Deep Cleaning Toner does do a good job of reducing oiliness. It feels nice on the skin—cooling and tingling, but in a good way. Just a quick swipe of toner leaves the skin feeling clean, fresh, and smooth. It isn't over-drying, either, which can be a problem with some toners.

So many skincare products have a "girly" look to them, but the toner itself is a bright blue. Guys don't mind using it. Another bonus with the guys was the scent. Men who tested the product tended to like the scent much more so than the women testers. It's probably because the toner smells rather like aftershave.

It's a bold fragrance, and those who tested it agreed that it's quite strong. Some people found it overpowering. What's more, the fragrance seems to linger on your skin. That alone could keep you from using the toner again, no matter how much you liked it otherwise.

Another sticking point is the alcohol content. You can definitely smell the alcohol and can feel it sting a bit on the skin.

Bottom Line

Considering the high alcohol content and strong fragrance, this toner may be strong for truly sensitive skin types. If this is a concern for you, look for an alcohol-free option.

In general, this is an unexceptional product. There are other drugstore toners, such as Clean and Clear Deep Cleansing Astringent, you could use instead. But this toner has its fans. It all comes down to how you like fragrance in your products and how much your sensitive skin can take.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

By Angela Palmer
Angela Palmer is a licensed esthetician specializing in acne treatment.