Top 9 anti-acne products

Top 9 anti-acne products

As consumers choice the best anti-acne product is it really the best? A nice overview of how the consumer is looking for products in comparison with how the experts looking at a formula.



For Anna is Clear we are engaged in a constant battle to explain the consumer, beauty experts and buyers why Anna is Clear is so unique and so beneficial. The main reasons are that Anna is Clear the first (100% natural) product on the market is without harsh ingredients and also the first product with a unique preventive application. Additionally the formula is rewarded with two worldwide patents what further indicate how revolutionary the formula is.

We understand that it is sometimes difficult to be open to  new developments when you work for decades in the beauty industry with products based on benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, AHAs, tea tree etc. When no major innovations come along except new mixes of existing traditional ingredients and new marketing names as “micro technology” etc.

Nice is that we notice that more and more knowledge and understanding grows for our revolutionary Anna is Clear.

Also there’s a growing knowledge about the importance of the beneficial bacteria in and on our bodies and that you just do not want to destroy those important bacteria. Anna Clear doesn’t affect these bacteria but only normalizes the P.acnes. Additionally Anna is Clear strengthens the natural function of the skin such as probiotics or pro-biotic. More and more positive reviews we receive which we read with great pleasure and pride.

Of course out of marketing perspective we must rely on the power of our own formula. But if there is limited knowledge about the current products and their side effects it seemed to us well to take a closer look at the 2014 top 9 anti-acne OTC products. Because we want to give you an honest overview we placed Anna is Clear as number 1A (we couldn't choose for another number ....:-)) and try to put it down the same way as the other products out of the top 9.

Below is the list of the top 9 anti-acne products for 2014 according to the website *. A website that is praised in the cosmetic world for its independent reviews, mostly written by enthusiastic fans of cosmetics. Are the products from these top 10 really that good or it has been the perception of the end consumer? Have they fallen for the strong marketing multinationals put together with help from celebrities and dermatologists which recommend products or are these products demonstrably better for the skin?

In a first analysis, we see that the nine products that are in the top 9 all contain alcohol. It is known that products that dry out the skin (including alcohol) irritate **** and the antiseptic properties of ingredients negate. Next, a dry skin will produce more sebum which increases the chance of blackheads and pimples eventually. Initially, alcohol is an ingredient that we do not want to find in skin products.

Eight of the nine products contain salicylic acid in percentages of 1 to 2% (2% is the highest percentage permitted by law). Salicylic acid dissolves the "glue" between the skin cells (exfoliation) and because it is fat-soluble, it can penetrate deep into the pores. To do its work the product in which salicylic acid is processed needs to have a low acidity (pH value) of between 3 and 4. Unfortunately the acidity of a product is not mentioned on the label so the consumer can’t check!

The average pH of healthy skin is between 5.4 and 5.9. The influence of a formula on the healthy skin and its useful bacteria by a combination of an irritating salicylic acid with a low pH is easy to guess. Furthermore, a so-called rinse-off product with salicylic acid as active ingredient does not really make sense (2 out of 9 products). Before the salicylic acid may work the so called active ingredient has disappeared in your sink.......

In many of the top 9 products are also AHA's which are almost identical to salicylic acid (BHA). But AHA’s penetrate less into the skin and are therefore as milder exfoliant. AHA’s do affect the natural skins sun protection. Consumers will have an increased risk to burn or get skin blemishes. If you use products with AHAs (or the ingredient benzoyl peroxide that is available only from pharmacies) then you need to apply sunscreen to protect the skin.

To camouflage irritants ***** and solve the skins dehydration products based on traditional harsh ingredients need a lot of ingredients that nourish the skin and care. Hence a long INCI's (ingredient list).



What have we done? We have added to the top 9 products the claims the brand owner announces on their website. Furthermore, we took the INCI and warnings associated with the product from the website **

To make it even more complete, we have added the rating and comments by beauty expert Paula Begoun *** from her famous website A site on which cosmetic experts review products.


This creates a nice overview of what kind of active and inactive ingredients are used in the product, which claims makes the brand, whether the product are tested on animals and a nice overview on the comments of an expert team compared to the top 9 ranking given by end consumers to the product. This gives surprising results!

We suggest you read the following list through and draw your own conclusions. We’re also interested in your opinion and if you have any experience with the products from the top 9.


Happy reading and "let's Clear the world naturally!"


Note: a phrase from Paula Begoun we would like to share with you:
……products often include proven ingredients (that's good), but these can have side effects when combined with ingredients like alcohol, menthol, witch hazel, peppermint, eucalyptus, or sulfur (that's bad). Your skin will suffer if you apply these ingredients on a regular basis, even if they're accompanied by good ingredients…….”

















Claim by Kiss my Face: “Keeps skin looking clear and healthy with organic ingredients. This tea tree extract formula helps to improve the look of acne prone skin with cool, fresh organic mint and other natural and certified organic botanicals and plant oils.”

Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Extract, Peppermint Oil, Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana), Xanthan Gum, Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) Oil, Peppermint Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Sage (Salvia Officinalis) Extract, Red Clover Extract, Goldenseal Root Extract, Juniper Extract (fruit), Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) Extract, Chamomilla (Anthemis Nobilis) Oil, Camphor Oil, Bergamot (Citrus Aurantium Bergamia) Oil

Beautypedia rating: POOR           Tested on animals: NO

Comments by Beautypedia: “The second ingredient in this product is irritating peppermint oil, and that’s followed by witch hazel extract, which contains about 14% alcohol for more irritation. What follows that is essentially a rogue’s gallery of irritants, none of which alleviate acne or promote clear skin; in fact, because irritation can increase oil production and hurt the skin’s healing process it can make matters worse. Just reviewing this ingredient list is enough to make a person break out!”






Claim by Neutrogena (Johnson&Johnson): “Clears, softens and gently exfoliates to leave skin smooth and even. Soothing, calming ingredients help reduce irritation and prevent over-drying. This creamy, super-clearing formula softens and conditions skin while gentle microbeads sweep away dirt, oil and pore-clogging dead cells. Its breakthrough MicroClear technology is clinically proven to boost the delivery of acne medicine, unclogging congested pores and speeding treatment deep and fast to the source where breakouts begin. With naturally derived skin soothers, green tea and cucumber help to reduce redness and relieve irritation, leaving sensitive acne-prone skin soft and smooth instead of dry and tight.”

Active Ingredients: 
Salicylic Acid (2%) (Acne Treatment) Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, PPG 15 Stearyl Ether, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Polyethylene, Polysorbate 60, Steareth 21, C12 15 Alkyl Lactate, Cetyl Lactate, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzotriazole Butylphenol Sulfonate, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Panthenol, Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus) Extract (Cucumus Sativus), Camellia Olefifera (Green Tea) Extract, Butylene Glycol, Menthol, Microcrystalline Wax, Benzalkonium Chloride Solution, Yellow 5 Lake, Green 5, Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Fragrance

Sunburn Alert:  This product contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that may increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn.  Use a sunscreen, wear protective clothing and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards. For external use only. Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if you are using other topical acne medications at the same time or immediately following use of this product.  This may increase dryness or irritation of the skin.  If this occurs, only one medication should be used unless directed by a doctor. When using this product avoid contact with eyes.  If contact occurs, flush thoroughly with water.Keep out of reach of children.  If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.

Beautypedia rating: POOR    Tested on animals: YES

Comments by Beautypedia: “Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Power-Clear Scrub contains menthol, which makes it too irritating for all skin types. The 2% salicylic acid isn’t going to benefit blemish-prone skin when used in a topical scrub because it is basically rinsed down the drain right after it’s applied and doesn’t have time to absorb into the skin.






Claim by Neutrogena (Johnson&Johnson: “Contains maximum-strength acne-fighting medicine with botanical extracts to fight existing acne, help prevent future breakouts and leave skin feeling soft. This lightweight, daily lotion fights the multiple symptoms of acne. A powerful formula contains soothing natural botanicals to help prevent irritation, peeling or dryness. Powerful Salicylic Acid fights acne fast, penetrating deep into pores to unblock dirt and oil while sweeping away dead surface cells that can cause future breakouts”

Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid (2%) (Acne Treatment) Inactive Ingredients: Water, C12 15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethiconol Beeswax, Dimethicone, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG 100 Stearate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Capryloyl Glycine, Sarcosine, Cinnamomum Zeylancium Bark Extract, Hexylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Cedrus Atlantica (Blue Atlas Cedar) Bark Extract, Bisabolol (L-Alpha), Allantoin (Comfrey Root), Propylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance

Beautypedia rating: GOOD    Ph: 3.60    Tested on animals: Yes

Comments by Beautypedia: “Rapid Clear Acne Defense Face Lotion is an effective BHA product option in the battle against blemishes. With 2% salicylic acid and a pH of 3.6, this can indeed exfoliate skin and help dislodge blackheads. The product features a lightweight moisturizing base that is best for normal to slightly dry skin dealing with blemishes. The only issue is the irritating fragrant extracts it contains (cinnamon and cedar), though they are present in amounts that are likely too low to cause irritation. Still, they are unnecessary additives and prevent this BHA product from earning a BEST Product rating.”







CLAIM by Yes to Tomatoes: “This acne-fighting scrub is powerful enough to combat blackheads and breakouts, but gentle enough for daily use. Ground mango seeds and bamboo exfoliate skin and help skin turnover a clean, clear surface. The Salicylic Acid combats acne and blemishes, Tomatoes help unclog pores, and a blend of Ginger Root and Bisabolol helps skin avoid redness”.

Ingredients: Water, Stearic Acid, Propanediol, Sodium Stearate, Glycerin, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Bamboo (Bambusa Arundinaceae) Stem Extract, Polyglyceryl 3 Diisostearate, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Bisabolol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Phenethyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol, Certified Organic Ingredient

For external use only. Flammable - keep away from open flame.

Beautypedia rating: AVERAGE Tested on animals: NO

Comments by Beautypedia: “Scrubs for acne are rarely a good idea, primarily because acne cannot be scrubbed away and using abrasive products over blemishes can cause irritation that prolongs healing and increases the risk of red marks once the blemish is gone. Although this scrub is medicated with anti-acne ingredient salicylic acid, the pH of this scrub won’t allow it to function as an exfoliant. Ideally, salicylic acid is best in leave-on rather than rinse-off products. In rinse-off products like this, its contact with skin is too brief for it to be of much help. This is an OK scrub to use if you have normal to dry skin and are not dealing with breakouts, but all skin types will find a well formulated AHA or BHA exfoliant provides results that no scrub can match”







Claims by Clean&Clear (Johnson&Johnson): “Treats breakouts fast. Diminishes the look of post acne marks. Recommended for daily use.”

Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid (2%) (Acne medication) Inactive Ingredients: Alcohol, Benzalkonium Chloride, Bisabolol (L-Alpha), Butylene Glycol, C12 15 Alkyl Lactate, Cetyl Lactate, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Fragrance, Glycerin, Glycolic Acid, Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Extract (Witch Hazel), Isodecyl Laurate, Polyquaternium 37, Polysorbate 20, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Sodium Benzotriazole Butylphenol Sulfonate, Sodium Hydroxide, Water

Warnings: For external use only. Flammable, keep away from open fire or flame. When using this product and other topical acne medications at the same time or immediately following use of this product, may increase dryness or irritation of the skin If this occurs, only one medication should be used unless directed by a doctor. Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away. Avoid contact with eyes. If contact occurs, flush thoroughly with water. Sunburn Alert: This product contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that may increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn.  Use a sunscreen and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards.

Beautypedia rating: POOR   Tested on animals: YES

Comments by Beautypedia: “Red marks from past acne breakouts are a common problem, but this product is not a good solution. It does contain 2% salicylic acid (BHA) along with the AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) ingredient glycolic acid, and the formula’s pH allows exfoliation to occur (and regular exfoliation helps these red marks fade faster). Unfortunately, however, the base formula contains alcohol and witch hazel, both of which cause significant irritation, which makes red marks worse. Please see More Info for details on why irritation is a problem for all skin types, and a real negative for those struggling with breakouts.”








Claims by Clearasil (Reckit Benckiser): “Clearasil Ultra® Action Pads are dermatologist tested and visibly reduces pimple size and redness in as little as 4 hours. The acne pads are scientifically formulated with maximum strength acne medication in an exfoliating action pad that works quickly to open blocked pores”.

Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid (2%) (Acne Medication) Inactive Ingredients: Water, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Isoceteth-20, Sorbitol, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Lavandula Stoechas Extract, Helichrysum Italicum Extract, Cistus Monspeliensis Extract, Disodium EDTA

Warnings: For external use only. Flammable keep away from extreme hear or open flame. When using this product  Avoid contact with the eyes. If product gets into the eyes rinse thoroughly with water Skin irritation and dryness is more likely to occur if you use another topical acne medication at the same time. If irritation occurs, only use one topical acne medication at a time  Limit use to the face and neck  Stop use and ask a doctor if skin or eye irritation develops. Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.

Beautypedia rating: POOR   Tested On Animals: Yes

Comments by Beautypedia: “Clearasil's Ultra Rapid Action Pads are highly unlikely to reduce your breakouts but very likely to make redness, dryness, and flaking skin worse. Sadly, these pads are another example of a poor formula for acne-prone skin. The amount of alcohol is cause for concern and potentially enough to cause irritation that will make oily skin worse (see More Info for details).

On the upside, the formula is medicated with anti-acne superstar ingredient salicylic acid. The 2% concentration of this ingredient plus the pad's pH means they're capable of exfoliating, but there are gentler ways to do this. You don't need to expose your skin to alcohol or the fragrant plants these pads contain.”






Claims by E.L.F.: “Zap zits away with the unique blend of Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Oil, Witch Hazel and Camphor. This special clear formula helps to fight and prevent acne, reduce redness and swelling, minimize pore size and clear skin.”

Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid (1.0%) Inactive Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana) Distillate, Alcohol, Melaleuca Altemifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Polyacrylamide, C13 C14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) Bark Oil

Warnings: For external use only.  When using this product, keep out of eyes.  Rinse with water remove.  Using other topical acne medications at the same time or immediately following use of this product may increase dryness or irritation of the skin.  If this occurs, only one medication should be used unless directed by a doctor.  Stop use & ask a doctor if rash occurs.  Keep out of reach of children.  Protect the product in this container from excessive heat & direct sun.

Beautypedia rating: POOR       Tested on animals: NO

Comments by Beautypedia: “Zit Zapper is a clear, fluid gel housed in a slim component outfitted with a rollerball applicator. The formula is medicated with 1% salicylic acid, and the pH range is between 3.6-3.8, which means the salicylic acid will function as an exfoliant. Although that’s the goal, the rest of the formula is too problematic to ignore. Like many anti-acne products, this stands a good chance of making acne worse because it contains irritants like witch hazel and cinnamon bark oil.”







Claim by Biore: “Our gentle yet effective face scrub uses perfectly spherical beads—not jagged edges—and the pore-unclogging power of salicylic acid to deep-clean clogged pores. The scrub unclogs pores by penetrating deep down where blemishes start, and helps prevent future breakouts. Show the door to nasty pore-cloggers with this face scrub and get ready for beautifully clear, smooth skin.”

Active Ingredients: 
Salicylic Acid (2%) (Acne Treatment) Inactive Ingredients: Water, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Glycerin, Glycol Distearate, Synthetic Wax, Capric Glycerides, PEG-6 Caprylic, Ethoxydiglycol, Microcrystalline Wax, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Acrylates, C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Menthol, Benzophenone-4, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate

: For external use only. Using other topical acne medications at the same time or immediately following use of this product may increase dryness or irritation of the skin. If this occurs, only one medication should be used unless directed by a doctor. When using this product avoid contact with eyes. If contact occurs, flush thoroughly with water. Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.

Beautypedia rating: POOR

Comments by Beautypedia: “Pore Unclogging Scrub is a cleanser, not a scrub, and its wax content impedes rinsing. More of an issue than the name and wax is the menthol, which makes this product too irritating for all skin types. Although this is medicated with 2% salicylic acid (BHA, an anti-acne superstar ingredient) the product is rinsed from skin before it can work as intended. For best results with clogged pores, blackheads, and white bumps, use a leave-on exfoliant with salicylic acid, such as any of the Skin Perfecting BHA exfoliants from Paula’s Choice.”







Claim by Bye Bye: “Overnight spot treatment rapidly reduces the size and severity of pimples.  Maximum strength salicylic acid exfoliates dead skin cells, allowing the all-natural drying agents to penetrate pores and treat infection”.

Active ingredients: 
Sulfur - 10 % (Acne Treatment) Inactive Ingredients: Isopropyl Alcohol, Water (Aqua), Zinc Oxide, Salicylic Acid, Camphor, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Iron Oxides (CI 77491)

: For external use only, •     When using other topical medications at the same time or immediately following the use of this product, dryness or irritation of the skin may be increased • If this occurs, only one medication should be used unless directed by a doctor • Keep out of reach of children • If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately  • Stop use and ask a doctor if skin irritation develops or increases

Beautypedia ranking: not found

Comments Beautypedia: not found



NUMBER 1A :-)   ANNA IS CLEAR     ‘24/7 EMERGENCY roll-on’


Claim by Anna is Clear: “The first 100% natural formulation to prevent starting comedones, spots and zits to grow to bigger problems. Ultimately preventing infections and lifetime scarring. Unique as Anna is Clear only normalize the Propionibacterium acnes, the causative bacteria for acne, without harming the healthy skin’s bacteria. The combination of the patented transdermal transport and the immune stimulant properties generates a powerful and unique combination to prevent physical syndromes of acne. PLEASE NOTE: Anna is Clear doesn't work on already infected area's, use it with the first appearance in a problem area.

Anna is Clear doesn’t dry the skin, doesn’t irritate the skin, it will not harm the skins sun protective barrier and no premature aging will occur. It only acts where necessary. If you’ve an acneic skin we recommend carrying the small roll-on with you to act immediately at first signs”

: lactobacillus rye ferment, pentylene glycol, aqua, betaine, dimethyl isosorbide,  hydroxy-ethylcellulose

: no warnings. Anna is Clear is virtually edible and could be called a food. It is normal a prickly sensation may occur after the liquid has been applied.  All ingredients are known and recognized by the skin and not known to induce an allergic reaction.

Beautypedia rating: Not available yet

Comments by Beautypedia: Not available yet 



 Link to the top 9 list of

* was founded on a firm conviction that an honest, opinionated review -- positive or negative -- is the only way to serve our users. We house the first and largest unbiased product review directory, spanning the most well-known names. We start at your local drugstore shelf and end at the most exclusive boutiques. Our commitment continues by offering you the ability to totally personalize product recommendations to match your needs and preferences. ”expert advice, unbiased reviews”

** is a leading online provider of health, beauty, vision, and pharmacy products, offering a wide assortment of more than 75,000 products at competitive prices while providing a convenient, private, and informative shopping experience

***Paula Begoun is recognized worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop. For the past three decades she has tirelessly reported on the good, bad, beautiful, and ugly side of the billion dollar cosmetics industry. Her candid reviews are backed by published scientific studies and countless interviews with cosmetic chemists, dermatologists, oncologists, toxicologists, regulatory experts, raw material suppliers, and numerous industry insiders. Paula works closely with and has personally trained each member of the Paula's Choice Research Team.

****Applying irritating ingredients to oily skin stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores, so skin ends up being more oily and pores become (or stay) enlarged. If you want to see improvements in oily skin, the best approach is to treat your skin gently with effective products designed to absorb excess oil, exfoliate inside the pore, and help normalize pore function (Sources: Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366; and Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23). Source beautypedia.

*****(DUTCH) Jetske van Ultee: Te mijden ingredienten:

(Many products contain ingredients which might be iritating – and many people get (serious) reactions. Hereunder a list with ingredients which has been proven to give irritating responses by the skin.

Parfum – All kinds of alcohol (unless at the botom of the ingredient list/ except for ingredients with the added name cetyl, stearyl, cetearyl en lanolin) – Balsam of Peru – Bergamot – Cinnamic acid – methol – Eucalyptus – Kamfer – Citric – Lavendel – Geranium – Methylisothiazolinone – Tea tree olie – Witch hazel – Ylang ylang – Oxybenzone – PABA – Propylene glycol – Sodium lauryl sulfaat – Methyl nicotinate – Synthetic colour ingredients – Aceton)


NOTE: No information on this blog is medical advice. It is free web-based information only.
Please consult with a qualified doctor regarding any skin issues. Anna is a cosmetic product and not a pharmaceutical product as the symptoms of acne return after discontinuation of the treatment. On average the inflammations came back after 28 days within our group of volunteers. NOTE: Immediately upon restart of treatment the symptoms disappeared again. 



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