Neutrogena’s Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask ($7) is quite the impressive multi-tasker, and not only so in the manner that it is marketed. This product also works wonders as an overnight treatment.

The 4.2 oz tube provides a plentiful amount. When I used it twice daily as a cleanser, it lasted me over 3 months. I threw away the bottle when I moved, so it could have lasted a lot longer than that. It’s a white cream that lathers well and creates a tingle when left on skin.

As a cleanser: Average. With the first bottle of this cleanser, my complexion became fantastic. However, I credit this to my excellent sleep schedule and diet at the time. When it came time to go through a second bottle, it functioned that same as any other cleanser that I’ve used in the past. I can’t comment on its ability to remove makeup because I either wore minimal makeup or used a separate makeup remover.

As a mask: Poor. The plus side is that it’s a quick, 5-minute mask that washes off easily. It tingles a bit, but not painfully. On the negative side, according to my records, I seem to break out consistently the day after using this as a mask. It’s bewildering considering that it works so well when left overnight. Yet I’ve experimented with this a bit and the 5 minute mask definitely irritates my skin every single time.

As a spot treatment: Amazing. A former roommate of mine slept with a thin mask of this stuff. I use it as a spot treatment overnight whenever I see a blemish start to form. Everytime, it is almost guaranteed that the blemish will disappear by either the next morning or in 2 mights, at the latest. This product’s efficiency far exceeded any results seen by other spot treatments, outperforming Clean and Clear’s Advantage and anything offered at Sephora or DHC.

In addition to attacking garden variety, it works for the bigger monsters of deep, cystic blemishes too. When I started feeling one coming along, and noticed the unusual red color on one area of my face, a few nights of the Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask on that area made the blemish disappear before it even surfaced. Redness was gone after those few days and there is no post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation because it never developed far enough to scar skin.

Overall, this is a nice alternative for Proactiv users because it capitalizes on the same active ingredient, benzoyl peroxide, at a practical price. I would not recommend the other products in the Clear Pore line since they are too abrasive. The Cleanser/Mask, however, is a versatile drugstore product and a miracle overnight treatment.

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