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Clearasil Ultra Overnight Line — Is It An Overnight Sensation?


I often joke that the so-called sleep diet is the one diet that would definitely stick with me, the reason being that I’m an unabashed sleepyhead. It follows, then, that I’d appreciate any skincare or haircare product that works while I catch some Zs. And I really, really do — whenever I see an exciting new night cream, I’m like, “Come on down!” So when I heard Clearasil Ultra has a new Overnight range that fights acne while you sleep, so that you can wake up in the morning with a clean slate and clear skin, I was beyond intrigued. In this case, my love of nighttime products was compounded by my impatience regarding breakouts. See, like most women, I absolutely loathe the sight of pimples on my face, but I tend to approach the whole experience like a 12-year-old kid, itching to pick at these unseemly intruders and obsessively applying spot treatments to accelerate the whole acne-fighting process. But no matter what I do, those suckers never seem to disappear quickly enough for my taste. A range of Clearasil products that could provide overnight results seemed like music to my ears.

The new Clearasil Ultra Overnight line consists of three products: the Clearasil Ultra Overnight Wash, which unclogs pores, cleans away dirt, and fights acne-causing bacteria; the Clearasil Ultra Overnight Serum, which is formulated so as to reduce redness without drying the skin; and the Clearasil Ultra Overnight Face Lotion, which helps to reduce pimple size and lessen any corresponding redness while simultaneously moisturizing skin. All three products contain 2% salicylic acid and are designed so as to work in tandem with the skin’s nightly renewal process.

So do the products deliver? Ehh. If you have oily skin and are prone to regular breakouts, and you want to integrate these products into your regular skincare regimen, then you’ll likely start seeing some improvement in terms of the number of breakouts you experience and their duration and severity.

But if you have normal-to-dry skin and just break out every so often, you’re probably going to use these only when you feel a blemish creeping up. The problem: most skincare products require a few weeks to fully take effect (the instant results myth is precisely that: a myth), so switching to an entirely new regimen whenever you begin to break out may backfire on you (especially since you probably want to switch back to your regular regime once your skin is nice and clear). I knew all of this going in to testing mode but, frankly, when I noticed a constellation of pimples on my face (a souvenir from a majorly stressful week, I suppose), all logic went out the window. I scurried to try these products and hoped they would, in fact, deliver overnight results — without screwing up my skin further in the process.

Now, let me point out a couple of things (the fine print for each of these releases, if you will). Both the Overnight Serum and Overnight Face Lotion are NOT meant to be applied to the entire face — instead, you should dab them exclusively onto the affected areas. The Overnight Face Wash does, in fact, clear away grime, but it can prove a bit harsh if your skin is on the dry side (as is mine). The serum and face lotion both seem gentle enough when you first apply them, but the problem is this: if you apply a face wash containing salicylic acid, followed by both a serum and a lotion that also contain salicylic acid, you’re likely to overload the skin and dry it out. The most unfortunate thing happened to me, in fact: one of my pimples shrank in size (only the slightest bit), but the skin around it began to peel! Talk about a double whammy — I still had a crater on my face, and now I also had some peeling going on? Yuck.  Another important detail: if you read the instructions for the face lotion, they clearly indicate that you should apply the product as often as 3 times daily, so it’s essentially no different from any other spot treatment in that regard.

If you’re using the serum or face lotion for the first time, applying them before bedtime, you might see a reduction in pimple size when you awake — but, if your experience is anything like mine, the results will prove no different from what you’d witness after using any other blemish treatment and getting a full night of sleep. Me, I’m sticking to my regular Clearasil spot treatment.

Bottom line: this line of products seems to mainly be about hype — clever marketing for all of us impatient sorts who want instant gratification and overnight results.

Clearasil Ultra Overnight Face Lotion, $7.99; Clearasil Ultra Overnight Serum, $7.99; and Clearasil Ultra Overnight Wash, $7.99. Available at most food and drug retailers and at HomeSolutionsStore.com

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