I’m often asked about which specific products I’d recommend to people with particular skin types and conditions, so I decided to write this Image Skincare Clear Cell Salicylic Gel Cleanser review.
My recommendation: As seen on my recommended cleanser post, my favorite cleanser has been, for a while now, the Vital C Cleanser.
However, the more I use the Image Skincare Clear Cell Salicylic Gel Cleanser, the more I wonder if I like it more.
I’ve tested this cleanser on many of my own clients, all of whom have different skin concerns, and it has worked particularly well for people with oily and acne-prone skin.
I do recommend you try out this product, the Image Skincare Clear Cell Cleanser:
Read on to see why I recommend this cleanser, as well as some pro tips!
The Clear Cell Cleanser by Image Skincare is a gel-based foaming cleanser, and it smells slightly of tea tree oil and mint. I’m usually not a fan of tea tree products because I have a very sensitive nose, and I find the scent too strong, but the Clear Cell Cleanser has a very light, refreshing scent.
It’s great for people who have combination-oily, oily, and acne-prone skin. I don’t recommend it to people with extremely sensitive skin or those who have rosacea.
Image Skincare Clear Cell Salicylic Gel Cleanser Review
Ingredients and Claims: Does the Clear Cell Cleanser Really Do What It Says It Does?
Whenever I review a product, I always look at the ingredients on the back to see if the product can actually do what it says on the front.
For example, acne cleansers will usually have words like “purify” or “oil-free” or “clarify” on the front, so I’ll look at the back to see if the ingredients can deliver on the product’s claims.
Not only do I check for particular ingredients, but I also check the order in which the ingredients are listed. Typically, you want the active ingredients to be in the top third or middle third of the list.
When an active ingredient is at the very bottom of the list, you’re not getting your money’s worth. In America, companies are actually required to place the active ingredients and their percentages at the top, so you can see which ingredients they’re using to deliver on the product’s claims.
What I like about the Clear Cell Cleanser is that it does have quite a few things to reduce and prevent acne. It has salicylic acid, which is a beta hydroxy acid that helps dissolve impurities that can clog the pores.
It’s a 5% salicylic blend, and what that means is that 2% of it is salicylic acid. The other part is neem extract, which is considered a purifying botanical. It also has extracts of honey, which is also a purifying botanical. It gently exfoliates, and it doesn’t have any parabens.
Another thing it has—which a lot of cleansers don’t have—is anti-inflammatories and ingredients that calm down the skin and bring down redness. Examples of these ingredients include Horse Chestnut, Arnica Montana, Boswellia Serrata, and extracts of chamomile.
How to Use the Clear Cell Cleanser to Get the Best Results for Your Skin
The first step is pouring a small amount onto moist hands. When it first comes out of the bottle, it’s nice and clear, and you want to work it up to a foam. If you use it for your first cleanse, it’s going to look a bit milky—that means it’s breaking down all the oil and makeup on your face.
Then when you do your second cleanse, you’re going to get a really good lather. I actually recommend using Clear Cell Cleanser for your first cleanse because it not only removes makeup but it also removes skin impurities and excess oil.
Important Things to Remember About Clear Cell Cleanser
Always Use Sunscreen
Because Clear Cell Cleanser has BHAs, which have gentle exfoliating properties, you do have to wear sunscreen when using this product or any other product that contains AHAs and BHAs.
It May Not Work for Sensitive Skin
If you have extremely sensitive skin, this product may not work for you because it contains ammonium lauryl sulfate.
Sulfates are also a common ingredient in shampoos, but it’s generally not recommended to use shampoos that have sulfates because they can strip and pull the color from your hair.
Sulfates can naturally be derived from coconut, but a lot of times, they’re manufactured in a lab. Sulfates are what make products foam, and they break down oil very quickly. This is why people with very sensitive skin might not get the best results from this cleanser.
Pro Tip #1: Alternate Between an Acne Cleanser and a Balancing Cleanser
But you can control your acne and oil by alternating between an acne cleanser like Clear Cell Cleanser and a balancing cleanser such as the Ormedic Balancing Cleanser.
The Ormedic Balancing Cleanser is also a gel-based cleanser, but it doesn’t use any sulfates. Instead, it uses decyl glucoside, which is a surfactant derived from sugar.
It’s a moisture-binding ingredient, and it foams just as nicely while remaining gentle on the skin. It’s 99% organic, and instead of using mostly water, they use aloe vera gel.
You can do this with other products as well, but I recommend using a balancing cleanser from the same line as your acne cleanser because they’re going to be pH compatible.
For example, let’s say you have a bit of acne. In the morning, you can do two cleanses with your balancing cleanser. Then in the evening, you can do your first wash with your balancing cleanser and your second cleanse with your acne cleanser.
If you have more breakouts, you can do both of your evening cleanses with your acne cleanser.
Pro Tip #2: Boost the Exfoliating Properties of Your Cleanser
Another pro tip is boosting the exfoliating properties of your cleanser. If you’re using the Clear Cell Cleanser, you can also use Image Skincare’s Ageless Resurfacing Mask.
However, because it contains a high amount of glycolic acid, it can be quite harsh on sensitive skin or rosacea-prone skin. Glycolic acid does give you quick results, but you have to grow your tolerance to it.
During your second cleanse in the evening, you can add a dime-sized amount of the mask to your cleanser. Basically, what this does is boosts the exfoliating properties of your cleanser.
You can look at it that way, or you can see it as diluting the exfoliating properties of your exfoliator. But you shouldn’t do this every single evening.
You can also do this with the Ormedic Balancing Cleanser if your skin is drying out too much. Then, if your skin is accustomed to the high amount of exfoliation, you can use the mask on its own once a week for deeper exfoliation. But I don’t recommend jumping into using just the mask right away.
The great thing about the Ageless Resurfacing Mask is that it’s a 3-in-1 product. You can use it alone as a scrub, you can dilute it in your cleanser, and you can also use it as a mask.
Conclusion – Image Skincare Clear Cell Salicylic Gel Cleanser Review
In summary, I DO recommend removing makeup, dirt, grime, and oil from your face using the Image Skincare Clear Cell Cleanser.
I am NOT being endorsed by Image Skincare. These are products I’ve used for years on different clients with an array of different skin types. Also, these products have delivered the best results overall.