Clean and Clear Essentials Deep Cleaning Toner Review

Clean and Clear Deep Cleaning Toner for Sensitive Skin
Photo: Clean and Clear

Clean and Clear Essentials Deep Cleaning Toner for Sensitive Skin is an over-the-counter toner designed for sensitive, acne-prone skin. It contains salicylic acid.

This toner is part of the Clean and Clear Essentials line, which is also comprised of a facial cleanser and moisturizer. But you can use this toner on its own, too.

Essentials Deep Cleaning Toner for Sensitive Skin is for treating oily skin and mild acne and blackheads.

Active Ingredient

Salicylic acid 0.5%


About $6 for an 8 ounce bottle


  • It's inexpensive.
  • You can find it at most local stores.


  • 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.

Where You Can Buy It

Clean and Clear products are fairly easy to find at most drug stores, big box stores like Target and Walmart, even the grocery store.  It’s also available from online retailers (compare prices).

Clean and Clear Essentials Deep Cleaning Toner for Sensitive Skin Full Review

I've used a ton of Clean and Clear products over the years. I like them because they're inexpensive and I can pick them up just about anywhere (like Target, the grocery store, or wherever I happen to be shopping at the time).

I consider my skin slightly sensitive, so obviously I was interested in the Clean and Clear Essentials Deep Cleaning Toner for Sensitive Skin.

At about six bucks a bottle, it's a pretty good deal.

The active ingredient in this toner is salicylic acid. 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, though. 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.

I definitely felt like it got my skin extra clean, by removing excess oil. It wasn't over-drying, either, which can be a problem with some toners.

So many skin care 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 tended to like the scent much more so than my lady testers. I suspect it's probably because the toner smells rather like aftershave, at least to me.

It's a bold fragrance, and everyone agreed that it's quite strong. Some people (including myself) found it much too overpowering. What's more, the fragrance seems to linger on your skin. I just couldn't get past this fact. This alone would keep me from using the toner again, no matter how much I liked it. I don't like smelling the toner on my face hours after I've use it.

Another sticking point with me was the alcohol content.

I could definitely smell the alcohol, and I could feel it on my skin. It stung just a bit.

I feel like there are better toners out there for sensitive skin. Considering the high alcohol content and strong fragrance, I'd think it's just too strong for truly sensitive skin types. If this were the case, I'd suggest looking for an alcohol-free option.

Personally, I found this to be an unexceptional product. There are other drugstore toners that I just like better. In fact, I'd rather use Clean and Clear Deep Cleansing Astringent instead.

But I know this toner has its fans. It all comes down to how fragranced you like your products and how much your sensitive skin can take.

Read More Toner/Astringent Reviews

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