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Clarifying Exfoliating Cleanser Exfoliating face cream

Clarifying Exfoliating Cleanser is rated 3.6 out of 5 by 35.
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Dual-action chemical and mechanical exfoliating cream effectively purifies while removing surface dead skin cells to refine texture, brighten skin, and clear acne blemishes

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Product Details

Clarifying Exfoliating Cleanser is a dual-action exfoliating cream formulated with a 7% concentration combining salicylic, glycolic, and lactic acids and exfoliating pumice beads to efficiently remove dead skin cells, while purifying and clarifying skin. This gentle exfoliating cleanser dissolves pore congestion, smooths skin texture, and promotes skin clarity, effectively priming skin for at-home cosmeceutical use.

  • Dual-action mechanical and chemical exfoliating agents brighten skin and clear acne blemishes.
  • Clarifies the skin and smooths out rough texture.
  • Paraben-, sulfate-, soap-, fragrance-, dye- and alcohol-free.
  • Suitable for dry, normal, oily, or combination skin prone to breakouts.

How To Use


Once daily, gently massage a small amount of this exfoliating cream onto a wet face and neck with light circular motion. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry. If using in the morning, follow with a SkinCeuticals vitamin C serum and sunscreen. If using in the evening, following with a SkinCeuticals corrective product or moisturizer.

Key Ingredients

  • Salicylic acid
  • Glycolic acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Pumice

Extracted from the bark of willow trees, this beta-hydroxy acid unclogs pores while removing excess sebum and dead skin cells.

Learn more about salicylic acid

See all ingredients

aqua / water / eau, propylene glycol, behenyl betaine, triethanolamine, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, pumice, sodium chloride, phenoxyethanol, peg-100 stearate, zinc pca, glyceryl stearate, disodium edta, sodium benzoate

Physician Insight

Physician image

Clarifying exfoliating cleanser is a great product for our acne prone clients. The mild mixture of acids are perfect for sensitive congested skin.

Dr. Dan Smith - Skin and Body Refinery

Learn about Dr. Smith

Complete Your Regimen


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Skin feels so soft after use. I have used this product for about a month now and it’s great. I use this to exfoliate every other evening and it makes my skin so soft.
Date published: 2019-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clears Acne! The only product that works for me to keep my acne at a minimum. Not too drying or irritating compared to other acne washes. Recommend x1000!
Date published: 2019-04-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Do not buy if wanting to wash off makeup! I bought this product with the intention to wash off my makeup at the end of the night. It clearly says on the packaging that it washes off dirt and make up ... It does NOT do this! My face still has mascara and makeup residue after using this cleaner - I am so disappointed. I have been using Skinceuticals for almost 5 years and have been happy with other products, but this does not work as advertised. I am hoping to get my money back so that I can buy what I have in the past.
Date published: 2019-04-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very drying on my sensitive skin so I can only use it a few times a week but it really helps with my acne!
Date published: 2019-03-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This is a very nice cleanser. I have a combination skin thats oily and dry. My skin feels very nice after using this cleanser. I highly recommend this product
Date published: 2019-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This stuff is a must have for adult acne. I like to keep a bottle of it in my gym bag to cleanse after a nice sweat sesh.
Date published: 2019-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I have been using the Skin Ceuticals face wash for about a year now and I absolutely love it. Yes, it is a little pricey, but I struggle with skin issues so I do what I can for good skin! This product makes me feel so clean and is excellent at removing all the makeup and dirt from the day off. I will continue using for quite some time!
Date published: 2019-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this cleanser. Cleans my face - every trace of makeup and leaves my face feeling so fresh. Its a step up from the Clinique liquid soap cleanser. Its pretty pricey though, but clearly performs better. Seems worth it to try other less expensive cleansers. Im sure theres something out there just as good and for less.
Date published: 2019-03-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I only gave 3 stars on this product based off of price. The product was decent, but for the price tag, it was not worth it. I did not see any dramatic results as I thought I would for as much as I spent
Date published: 2019-03-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Yeppp it 100% works alright. I didnt realize how bad my pores were clogged because using this for 4 days allowed all the gunk in my pores to come to surface! It really cleared my skin (especially my chin!!!!) i wouldnt say it purged my skin but i was able to easily remove any clogged pores or blackheads. I was never able to do this with any other salicylic acid cleanser! I wish i was not so dry/sensitive because i would use this everyday but i have to limit my use in order to reduce dryness! But amazing formula
Date published: 2019-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is a great cleanser for combination to oily skin. It doesn't strip the skin while cleansing and leave that tight feeling afterwards. I have repurchased this numerous times and really love it. The small exfoliating beads also help to remove any dead skin while I am washing my face so I don't need to use a harsh exfoliator on top of it.
Date published: 2019-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My aesthetician recommended this product and I absolutely love it! I mostly used it when I was going through regular microdermabrasion treatments. It was definitely a great value (although it is on the pricier side). You only really need a little bit to go a long way so the price is worth the value. One purchase would last me almost the full year.
Date published: 2019-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great cleanser anything from this line is great they are reasonable prices and they work so well I truly love them
Date published: 2019-03-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Loved the original version I was so devastated by the fact that the original clarifying cleanser was replaced. It was the best cleanser I have ever used for many many years. No other medical cleansers, otc cleansers, high-end cleansers could compare to the original clarifying cleanser. Please bring back the original formula if you truly care about your all-time loyal customers.
Date published: 2019-03-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not perfect but helps clear pores PROS FOR ME.. Wow actually partially cleared my blackheads that have been on my nose FOREVS. Helps keep my face clear from acne. Cons for me... it doesn’t foam or feel like it’s cleaning so I end up using a bit more. I can’t use it with my Clarisonic facial brush cause it is too exfoliating. I’ve had Clarifying Exfoliating Cleanser for 2 months now. If ya want something that foams.. Replenishing Cleanser I like that one I use with my Clarisonic. My skin is a little oily, acne prone, and discolored.. and I am getting Teen Acne Laser treatments.
Date published: 2019-03-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Doesn't Live Up to the Original Formula It's hard to judge this product on its own merit when it's replacing a product ("Clarifying Cleanser") that was vastly superior to this one. The "Clarifying Exfoliating Cleanser" is a good product (keeps my adult acne at bay), but the original "Clarifying Cleanser" was one of the best products I had ever used in my life. I used it for years, and it completely retextured my skin and returned me to the flawless complexion I had in my teens (I'm in my mid-30s now). The "Clarifying Exfoliating Cleanser" is much gentler than the original "Clarifying Cleanser," and as a result, it's less potent in its skin-clearing and skin-retexturing power.
Date published: 2019-02-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not as good as the original At first I thought the clarifying cleanser just got a new name and new packaging, but I was so devastated to find that the actual product is not the same. It’s just not as good as the original. it feels and smells differently, and unfortunately, it isn’t the holy grail product the original was.
Date published: 2019-02-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from New smell is awful I have used this product and loved it for many years. Even the new product without the micro beads is acceptable however the smell is awful. Please bring back the “clean” smell and not the smell of rotting syrup, as this one smells like.
Date published: 2019-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great cleanser! This is such a great product! I am not using it as an everyday cleanser because I dont have acne. I use it for prevention two or three times a week. It is a great exfoliator and very efficient. My skin got much better after I started to use this one. I think it is much better than other exfoliators with granules.
Date published: 2018-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very effective cleanser My dermatologist suggested this and I’m SO glad she did. I use a lot of different products from Skinceuticals and generally find them to be very effective. I started using the Lactic Acid cleanser about a year ago and it was great, but then I think my skin got used to it. This cleanser is amazing!!! It is exactly what my skin needed and I’m already seeing acne clearing and marks fading and just general healing going on. I never used the old formula that a lot of reviews reference so I can’t compare, but I love this. It doesn’t smell fragrant but it doesn’t smell bad. I think the smell is totally fine if it’s working like this!
Date published: 2018-12-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not as good as the old formula This product still gets my face fairly clean but I miss the old formula! I've used this cleanser for at least the last 5 years and it has been a huge part of clearing up my hormonal acne. The new formula does not get my face as soft or keep is as clear as the old one. I also hate the smell of the new one and feel like I am washing my face with syrup. Please bring back the old formula!!
Date published: 2018-11-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bring back the old formula! I’ve used this product for years and loved it. This new formula, however, is nothing like the original and was very disappointing. It almost feels more like a lotion than a cleanser and does not make my face feel clean after using it. Please go back to the previous formulation!
Date published: 2018-11-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I Thought I Ordered The WRONG Product I've been a die-hard user of this clarifying cleanser. I was caught off guard with the new product packaging, but the most disappointing part is the lack of "exfoliating" that this new formula does. It looks like I'm not alone on this. I hope they'll considering bringing back the micro bead or something similar to it.
Date published: 2018-10-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Nothing like the old clarifying cleanser I respect that Skinceuticals removed the microbeads from their old Clarifying Cleanser, but this is a poor replacement. It doesn't feel like it cleans my face, leaves a residue, and smells terrible.
Date published: 2018-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Cleanser for Acne Prone Skin THE BEST OF THE BEST! I bought this skinceuticals cleanser at my local laser lounge specially for my teenage son. Adter 3 days of use my son had a acne clear face. He can’t live without it! I’m very happy to see my son happy, acne free.
Date published: 2018-09-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointed!!!!!!!! I am not sure if the Clarifying Cleanser that I used was discontinued, but this is definitely not it. This does not feel like it cleanses. It does not feel like it exfoliates. It leaves a film on my face. This is the first time I have been completely disappointed in a SkinCeuticals product. I have used them for more than 10 years now.
Date published: 2018-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clear, Soft, Smooth Complexion I am a die-hard Skinceutical fan. This company has transformed my skin. The exfoliating cleanser is everything and more. I have congested, sensitive skin and this cleanser gently pulls out and clears the oils on my face leaving it soft and smooth. Unlike exfoliating cleansers from other brands that I have tried this cleanser leaves your face feeling moisturized and fresh rather than dry and peeling. Thank you, Skinceuticals for another beautiful product.
Date published: 2018-07-06
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