Clear Treatment Pads
Want to reduce large pores, acne and prevent future breakouts? Plus brighten your complexion? Try the new fast-acting Clear Treatment Pads, the latest non-prescription product in dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett’s adult acne-fighting range Clear ($120 for 60 pads, kellettskincare.com).
These pads are not like the drugstore versions you used as a pimply teenager! For one, they contain advanced ingredients that not only unclog blocked pores and minimize spot size – which is the singular goal of Clearasil pads – the Kellett pads goes further by providing lightening benefits. Because we all know that breakouts can leave souvenir scars that are as pesky as any zit! Personally my reddish-brown post-acne marks can linger for months.
One of the key lessons about acnetic skin that I’ve learned from Dr. Kellett is that because the causes of acne are multi-factorial – there is no single ingredient or product or even clinical treatment for it – you need a multi-faceted approach to treat adult acne and it’s many ugly after-effects, including large pore size. Many people forget that large pores are intricately connected to oily skin. Dr. Kellett says, “Pores become dilated because of excess oil and lack of collagen surrounding the pore.”
Collagen-stimulating retinoids can help strengthen the pore walls, leading to a smaller appearance, notes Dr. Kellett. Additionally retionoids speed up cellular turnover which helps skin look radiant and it also works an antioxidant to protect the skin from free radical damage. Now it can seem like all we need is a retinoid product, but that’s not the case. According to Dr. Kellett and many other skin experts, the best skin care routine to reduce large pores and acne and prevent future breakouts is to combine a gentle non-soap exfoliating cleanser, a topical disinfectant medicated with benzoyl peroxide in a non-drying gel base, an oil-free moisturizer with anti-inflammatory ingredients and antioxidants, and a retinoid product – whether it is prescription-grade tretinoin or a well-formulated retinol.
Sun protection is crucial too, as UV rays can exacerabe acne and darken post-acne spots. Dr. Kellett says that spray-on sunscreens work best on skin with acne. “They’re less clogging than milky solutions, and they have an alcoholic base that helps cut down on excess oil.”
All of these essentials are included in Dr. Kellett’s adult acne line, Clear, which I’ve been using loyally for over a year now, along with her 1% retinol serum. The line has been a game changer for me, so when the new Clear Treatment Pads became available I thought do I really need them?
The four products in the Clear line plus the retinol serum have cleared up my subcutaneous acne problem and has made my breakouts fewer and farther in between, so for me, these new pads are maintenance products and a welcome boost to my skin brightening goals. I want those post-acne inflammation spots gone! After using these pads for a month, the best way to describe their effect is imagine having a clinical peel done at home.
How to use
The instructions say to use them only 1-2 times a week and to rinse them off after 15 minutes on the first use. And there’s a reason why: These pads are strong!
Ingredients: 27.8% SD Alcohol 40-B, Ethoxydiglycol, Water, Benzyl alcohol, Azelaic acid, Lactic Acid, Phytic acid, Diisopropanolamine, Laureth-4, Evodia rutaecarpa fruit extract and Rumex occidentalis extract.
My once sensitive skin has been toughened up by laser treatments and retinol so I can handle the high alcohol content. I swipe one pad across my face, neck, and behind my ears once a week (usually on a Sunday night) and just let it sink in overnight. I don’t apply anything else on top. The following morning my skin feels and looks noticeably smoother. Caveat: Like getting peel, you may experience flaking (I still do) so pack some moisturizer in your purse if you’re going to be out in public.
Dr. Kellett adds that because these treatment pads can cover large areas quickly, they are great for men with bacne – and I can vouch for this! I’ve been using these pads on the beau’s back on four separate occasions so far. And while he said his back was stinging the first time, the clarifying results seen the next day was worth it. One swipe destroyed this monster zip overnight…
What exactly are in these pads?
I asked our resident chemist, Louise Hidinger, to help decipher the ingredient list, here’s her analysis:
SD alcohol 40-B: ethanol + a denaturing agent; acts as solvent for the other ingredients, and helps the ingredients penetrate the skin; also antiseptic.
Water: solvent with the above two ingredients
Benzyl alcohol: solvent, preservative
Azelaic acid: active ingredient, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and tyrosinase inhibitor (skin lightening).
Lactic acid: alpha hydroxy acid that acts as mild skin exfoliant; also used to regulate pH.
Phytic acid: antioxidant that chelates metal ions (thus helps to preserve the shelf life of the product).
Diisopropanolamine: amine (base), used for pH regulation.
Laureth-4: surfactant, helps to solubilize the organic compounds in the alcohol/water base.
Evodia rutaecarpa extract: plant used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine, believed to be anti-inflammatory.
Rumex occidentalis extract: also known as Western dock. Contains oxalic acid and tannins; oxalic acid chelates metal ions (similar to phytic acid) but it is poisonous if consumed directly; tannins are astringent to the skin.