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A gentler way to combat acne & oily skin

We asked one of our FQ Collective followers to put Clear Start’s latest addition to the test. Here’s what she thought of the new blemish-fighting Breakout Clearing Liquid Peel.

Produced in partnership with Clear Start.

Acne has plagued my visage for as long as I can remember. It rears its head in the form of pimples dotted around my oily t-zone and painful cyst-like bumps on my cheeks. It’s always conjured feelings of inadequacy and disappointment, a particularly horrid scenario when you add social media into the mix, my picture-perfect feed filled with heavily filtered, enviably smooth complexions that seem too good to be true. 

Through trial and error, I’ve discovered that cleansing and moisturising alone is not enough to manage my acne — an individualised routine targeting my pain points is required. This is where the Clear Start range comes in. Its specialised, hard-working products target breakouts, blackheads, and shine for healthier-looking skin. 

Dermalogica founder Jane Wurwand conceived the idea for Clear Start when her adolescent daughters began to suffer from blemishes and breakouts. Wurwand quickly discovered that skin care options for young adults were limited — at the time, most products contained artificial fragrances and skin-irritating ingredients that exacerbated the problem at hand. Therefore, it was crucial to Wurwand that Clear Start was gentle on the skin, free from artificial ingredients, and gluten-free, cruelty-free, paraben-free and vegan friendly. 

Researching the Clear Start range, I decided to test the following products: the Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash, Micro-Pore Mist, Skin Soothing Hydrating Lotion, and in my opinion, the MVP of the bunch — the brand new Breakout Clearing Liquid Peel

The Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash is easily lathered, rinsing off the day’s worries with ease. After use, my skin feels clean — but not so squeaky clean that all hydration is stripped bare. The Micro-Pore Mist is light yet refreshing, with a barely there feel as it works to keep excess sebum at bay. Lastly, the Skin Soothing Hydrating Lotion is surprisingly lightweight yet nourishing, gently working away at my combination skin for balanced hydration. 

Turning to the Breakout Clearing Liquid Peel, thanks to the addition of 2% BHA in the form of Salicylic Acid, I’m pleased to report that its deep exfoliation is bad news for my persistent pimples. Featuring a blend of 10% AHAs (Lactic, Mandelic, and Azelaic acids), my skin is smoother and noticeably brighter in tone after each application. A word of caution — don’t forget to apply SPF during the day — AHAs can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. 

I used the Clear Start Breakout Clearing Liquid Peel twice a week for an entire month (after cleansing with the Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash and before moisturising with the Skin Soothing Hydration Lotion). It’s a no-fuss approach to skin care — all you need to do is leave it on for a mere 10 minutes, taking the time to bask in its naturally derived, iridescent shimmer. 

After a couple of weeks following my Clear Start routine, my skin appeared less oily, I was experiencing a reduction in breakouts, and my face felt suitably hydrated and silky smooth. Although blemishes are part and parcel of being a young adult, there’s nothing wrong with seeking healthy, clearer-looking skin. Clear Start gets the seal of approval from me. 

Want to know more? Discover the Dermalogica Clear Start range at


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