Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Seal-to-Clear Gel is just one of the well known company’s ever increasing line of products. It claims to reduce the size and redness of a pimple within four hours by forming a transparent seal over it, somewhat like a liquid bandage. This is supposed to hold the medication in place — and keep you from picking at the pimple.
How well does it work in real life? Our tester, a 20-year-old male, said the gel felt comfortable, dried quickly, and didn’t peel off. It did reduce the size somewhat and also, it seems, kept the pimple from coming to a head. However, there was no decrease in redness that he could see. (Let it be said, our tester is extremely fair skinned). Overall, next time he’d prefer to use a flesh-tinted acne treatment.
Female acne sufferers may feel a little different, as I found in online reviews of this product. If you’re going to wear makeup, the clear seal will keep it from interfering with your acne treatment. This may also be something to consider if you’re putting on sunscreen, going swimming, or even if you just don’t want to leave all your acne medication on your pillow.
Price is another consideration. This gel can cost from $7 to $10 for just under half an ounce. (It’s packaged in a tube with a slanted tip that makes it easy to use only a small amount). If you don’t need the protection of the seal, there’s no reason not to use a cheaper product — the same company makes lots.
Finally, Beautypedia points out that this gel contains alcohol — you can actually smell it — which dries the skin and has other harmful effects. The site also says the salicylic acid (the acne-fighting ingredient) in the product has a pH in the wrong range to make it effective.
Even so, some users say it works — if you’re happy with keeping red spots from turning into pimples, and keeping other skincare products off your acne, this may be for you.