Dermalogica Clear Start Kit Review

Dermalogica Clear Start Kit Review: Does It Really Work?

Written By : Dr Ruby Shah   ✓ Fact Checked

Dermalogica Clear Start Kit is a travel-sized kit containing five Dermalogica products that work together to fight acne while being gentle on skin.

(Last Updated on December 1, 2023)

Uncontrollable breakouts can cause serious distress and finding a treatment that works can be challenging.

Dermalogica’s Clear Start Breakout Clearing Kit promises to quickly and completely treat breakouts on the go1.

We reviewed the system to assess the effectiveness of their claims.

See below for our findings.

What Is Dermalogica Clear Start Kit?

Dermalogica’s Clear Start Breakout Clearing Kit is a medicated, travel-size system that claims to be ‘tough on acne and gentle on your skin.’

It is a 5-piece system intended for daily use to treat breakouts.

The company is a subsidiary of Unilever.

Dermalogica Clear Start Kit Ingredients


Dermalogica’s Clear Start Breakout Clearing Kit contains 5 products, each with a different function.

Dermalogica’s Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash

Salicylic Acid 0.5%

Salicylic Acid2 is a beta hydroxy acid that occurs naturally in plants. It is pH dependent, needing a pH of 4 or lower to work most efficiently. If it is included in a formula with a pH above 7, it becomes ineffective.

Tea Tree Oil

Possesses anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies suggest it is equivalent to benzoyl peroxide for treating acne.


Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Heals damaged skin3.

Camellia Sinensis

Green tea leaf extract and powerful antioxidant4 . Green tea extract contains methylxanthines which stimulate microcirculation, leading to more even skin tone. It is anti-inflammatory and inhibits the action of collagenase. Collagenase is an enzyme that breaks down collagen leading to loose, wrinkled skin.

Orange Peel Extract

Unclogs pores and brightens skin.

Dermalogica’s Breakout Clearing All Over Toner

Salicylic Acid 1%


Mainly functions as a moisturizer.

Dermalogica’s Oil Clearing Matte Moisturizer


A chemical sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB damage5.

By itself it is safe but it breaks down quickly when exposed to the sun.

It provides only 30 minutes’ worth of protection.

In order to maintain its protective abilities, it must be combined with chemicals that are hazardous.


One of the most toxic ingredients included in skincare products6.

It is an endocrine-disruptor and a potential carcinogen.


Octisalate absorbs UVB rays and adds water-resistance properties to sunscreens.

It degrades when it is exposed to sunlight and is used to stabilize avobenzone to extend sun protection.

It is considered moderately toxic with potential immune and allergenic effects.


A powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from environmental stressors.

It contains licochalcone, which helps control oil production7.


Acts as an antioxidant, astringent and increases circulation8.


A natural source of salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid that promotes cell turnover.

Dermalogica’s Breakout Clearing Daytime Treatment

Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5%

One of the most powerful acne treatments available9 .

It is antibacterial, unclogs pores and promotes cellular turnover.

It is also highly irritating.

Known to cause contact dermatitis, redness and increased sun sensitivity.


Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.

Heals damaged skin.


Hydrating, anti-inflammatory, cooling and astringent properties10.

Dermalogica’s Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment

Salicylic Acid 2%



A powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from environmental stressors.

It contains licochalcone, which helps control oil production

How Does Dermalogica Clear Start Kit Work

how it works

Dermalogica’s Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash

  • Dissolves dirt and unclogs pores.
  • Removes dead skin cells.
  • Prevents future breakouts.

Dermalogica’s Breakout Clearing All Over Toner

  • Exfoliates dead skin cells.
  • Reduces breakouts.
  • Soothes redness.
  • Refreshes skin.

Dermalogica’s Oil Clearing Matte Moisturizer

  • Acts as a sunscreen.
  • Minimizes oil production.
  • Hydrates the skin.
  • Soothes irritation.

Dermalogica’s Breakout Clearing Daytime Treatment

  • Eliminates acne-causing bacteria.
  • Soothes redness and irritation.
  • Refreshes skin.

Dermalogica’s Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment

  • Unclogs pores.
  • Reduces breakouts.
  • Decreases redness.
  • Protects the skin.

How To Use It

  • Use foaming wash daily in the morning and at night to clear away dead skin cells, dirt and excess oils, unclog pores, and control oil and shine.
  • Spray on toner morning and night daily to clear breakouts, sooth and revive irritated skin.
  • Apply daytime treatment in the morning to prevent breakouts before they occur.
  • Apply moisturizer for sun protection and shine control.
  • Use Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment nightly to clear breakouts while you sleep.

Dermalogica Clear Start Kit Side Effects

Most customer complaints were skin irritation and dryness.

Is It A Scam?

The system contains traditional, long-established ingredients backed by evidence-based science that are highly effective.

So no, it is not a scam.

Dermalogica Clear Start Kit Reviews & Complaints

There are hundreds of reviews for this product.

Of 33 reviews on Amazon, 70% are 4 and above giving it a 3.3 rating overall.

Here are some samples of reviews that may be helpful.

Some customers were very satisfied:

Angel Fritch says:

After feeling like I have tried everything throughout my entire high school years, I finally found a system that works and isn’t harsh on the skin! My skin hasn’t been this clear since my freshman year and I finally have a solution after 3 years!

Some customers were satisfied but had a few reservations.

J. Holloway wrote:

Ok so heres the deal with this. I am a 28 year old female with adult onset acne. I started using this product and it BROKE ME OUT. It was WAY too strong to use the combination of all of the Clear Start line at once for me.

So once I figured that out, I started switching every other day with a natural and gentle charcoal cleaner and gentle moisturizer. Then the next day use the Clear start ect. My face is finally starting to clear up!

I would highly recommend not using this product twice a day, if not every other day paired with something more gentle. Also, I realized its too strong to use with a Clarisonic, incase you own one. Just use your hands, and use clarisonic on days you use your gentle stuff.

Hope that helps!

A few customers were not happy with their results:

Red wrote:

I got this acne kit for my 17 year old son, this treatment ruined his skin, he used it for a couple of days his skin got very dry and irritated. It went from mild acne to severe acne.

I read so many good reviews about this product and I’m so upset with the result, it took a couple of days to ruin his skin now he has to see a dermatologist. Please becareful wIth this product, it can be very harmful.

Dermalogica Clear Start Kit: Packages, Prices & Where To Buy It

  • 1 Breakout Clearing Kit: $42.00

FREE Shipping and Handling for orders over $50.

Otherwise you have to add $8.00 to your total order price.

The company ships only to US customers.

If you are in different country, you have to find your local Dermalogica distributor.

See below how the official site looks like.

dermalogica clear start official website

Return/Refund Policy

If you are not absolutely satisfied with your purchase for any reason, they will gladly accept returns or exchanges for any purchases and will issue a full refund upon receiving your items within 30 days of the PURCHASE date.

All returns must be pre-approved by customer service.

Pros & Cons


  • Majority of positive reviews.
  • Well-established, effective ingredients.
  • Widely available online and in retail stores.
  • Safe for long term use.


  • Frequently reported side effects – redness and dryness.

Dermalogica Clear Start Kit Review: Final Words

dermalogica acne treatment review - verdict

Dermalogica’s Clear Start System has a long and well-established history and is produced by one of the largest global companies in the world.

All ingredients used in the system a traditional, well-known and backed by evidence-based science.

Side effects of irritation and dryness are common with this type of product.

We laid out the facts, will you buy Dermalogica Clear Start Kit? Comment below and tell us what you think!

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