Woman applying hand cream

When clear, acne-free skin is the goal, millions of adults and teenagers worldwide turn to Clearasil for help. The renowned skin care line offers an extensive range of products created to treat and prevent blemishes and breakouts, control oil and cleanse.

History of Clearasil

Though a number of acne medications existed on the market in 1950, none had made quite the mark -- or rather, removed the marks -- they should have. Businessman Ivan Combe sought to create an innovative product that would efficiently treat acne. Together with chemist Kedzie Teller, Combe produced a flesh-colored cream that dried up pimples. Playing to the omnipresent teenage desire for clear skin, Combe chose the name Clearasil.

Unfortunately, retailers were not enthusiastic about the product, and many refused to stock it. This was due in part to poor sales demonstrated by previous acne prevention products. Combe, in an effort to prove his product's worth, offered free tubes of the cream to store owners. If they were given away, then store owners would order the product to stock on store shelves. Within days, it was clear the product was a hit amongst teens. Sales steadily grew as the word spread about the so-called "miracle product."

From a marketing standpoint, the product achieved great success. It was the only product, after Cheerios, to become a sponsor on American Bandstand, the popular ABC telelvision dance show for teens. As one of the show's lead advertisers, Clearasil received outstanding promotion from host Dick Clark.

Combe's entrepreneurial spirit was evident -- he was the product's sole distributor, sales manager and advertising director for years. After the product's success in America, Combe realized the potential for the product on the international market. Unfortunately, he lacked the resources and funds to make this a reality. Thus, Combe began to seek suitors who would be interested in launching the product abroad.

There was no shortage of companies scrambling to get Combe's attention. Major companies, such as Colgate-Palmolive, Bristol-Myers and Vick Chemical, all vied for the opportunity to gain control of Clearasil and its international properties. In 1960, Combe sold his product to Vick Chemical. In turn, the company retained Combe's assistance as a consultant for two years. This allowed him to gain the valuable experience he needed to explore the overseas market and afforded him the capital required to invent new products.

Though Clearasil's further progressions were attributed to Vick Chemical, it goes without saying that the product's growth can only be traced to Combe's dedication.

The Range of Products

An incredibly diverse range of Clearasil products are available, each catering to the specific needs of problematic skin. The following is a list of current collections:

Daily Cleanse

Effective cleansing is the credo for this basic collection of facial washes and wipes. Each product gently removes oil, dirt and debris. The sensitive skin version is suitable for easily irritated skin.

Daily Acne Control

This collection of acne-fighting products helps to treat existing blemishes, clear blackheads and conceal redness. The line includes the original tinted acne cream, as well as newer products, including the menthol-enhanced Icewash Gel Cleanser.


This range guarantees clearer skin within three days of usage. A unique addition to the line is the Acne Scar Care System, designed to reduce the appearance of existing scars while helping to prevent new ones from forming.

Blackhead Control

Pesky blackheads don't stand a chance when confronted with these sea salt-infused products. The salt works to draw out impurities and toxins from the skin, leaving behind a refreshed, clear complexion.

Oil Control

Formulated with green tea and peppermint extracts, these products eliminate facial oil, balance oil production and prevent breakouts. The green tea detoxifies the skin, while the peppermint serves as an anti-inflammatory.

For Men

The men's line includes an Energizing Acne Scrub, a shave gel and an after-shave balm. All products are designed to comfort skin, eliminate redness and prevent bacteria buildup and acne breakouts.

Where to Purchase

Clearasil products are readily available in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Austria, Poland, Greece, Russia, Japan, United Kingdom, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand and Italy. They are primarily found in drugstores and grocery chains.

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