Stay Clear with REN ClearCalm

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Omg, how is it November already?!?!?  

Hey everyone!  Still over 70 degrees here- got up to 80 today, but a few days ago it actually got down to 32 at night.  So weird!  I might be okay with the colder nights if the days are nice, but I still MISS SUMMER!!!!

If you’ve been reading our posts, you may know that as a teen, I had horrific acne.  Everything I tried either didn’t do anything at all, or made it worse.  The only thing that worked was going to the doctor, and using prescription treatments, which consisted of oral and topical antibiotics.  Being on these long-term is always a cause for concern, you know, that whole resistance thing…uggghhh!

If I’d known then what I know now, I probably could have reduced my acne greatly using just OTC treatments.  But, as a teen, I knew I was oily, and thought the answer was to scrub as hard as I could, and to dry my skin out as much as I could.  Of course, I only made it worse!

My skin is pretty tough, and I’ve always been able to endure acid peels, etc.  However, acne-prone skin should be treated gently so as not to aggravate the skin and result in even more blemishes.  REN is a great brand for this type of issue, as all their ingredients are “clean,” meaning nothing yucky or bad- and no overly-drying ingredients like benzoyl peroxide.

ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser

Salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid, is one of my top fave ingredients in skincare, as it’s oil-soluble and can penetrate into the pores.  In their ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser, REN uses a natural form, salicilin, from willow bark, to help unclog pores and provide mild exfoliation.  French kaolin clay detoxifies and absorbs excess sebum, while shininess is reduced with zinc gluconate.

Flavonoids derived from mayblossom extract help tone the skin and reduce the appearance of pores.  An essential oil complex with lavender, chamomile, and sage helps calm and reduce redness and inflammation.

ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser is housed in an airtight pump bottle, which is really convenient and easy to use.  This not only keeps the product free from bacteria, but also prevents the clay from drying out- which always seems to happen to my clay masks in jars!

The formula has a pleasant natural scent that dissipates quickly.  The consistency is slightly thicker than my other cleansers, probably because of the clay.  It doesn’t lather much, so it’s easy to tell that there aren’t any harsh detergents.

I really liked how clean my skin felt after using this, without feeling tight or stripped of moisture.  Since it’s clay-based, I used this for several weeks prior to posting this review, because I thought for sure my skin would go through a purging phase, but it never happened!  My skin is clear, soft, and smooth!

Blemish & Acne Treatments Available at REN Skincare

ClearCalm Non-Drying Acne Treatment Gel

Like the cleanser, the ClearCalm Non-Drying Acne Treatment Gel is formulated with ingredients from nature- white willow bark-derived  0.5% salicylic acid aids in the natural skin renewal process to help reduce the size of spots and keep skin clear.  Maritime pine and thyme help soothe, while prebiotic chlorella extract supports a healthy skin microbiome.

ClearCalm Non-Drying Acne Treatment Gel is packaged in a squeeze tube that helps keep the product sanitary, while being easy to use.  The gel is easy to spread, doesn’t really feel sticky, and wears well under other skincare products and makeup.

I usually use higher strength salicylic acid products, but this being such a low percentage at 0.5% makes it extremely versatile, in addition to not being drying.  If you’re new to BHA products, this is a great one to start with, and it’s also a good one for those who are more sensitive.

With the lower strength, I’ve found I can use this in conjunction with my other AHA/BHA products with no problems.  I also like that I can use this all over my entire face, and I can even mix it with my moisturizer, or even foundation.

Both of these products work well together.  A bonus is that the salicylic acid also helps address the signs of aging as it’s a mild exfoliant.  Plus, since it’s oil-soluble, it can help other active ingredients penetrate the skin better.  Perhaps the most surprising thing for me was, like I mentioned previously, that I didn’t go through a “purging” phase.  Keep in mind I’m a fanatic when it comes to skincare, so this may just be due to other products I’m using; plus we’re all different, as is our skin.

If you’d like gentle products that address acne, oily skin, and clogged pores, check out the ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser and ClearCalm Non-Drying Acne Treatment Gel from REN, available at

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