Saturday, August 1, 2009

Buff Puff on steroids

Clean and Clear Blackhead Eraser

I always feel weird walking to the bathroom with the camera. The scholar looks at me as if saying "huh, why are you taking pictures while on the toilet?" Little does he know that i am just taking pictures of my beauty antics. Rarely is toilet paper involved.

Anyway, I have finally come around to reviewing Clean and Clear's Blackhead Eraser, and I figured it would be fun to take pictures of me using the contraption. It kind of worked. I really need to buy a tripod. Then the Scholar will really looked confused when I walk with the camera to the bathroom. Why did I take so long to review this vibrating beauty tool? Well, I really wanted to be sure of my opinion. I wanted to give the Blackhead Eraser enough time to prove itself. I have been using this, nonstop, for about two months. As I was testing it, I considered how to describe it, and, finally, it dawned upon me. The Blackhead Eraser is the Buf Puf on steroids. How many of you remember those Buf Puf pads? Man, I was all about those Buf Puf pads when I was younger. I remember when Queen Fierce would take The Grrl and me to Walmart, and she would release us in the beauty section while she did the real shopping. The Grrl loaded her hands with Softlips lip balm, and I would load my basket (I always went overboard) with lip glosses, nail polishes, cleansers, and the prized Buf Puf. I would wear those Buf Puf pads until they were thin and raggedy. I loved how they left my face so soft and fresh feeling. I am sure I scrubbed the hell out of my face, but whatever. As always, I eventually searched for other products and forgot about the Buff Puff until now.

I can't tell you what motivated me to finally buy and test this product. I remember seeing the advertisement and thinking "Whatever, Clean and Clear will never see my money for that. Never!" Several weeks later, I was washing my face and felt the roughness of my skin. A prickly surface was terrorizing my face, and I immediately thought "Damn you, Clean and Clear. You saboteur! You infiltrated my skin just so I could test your product! And the name you chose. So. So. Precise." I couldn't just go for the Neutrogena Wave, although I am sure it does the same exact thing for less. No, I had to get the "Blackhead Eraser" because I needed my blackheads "erased." If I want "waves," I go to the beach. Well, I guess I can tell you what motivated me to buy the product after all. Panic and good advertising.

Anyway, I used the eraser the first night I got it, and...I was impressed. My face immediately felt soft and smooth. I looked at my problem areas, the sides of my nose, and noticed an absence of obvious blackheads. This eraser really did erase something--not everything, but something. So, I continued to use the eraser four nights a week, as recommended (three to four nights it states). My face looked progressively clearer, brighter, and more even. My old acne scars even look less prominent. Here is the kicker, for the first two weeks I was using the wrong side. You got it! I was using the unmedicated, non-soapy side. I still got suds and exfoliation, but apparently it wasn't up to its fullest potential. I had misunderstood the instructions and I was not using the pads to the fullest capacity. Whoops.

So the night I corrected my error, I really felt the power of exfoliation, and my face looked a little brighter. My skin looks quite refreshed, and I haven't had to wear heavy foundation since I started the using this. My nails no longer get lured by protruding blackheads on the side of my nose either. My skin just feels more even, less bumpy.

Before I continue to ramble, let me just break it down into points

1) Effective in providing soft skin. The first time I used it, my face immediately felt soft and clean. The prominent blackheads were vibrated and exfoliated. My nose instantly looked better.

2) Although the instructions state to use the pad once. I was able to get up to three good, sudsy uses out of the medicated pads. Sometimes, I would just put a little of my soap on the fourth time and it worked well.

3) The eraser's small and roundish size (roughly about the size of an American silver dollar) facilitates easier maneuvering around the face's curves. I didn't have problems getting this into the corners of my nose. Also, the hourglass shape made it easy for me to hold. Plus, this can travel easily.

4) The vibration (I really hope this doesn't attract interesting ads) is effective in preventing me from scrubbing my face too forcefully. See, here is where the Buff Puff reference is useful. As mentioned before, I am pretty sure I was too harsh on my skin when scrubbing with the Buf Puf. In this case, the Eraser's vibration does all of the work for me, so I really just have to move the mini-machine lightly in circular motions around my face. It does help to prevent overexertion.

5) You really can use either side. The pad does work up a lather regardless of what side you use. The unintentional side is softer than the intended side. so if you find the intended side to rough, you can turn the pad over.

6) The pad sticks really well to the attachment head, even after several uses.

7) No battery replacement as of yet, and I am still on the initial packet of medicated pads. It has been about two months.

1) The price: It ranges from $16 to $20. The starter kit comes with the vibrating machine, AA battery, 20 medicated pads. Even though the kit comes with all of this, I still think it is a little too much to pay, especially when Neutrogena has the Wave, and it is cheaper and probably does the same thing (note: I have not tried the Wave. I am just assuming). Here is the other thing, I wouldn't be surprised if the Wave pads and the Blackhead Eraser pads can be placed on either attachment head. So if you have the Wave, you would always just try the C&C medicated pads. Now, you could get a coupon from the C&C website, but you have to register. The refill pads range from $6 to $7 per pack.

2) As mentioned in the "yays," this product does leave the face smooth, but it doesn't truly "erase" blackheads. A salicylic treatment after washing the face or the Biore pore strips is more effective at actually eliminating deeper blackheads. This exfoliant works very nicely for superficial blackheads, but the 1% salicylic acid isn't going to do much when it is quickly washes off.

3) Disposable pads are wasteful.

Rating: 3.0-3.5ish out of 5 (I like that it exfoliates without peeling my face. I like how bright and clean my face has looked. However, this doesn't totally eradicate blackheads. I also don't like the price of the starter kit. You could get the Wave and save money, but I don't know how well the Wave works. With all of this being said, I will continue to use, and I will buy the replacement pads because even though it doesn't dig deep to get rid of the blackheads, it still brightens my face and I don't have to wear heavy makeup to cover up unevenness because I no longer of unevenness.)

Bottom line: I don't regret the purchase, but as a reviewer, I don't want you to feel like you have to invest the $20. This is a nice product, but there are alternatives. This is more of a "nice to have," rather than a "must have." BTW, I do remove my makeup before I wash my face with this.

I'm gonna model for Clean and Clear
It looks like it hurts, but I am just winking.

C&C Blackhead Eraser in action

All clean and clear
All clean. See the pretty glow?


JennBee said...

I do like this for exfoliating and smoothing, but like you said, it doesn't eliminate blackheads. It makes them look smaller temporarily, I think, but that's about it. 2% salicylic acid that's washed off doesn't do much, unfortunately.

I don't recommend the Biore pore strips either, though - very harsh on your skin, unfortunately!

Stephanie said...

good review, I've always wondered about this since it looks gimmicky.

Scarlett said...

Very interesting product--and totally gets me with the "Buff Puff" likeness!!! Thanks!
And cute pics! :)

Recessionista! said...

This is an incredibly helpful review! Love it, T! :) Thank you so much! I'm putting it in my weekly roundup.

PS: Love the new look around here, too! xo

mooosley said...

Thanks so much for this review!! I think I'm with you on the price, though. Maybe I'd splurge if I could combine a good sale with a coupon, but otherwise I think $20 is too much.

T said...

I am glad this review could help. Anything I can do to help save money!

Thanks for mentioning me, R!
BTW, still testing out the Garnier hairspray. So far, I have a smile on my face.

Elaine said...

T, Another item I am attracted to I'm really glad for your review, I might look at the Wave. I have "bad" skin so I'm curious if it is harsh on the skin? What did you think?

T said...

Elaine, what do you mean by "bad" skin? There are many exfoliants on the market that cater to different skin types.

I have been researching the Wave, and there have been mixed reviews. i have read that it really didn't feel like it was exfoliating, it stopped working, and so forth. However, there are other reviews that rave about it. So I can't recommend it with confidence. As far as other exfoliants, let me think back on my previous experiences, and I will get back to you.