Clearista Retexturizing Gel ($70 for 4 oz.) is a patented gel purported to lock in moisture while jump-starting the skin's natural renewal processes. The formulation consists of surfactants and stabilizers designed to "smooth skin and restore its natural glow--all without causing damage or irritation. The net effect is immediate and lasting (24-48 hours) of complete retexturizing without any redness or down time."
I first got interested in Clearista when I read that the C.I.A. had invested in its maker, Skincential Sciences. I thought, okay, if the C.I.A. is interested, so am I!
I was fortunate enough to get to try it. Here's what I think . . .
The Pros: This product is probably the best exfoliator I have ever tried. It's a gel with tiny little spheres in it. You massage it in a circular motion for 30-60 seconds and rinse or wipe it off. What amazed me is that I truly see results within 30 seconds of rubbing it on my skin. After a single use, my worry lines look a little softer, and my skin is less dull and tired, and instead glowy. You can use this on any area of skin; it does great things for the face, but that's not all (e.g., one use makes my hands instantly look about 5 years younger for the next couple of days). This is the first product I've tried that has virtually immediately visible results.
The (Potential) Cons: Although the product itself is non-irritating and amazing in what it does, Clearista Retexturizing Gel does contain exfoliants, and for those of us with problematic skin conditions like lupus, sometimes that friction will be irritating even when the ingredients themselves are not. Occasionally, when my face is irritated, this causes me a little redness; I'm better off waiting to use it until my skin has calmed down. Although Clearista yields fast results, to maintain the fresh, glowy look, you would need to use it about every other day, because in my experience skin tends to start getting a little of its "dullness" back around then. The results are dramatic, but not highly cumulative if that makes sense.
Conclusion: Clearista is an exceptional product probably best reserved for times when skin is not inflamed or especially sensitive (alternately, you can use it on areas of skin that not inflamed). When/if your skin is able to tolerate a mild exfoliant, Clearista will give remarkable results, and I highly recommend it.