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Clean & Clear

Is Clean & Clear a good brand for the Environment, for Animals and for People?

Clean & Clear is a skincare brand, originally developed by Revlon in the late 1950s and sold to Johnson & Johnson in 1991. Johnson & Johnson re-marketed and rebranded Clean & Clear to focus on acne in young people. Since then, Clean & Clear has remained popular anti-acne line with young British and American customers.

Unfortunately, due to the unethical activity of Clean & Clear’s parent corporation, Johnson & Johnson, this skincare brand has received a low Good Shopping Guide score, and does not appear very high up our Ethical Skincare Ratings Table!

We encourage all skincare brands to keep pushing for ethical excellence, always considering the Environment, Animals and People when making business decisions and creating, sourcing and selling beauty products. Beauty is a luxury, and therefore, there is no reason why beauty brands cannot strive for better standards of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Are there microbeads in Clean & Clear?

After criticism that microbeads are harmful to the Environment, to Animals and to People, Clean & Clear made the commitment to phase out all microbeads in its products by 2017. Find out more about the dangers of microbeads in this article from The Guardian.

Is Clean & Clear Cruelty-Free?

No. Clean & Clear is not Cruelty-Free. Although the Clean & Clear website claims that this brand does not test on animals, its statement does admit that some countries where Clean & Clear is sold does require animal testing before products can be sold in store. Clean & Clear’s statement is confusing and unclear, so we would recommend that consumers do not trust this brand until it has clarified if animals are experimented on in countries such as China, where animal testing is required by law.

Is Clean & Clear Vegan?

No. Clean & Clear is not certified-Vegan. Unfortuntely, due to an unclear and vague Animal Testing Policy, The Good Shopping Guide does not consider Clean & Clear to be Cruelty-Free and therefore this brand is not Vegan. Clean & Clear also includes animal by-products and products such as honey

Is Clean & Clear owned by Johnson & Johnson?

Yes, Clean & Clear is owned by the multinational pharmaceutical, medical devices and consumer goods corporation, Johnson & Johnson. During 2021, Johnson & Johnson generated $93.3 billion in global revenues.

The brands owned by Johnson & Johnson include many well-known prescription drugs and first aid products. The Band-Aid Brand line of bandages, Tylenol pharmaceuticals, Johnson’s Baby products, Neutrogena skin and beauty products, Clean & Clear face wash, and Acuvue contact lenses are just a few of its well-known consumer goods.

Is Johnson & Johnson a good company? Is Johnson & Johnson an ethical company?

As a hugely wealthy and prolific multinational corporation, Johnson & Johnson has a huge impact when it comes to the Environment, Animals and People.

Though The Good Shopping Guide was pleased to see a thorough and detailed Environmental Report from Johnson & Johnson, other criticisms and controversies about Clean & Clear’s parent company were not so encouraging.

Does Johnson & Johnson test on animals?

Yes. Clean & Clear’s parent corporation, Johnson & Johnson does conduct animal testing on some products.

Johnson & Johnson’s irresponsible pharmaceutical peddling to Indigenous People

According to the terms of a proposed settlement submitted in February 2022, the drug maker Johnson & Johnson and the distributors of opioids AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, and Cardinal Health will pay $590 million to Native American tribes. Although opioid overdose deaths have been on the rise nationwide, Native Americans and Alaska Natives have been disproportionately affected in recent years. More than 400 tribes are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. They claim that the opioid manufacturers and distributors are to blame for the opioid crisis in their communities and that as a result, they have had to pay more for health care, social assistance, child care, and other services.

The proposed settlement calls for $150 million to be paid over two years between the tribes and Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen. Johnson & Johnson asserted that their marketing and promotion of opioids was “appropriate and responsible” and that the proposed settlement does not constitute an admission of responsibility or wrongdoing. In the United States, the firm claims to never longer offer prescription opioids. NPR, February 20, 2022.

Is Johnson & Johnson baby powder safe?

The Johnson & Johnson baby powder scandal is infamous. With over 400 000 lawsuits filed against the multinational for making, selling and promoting a cancer-causing product, Johnson & Johnson has not yet admitted to any wrongdoing or that its mineral-based talc is dangerous. However, from 2023, Johnson & Johnson will stop the sales of this baby powder and will switch to a powder made from corn starch. Though Johnson & Johnson deny that these lawsuits have anything to do with this decision, critics maintain that this baby powder is still dangerous and carcinogenic.

According to a Reuters Special Report, Johnson & Johnson targeted marketing at overweight women and the Global Majority Ethnicities, even as worries about the potential carcinogen status of baby powder grew. J&J declared in February 2021 that it has put aside $3.9 billion to settle claims from users that asbestos-laced talc baby powder was to blame for their cancers.

How could Clean & Clear become a more ethical brand?

Because of the unethical activity of its parent corporation, Clean & Clear has a long way to go before it could be considered an ethical brand. Obtaining Organic and Vegan certification could be a good place to start. Johnson & Johnson should also consider how to make meaningful reparations to those whose lives have been irrevocably changed by products and pharmaceuticals sold by this corporation. Johnson & Johnson must be held to account.


Find out more about Clean & Clear on its website.

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  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Irresponsible Marketing


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


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