Still Breaking Out After 3 Months of ‘Clear Out’? You Could Have Closed Comedones.

There’s a reason why we have a moneyback guarantee on Clear Out.

The retinol-powered lotion is seriously effective at clearing clogged pores and keeping breakouts at bay. In fact, 98% of our customers see improvements in their skin after just one bottle – that's about three months of use.

But what about those of us who fall in the 2%?

If you see no difference despite continuously using Clear Out for three months, is it time to give up on it?

Not just yet!

It could be that you have closed comedones.

Closed come-uh-what?!

What Are Closed Comedones? 

At the root of all acne is a clogged pore, which happens when the hair follicles on your skin become blocked with oil and dead skin cells.  

A fancier, sciencier term for a clogged pore is comedo and the plural of it is comedones. 

There are two types of comedones:  

  • Open comedones are when the clogs pop out through the surface of the skin, forming dark-colored tips. That’s right, they’re what most of us know as blackheads!  
    Fun fact: The dark color is not a result of trapped dirt, but rather, of the melanin in dead skin cells oxidizing when exposed to air.  
  • Closed comedones are when the clogs stay under the skin, fill the hair follicles, and swell out to form small whitish or flesh-colored bumps. These are also known as whiteheads. 
    Fun fact: If you’re picturing white, pus-filled pimples, those are actually called pustules, not whiteheads. Real whiteheads are not red or inflamed, but they can become so! (more on this in our upcoming blog post) 

Do I Have Closed Comedones?  

Answer the questions below to help you identify if you have closed comedones: 

Does your skin feel rough and bumpy when you’re cleansing your face or applying products? 

If your answer is yes, are those bumps red and inflamed? 

If your answer is no, you most likely have closed comedones. 

I Have Closed Comedones! What Do I Do?  

The thing with closed comedones is that topical solutions (such as Clear Out) take time to work. This is because the clogs sit under your skin, which means products need to work extra hard to penetrate through.

But in the long run, retinol, which is a key ingredient in Clear Out, can help to not only clear off closed comedones, but prevent them from forming in the first place. 

For most acne treatments, we recommend committing to them for at least three months before deciding if they’re effective. If you have closed comedones, however, you may only notice changes after around five months when the stubborn and large clogs finally flush out. 

We understand the wait can be frustrating but we encourage you to be patient and stay consistent with your skincare routine so you can get through the full purge. 


Try this: Document your skin progress with selfies! Once a month, take photos of your face from the front, right, and left. Just make sure it’s not right before that time of the month 😉 While you may notice breakouts getting worse from the purge, you should also see smaller spots and fewer new ones around the five-to-six-month mark.  
Also, try not to stare in the mirror and obsess about every new zit and bump. Simply commit to your routine, take the selfies to track your monthly progress, and enjoy your life! 

Beyond committing to a nightly application of Clear Out, it helps to take note of the other products in your routine. Oily, heavy creams, makeup, and even hair products can be causing closed comedones. That’s why any acne-friendly routine should consist only of non-comedogenic products that will not clog pores.  

Real Reviews from Our Customers with Closed Comedones

“Clear Out is definitely helping – I’ve had many closed comedones for years and tried peels, antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, you name it. 

I did purge and still the larger comedones are purging but my skin texture is changing for the better and I haven’t touched any additional treatments in months. I look forward to seeing continued improvement!” – Caitlin F. 

“The process has been slow for me, but it seems to really be clearing out the closed comedones. I had some stubborn clogs that I could always see in some lights and they seem to be slowly disappearing one by one.” – Lisa P. 

“This was only my second month in using Clear Out and Lighten Up so I was going through the purge. It got rid of my main spots around my chin but I have purchased another set to get to the closed comedones and scarring. I really like the products. They are gentle on my skin, unlike other products which make my skin really red and dry. Now I am 5 months into using Clearly Basics and slowly my skin is clearing up. I feel happy I have a skin routine that works!” – Molly D.

Beyond committing to a nightly application of Clear Out, it helps to take note of the other products in your routine. Oily, heavy creams, makeup, and even hair products can be causing closed comedones. That’s why any acne-friendly routine should consist only of non-comedogenic products that will not clog pores.

Still not sure if you have closed comedones? Not seeing the results you were hoping for?

Let us know and we'll try our very best to help! Get in touch with us via Messenger chat or Instagram DM (@clearlybasics).

Disclaimer: This article should not be interpreted as personal medical advice. For medical-related matters, please consult your dermatologist.

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See what others have to say about Clearly Basics.

Based on 2549 reviews
Skin Type: Combination
All I can say is wow

Got all the acne products on a whim and they did not disappoint! I have noticed such a difference in the texture of my skin. I have tried so many acne products and felt like nothing was working. The clearly basics range has lasted me soooooo long and I saw results in just 3 weeks! Really happy with my experience, I would highly recommend those with acne to try this brand. Love it!

Power Duo*
Chuan Ling T.

Adult acne is a new thing for me- I’ve had clear skin growing up so the outbreaks were very stressful! I did everything and anything I could, from watching YouTube reviews, trying out cult products to professional advice, but nothing quite did the job. So how the power duo panned out for me was definitely a pleasant (-ly hugeeee) surprise. I do acknowledge that my acne challenges are not on the extremely severe end, but I must say, emotionally the positive outcome of using both the power duo encouraged me to wear my skin as it is again. It’s really worthwhile trying as it is also a no fuss duo; hence the currently gild of my staple skincare products.

Calm Down*
Kimberly C.

The entire Clearly Basics product line is the only one that has cleared my skin. I tried any product you can think of including doctor prescribed medication and ointment and nothing worked. After having acne for over 15 years I am so happy to have clear, radiant skin!

I have maybe seen some improvement but nothing amazing yet. Have used the product as instructed, religiously. Will try another bottle and stick to it for a few more months.

I love all of clearly basics! They made my confidence rise because I finally feel comfortable without makeup.
This cleanser is amazing 👏
My skin doesn't feel tight afterwards and now I don't get that mid day shine near as bad.

I love everything from clearly basics! It totally changed my life by clearing my acne. Now they have a new sunscreen and it's great.
It doesn't have a smell or leave your face white or greasy. Best of all it doesn't cause breakouts!

The products are just amazing!! My results in 4 months of using clear out extra strength!!

Clear Out*
Sophie C.

Love this product 👏🏽

Works really well! Enjoy using this face wash, never stings or dries out my acne prone skin !

Clear Out*
Emma S.

Worked really well in quite a short amount of time! I now see long lasting results, my skin is healthy and my acne is finally under control! The first product I have tried which works and is actually affordable!

I struggled with lots of painful cystic acne so tried the clear out product. Found by the end of the first bottle a lot of the smaller spots were not coming back and the more painful larger ones were coming back less inflamed. I was happy with the results from the first bottle so I ordered another, this is halfway through the second bottle and can see most of the acne on my cheeks has gone! I still get cystic acne in the T area but it is much less painful than before. Definitely recommend, but takes time to see real results.

Clearly Basics has been an absolute life saver! Not an over night miracle, be patient and stick with it, amazing products

I saw a huge reduction in new pimples and any new pimples scars healed and disappeared a lot quicker

Power Duo*
Anne F.

I have struggled with acne since I was 12 years old. All through my teenage and adult life my skin has been unpredictable and the breakouts have been constant and so frustrating. I’ve tried everything you could imagine but nothing worked reliably. Clear Out and lighten up have been a total game changer for me and I couldn’t be happier with the results

Acne Care Kit*
Sinead C.

I started using clearly basics at the beginning of the year. I have struggled with acne most of my adult life and when I saw a video from a customer on instagram, everything she described is exactly what I had done…had hormonal acne on chin and jaw line in particular. I had been to the doctor, was referred to a dermatologist and had been on medication, tried all sorts of creams and gels with no success.

I cannot believe this actually worked. I would say I saw results within the first month and probably took around 4 months so really clear up. I have continued with using it and now only get the odd spot at that time of the month but use the calm down on it. It has given me my confidence back and now I’m working on reducing the scaring. I use clear out each evening, the TLC in the morning, lighten up twice a day (but that is a small bottle so doesn’t last long) and then have tried both the so fresh and balancing cleansers. For me it really worked so would highly recommend.

Tightens pores and brightens and smoothes skin. This was my first bottle but I will continue to purchase. I use day and night.

I already use CB balancing cleanser and clear out extra strength, two years ago my skin was spotty, blackheads, raw and very visible. I wondered if the TLC would make a difference in my routine but it has, a glow and radiance I didn’t expect. This is no filter I’ve just woke up. I turned 50 this year the clearly basics range is also an amazing anti ageing tool!

Power Duo*
Mamtha J.

Tried every product out there from proactiv to slurp! None worked, they infact aggravated the condition! Tried clearlybasics as last resort and oh boy it works! Worth every penny! First time in 20 years, stepped out without wearing base makeup! Never thought this day would come!

I suffered with acne for years, and when I finally learned to stop the acne I was left with red and brown scars and hyperpigmentation. But I started using the clearly basics Lighten up cream and Dark mark defends, followed by the moisturiser, and I saw a dramatic difference within days! My scars have lightened so much and most of them are gone. I find this moisturiser is also very hydrating but not greasy, it is absorbed into my skin effortlessly, and it wears beautifully under my makeup. I've now been using the products for 6 months and will continue to use it!

Power Duo*
Laura S.

This stuff changed my life!!!!
After reading the reviews I never thought it would work for me in the same way as it had for other people, as my skin was so bad and cystic. But after just a few months of using this and cutting down on dairy, my skin was 10 times better!
I’m still religiously using the Power Duo and don’t think I’ll ever stop 😊

Clear Out*
Leah N.

It's such a relief to finally have found something that works. I've had acne since I was around 11 and like most people, I tried so many different products and 'hacks' to try and get rid of the spots but nothing really helped.
I was hesitant to try clear out because of the price but I was reassured by the money back guarantee.
To be honest, the purging process they warn about was pretty severe for me. Mine lasted for the entire first bottle and I was so ready to give up. I contacted customer service and they offered me a refund or 50% off my next bottle, reassuring me it would be worth sticking with it. I agreed to persevere and I'm so glad I did! About half way through the next bottle I really noticed improvements and by the end, my skin was the clearest it had ever been. I've completely stopped having breakouts and only occasionally get a spot or two during my cycle. Overall my skin is smoother and I have much less redness and a more even skin tone. I keep using clear out nightly to maintain my nice new skin and I'll happily keep buying it knowing how well it works for me!

Clear Out*
Mandy R.

After a few weeks the results were already visible (right photo). Now the red spots are also less visible!!

Acne Care Kit*
Keiwing W.

My son has serious acene problem and the acene comes back when he stopped taking the anti- biotics. After trying the products, the acene starts to dry up. The result is amazing after one month. Now, trying to apply the product to lighten up the marks.

Calm Down*
Cara W.

This works amazing. As soon as you see a bump, put a small amount on. I’ve used many acne spot treatments and this is by far the best !!

Clear Out
Veronica Ilenya Ranieri

"My skin has changed in better after using these products, they are practical and are not aggressive towards the skin.
I was ashamed of going out in public because everyone was pointing out my acne and scars, but since I started using clearly basic, I found a new me. Thank you changing my life!!"

Individual results may vary

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