ClearBalm FAQs

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Everything you need to know about ClearBalm.

ClearBalm: The Basics

Formulated by BalmLabs’ Chief Dermatologist, Dr. Robin Schaffran, using naturally derived extracts and plant-based ingredients, our 3-Step System is an award-winning acne solution designed for adult acne-prone skin. It cleanses and clarifies the skin without the use of harsh ingredients that can be irritating and overly drying. The system is non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) and gentle enough for all skin types. Dr. Schaffran recommends using the system for at least 30 days for optimal results.

Ready to meet the three steps? Here they are:

Step 1: Gentle Foam Cleanser
Step 2: Power Elixir
Step 3: Serum Hydrator

BALM’s products are fragrance-free, vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, PEG-free, and contain no artificial dyes — we like to say they have everything you need, and nothing you don’t!

The 3-Step System loves your skin in three different ways: cleansing, exfoliation, and hydration. Each product in the system is there for a reason, with purposeful formulation in mind. While each one is effective on its own, for best results, use all three products together.

The Gentle Foam Cleanser effectively eliminates pore-clogging oil, dirt and make-up, leaving skin refreshed and nourished, not stripped.

The Power Elixir is a liquid exfoliant that gently revitalizes uneven skin tone and texture, while reducing the appearance of fine lines.

The Serum Hydrator provides lightweight hydration while soothing irritation, calming redness and smoothing fine lines.

ClearBalm is designed for adult acne-prone skin, but is suitable for all adult skin types.

ClearBalm is effective for all types of acne, from hormonal to cystic to nodular.

We do, however, suggest that you consult with a dermatologist or a physician for advanced cases of hormonal, cystic or nodular acne. Send us an email at if you’re not sure.

Yes! ClearBalm was formulated exclusively looking to ingredients that have been proven to be safe and effective on all skin tones, including melanin-rich skin tones.

We recommend using ClearBalm twice daily — in the morning and in the evening — to produce optimal results.

We believe in purposeful formation, meaning our products contain everything you need, and nothing that you don’t. ClearBalm uses six plant-derived actives to banish breakouts and nourish the skin:

Hyaluronic acid: Locks in moisture.
Squalane: Balances oil production.
Niacinamide: Reduces the appearance of redness.
Natural AHAs: Smoothes and brightens.
Bixa Orellana seed extract: Banishes blemishes.
Full-spectrum hemp-derived CBD: Reduces inflammation.

To learn more about our actives and how they work, visit our blog post here.

Gentle Foam Cleanser
: Apply 1-2 pumps in the morning and evening using upward circular motions. The amount of product should be about the size of a silver dollar. Rinse with warm water.

Power Elixir: Apply a nickel-sized amount to your face in the morning and evening using your fingertips or a cotton round, avoiding the eye area. Allow to dry completely before moving on to Step 3.

Serum Hydrator: A little goes a long way with our serum. Apply sparingly (think the size of a dime) to your face in the morning and evening using your fingertips. Allow to dry before applying moisturizer, sunscreen, or makeup.

ClearBalm was designed to be all you need, but its gentle formula means it plays well with others. For more details on how ClearBalm integrates with other products, head to our blog post here.

Two of our products contain Hemp-derived CBD. (but zero THC!) Some people are comfortable using CBD while pregnant or breastfeeding, and some aren’t. We believe it is a personal choice between you and your doctor, and we recommend speaking with your OBGYN before starting to use BALM products.

ClearBalm is designed for adult acne-prone skin. However, it can be effective for teenage skin as well, particularly for individuals who have highly sensitive or dry skin.

As our Power Elixir and Serum Hydrator contain hemp-derived CBD (an antioxidant that has been proven to reduce redness), it really is a personal choice of whether or not our products are right for you.

It does! ClearBalm is designed for adult skin, no matter the gender. In fact, we have plenty of customers who let us know just how much their partners, brothers, and sons swear by the 3-Step System for their acne needs.

Everyone’s skin is different and the time may vary, but generally, it takes at least 30 days of daily use to start seeing results from ClearBalm.

Our chief dermatologist, Dr. Schaffran, stresses the importance of sticking with a consistent routine, as far too many people give up on products before they have a chance to begin working.

ClearBalm: The Nitty Gritty

Well, yes.

As we age, our skin becomes more dry and sensitive than it was when we were younger. Teenage acne solutions tend to be packed with ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, which eliminate excess oil on the skin, creating a drying effect. When we’re young, our skin can better handle such ingredients. But when we have breakouts as adults, our previous teenage acne solutions tend to be less effective and overly irritating because our skin has become more sensitive.

ClearBalm is the answer to the frustrations of so many people dealing with adult acne. Formulated with adult skin in mind, it addresses sensitive skin without the use of harsh, drying ingredients. Your skin has grown up — it’s time for your skincare to grow up too!

We don’t use harsh actives like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid in any of our products. These two common acne ingredients work by drying up excess sebum (oil), with the unfortunate side effect of drying out your skin in the process.

We’ve formulated groundbreaking products using six plant-powered actives that work together to banish breakouts while hydrating and locking in moisture. Dry skin no more!

Yes, ClearBalm is suitable for all skin types. For skin that does not have acne, the 3-Step System can help to brighten and smooth your complexion with the help of our six plant-powered actives.

High-five for clear skin! We suggest continuing with consistent daily use of ClearBalm to maintain results, however feel free to dial it down to once per day if you’d like to test out less frequent use.

It’s tough trying new products when you’ve been disappointed in the past. When it comes to minimizing breakouts, having a consistent product routine and giving it enough time to work is key.

A few things Dr. Robin Schaffran, BalmLabs’ Chief Dermatologist, recommends when starting a new routine:

- Use a fresh face towel daily to dry your face.

- Change your pillowcase every other day.

- Wash your hair often.

- If you wear a mask or facial covering, make sure you wash it daily.

- If you have naturally oily skin, use our Serum Hydrator sparingly, starting with once a day or as required on dry areas only during the initial phase.

- Most importantly, try not to touch your face during the day.

Our founder, Sarah, is in the same boat, and ClearBalm has been a game-changer for her. For those with naturally oily skin, we suggest you pare back the use of the Serum Hydrator for the initial phase of using the system. Using a very small amount once daily or as required on dry areas should do the trick.

An important fact about BALM’s Serum Hydrator is that, as the name suggests, it is a serum with hydrating properties, not a moisturizer.

What’s the difference?

A serum is a treatment product full of functional, active ingredients.

A moisturizer is simply a moisturizer. So, if you’re on the drier side, feel free to integrate an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer into your routine and apply it after our Serum Hydrator for extra hydration.

No, the Power Elixir does not cause increased photosensitivity. That being said, our 3-Step System does not contain any sun protection, and we recommend applying sunscreen every day after applying your Serum Hydrator. Click here to read Dr. Schaffran’s guide to picking the right sunscreen for acne-prone skin.

“Purging” – or breaking out – is not a common occurrence when using BalmLabs products. That said, purging has been found to occur in 2 – 3 % of people when introducing new acne treatments into their routine.

Ultimately, purging is truly a deep clean of your pores; the active ingredients may bring oil, dirt and debris up to the surface to reset the skin.

The most important thing to remember if you do experience purging is to try and push through it because it will indeed pass. The small percentage of people who have experienced some purging and pushed through it report that they end up with a renewed clear and radiant baseline.

One thing you can do that may prove helpful is to begin integrating your new products gradually.

Start with just the Gentle Foam Cleanser for the first 5 to 7 days, then add the Power Elixir for 4 to 5 days (using it once daily) followed by twice daily for another 4 to 5 days. Then introduce the Serum Hydrator sparingly (once daily for 4 to 5 days), then increase to twice daily.

We wouldn’t offer a 30-day purchase price guarantee if we didn’t believe it! Our consumer panel showed 9 out of 10 people saw improvements in their skin within the first 30 days. Of course, everyone is different, and you may find that you need a little bit longer to start seeing results.

If you happen to fall into that camp, reach out to Sarah at any time to chat about your progress. We’re always available to support you on your BALM journey.

Of course! While we do recommend consulting with a dermatologist or physician regarding treatment for these types of skin conditions, ClearBalm is gentle enough for dry, inflamed, or sensitive skin.

ClearBalm: The Good Stuff

No. We have never tested our products or ingredients (nor sought out third-party testing) on animals, and we never will.


We believe in purposeful formulation, meaning we include everything you need and nothing you don’t. If an ingredient does not serve a purpose, it’s not in our product. This is why ClearBalm is fragrance-free, PEG-free, paraben-free, and contains no artificial dyes.

Along with our purposeful formulation pillar, we also believe in purposeful, low-impact practices. Our bottles are made with up to 50% post-consumer recycled materials, and are recyclable after use. Our cartons are produced using wind power.

Our unit cartons and shipping materials contain no plastic and are recyclable. We are consistently working with our suppliers to find ways to lessen our footprint on an ongoing basis.