Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Sandy Fazili, Esq.
The Clearasil Lawsuit is an active lawsuit
See If You Qualify

Clearasil Lawsuit Overview

Clearasil is a popular skincare brand with a line of products designed to treat acne. Clearasil may be used by itself or, in some cases, in combination with other treatments. Clearasil products come in creams, face washes, and cleansing pads that contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, triclosan, and salicylic acid. 

While benzoyl peroxide may not immediately seem like a dangerous ingredient, more and more benzoyl peroxide products are testing positive for benzene, a known carcinogen. Previously, benzene in sunscreens and other products was thought to come from contaminated ingredients. Now, scientists are linking the cancer-causing agent to the benzoyl peroxide itself. As a result, individuals who used benzoyl peroxide products like Clearasil may be at risk of developing a serious medical illness because of their exposure. If eligible, victims may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturers responsible.

Clearasil Lawsuit – 2024 Update

Breaking news continues to develop regarding the presence of benzene in Clearasil and other popular skincare products. Attorneys are reviewing cases of benzene exposure to determine if individuals may be entitled to compensation through an exposure lawsuit. 

Keep in mind: research has established a connection between benzoyl peroxide and benzene. Benzoyl peroxide can degrade and form benzene. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a lifetime exposure of 0.4 ppb of benzene in the air can increase your risk of cancer. 

March 14, 2024 – Study Finds Benzene Exposure Risk With Unopened Benzoyl Peroxide Products

Researchers have identified “substantial concerns about the safety of BPO products currently on the market, which appear to form benzene, a known human carcinogen and environmental hazard.” In a recent study, all benzoyl peroxide samples tested positive for the carcinogen and levels went up when applied to the body or when sitting at shelf-life temperatures. As the levels went up, they exceeded the current United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limit of 2 ppm.

The study also found Benzene in the environment around unopened benzoyl peroxide products. So products like Clearasil with benzoyl peroxide could present the risk of benzene exposure just by sitting on your shelf. The risk goes up with different environmental conditions. For example, if the benzoyl peroxide product was left in a hot car, it could end up exceeding limits by over 1,000 times. 

March 6, 2024 – U.S. Lab Reports Finding Benzene in Clearasil Acne Products

A United States laboratory dedicated to pharmaceutical quality assurance, Valisure, reported that it found high levels of benzene in acne products, including Clearasil, Clinique by Estee Lauder, and Target’s Up & Up brand. After this finding, Valisure petitioned the FDA to recall affected products, pursue an investigation, and update their industry guidance to address benzene in these consumer goods. 

December 2023 – FDA Warns About the Risk of Benzene in Certain Drugs 

In December of 2023, the FDA issued an alert to drug manufacturers regarding the risk of benzene contamination in certain medications. It emphasized the need to conduct proper testing of drugs to ensure they’re free of contamination and within standards. 

October 2021-February 2022 – Deodorants, Shampoos, and Other Products Recalled for Benzene

After benzene was discovered in sun care products and hand sanitizer, the FDA had to issue a series of warnings and recalls for products like deodorant, dry shampoo, dry conditioner, and antifungal treatments because they contained benzene. 

March 2021-October 2021 – FDA Issues Warnings Regarding Hand Sanitizers With Benzene 

Consumers relied heavily on hand sanitizer through 2020 and 2021 during the coronavirus pandemic. However, throughout 2021, the FDA added more and more products and manufacturers to its list of hand sanitizers consumers should not use because of the risk of benzene exposure. 

May 2021 – Benzene Found In Sunscreen and After-Sun Care Products

In May of 2021, Valisure tested 294 batches of sun care products from 69 companies and found that 27% of them contained detectable levels of benzene. Some samples exceeded the FDA’s concentration limit by up to 3 times. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states that exposure to benzene can be through inhalation, skin absorption, skin contact, eye contact, or ingestion. The affected skin products included mineral and chemical gels, sprays, and lotions used for sun protection and sun aftercare. 

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What Is Clearasil Benzoyl Peroxide and How Does It Work?

Benzoyl peroxide (brand name: Acnecide) is a key ingredient in Clearasil products that treat mild to moderate acne. It has antiseptic properties, decreasing the amount of acne-causing germs and bacteria on the surface of your skin. It delivers oxygen to your pores to kill bacteria, while causing the skin to dry out and peel, getting rid of dead skin cells, oil, bacteria, and germs that can get trapped and clog your pores. 

Benzoyl peroxide is most commonly found in topical skincare products, allowing users to apply the ingredient directly to their skin and problem areas. It can be used for inflammatory acne, cystic acne, whiteheads, blackheads, and potentially to reduce acne scars (though research is still limited). 

Benzoyl peroxide can be found in concentrations of 2.5%, 5%, or 10%. Typically, higher concentrations are used to treat more severe cases of acne with 10% benzoyl peroxide acne treatments often labeled as “maximum strength.”

Ingredients in Clearasil Benzoyl Peroxide Products

Clearasil benzoyl peroxide products contain a range of inactive ingredients that vary based on the type of product. Typically, the main active ingredient is benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Ingredients in Clearasil products can include: 

Active ingredients:

  • Benzoyl peroxide 
  • Salicylic acid 

Inactive Ingredients:

  • Aluminum Hydroxide 
  • Ammonium Hydroxide
  • Arginine
  • Bentonite
  • Benzoic Acid
  • Benzyl Alcohol
  • Carbomer
  • Cetyl Alcohol
  • Dimethicone
  • Gluconolactone
  • Glyceryl Stearate
  • Glycerin
  • Isopropyl Myristate 
  • Magnesium Aluminum Silicate
  • Methylparaben
  • PEG-12
  • PEG-40 Stearate
  • PEG-100 Stearate
  • Potassium Hydroxide 
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Propylparaben
  • Sorbic Acid
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Water

Clearasil Acne Products Containing Benzoyl Peroxide

Some Clearasil products contain benzoyl peroxide, which is now linked to benzene exposure. Currently, the two available Clearasil benzoyl peroxide products include: 

  • Clearasil Rapid Rescue Spot Treatment Cream
  • Clearasil Stubborn Acne 5-in-1 Spot Treatment Cream

Both products contain 10% benzoyl peroxide.

Benzene Linked to Cancer in Clearasil Benzoyl Peroxide Products

Valisure found that benzoyl peroxide acne treatments, including Clearasil products, are unstable and form benzene. The lab analyzed 175 acne treatment products, 99 of which contained benzoyl peroxide and 76 of which contained other ingredients like salicylic acid. Findings included: 

  • Of the 76 non-benzoyl peroxide products, all had undetectable or <2 ppm levels of benzene. 
  • Of the 99 benzoyl peroxide products, 94 contained benzene.
  • Large amounts of benzene can leak from the product and contaminate the surrounding air. 
  • Higher temperatures increase the development of benzene. 
  • Under some testing circumstances, such as placing the product in a vehicle, benzene levels reached about 1,270 times the EPA threshold. 
  • The higher the levels of benzene, the higher the carcinogenic risk of benzene exposure. 

Because of these findings, Valisure issued a Citizen Petition regarding benzoyl peroxide acne products. They requested that the Commissioner of Food and Drugs “issue a regulation, revise industry guidance, and request a recall and suspend sales of benzoyl peroxide from the US market” with additional recommendations specific to their findings. 

Valisure emphasized the need to take action to protect the public and help prevent the risk of exposure to benzene, which can cause cancer with an especially high risk once the acne products are susceptible to high temperatures.

Health Risks and Side Effects of Clearasil Benzoyl Peroxide Products

Clearasil benzoyl peroxide products can cause: 

  • Blisters
  • Burning and stinging skin irritation
  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing 
  • Dizziness
  • Dry, peeling, or red skin 
  • Fainting
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fatigue 
  • Hives 
  • Increased sun sensitivity
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Skin changes
  • Swelling of eyes, face, lips, tongue, and skin 
  • Throat tightness 
  • Trouble breathing 

If you experience any adverse health reactions from using such acne products, you should stop use and contact a healthcare professional. Some symptoms are more severe than others and risks may increase with long-term exposure to the ingredient.

Benzene Exposure Symptoms and Side Effects

Clearasil benzoyl peroxide products can put consumers at risk of benzene exposure with a range of potential side effects and health problems

Inhaling benzene can lead to: 

  • Confusion
  • Death (at high concentrations) 
  • Dizziness 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Headaches 
  • Irregular or fast heart rate 
  • Tremors 
  • Unconsciousness 

Consuming benzene can lead to: 

  • Convulsions
  • Dizziness
  • Death (at high concentrations)
  • Irregular or fast heart rate 
  • Sleepiness
  • Stomach irritation
  • Vomiting

Effects of long-term benzene exposure (more than one year) can include: 

  • Bone marrow damage
  • Cancer, including leukemia 
  • Decreased levels of red blood cells and anemia
  • Excessive bleeding 
  • Irregular menstrual periods 
  • Lowered immune response and increased risk of infection  

Studies have indicated an increased risk of the following cancers with benzene exposure: 

  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) 
  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
  • Multiple myeloma 
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Clearasil Recalls and Discontinued Acne Products

As of mid-March 2024, Clearasil products had not yet been recalled due to benzene. They issued a statement defending the safety of their products when stored appropriately, despite the evidence presented in recent studies. This leaves consumers at risk who are still purchasing and using Clearasil acne products that contain benzoyl peroxide. Valisure petitioned for the FDA to take action, recall the affected products, and start an investigation.

The risk applies to all benzoyl peroxide products including those from Proactiv, Clinique, Up & Up, Walgreens, PanOxyl, and more. Products can pose a heightened risk for higher concentrations, such as with the 10% in Clearasil products.

Clearasil Manufacturer: Reckitt Benckiser

Reckitt Benckiser is the manufacturer of Clearasil products. As consumers face health concerns related to benzene exposure from benzoyl peroxide acne products, they seek to hold the manufacturers responsible for their wrongful exposure. Manufacturers may be found negligent for knowing the risks of benzene and continuing to sell these products without warning consumers of the risk. As a result, anyone who used benzoyl peroxide products and developed benzene-related health concerns may be able to file a lawsuit against manufacturers like Reckitt Benckiser.

Concerns grow as more and more research emerges regarding benzene in these products but manufacturers neglect to issue a statement, warning, or recall to help protect consumers. Another manufacturer under fire is Taro Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Proactiv products. Taro Pharmaceuticals is now facing a class action complaint from claimants who used their acne products unaware of the risk of benzene.

Eligibility Criteria to File a Clearasil Lawsuit

Due to the widespread use of benzoyl peroxide products, millions could be at risk of benzene-related health issues, including cancer. You may qualify for a Clearasil lawsuit if you:

  1. Used Clearasil benzoyl peroxide acne treatments.
  2. Developed cancer or another health condition related to benzene exposure from using these products. 

Two products of particular concern include Clearasil Rapid Rescue Spot Treatment Cream and Clearasil Stubborn Acne Control 5-in-1 Spot Treatment Cream. If you’ve used either product and developed health issues, contact an attorney today to determine your eligibility. 

Evidence to Collect to File a Benzoyl Peroxide Lawsuit

To file a Clearasil benzoyl peroxide lawsuit, you’ll need the following evidence: 

  • Proof of exposure: You will need to provide evidence that you were exposed to benzene, such as details about what benzoyl peroxide products you used and for how long, along with your purchase history. 
  • Proof of illness: You will also need to provide evidence that you developed an illness or injury related to benzene exposure, such as medical records. 

Documentation is crucial to establish a strong personal injury case. Provide your attorney with any documentation you have related to your use of benzoyl peroxide products, related health issues, and struggle to understand the implications of using such products, such as the lack of warnings on your product’s packaging.

This infographic lists the eligibility criteria for a Clearasil benzoyl peroxide lawsuit and the best evidence in a Clearasil claim.

How to File a Clearasil Lawsuit

To file a Clearasil lawsuit, you typically must complete the following steps: 

  1. Contact an experienced attorney to evaluate your case and determine your eligibility. 
  2. Gather the appropriate evidence needed to prove you were exposed to benzene and developed a related condition. 
  3. Provide your attorney with any requested documentation so they can prepare and file your case with the appropriate court. 
  4. Ensure you’re available as your attorney negotiates to reach a settlement or advises you to go to trial. 
  5. Refer to your attorney’s guidance for how long it can take to receive compensation from a successful case. 

It’s important to choose an attorney with experience to improve your chances of a successful case. Our attorneys are dedicated to advocating on your behalf and using our expertise to get you the compensation you deserve as a result of your wrongful exposure. We will guide you through the entire process and ensure you understand what’s happening each step of the way.

Statute of Limitations for Clearasil Lawsuits

There are deadlines for filing Clearasil and other benzoyl peroxide lawsuits called statutes of limitations. These timelines vary from state to state and can average around three years from the time you develop a health condition related to your wrongful exposure. Some states have shorter or longer timelines, so it’s crucial to contact an attorney as soon as possible. You could become ineligible for compensation if you don’t meet the statute of limitation requirements.

Recoverable Damages in the Clearasil Lawsuit

Successful Clearasil lawsuits may result in a settlement or verdict that provides compensation for: 

  • Pain and suffering 
  • Lost wages 
  • Medical bills 
  • Treatment costs 

Individuals spent money on Clearasil products they didn’t realize were unsafe due to negligence from product manufacturers. Lawsuits can help hold manufacturers responsible for wrongful exposure and provide claimants with compensation for suffering that could have been prevented with safer manufacturer regulations, quicker action through recalls, or clearer warnings of potential risks.

Clearasil Lawsuit Settlement and Payout Amounts

The amount of compensation you can receive for a Clearasil lawsuit depends on the details of your case. Factors like long-term exposure, more serious illness, and strong evidence may result in higher payouts. Short-term exposure and weak evidence may result in smaller settlements. However, Clearasil and other chemical exposure lawsuits can result in payouts ranging from $100,000 to over $1 million. 

Contact us today for a consultation to determine your eligibility for compensation.

Contact a Clearasil Lawsuit Attorney Today

To ensure your best chances at a successful Clearasil case, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Pursue an attorney experienced in toxic exposure litigation for the right expertise and background needed to establish a strong case. At King Law, our attorneys have years of experience handling cases for victims who were exposed to harmful chemicals and have developed a related illness. We can confirm your eligibility and provide you with next steps.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Continue reading for answers to frequently asked questions about Clearasil lawsuits and the risks of benzoyl peroxide.

Is there a lawsuit against Clearasil?
Claimants are currently filing lawsuits against benzoyl peroxide acne product manufacturers, such as Clearasil and Proactiv.
Does Clearasil contain benzoyl peroxide?
Yes, some Clearasil products contain benzoyl peroxide including the Clearasil Rapid Rescue Spot Treatment Cream and Clearasil Stubborn Acne Control 5-in-1 Spot Treatment Cream.
How much benzoyl peroxide is in Clearasil?
Clearasil’s current benzoyl peroxide products contain 10% Clearasil, which includes the Clearasil Rapid Rescue Spot Treatment Cream and Clearasil Stubborn Acne Control 5-in-1 Spot Treatment Cream.
Which Clearasil acne products contain benzoyl peroxide?
The two current Clearasil products that contain benzoyl peroxide include Clearasil Rapid Rescue Spot Treatment Cream and Clearasil Stubborn Acne Control 5-in-1 Spot Treatment Cream.
Why is there a lawsuit against Clearasil?
Individuals are filing lawsuits against Clearasil manufacturers because they produced acne treatments that contained benzoyl peroxide, which is known to decompose into benzene. Despite this risk, manufacturers continued to produce and sell products that put consumers at risk of cancer and other serious illnesses.  
Is the Clearasil lawsuit legitimate?
Many lawsuits against Clearasil and other manufacturers of benzoyl peroxide acne treatments are legitimate and can result in compensation.
Does the demand for a Clearasil recall warrant a lawsuit?
Valisure’s petition for benzoyl peroxide product recalls can help substantiate lawsuits against manufacturers. The request for discontinuation and recall is directly correlated to studies proving the presence of benzene in these products.
How can I qualify for a Clearasil lawsuit?
You may qualify for a Clearasil lawsuit if you used one of their benzoyl peroxide products and developed benzene-related health conditions. You must have proof of your exposure and medical issues and need to file within the appropriate statute of limitations.
What do the lawsuits allege about Clearasil products?
Lawsuits regarding Clearasil products deem manufacturers responsible for selling benzoyl peroxide products despite knowing the risks of benzene. Manufacturers marketed these products without acknowledging the risks and have not actively recalled the affected treatments.
How do I file a Clearasil lawsuit?
To file a Clearasil lawsuit, individuals must contact an attorney. You will need to gather and provide evidence of your exposure to Clearasil benzoyl peroxide products and the development of a health problem. Your attorney will help build and file your case, potentially resulting in a settlement or verdict in your favor.