This may be the ultimate zit zapper; Just for kids


Clearasil says its new product line StayClear doesn't just clear up zits, it stops 'em before they start. Is this for real?

WHAT'S NOT NEW: StayClear's active ingredient, salicylic acid. It's great at fighting acne, but "it's been used to treat skin problems and used in many products for a century," says Albert Kligman, professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Salicylic acid works by keeping your pores clean so dead cells, oils and debris won't stick together to become blackheads and whiteheads. And it kills P.acnes, microscopic organisms that colonize hair follicles and cause acne.

WHAT'S NEW: StayClear's formulation, which deposits the salicylic acid directly in hair follicles and keeps it there about four hours, says Dr. Mary Gail Mercurio, a dermatologist who works with Clearasil. In other products, salicylic acid evaporates after a few minutes on the skin. Clearasil has done clinical trials comparing StayClear's salicylic acid formulation with other major brands', and StayClear beats them by reducing acne lesions twice as well. (Plus, it keeps pores clean so acne can't form.)

Kligman says, "I believe their research." He adds that he knows of other products with salicylic acid that don't work as effectively.

Tech city

Kids from the nation's biggest city are also the biggest users of the Net. According to a new survey by America Online, 12- to 17-year-olds in New York City spend more time online than other young Web heads in any other city. Right behind the Big Apple are Philadelphia, the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Sarasota area, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Washington, Detroit, Chicago and Seattle. Also, the survey found that the older you are, the more time you're likely to spend pointing and clicking. Twelve- to 17-year-olds reported averaging about six to seven hours a week online, compared to the three to four hours a week that 2- to 11-year-olds spent surfing the Net.

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