Clear Pore Serum
1.7 fl. oz. for $19.95
Category:Skin Care > Anti-Acne Products > BHA
Last Updated:10.01.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Exposed Skincare's Clear Pore Serum is medicated with 1% salicylic acid. Also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA for short, salicylic acid is an anti-acne superstar ingredient. Although we're off to a good start here, salicylic acid needs a specific pH range in order to function as an exfoliant. Unfortunately, this product's pH of 6.3 is well beyond the range research has shown is needed for effectiveness. That's a shame, as with two exceptions (explained below), this anti-acne BHA serum (which really has more of a gel texture) would be a good option for all skin types.

The exceptions are the inclusion of witch hazel distillate and fragrant basil oil. Both pose a risk of irritation and when used in the same product the risk is too great to overlook. Check out the superior options on our list of Best BHA Exfoliants.

  • Light, gel texture is easy to apply.
  • Contains some good plant-based anti-irritants.
  • Amount of witch hazel distillate is potentially irritating.
  • Contains fragrant basil oil which poses further risk of irritation.
  • The pH is far outside the range salicylic acid need to exfoliate.

The Exposed Clear Pore Serum is a lightweight gel that penetrates pores to control acne pimples and blackheads and rebalance your skin while you sleep. Natural extracts and antioxidants repair damaged skin for a healthy youthful look.


Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid (1.0%). Inactive Ingredients: Water, Hamamelis Virginiana Distillate (Witch Hazel), Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Polyquaternium-37, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Tricedeth-6, Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Basil Oil, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea), DL Panthenol, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol.

Brand Overview

Strengths: The company provides complete ingredient lists on its site; good cleanser; excellent benzoyl peroxide product; some fragrance-free options (and even the products with fragrant ingredients have minimal scent).

Weaknesses: The facial mask is likely to be very irritating and drying; the Clear Pore Serum cannot exfoliate skin due to its pH level; each kit the company sells contains at least one problematic product, so they’re not as much of a value as they may seem; merely average moisturizer.

Exposed Skincare is a small collection of anti-acne products sold individually or in pre-selected kits that are priced between $50–$95. Based in Seattle and having been around since 2002, it’s only recently that this line has come to our attention, perhaps due to their products being available on mega website Amazon.com. As a line dedicated to clear skin in a sea full of such options (almost all of which have their share of problems, which is hugely disappointing for anyone struggling with breakouts), it’s not surprising Exposed Skincare mentions their mix of “advanced science” with natural ingredients, thus appeasing two popular demands: Consumers want products that work, but most would prefer natural over synthetic ingredients, thinking that natural means better. As we’ve shown time and time again, that’s misguided thinking. There are good and bad natural ingredients as well as good and bad synthetic ingredients. We’re glad that Exposed Skincare utilizes the best from both groups (well, most of the time they do…)

The company’s products are said to be developed by a collaboration between dermatologists, cosmetologists, naturopaths, and chemists, further reinforcing the science + nature angle, which Exposed maintains is what makes their line different (and better) than the rest. Although this anti-acne line has a couple of standout products, just like most lines aimed at those with acne-prone skin, there are more disappointments than great products. This is not a “one and done” line, nor is it a line whose kits we’d encourage you to order.

The issue with the kits is twofold: They cost a lot less than ordering each product individually BUT you also have to take everything in the kit, which means you’re paying for some products whose formulas won’t help acne-prone skin and may, in fact, make it worse! If you’re curious about this line, steer clear of the value-priced kits and instead select individual products we’ve rated well. Of course, you can also skip this line entirely, as despite some good products, it’s not as revolutionary or different as the company would like you to believe.

For more information about Exposed Skincare, call (866) 404-7656 or visit www.exposedskincare.com

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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