Clear Pore Serum

$19.95 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Skin Care > Anti-Acne Products > BHA
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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.

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 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

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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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