CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution With 2% Salicylic Acid

I can see clearly. Keep stubborn breakouts and red marks at bay with this maximum pore-penetrating formula. Silky liquid leaves skin refreshed, clarified.
Item #: 621
  • Acne Breakouts, Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Redness
  • For All Skin Types
  • Salicylic acid fights acne-causing bacteria

For best results use with the complete CLEAR Anti-Acne Kit

PLEASE NOTE: Do not use if you are allergic to aspirin or its derivatives.

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CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution With 2% Salicylic Acid

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Customer Ratings:

78 out of 100
(Based on 104 Reviews)
« Prev Page of 5 Next »
  1. Olga C.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, June 26, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Miracle Product!
    • This product has completely transformed my skin. My face has been breaking out really bad, i think because I stopped taking my birth control pills. I've tried all products available including expensive brands like Murad. This Exfoliating Solution completely cleared up my breakouts in less than a week. The only complaint is the greasy formula. I have to use a tissue to absorb extra residue. I'm going to try a regular strength formula, maybe its going to be less greasy.

  2. DIANA V.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, June 12, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Lovely product.
    • I tried this and the regular formula and this is better. Works nicely and does not irritate my skin.

  3. Ashley. A
    Reviewed on Sunday, May 26, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    I love it but my skin disagrees.
    • I would rate this product a 5 star but unfortunately my skin disagrees. After using this for a short amount of time my skin was amazing, my pores were visibly smaller but then all of sudden it started drying out my skin and my whole face went blazing red for half an hour. I will keep trying to use it once every two days at night with a super moisturizer and I hope that helps because I really love this product.

  4. Fang
    Reviewed on Friday, May 24, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Can't live without
    • I've been using CLEAR Extra since launch & can't live without it ever since! I've quite oily skin with frequent breakouts (not acne) & whiteheads. This fantastic product keeps them away! I've also ditched my powder-foundation because it miraculously makes my face looks better w/o makeup! Yes, indeed it leaves a sticky residue but will eventually dry up after few hours then I'll get glowing complexion. I use it day & night daily, it was never harsh on me.

  5. Jessica B.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, May 22, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Fantastic Product
    • I love love LOVE the Clear Blemish Control set! It's been the only thing I've ever used that's gotten my acne under control. So why only four stars on the toner? The bottle! Compared to the cleanser and the skin clearing treatment, I go through the toner about twice as fast and I feel like I am being extremely frugal with it when I do use it. Kento's comment about the bottle leaking is also an issue I've encountered. I put some toner in a small travel bottle to prevent leaks when I travel.

  6. Carol D.
    Reviewed on Monday, May 06, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Eliminates pores!
    • I love this product! It took a few weeks to see the results, but now I am blackhead free and can barely see my pores. I often forget to wear foundation because my skin looks great without it.

  7. M T
    Reviewed on Sunday, April 07, 2013
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    too harsh for my skin
    • I've used the regular strength in the past and was happy with that. Not sure why but my acne was getting out of control again and the customer rep (who was nice and helpful) suggested giving the extra strength a try. This formula caused my skin to be flaky, red and irritated. It took me a while to realize it was this extra strength formula. Also the smell is strong - like nail polish.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, April 08, 2013
    Thank you for your review, and it is unfortunate this wasn't a fit for you! It may have been frequency or use, or that 5% benzoyl peroxide is too potent for your needs, either way we will be happy to help with a refund or exchange. Just contact Customer Care for assistance.
    —Admin
  8. Lianne H.
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 17, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    I wish I had tried it sooner...
    • I love it! I put off trying the extra strength version of this exfoliant because I was afraid it would irritate my sensitive acne-prone skin. I did have some dryness and irritation at first UNTIL I stopped using benzoyl peroxide with it. I now get better results with just the extra strength exfoliant than I was getting using the regular strength exfoliant plus benzoyl peroxide. It may not work for everyone, but I'm glad I gave it a try.

  9. KENTO N.
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 10, 2013
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    It's good but...
    • I've been using this product for over a year and I can see this product does its job like when I use the cotton I can see my old skin has been pealed off but texture can be really irritating because its stick and itching. I use this product when I don't have break out but I avoid it and skip it to benzoyl when I have pimples, which I question its purpose. Another problem is that it leaks from the bottle. I travel twice or 3 times with this and learnt that ziplock is a must to contain this.

  10. VICKY C.
    Reviewed on Monday, February 11, 2013
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Wish it worked
    • I bought this because I have heard so many great things about this particular product. I even exchanged a few emails with customer service regarding what works best for my skin and this was recommended. I have been using this with no results. I have always had hormonal break outs and this has done nothing with my skin. I use it faithfully every morning and night and my skin is still breaking out. Also, it leaves a bit if a sticky residue after using it. Quite disappointed with this product.

  11. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Tuesday, February 05, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Won't be without it!
    • I absolutely will not be without this product. I use it nightly followed by a light moisterizer and my prescription retinoidd product. I get compliments frequently on my skin and recommend it to everyone who will listen. It is strong so if you don't have tough skin, start with the regular strength and work up to the extra strength if you need it. This stuff works - without fail! LOVE IT!

  12. Jessica H.
    Reviewed on Friday, January 25, 2013
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Too strong for me
    • I gave this 2 stars because I found it too strong for my skin. I tried without any other products except the normalizing cleanser and it made my skin sting and flake. I tried it a few times with the same results. It was even worse when I tried it with the benzoyl peroxide treatment. To be fair, I do live in a dry climate and this product would probably be just fine for someone else, just not for me. I've loved the regular strength toner and would prefer going back to that.

  13. ANDREW
    Reviewed on Sunday, January 13, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Prefer the regular
    • The samples I used of this were ok. I much prefer the regular strength version however due to the texture (seems more fluid/thin) and the fact that it left no tackiness/residue where I thought this product did. I am sure this product would clear acne wonderfully though, just as the regular strength has done for me.

  14. Lina
    Reviewed on Tuesday, January 01, 2013
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Dry, flaky mess
    • I purchased this product upon the recommendation of a friend who used to have acne and this product, along with the Paula's Choice BP cleared her up completely. I really don't mind the oily residue this toner leaves behind, for I figured it would help prevent dryness. Boy was I wrong. After using it 1 night I woke up to a flaky dry mess on my face. I gave my skin about 4-5 days to heal and tried again and the result was just as bad the next morning. Thinking my skin was just getting used to this I gave it another shot a few days later after my face healed and here I am with a flaky disaster once again. I was very surprised at this result, for I do not have sensitive skin and no product, not even BP, glycolic acid, etc. has ever given me this kind of result. It did however reduce inflammation in active blemishes and unclogged pores but not without this super drying flaking side effect. It's really a shame since I had such high hopes of this working. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear of your experience with this kit. While this response is not typical, we do understand that each customer is uniquely different in how they will respond to products or ingredients. This along with everyday environmental factors can sometimes play a part in how someone will ultimately respond to a product or combination of products. A BHA in a lotion form will most likely work better for you but it would help to know what else you were using in your routine. Please contact customer care so that we may help with your routine.

  15. TRACY B.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, December 18, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Works Great
    • I have been using this product for quite some time with great results and just realized that I use it in a totally different way than most so I thought I would share. I put this product in a misting bottle, after my shower I simply mist it all over my face and leave it to settle in. It looks very wet but soaks in nicely by the time I am ready to put my makeup on. I use a whole lot less product and it seems to be just as effective. My skin before this product was in constant break out mode. I use several products to combat this problem but this one seems to be the most important.

  16. June
    Reviewed on Sunday, December 02, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Really does what they claim
    • I am 21 year old, oily combination skin, woman who suffers from mild to moderate acne. I discontinued visiting the dermatologist for about 6 months, because I can't afford the price of all those LASER and cosmetic procedures that they encouraged me to do. Moreover, I have to read a lot of books and sleep late at night as I am a university student, the acne awfully went back on my face. So I started out to develop skin care routines from Paula's advice from videos in youtube and Paula's Choice website. I purchased this a couple of months a go, along with cleanser from Moisture Boost line, RESIST Toner, Serum and Anti-aging Clear Skin Hydrator. I also use Benzac AC(Benzoyl peroxide 2.5%) and Clindamycin 1%. At first, my skin tended to break out more but I patiently use it and finally I got my blemishes under control. I still experience hormonal induced break outs during the period but it's physiological and not that much. I can't use both day and night because my skin will get really dry and flaky so I use it at night time only switching alternately with RESIST Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA. My skin is so great and very smooth. So, I wish those who buy this understand that treating acne must take time, and you have to be patient.

  17. Lara
    Reviewed on Thursday, November 29, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Potion in a Blue Bottle!!!
    • What a fantastic product. -Oily skin? Blackheads? Clogged pores? Having to blot your makeup??? Say BYE BYE to all of the above and Hello FLAWLESS!!!! Give this BHA a trial for about two weeks. I promise you'll be calling it the potion in a blue bottle.Thank you Paula for all your hard work!!! My skin has never been this clear!

  18. Reg
    Reviewed on Friday, November 23, 2012
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Leaks
    • This toner is great at preventing new blemishes for adult acne. But I'm not so sure of getting rid of blackheads. Been using for months and haven't noticed a difference. The package is also horrible. I have traveller twice with it and each time it has leaked. Just recently, it leaked all over and now it's completely empty. I'm not sure how to travel with this toner. I'm hoping this new improved packaging is leakproof on the plane. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear you have not noticed better results. The amount of time it will take to see improvement really can vary from person to person and ultimately depends on the extent of the condition or concern they are trying to address as well has how they are using the products. Some consumers will notice results promptly while others will notice results over the course of a few weeks or months. Blackheads can be very stubborn and for some never completely go away. Using a product like this, being gentle to the skin, having manual extraction, and possibly adding in a prescription retinoid would be the most to minimize larger pores and blackheads. Please contact customer care so that we may analyze your routine to offer you the most pore reducing ingredients. We will send out the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant in the meantime which uses a bit different packaging to try and see how you like it.

  19. Brianna
    Reviewed on Saturday, November 17, 2012
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Worked great at first...
    • My skin reacted very well to this for months but the last few times I used it my skin stung for almost an hour, even after rinsing it off my face. I don't know what changed (hormones maybe? I'm only 23) but I can't use it anymore. It's a shame because I really liked it! Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We do wish you could have experienced better results with this product and encourage you to contact customer care to discuss your skin type and skin care routine. We are happy to make recommendations and arrange for samples to be sent out to you.

  20. Amy
    Reviewed on Wednesday, October 31, 2012
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Previous Packaging Leaks
    • I love this toner itself. It has helped immensely with my large pores and adult acne, but I have traveled with it on two occasions now and the bottle leaks almost all of the contents. I had to reorder after traveling this summer because the bottle leaked all over my luggage. Just traveled again with the replacement bottle and thankfully I put it in its own sealed bag, because it leaked almost all of the contents again. I am hoping that the new packaging will be less prone to leaking. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your feedback. The packaging has been improved because of the feedback we have gotten from customers like you. We do pass all feedback along regarding packaging and formulas as well. We are happy to send you a complimentary bottle of the new and improved packaging. If you have any questions please contact customer care, we are always happy to help.

  21. Julie
    Reviewed on Tuesday, October 16, 2012
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Really?
    • I have used this product every morning and every night for the past month. It leaves behind this sticky feeling. I have started getting pimples on my chin (which I have not had before) and along my hairline (again, never had pimples there before!!) Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We do wish this product could have worked for you. We will be sure to pass your comments along to Paula and her Product Development Manager, and encourage you to contact us so we can discuss other options. In the meantime we have issued you an in-house credit for the product and do not require you to send it back. You can use your credit by calling customer care to place your next Paula's Choice order. If you have any questions or concerns please let us know. We are happy to help!

  22. Trish
    Reviewed on Friday, September 28, 2012
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Feels greasy
    • I could not get over the greasy, oily residue this toner leaves behind. I felt that it made it harder for other products to soak into my skin. Unfortunately, by the time I got around to trying this product out, 60 days had already gone by, so it was too late to return it. I have since ordered the regular strength Clear toner and like it much better. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear this product felt too heavy for you but are happy to hear the regular strength has worked well! Please contact customer care with any questions or concerns.

  23. Gloria
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 25, 2012
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Try It Out
    • I have used this product for 2 and a half months religiously. This product works on little pimples, but not on any major problem areas and it definitely did nothing for my blackheads on my nose and chin. My pores are still enlarged and my skin is dry, therefore producing more oil. It is causing dry patches and my post acne red marks are still there. This is with use twice a day. I wouldn't repurchase and I regret not returning the product and trying something else. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear the product has not worked well for you. There are factors that can keep BHA from improving skin, such as using products not appropriate for your skin type (heavy moisturizers,) or those containing irritating ingredients (bar soaps, fragrances,) or not following a consistent skin care routine. You may consider adding in our newest BHA9 for areas of that have not responded well to the extra strength BHA. We may offer you an in house credit for the product and also discuss your routine. Please contact customer care by chat, email, or over the phone.

  24. duc
    Reviewed on Friday, September 14, 2012
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    drying & oily
    • I have some stubborn blackheads that seem to never go away. I decided to give this toner a try upon the recommendation of a representative at PC, however it didn't work for me. I was expecting this to be like a normal toner, however upon application it seemed to leave a sticky film on my skin that never seemed to sink in. Not only that it is extremely drying, and i don't even have dry skin. I really wanted it to work for me, however due to the greasiness and dryness, I am not able to use this product. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear the product did not produce favorable results for you. The truth is that skin care is tricky. Each person will potentially respond different to products and ingredients. Please contact customer care so that we may discuss your skin type and suggest the best routine of products to try based on what you are looking to achieve and offer you an in house credit for the product.

  25. J
    Reviewed on Friday, September 14, 2012
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Not for me...
    • This was really strange in that it quickly broke me out after use! I used the Regular strength product before, but didn't really see any improvement, so decided to try the extra strength. The extra strength had an almost greasy/oily feeling to it, unlike the waterlike texture of regular - I would advise people to stick to the regular. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear the product has not worked well for you. There are factors that can keep BHA from improving skin, such as using products not appropriate for your skin type (heavy moisturizers,) or those containing irritating ingredients (bar soaps, fragrances,) or not following a consistent skin care routine. It would be best to try the extra strength a bit longer to see how your skin ultimately responds. You may also consider adding in our newest BHA9 for areas of that have not responded well to the extra strength BHA. We may offer you an in house credit for the product and also discuss your routine. Please contact customer care by chat, email, or over the phone.

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What makes this product unique?
CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution provides an almost immediate reduction in blackheads, white bumps, and acne by unclogging pores and reducing inflammation with 2% salicylic acid.

Unlike most products designed for acne-prone skin, CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution doesn't use harsh, irritating ingredients such as alcohol, menthol, peppermint, or camphor that can make acne worse.

CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution is designed to penetrate deeper into the pore lining than our Regular Strength CLEAR exfoliant for fast, concentrated results on stubborn, more serious breakouts.

Ongoing use can guarantee significantly clearer, smoother, even-toned skin and can significantly reduce redness from acne lesions.

This product is 100% fragrance- and colorant-free with a pH range of 3.2-3.8.

Who is this product for?
This product is recommended for all skin types experiencing mild to moderate acne, stubborn blackheads, or white bumps. It is suitable for men or women, teens and adults alike.

NOTE: Those allergic to aspirin (acetylsalicylate) should not use products containing salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid).

Sources to support the claims made for CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution

International Immunopharmacology, August 2009, pages 1,126–1,130; Cutis, July 2009, pages 48–55; Chemical Research in Toxicology, January 2008, pages 53–69; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2007, pages 124-135; Journal of Cosmetic Science, November-December 2004, pages 519-531; Archives of Internal Medicine, July 2002, pages 1531–1532; Annals of Dermatology and Venereology, January 2002, pages 137–142; Archives of Dermatology, November 2000, pages 1390–1395; Dermatology, 1999, volume 199, number 1, pages 50–53; and Pain, January 1996, pages 71–82; Seminars in Dermatology, December 1990, pages 305–308.

Key Ingredients: salicylic acid, methylpropanediol, green tea

Product Ingredients:

Active: Salicylic Acid 2% Inactive: Water, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol (slip agents/penetration enhancers), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Extract (anti-irritant/antioxidant), Polysorbate-20 (solubolizing agent), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancer), Tetrasodium EDTA (chelating agent).

DIRECTIONS: Use twice daily. After cleansing with Paula's Choice CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser, soak a large cotton ball with CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution and gently stroke over face. Pay special attention to acne- and blackhead-prone areas. Do not rinse. Avoid contact with eyes, eyelids, and mucous membranes. If excessive dryness or peeling occurs, reduce application to once per day or once every other day.

Detailed instructions on how/when to apply your Paula's Choice products can be found in our How to Put Together Your Own Skin-Care Routine article.

How does CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution differ from Paula's regular BHA products?

CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution is actually identical to our longstanding, best-selling 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Liquid. The original product is so effective at keeping acne under control that Paula decided to add this formula to her CLEAR line so it is a distinct part of this 3-step routine for those struggling with blemishes. If you're already using our 2% BHA Liquid, you don't need to switch to this product; either way, you're getting an exceptional product to help combat acne, blackheads, and whiteheads while creating smooth, healthy skin.

Why does CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution feel tacky and/or greasy on my face?

Most likely because you're using too much product. The average amount necessary for facial application is less than the size of a dime. The product is best applied in a thin layer, and has great spreading properties. The "greasy" feel can be attributed to the high levels of glycol in this product (glycol helps the BHA penetrate the surface layers of skin and also works as a water-binding agent). If you live in a humid, moist climate, this effect will be more pronounced and, if too much product is used, can create a "greasy" feel on the skin. Many customers have remarked how silky-soft their skin is as a result of CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution, and that is the result of the humectants working with the BHA to exfoliate and hydrate the skin. To eliminate the tacky feeling, press a tissue gently onto skin after the exfoliant has been absorbed. This removes any residual product while not affecting efficacy.

What's the difference between the Regular and Extra Strength CLEAR exfoliants? Both contain 2% salicylic acid!

The difference between the Regular and Extra Strength exfoliants is in the delivery systems and their textures. Both anti-acne exfoliants contain 2% salicylic acid but the Regular Strength has a nearly weightless feel on your skin and a pH of around 3.9, making it gentler on the skin. The Extra Strength version's formula can penetrate deeper into the pore and has a pH of 3.5. It is designed for those with more stubborn or persistent breakouts. Both exfoliants are highly effective options as part of a routine for clear skin; you may need to experiment with both to see which works best for your skin type. It is also fine to use both: Apply one in the morning and the other at night.

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