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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 salicylic acid acne 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:

80 out of 100
(Based on 119 Reviews)
« Prev Page of 5 Next »
  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Anat
    Reviewed on Thursday, August 30, 2012
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Thank goodness it works quickly!
    • I used the regular strength Clear system, and though I know everyone would argue the point with me, it really did make my skin much worse. I think it was able to exfoliate and bring my acne to the surface but was not strong enough to clear out the pores. After two months of feeling awful about my skin I switched to the extra strength toner (I decided to wait on starting the BP to avoid too much irritation at first) and it worked so quickly. My skin still isn't clear, but it's so much better than it was before. I felt the slick texture of the toner at first, but I don't notice it anymore. That's probably because I have extremely dry skin. I put a couple drops in my palm at a time and spread it on with my fingers to avoid losing product in a cotton pad, works well that way.

  17. Valerie
    Reviewed on Thursday, August 16, 2012
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    :/ HATE the residue
    • Purchased and LOVED the regular strength. Great for me. Thought I would love the extra strength thinking maybe it would dry me.. THIS STUFF IS GREASY!! I don't know what to do with it but can't use it on my face. First product that I have been disappointed in. I have loved everything else but this is terrible. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We suggest sticking with the CLEAR Regular Strength Targeted Acne Relief Toner as it feels like water on the skin and absorbs very fast. You want to make sure and apply a very thin layer of the extra strength formula on the skin or else it can feel a bit tacky. We will leave an in house credit for the product on your account which may be used on a future order. Please contact customer care with any questions, we are happy to help.

  18. Liepa
    Reviewed on Tuesday, August 07, 2012
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    like
    • I like this toner, but can I use it during the pregnancy or it can be harmful? Customer Care Response: Thank you for your feedback. Salicylic acid (BHA) is a superior exfoliant for skin but when used in high concentrations for professional peels it is considered a risk when you are pregnant. However, the small percentages used in our skin care (2% or lower) are considered safe. You can also considering using glycolic acid or lactic acid (AHA) exfoliants as an alternative during your pregnancy. If you have any questions please feel free to contact customer care. We are happy to help!

  19. MMMK
    Reviewed on Wednesday, July 18, 2012
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    oily
    • I feel bad writing this review because I think mI didn't give this product a chance. I bought some sample packs of this and for some reason I do not remember this toner being so OILY. The oiliness is so off putting for me that I can not use this on a regular basis. I also feel that this made my acne pimples more apparent than calming them down. I have seen multiple youtube videos that rave about this product so I would suggest that you should still buy it (at a discount if possible!) to see if it works for you. I for one will not buy this product again. My face doesn't feel clean OR refreshed when I use it Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We will send you samples of the CLEAR Targeted Acne Relief Exfoliating Toner in the regular strength which has a weightless feel on the skin to try instead. It feels like water on the skin and is our lightest BHA product. We have left an in house credit for the product on your account which may be used on a future phone order and will send samples of the regular strength to try. Please contact customer care with any questions.

  20. Shawn
    Reviewed on Sunday, July 15, 2012
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Likely effective, but too drying.
    • This product proved to be too drying for my combination skin, even with every other day use. On the plus side it did seem to reduce breakouts during the two weeks I used it. I suspect it would be a good product for those with outright oily skin. 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 product. Skin type also plays a huge part in finding the right type of exfoliant for you. We will send you out a bottle of the Clear Regular Strength Exfoliating Toner as this is not as strong as the Extra Strength, and likely will work better for you. We would also encourage you to contact customer care to discuss your routine and how you are using the products.

  21. Jenessa
    Reviewed on Wednesday, July 11, 2012
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Not a good fit....
    • Unfortunately, the toner wasn't effective on my skin. If anything, I was breaking out worse in places I typically never had, especially my forehead. About two weeks ago, I actually stopped using the toner and began just using the cleanser and treatment cream and my face has made drastic changes. So I would still recommend Paula Choice products-the toner just wasn't a good fit for me I guess. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear of your experience with this product. 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. For that reason, we have located your account information and applied an in house credit for the product which may be used on a future phone order. Please contact customer care with any questions.

  22. Sahnzi
    Reviewed on Thursday, July 05, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Life-Changing Product!
    • This product has truly transformed my complexion. I have always struggled with acne, and it seems like life before this product was a constant quest to find anything that would work for me. Immediately after trying this product my skin became incredibly smooth to the touch, and my acne cleared right up. Never before have I felt so comfortable in my own skin. The freedom to go without makeup is truly wonderful. Thank you so much for this wonderful product!

  23. Pera
    Reviewed on Saturday, June 30, 2012
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    A Greasy Mess
    • I love the Clear cleanser and benzoyl peroxide, and I thought I'd try the toner to get at the small bumps on my skin. I didn't like it at all. It's greasy, it made my skin feel like it was coated with Vaseline, and it seemed to create a barrier between my skin and the benzoyl peroxide. I have really oily skin and I need products that dry it out, and this one just made it feel slippery and clogged up. In fact the number of bumps on my face actually increased and they looked worse than before!Oh well, everyone's skin is different. This stuff just didn't do it for me. If I could make a suggestion, I would say to add an exfoliating scrub to the Clear line. That would work way better for me than the toner did. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We will send you samples of the CLEAR Targeted Acne Relief Exfoliating Toner in the regular strength which has a weightless feel on the skin to try instead. It feels like water on the skin and is our lightest BHA product. Scrubs are too irritating for the skin and can't exfoliate the pores like a BHA so this would be your best option to prevent any clogged pores. We have left an in house credit for the product on your account which may be used on a future phone order and will send samples of the regular strength to try. Please contact customer care with any questions.

  24. Katie
    Reviewed on Friday, June 22, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    This is the difference
    • After suffering from acne since my early teens, I finally, in my mid-40s have found a product that actually clears my skin and leaves it looking nearly flawless. I still have a few blackheads on my nose, but compared to the awful problems I had for decades, and the issues I've had with both prescription and non-prescription acne meds...I am so pleased with this. I use it in combo with the extra strength BP. Thank you, Paula!

  25. Tracy
    Reviewed on Friday, June 22, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best Product Ever
    • I love this product it has changed my skin for the better when nothing else could. Yes it goes on a bit slick but give it a few minuets and that will all sink in and be gone. I placed this in a misting bottle and just give my face two sprays and move it around with my fingers. This is the perfect amount.

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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 Skincare 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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