Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide

Speedy, powerful 5% benzoyl peroxide goes after acne-causing bacteria and redness in a flash. Kick breakouts to the curb—self-confidence is moving in.
Item #: 611
  • Acne Breakouts
  • For All Skin Types
  • Effective on blemishes, yet gentle on skin

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

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Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide

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Customer Ratings:

83 out of 100
(Based on 89 Reviews)
« Prev Page of 4 Next »
  1. Jennifer S.
    Reviewed on Friday, November 22, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Love the new formula
    • I really love this product; never before had I found a benzoyl peroxide product that went on smoothly enough to apply makeup over! I've been using this product in its various guises for several years now and been very happy with it. And the newest formulation has an awesome texture! It feels smoother and more like a lotion; previous iterations always had a slight (very slight) grittiness to them. I'll never be acne-free (I'm 40), but this and BHA have given me the best skin of my life.

  2. Rebecca K.
    Reviewed on Saturday, November 02, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Very Effective
    • This 5% BP is very strong stuff and very effective if your skin can tolerate it. This is the strongest BP I have ever used and although very effective on acne it is too harsh on my skin when I put it a very thin layer all over my face. I used the 2.5% BP as well and that was just as effective but I didn't have the issues using it all over my face that I had with the 5%. This is just too strong for me. My brother ( who also has oily skin) loves the 5% and has experienced no issues with it at all.

  3. Erica B.
    Reviewed on Thursday, September 19, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great Product!
    • Best benzoyl peroxide product I have tried! It goes on smooth and is non-irritating..just make sure you let your face dry completely for about 30 minutes before you smooth it on and a very thin layer is all you need! Love it! I have acne prone skin - cystic type acne- and this keeps it clear along with the Paulas choice bha liquid 2%!

  4. Jay C.
    Reviewed on Saturday, September 14, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Gentle and Effective
    • I normally am not a fan of benzoyl peroxide on my skin. I find it very drying. But used sparingly as a spot treatment I find this formula gentle and effective!

  5. Rosey T
    Reviewed on Monday, September 09, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Quick results
    • I don't have a face covered in acne but what I have is very angry and sticks out a LOT. I picked up the trial size of the 5% and try to use it 1-2 times a day after cleansing. After the first use, I noticed it drying out my acne and my skin seemed more consistent which is nice after having bad skin from over-plucking and big pores. The more I use it the more my acne seems to disappear, even the leftover acne marks from a few months back are fading away. I'm ordering the Full Size as I type this!

  6. Tracey T.
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 01, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    1st time in 30 years I can use a mere 5% benzoyl peroxide
    • I've been using benzoyl peroxide since I was ~16, back when it was an Rx. I'd used Clean & Clear's 10% formula for the last 20 years. I've tried downgrading to their 5%, but my skin didn't react kindly, producing more breakouts without the 10% level. With some hesitation, I tried Paula's 5% formula and was surprised that my skin liked it. It's far less irritating, my flakes are fewer, and I'm able to incorporate some retinoids into my skin care now. Thanks, Paula — again! :-D

  7. Cynthia W.
    Reviewed on Friday, August 23, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    I stand corrected
    • I tried this product years ago, liked it, but was able to find 5% BP OTC and went with that for convenience. Now it is hard to find a good 5% BP OTC, so I returned to PC. I was scared off by the laureth-4, as in other brand names, it has caused my skin to become very irritated. I learned that you can't just look at one ingredient but the entire formulation. I've used this for two weeks now and am very impressed. It is so silky to apply and my pores look clear. PC, I'm your fan!

  8. Olga C.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, June 26, 2013
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    too strong
    • This formula is way too strong for me. I will try switching to 2.5% It does a good job clearing up my acne though.

  9. Naomi W.
    Reviewed on Thursday, June 06, 2013
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Not for me I guess
    • While this did work to begin with it seemed to stop working one day (my second tube) and I had the worst break out in a long time. With my most recent order I received the regualr strength full kit in a sample size and I used that bp and it seems to be clearing up very quickly - although I did get the anit aging skin hydrator as well so possibly the combination of the two....must be something in it that irritated me too much

  10. Susie C.
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 14, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best Ever Benzoyl Peroxide
    • I am 99.9% positive that there isn't another benzoyl peroxide that can touch this one. I've tried other benzoyl peroxide products (Mainly when I've needed something to tie me over until the Paula's Choice shipment arrives--usually within 2-3 days) and the others leave streaks/are drying. In contrast, this is thin, feels great and goes on smoothly. My skin stays clear, even, and smooth when I use this product faithfully. I've been using this for 10 years and probably will forever!

  11. JORDAN K.
    Reviewed on Sunday, February 24, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    2 years and I still love it!
    • I used to use the clear system, but my skin has improved so much in the last few years (thanks to Paula), that i switched to using other Paula products but still include this 5% Ben. Pero. and it keeps my skin clear and occasional breakouts short and very mild. Traveled once without it and I missed it soooo much, I love this product. Not sticky or burning like other brands of acne lotion. I have fair combination skin, and am in my 20s, for me this has worked great and I highly recommend.

  12. Gordon N.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, February 12, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Works great, but not for me
    • I chatted with a Paulas choice rep who recommended this product along with many others, so i ordered it. I put it on at nightime and woke up to a sunburnt looking and feeling face. While it did away with almost all of my acne, and dramatically reduced it, i cannot bear the pain i feel from the product and the red pigmentation. I rate this product a 5/5 because it did what i expected it too, took care of my pimples quickly and effectively, but i guess I'm just too sensitive...probably should have tried the 2.5%. Oh well, all in all good product!!!

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, February 18, 2013
    Thank you for your review, and we are sorry to learn of your experience! Some find antibacterial products like benzoyl peroxide sensitizing, which may the the result of the stronger concentration of the Extra Strength. We encourage you to contact our Customer Care team for help in finding an alternative and/or processing a credit for your product.
    —Admin
  13. HUI T.
    Reviewed on Monday, January 21, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Happy with this product
    • This product works! I have bad breakouts and it does make the acne go away faster.

  14. Tammy S.
    Reviewed on Monday, January 14, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    My favorite Benzoyl Peroxide product ever
    • This silky lotion feels great on the skin, is not irritating at all, works well even under makeup, and is the most effective over-the-counter Benzoyl Peroxide treatment I've ever used. It doesn't replace prescription acne treatments, but you won't find anything better without a prescription.

  15. sam
    Reviewed on Sunday, December 09, 2012
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Blah!
    • I have been using Paula's Choice for three years now and it has always done good for my skin. This new formula has made me break out really bad! Don't buy it! 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. Breakouts are hormone related so it is possible you may have already have a breakout about to appear or also depends on what else you may be using. Please contact customer care so that we may offer you an in house credit for the product and analyze your routine.

  16. ROBBIN S.
    Reviewed on Thursday, December 06, 2012
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Best Paula' s Choice product by far
    • I have been using Paula's Choice products off and on for years. I have read her books and agree with most of her theories about skin care and ACNE treatment in particular. I am 42 years old and have suffered from mild to moderate acne since I started puberty! I have tried pretty much every prescription and non-prescription product out there and I have been on Accutane twice. I have very oily, sensitive skin and I have never had a completely clear face. After trying many things, I have finally resolved that the most important product I can use on a regular basis is benzoyl peroxide. I use Paula's Skin Balancing Cleanser morning and night and I use Paula's 5% BP every morning after cleansing. I use Tazorac .05% cream at night. I can't say enough good things about the 5% BP. It has powerful Benzoyl peroxide in it, yet it is in a light gentle gel that soothes my skin as it disinfects. It is truly like a moisturizer, but it has very effective acne medicine packed inside of it. It also works almost like a mattifying lotion for me. If I don't use it, my skin gets more oily throughout the day. I have tried all sorts of BP lotions and potions from other companies, both prescription and non-prescription, and Paula's product is by the far the best. The thing that makes it unique is that it is very effective on acne without over-drying the skin. I only use moisturizer around my eyes and mouth after I use Paula's BP....I don't need it anywhere else. Now that I have said all the good things about the BP, I will tell you about some other products I have used by Paula. The Balancing Cleanser is also very nice. It is gentle, yet effective, and it is fragrance-free, which is important for my sensitive skin (and allergy prone nose). I used to find that the consistency would change as I got to the end of the large bottle, but it seems that they have corrected this problem. I just finished a large bottle and it is still the right consistency. I just ordered another large bottle of the cleanser and the 5% BP tube last night. Two products that I have found very disappointing are the Skin Balancing Toner and the Barely There Sheer Matte Tint. I read reviews about the toner for months before I broke down and tried it. It claims to reduce oiliness, condition your skin, and reduce pore appearance. I do not find that it does any of these things! I do find, however, that it leaves a funny residue on my face that I am sure is clogging my pores. I would have returned it, but I think it was on sale when I got it, and the shipping charge to send it back is not worth the trip to the post office. The Barely There Tint was equally disappointing. I LOVE the idea of having a sunscreen and tint in one lightweight product, but it does not work for me! The coverage is almost undetectable (meaning I don't feel it is evening out my skin tone at all) and the feel is greasy. I can also tell you that each time I use it, I find some new pimples on the areas I have used it. Most specifically, I tried it again the other day and just put it on around my nose. Sure enough, the next day, I had several pimples on my nose (which I hardly ever get). Anyway, I was very disappointed with that product. Finally, I have and love the BHA Gel 2% and the AHA gel 8%. I use these once or twice a week in the evening. They do a great job of smoothing my skin and reducing pore size and oiliness. Over and over again, I have tried to use both of these products on different occasions as a more permanent part of my skin care routine. Every time I do, my skin overreacts to them. If I use them on a daily basis, my skin gets irritated and I begin to get bumps all over my face. I guess my skin is too sensitive for daily use, but can benefit from occasional deep exfoliation. I have been meaning to write these reviews for a long time. I wanted to share what I have experienced with these products in case it could help someone else who has suffered with acne like I have. Overall, I love Paula's philosophy and the care she puts in developing her products. I also think she knows more about skin care than any other person, dermatologist, etc. She does an extraordinary job with research and her books are very helpful....especially The Beauty Bible and Don't Go to the Cosmetic Counter Without Me. Thanks Paula! Robbin Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review! Please contact customer care so that we may help with the products that did not work well for you so that we may send other options to try instead.

  17. Lara
    Reviewed on Sunday, November 25, 2012
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    So jealous!!!
    • I was shocked when my package arrived. Shipping took only two days. Wow.I tried to use this clearing treatment but my skin immediately reacted to the product. I felt a burning sensation and had to wash it off.I tried it the following evening and the same thing happened again. I simply cannot use this. The product vanishes into the skin and doesn't leave a shine. I should have ordered the 2.5% instead. I am going to rate this product as a 4 based on the quantity given, the packaging, the texture and Paula's Customer Service. Phone order was quick and easy. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your feedback. We do wish this product had produced better results for you. We are happy to send you a complimentary tube of the CLEAR Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment which may be a better option for you. If you have any questions, or need further assistance please contact customer care and we are happy to help!

  18. ira
    Reviewed on Saturday, November 10, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    wonderful product
    • This is such an amazing product for me, I get few zits here and there I think 5% is just the right amount that works for me, it kills/dries out my zits in a day or overnight. I've been using generic 10% BP and it only made my acne worse. I am in my 30s and this product made me so happy I couldn't believe how well it fights zits.

  19. Sukhi
    Reviewed on Monday, October 08, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    WONDERFUL PRODUCT!
    • This is one of the best products I have ever used. I have acne-prone, oily combo, and intolerant skin. I just apply this overnight, and the next morning I see a difference in my skin.

  20. Daria
    Reviewed on Monday, October 08, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • Thanks a lot, Paula!!! I don't know how I lived without this product before! It helped me so quickly, I had a problem with dark spots and acne for some years. I didn't know what to do. I use this Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment for a week. I have absolutely CLEAN skin!!! My friends like my skin too:) I'm so happy!!! Happy girl from Russia.

  21. Shawndra
    Reviewed on Monday, October 01, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Can't live without!
    • This is one Paula's Choice product I can't live without. I have always been prone to breakouts - and my skin is so light that they leave marks for a long time. It's one of the first products I ordered from Paula's Choice - and one that has made me so happy because of the great results for my skin. It has cut down my breakouts drastically. It shortens the duration of my breakouts. It doesn't dry out my skin. It is even great as a spot treatment, sometimes I put on a bit extra at night on problem areas and it really helps. It is one product that I always have a backup on because of the way it has helped my skin. Thank you, Paula, for formulating products that REALLY help our skin and are still affordable!

  22. Trish
    Reviewed on Friday, September 28, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great for adult acne
    • I've had great results using this treatment along with the Clear regular strength toner and extra strength treatment. It helps dry up pimples without irritating my skin. It hasn't worked on blackheads, but those aren't my main concern. The product is more expensive than drugstore benzoyl peroxide treatments, but a little goes a long way. Even using this twice daily, I expect it will take me 3 months to use up the whole tube.

  23. Mary
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 18, 2012
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Ineffective
    • I've used Paula's Choice products off and on for 10 years now with varying degrees of success. This is absolutely my least favorite I've tried and by far the most ineffective. For the past few months I've been using it with the Normalizing Cleanser and Targeted Acne Relief Toner. At first I thought my skin was just adjusting to the new regime because I was breaking out even a bit more than I was before I started using them. This still continued to happen (much to my chagrin). I didn't know if all of the products were to blame, or just one of them. Through a lot of trial and error I've come to the conclusion that it is this product that isn't coming close to pulling it's weight in fighting my stubborn acne. I've replaced it with an awesome 10% Benzoyl Peroxide over-the-counter product Paula recommends and I'm seeing results! Finally! I've very thankful for the above mentioned cleanser and toner because I LOVE them both so very much. I guess if you have mild acne this product might work. For me it was a why bother product. It is like it was void of acne fighting ingredients. I definitely won't reorder this product, but will continue to use some of PC's other items. 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 concerns they are trying to address. We are happy to hear another product has worked better! We will leave an in house credit for the purchase price of this product on your account which may be used on a future phone order and suggest you consider trying our new BHA9 for stubborn blemishes and clogged pores. It will work great in your routine! Please contact customer care with any questions.

  24. Cassandra
    Reviewed on Saturday, August 11, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Works Like it says!
    • I have been using this product for the past 5 years and I can tell you it works great! I have used alot of other products and it works but then comes back with alot more then what you started off with. I have used Pauala's Choice for every single problem and I can't tell you how happy I am with the results and extremely recommend everyone to try this product and you won't regret it!

  25. Jennica
    Reviewed on Monday, August 06, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great all over and spot treatment
    • It took me a couple tries with PC products to find the right combination for me - but finally I've found that just using PC's CLEAR line is effective for tackling my acne. I wanted off the pills and prescription creams - and thankfully the CLEAR line is terrific at ridding my skin of two decades of embarrassing acne. The face wash isn't too drying and removes most of my makeup. What the cleanser doesn't remove, the toner (normal strength) does, while feeling incredibly refreshing. Finally, the industrial strength treatment cream tackles everything else. I use all over my face as well as a spot treatment.My encountering these products wouldn't be possible without PC's outstanding and informed customer service agents and their stellar exchange policy. I've found in PC a company with products and people I can rely on.

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What makes this product unique?
Persistent or stubborn acne has met its match thanks to Paula's Choice Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment. This 5% benzoyl peroxide solution works instantly to eliminate acne-causing bacteria to stop blemishes in their tracks.

Unlike most benzoyl peroxide-based acne products, Paula's Choice Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment contains no harsh or irritating ingredients that can make acne worse, such as alcohol, menthol, or camphor.

Paula's Choice Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment also contains soothing anti-irritants to help skin heal and reduce red marks caused by blemishes. It has a super-light lotion texture that sets to a matte finish, and can be worn under makeup.

This product is 100% fragrance- and colorant-free.

Who is this product for?
Paula's Choice Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment works great for all skin types struggling with stubborn, persistent acne. It is suitable for men or women, teens and adults alike.

Sources to support the claims made for Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment

Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, February 2010, pages 712–718; Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, February 2010, pages 131–136; Dermatologic Clinics, January 2009, pages 33–42; British Journal of Dermatology, August 2008, pages 480–481; and Dermatology Therapy, March-April 2008, pages 86–95; Dermatologic Surgery, July 2005, pages 873–880; Lancet, December 2004, pages 21882195; Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology, September-October 2000, pages 292–296; and www.naturaldatabase.com.

Key Ingredients: benzoyl peroxide, allantoin, bisabolol

Product Ingredients:

Active: Benzoyl Peroxide 5% (anti-bacterial agent) Inactive: Water, Propylene Glycol (slip agent/penetration enhancer), Bisabolol, Allantoin (anti-irritants), Acrylates C10-30 Alkyl Acrylates Crosspolymer (film-forming/suspending agent), Hydroxyethylcellulose (thickener), Sodium Citrate (stabilizer), Laureth-4 (emulsifier), Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol (preservatives), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

DIRECTIONS: After cleansing with Paula's Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser and exfoliating with Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution, cover the affected area with a thin layer of Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment 1–3 times a day. Because some people may experience dryness when they first start using a product with benzoyl peroxide, it may be necessary to reduce application to once every other day or, if twice daily application proves to be too much, reduce application to once daily, morning or evening.

For best results, do not use hydroquinone (the active ingredient in our RESIST Triple-Action Dark Spot Eraser Lotion & Gel) and benzoyl peroxide (the active ingredient in our Clear Skin Clearing Treatments) at the same time. A temporary dark staining of the skin may occur. If accidentally used together, wash the skin with soap and water to remove the staining.

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.

Can the Clear Extra Strength Treatment be used with prescription tretinoin/retinoid products?

Research has shown that benzoyl peroxide can, in fact, be applied at the same time with tretinoin/retinoid prescription products such as Retin-A, Renova, Tazorac, or their generic counterparts (Source: The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, October 2010, pages 26-28).

Can I use the Clear Daily Skin Clearing Treatments with Benzoyl Peroxide at the same time as a product that contains retinol? 

Great question! This is an often misunderstood subject—we’ve read and heard it claimed that retinol and benzoyl peroxide cannot be used together for fear they will adversely affect each other’s stability.  However, what is often missing from these claims is any cited corroborative studies, and with good reason, because the scientific and medical research actually says the two ingredients can complement each other—which is good to know, whether you’re dealing with acne alone or the unwelcome mix of wrinkles plus breakouts! (Cutis 2009 & 2012, Journal of Drugs and Dermatology 2013).

Why doesn't Paula's Choice offer a 10% strength benzoyl peroxide?

Paula feels that once you have tried a 2.5% and then a 5% benzoyl peroxide product and determined that these did not give you results, the next sensible step is to look into a prescription topical antibiotic for blemishes such as Benzamycin or Clindamycin. Trying a 10% benzoyl peroxide may prove effective for some, but the kickback from the irritation and excessive dryness that can occur at this level may not be worth it when there are prescription products that can be more effective without the strong side effects. In any event, truly stubborn blemishes almost always require the care and supervision of a competent dermatologist.

What happened to your Extra Strength Blemish Fighting Solution?

Nothing happened except a name change! The same formula that's worked so well for thousands of Paula's Choice customers struggling with acne has been renamed and added to our Clear line. Paula wanted to reposition this product as part of her streamlined, 3-step approach for achieving Clear skin. Other than the name, Clear Extra Strength Treatment Daily Skin Clearing Treatment is identical to our former Extra Strength Blemish Fighting Treatment.

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