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. Laurel
    Reviewed on Friday, July 20, 2012
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Too harsh for my skin
    • This product was way too harsh on my skin. After applying it as a spot treatment at night, I'd wake up to bright red splotches where I put it on. Seems to help the acne, but not worth the burnt patches of skin. I wish I had bought the regular strength instead. 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. It would be best to try the regular strength version instead. We have left the purchase price of this product on your account which you may use on a future phone order. Please contact customer care with any questions.

  2. Carmen
    Reviewed on Thursday, July 19, 2012
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    great but read the directions
    • The product works great, but I kept wondering why my towels and pillow cases were getting bleach stains. Well, on the back of the bottle it says,this product may bleach hair or dyed fabrics, mystery solved.

  3. Suzanne
    Reviewed on Thursday, July 12, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Nice Clean Smell
    • I must say that this extra strength treatment for acne is a godsend. It really does what it says it does, that is reduce reddness and fight acne...plus I really like the clean, fresh scent this product has...lol yes, Im hooked on the scent!

  4. Jill
    Reviewed on Tuesday, July 10, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best pimple treatment I've ever used!
    • I have been suffering from acne most of my life. I've learned a few things, BHA's do NOT help my acne, while AHA's and BP does. I wasn't sure if I should order the 2.5% or 5%, but when I looked at the ingredients, the 2.5% contains Cetearyl Alcohol which breaks me out. The 5% is in a propylene glycol base which my skin likes. This stuff is wonderful. It dries clear and matte, and feels like nothing on my skin. I am able to put makeup on top no problem. I wear it all over my face a couple of nights a week and occasionally use it as a spot treatment during the day. Please don't ever change the formula.

  5. A
    Reviewed on Sunday, July 08, 2012
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Made Acne Worse
    • My acne became worse as a result of using this product. It did not help the present acne and created new, painful acne that I am now struggling to get rid of. I have had this product for a few weeks now and thought that maybe the initial breakout was underlying acne/pimples, but after regular use I've learned that this product is causing me to break out each time I use it. I am incredibly upset, because I used to use the Extra Strength Blemish Fighting Solution with good results. This was my first time using the new product and I can only think I got a bad bottle or something, but at the high price and having my body break out, I would rather not risk trying again to find out. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. It is hard to know exactly which ingredient, combination of ingredients, or outside factors contributed to your skin responding negatively to this product. It can be difficult to identify which ingredient in any formula, even a well-formulated one, which could be causing a reaction. Based on what you have described, it would be best to discontinue use. We will issue an in house credit for the product. Please contact customer care so we may discuss some alternative skin care options.

  6. Katie
    Reviewed on Friday, June 22, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Only thing that has ever worked for me
    • I am in my mid-40s and have suffered from moderate acne since my early teens. I have tried everything. I've been to derms many times. I've tried it all. Paula's Choice extra strength BP and AHA toner combo are THE ONLY products that have brought me relief. I have nearly flawless skin now... still some blackheads on my nose, but not a big problem anymore. Thank you, Paula!

  7. Gabrielle
    Reviewed on Wednesday, June 13, 2012
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Can we have a spot treatment version of this?
    • I bought this a while back when it was still in the old bottle, and Paula did not yet have a special Acne line. I don't have regular breakouts, but get the occasional blemish which never fails to be in a prominent spot and extremely big, red and painful. So I bought this to use as a spot treatment. Unfortunately, the consistency doesn't make it easy to use this as a spot treatment; after a few months of owning the Extra Strenth Acne Fighting Treatment, it became really watery and basically leaked out of the tube. I ended up throwing it away and purchasing a small container of an Oxy 10% benzol peroxite spot treatment. It stays put better because it is thicker and dries faster. A small bottle also makes it easy to carry around, and you don't end up owning it for a year...at some point all products become unsuited for use. Customer Care Response: Thank you for the review. We will be sure to pass on your suggestions and feedback promptly. Just to clarify, Paula and her team chose the new packaging for our products in response to customer feedback. Many customers told us they were disappointed in the quality and usability of the original packaging. The change was to provide more functional, attractive packaging plus sturdier, more stable ingredients. We have left the purchase price of this product on your account as an in house credit which may be used on a future phone purchase. Please contact customer care with any questions or concerns.

  8. Li
    Reviewed on Thursday, June 07, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    you have to wait for the result
    • I've been struggling with acnes for years, used higher percentage of BP(got burnt), tried clindamycin(did not work), tried sulfur soaps(flakes..), clinique's clarifying lotions(horrible..),tried almost every anti-acne products out there but nothing worked. To be fair, they did work, but not without bigger consequences. I wanted the regular strength because I was afraid that 5% would only hurt my skin, but it's not available here, so I went with the 5%. At first I was skeptic, as it burnt so bad, I even got flakes and redness,decided to cut to once per two day then gradually increased the dosage to twice a day. This with conjunction of BHA from CLEAR toner have made a difference to my skin, starting from week 2(the redness/flakes stopped), visible from week 4(moderately reduced severity of acne), and it gets better and better. I'm on my 6th month, and although I'm not yet acne free, this surely has significantly helped to control the issue. Great product, a must-have for those who have moderate-severe acnes. Thank you Paula's Choice! One question that always lingers in my head is that both BHA and BP increase the sun-sensitivity, altho I'm a diligent sunscreen user now(thanks to Paula's SkinCare Facts), will using BHA and BP only at night solve the problem regarding sun-sensitivity? Or will I always be more vulnerable to sun as long as I'm using BHA and BP?(Regardless I'm using it only at night)

  9. Viktoria
    Reviewed on Tuesday, June 05, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    LOVE IT!!!!!!
    • This is the best product on market. I have tried everything there is so i was little skeptical. Right after the first night of using it I was amazed. Now, after 8 days of using it im just the happiest girl. The improvement of my skin is unbelievable. I love it!!!!!! Thank you Paula:))))))

  10. Clarissa
    Reviewed on Wednesday, May 16, 2012
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Good product, wish it was stronger
    • I've used a ton of benzyl peroxides including over the counter and prescription and I love the texture of this one. I have to say my acne is pretty resistant it seems, and this product does not work any differently than others, but it goes on very smoothly and easily. Others have been gritty or chalky and too drying. I will definitely buy it again! I know a lot of people complain it's too strong, but I wish it was stronger, because I'm still getting a ton of acne, even when using with the 2% BHA. Customer Care Response: Thank you for sharing your experience, Clarissa! For some, topical antibacterials aren't as effective, but you may consider our upcoming BHA 9% spot treatment (due out in October 2012,) which may be the extra oomph you need for stubborn breakouts!

  11. Lori
    Reviewed on Thursday, April 26, 2012
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Good but too strong for me
    • I tried the three step system for acne and found that the Extra Strength Acne Fighting Treatment was just too strong and drying for my skin. I love the Clear Normalizing Cleanser and will be ordering more of that but three step system was too strong for me and using them all together caused my whole face to break out into a red, irritated, flaky mess. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear of your experience with this product. While the response you have indicated 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. We will credit you for this product and please contact customer care wih any questions.

  12. Ming
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 04, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great product
    • This is a great product! I have had minor acne on my forehead since my teens. After using this product for just a few days, the bumps have reduced and my forehead is much smoother! Highly recommended!

  13. dana
    Reviewed on Friday, March 16, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    LOVE!
    • This stuff was not at all too drying for me, as long as a good moisturizer is used with it. And it cleared up my acne and breakouts like no other product that I have tried. Thank you PC!

  14. Tania
    Reviewed on Friday, March 09, 2012
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Did not do what i expected
    • I emailed the paula's choice team and they recommended this product for my acne blemishes. however, it did not work; my blemishes are the same which makes me a litle bit sad because i really had high expectations. I am going to contact the team to see if i can return it. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear of your experience with this product. While the response you have indicated 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. We will credit you for the product but do encourage you to keep using it as it helps to kill the acne causing bacteria. You also want to make sure and use a daily 2% BHA before the product in order to battle blemishes and clogged pores as this does take some time. Please contact customer care with any questions.

  15. Liliya
    Reviewed on Saturday, February 25, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    It really helps!
    • Works instantly! Highly recommend.

  16. Stephanie
    Reviewed on Wednesday, January 25, 2012
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Harsh Product for My Skin
    • I have combination skin that is prone to breakouts. I purhcased the Clear cleanser and loved it, so thought I would try out another of the products in this line. I used this product twice and both times it burned my skin and left is red, splotchy, and itchy (even days later my skin is still red and itching from the harshness of this product). I wish I could use it as a spot treatment, but am now scared to do so. I will stick with the other Paula's Choice products and avoid this benzoyl peroxide treatment. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear of your experience with this product. It does sound like your skin does not respond well to benzoyl peroxide so you would not want to use it. While the response you have indicated 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 a credit for the product. Please contact customer care with any questions.

  17. Stephanie
    Reviewed on Thursday, January 19, 2012
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    too harsh therefore causes breakouts, love the 2.5
    • so i love PC BHA products. this one is too harsh for regular all over face use. i recently switched from 5% to 2.5% and noticed more radiant skin and no breakouts. then i ran out and reverted to the 5% and was breaking out a bit again. this is fine for spot treatment, but it is harsh on my skin. for all over face use i have to use a VERY small amount, like quarter of a pea. whereas, the 2.5 i can use around a quarter and this is more effective. i have combination, sensitive, reactive acne prone skin. the only cleanser that i can use 2x/ day is cetaphil though i use a foamy wash after to get last traces of make up at night. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear of your experience with this product. While the response you have indicated 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 a credit for the product. We are happy to hear the regular strength works better for you! Please contact customer care with any questions.

  18. J
    Reviewed on Thursday, January 19, 2012
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Lifesaving product for clear skin
    • This is yet another wonderful product of Paula's that I have tried. I have very oily skin which is prone to consistent but mild breakouts. The Extra Strength Acne Fighting Treatment has significantly reduced the severity of my breakouts. It also has shortened the duration of the occasional breakouts that I do get. I use a thin layer all over the face twice daily after toning, sometimes concentrating the product onto areas with more severe acne. I don't find that this is too drying if I apply a good moisturizer afterwards. Another plus is that this is so much more effective and competitively priced than other over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide treatments.

  19. Elaine
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 14, 2012
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Very strong
    • Used this product for almost a year thinking it would work after a long period of time but my acne is still the same. Definitely won't be using the CLEAR system again.This acne treatment was very strong and dried out my skin a lot but didn't work for my stubborn acne which is still the same as it was before I used this but my skin is a lot drier now because of it. Customer Care Response: Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear of your experience with these products. While the response you have indicated 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 a credit for the product. It does sound like it would be best to consult a dermatologist for prescription options to help control your acne. Please contact customer care with any questions.

  20. Anna
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 07, 2012
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Good product, to strong for me.
    • I got this as a sample and the first night I used it my pimples had all shrunk and were mostly gone. But it also left my skin feeling tight and very dry. I LOVE PAULA'S PRODUCTS, though. I think I need to try the regular strength. I just have to say my favorite products are Paula's conditioner, foundation, exfoliating toner and mattifying seerum - they are absolutely AMAZING, unlike anything I've ever tried before!!

  21. Carol
    Reviewed on Thursday, December 29, 2011
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    LIKE!!
    • Can you tell that I like this? I have been fighting acne since my teens (now 50). While I have used benzyl peroxide lotions before, I have never seen it in 5% strength. I am glad I got this as a sample and tried it. It really helps to clear up stubborn blackheads!!

  22. Jennifer
    Reviewed on Friday, June 24, 2011
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    It works!
    • I have been fighting with blemishes for nearly 30 years and have tried every topical acne medicine out there. Paula's Extra Strength Acne Fighting Treatment works! My blemishes are fewer, and the ones I do get disappear quickly. I finally convinced my teenage son to give it a try (after having him on Proactiv, MaxClarity, and Differin Gel - all with poor results), and he's even seeing a huge improvement in his skin. Thanks for a great product!

  23. Suzanne B.
    Reviewed on Sunday, May 15, 2011
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Strong and Effective
    • This product has worked brilliantly for me. The first time I used it I put it all over my face and was very happy with the way it diminished the redness and severity of my whiteheads. Since I do have a habit of picking at my whiteheads, I always use this now as a spot treatment and anywhere else I see that I may be trying to break out. Usually around my chin, nose and cheek, forehead areas. I feel this product is most effective at making the reddness and inflammation go away on site of the acne. I have fairskin, redhair, stubborn blackheads and some whiteheads, am early 50's with sundamaged skin, especially around eye, cheek,nose and neck areas. It is drying and I have some flakiness with it at times, but I immediatly apply one of my Antioxidant serums or the Resist Barrier lotion and the dryness is gone.

  24. Darlene
    Reviewed on Friday, April 08, 2011
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Good Product
    • I started using this as a spot treatment,but moved to all over face every morning with goods results. No drying. Even though I have gotten a few chin breakouts they cleared up quickly.

  25. Amy
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 01, 2011
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Thank you soo much!!
    • I just want to say a big thank you. I was using prescription benzoil peroxide 10% for years until it lost it's effect last year and I started to break out bad. It was also drying out my skin. This formula is better, the redness doesn't hurt any more almost instantly, it's been a week and all my acne is going away. Plus my skin is not dry anymore (it healed). Better than anything I've seen out there. Thanks!

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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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