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 142 Reviews)
Page of 6 Next »
  1. Lisa
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 03, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    this product is my fav Paula's Choice product!
    • Over a year ago, I found PC through Wayne Goss when I was researching the proper PH balance for salicylic acid to be effective. I started out with a bottle of the Clean regular strength, which was an amazing product, and then purchased this Clear extra strength. I had very oily skin with deep cystic acne as a teen a decade ago, and I still use prescription acne products to keep the occasional cystic breakouts at bay. Adding this BHA to my routine was what really gave me my best skin ever!

  2. Amber
    Reviewed on Friday, February 20, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best BHA I've ever tried!
    • This product is amazing. I've been using it since September and it's the greatest addition to my skincare routine. It's not drying, especially in comparison with other BHA's on the market (I tried 3 prior to this). I began using it every 3 days and built up to daily use. It's almost completely eliminated any redness and my sebaceous filaments are nearly invisible. It's definitely a holy grail product of mine now.

  3. Poe
    Reviewed on Sunday, February 15, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Changed formula?
    • Got the sample bottle first and it worked great on black heads, it made the surface of my skin feel smoother, and it really did calm red, irritated skin. After using there was a certain feeling on the skin I can't describe, maybe like a little bit of a residue left over but I didn't mind it so I ordered the full size. The full size did not perform the same at all, that distinctive residue feeling wasn't there, the smell was different, and it was like putting plain water on my skin. Disappointed.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, February 16, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team for information on a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  4. Skylar S
    Reviewed on Tuesday, February 03, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Miracle worker!!
    • Due to a chronic condition I have, acne is something that I have to live with-so disclaimer: this wasn't purchased to get rid of acne, but to improve my skin overall. This BHA has done so much good for me- my skin is actually smooth and soft for the first time in my life, my pores are no longer clogged, and my hyperpigmentation is lightening up. My acne heals loads quicker too! The packaging leaks so I decant it into a better bottle and apply it with my hands (not cotton) twice a day.

  5. Skylar S
    Reviewed on Tuesday, February 03, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Miracle worker!!
    • Due to a chronic condition I have, acne is something that I have to live with-so disclaimer: this wasn't purchased to get rid of acne, but to improve my skin overall. This BHA has done so much good for me- my skin is actually smooth and soft for the first time in my life, my pores are no longer clogged, and my hyperpigmentation is lightening up. My acne heals loads quicker too! The packaging leaks so I decant it into a better bottle and apply it with my hands (not cotton) twice a day.

  6. Sandy
    Reviewed on Wednesday, January 28, 2015
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Not for sensitive skin at all !
    • I had the same problem as with the Clear Extra Strength Treatment, it's extremely harsh on the skin. It will work best if you have very oily skin and especially you better not have sensitive skin. Although, a product with a lot of potential, it still made my skin STING and made my face even more red as soon as I put it, especially around my nose and cheeks ... A little disappointed, the regular was a little more forgiven on my skin though, but I only had a trial sample:(

  7. Brand S.
    Reviewed on Monday, January 19, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Must have!
    • This is a must have for me. I was actually able to stop using benzoyl peroxide because this liquid is so effective. Love the consistency and the fact that it spreads nicely. I also use it on my chest for acne bumps and it's made a huge difference. Please don't ever stop making this!!!

  8. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Thursday, January 15, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    My Holy Grail
    • I have suffered from acne since I was 12 yrs old, and I am now in my early 40's. This product has changed my life. I was always embarrassed about my acne and never truly felt confident about my self. My skin is now clear and beautiful because of this product. I get compliments all the time. Yes, this product was slightly irritating so I started using it only at night and progressed to twice daily. You must have patience and give a chance to work. Thank you Paula!

  9. Lindsay S
    Reviewed on Tuesday, January 06, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Excellent product
    • This exfoliant is my number one defense against adult acne. I pair with the regular strength benzoyl peroxide, and am able to keep my acne under control, and my skin looking it's best. Acne sufferers know, there is no miracle product, it's constant maintenance, and acne breakouts will still happen from time to time, but this line is as good as it gets. Add regular chemical peels, and you're golden. This bha is a great place to start!!!

  10. Samantha S.
    Reviewed on Thursday, January 01, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best BHA for Acne
    • I have Dry, Acne prone, Sensitive skin and this was the best purchase I've made. Not only did it clear up my face, but it kept it feeling beautiful and refreshed. I have tried all the other but this and the regular BHA liquid are by far the best purchase for my skin. Trying out AHAs gave me a horrible case of milia and this was able to clear it up for me. I dont think I'll be getting anymore creative with my exfoliants and will be sticking to this.

  11. kelly l.
    Reviewed on Sunday, November 30, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    love
    • I use this and the 2% BHA gel or liquid. I'll be 40 in a few months and I've started breaking out around my jawline. Using this and the other product has cut down the acne to literally nothing. I have had several compliments on my skin since I started using this! Thank you!!!

  12. Elaine L.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, November 05, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    I Only Use This Product At Night
    • Great BHA product. It does leave a sticky residue on the face so it's best used at night. I use the Regular Strength Solution during the day because it has a lighter, more water-like consistency.

  13. Cullen M.
    Reviewed on Friday, October 31, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Helps with breakouts and marks
    • I have combination skin that sometimes get dry around my mouth or around my eyes. This product doesn't make my skin any dryer and it has helped so much with the breakouts I usually get along my jaw and on my cheeks. I use this with the 5% benzoyl peroxide and these two products keep my skin clear and work to fade the marks leftover.

  14. Kate K.
    Reviewed on Friday, October 31, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Good product, but packaging problems
    • This is a good product that works for me. The only complaint I have is packaging. It is leaking out when you put this product on a cotton ball or pad! It just leaks out. I didn't contact customer service for this issue, as I don't have any complaints about the product itself. I just poured it in another bottle and have no problems since then. But may be Paula, while delivering state of the art formulas, needs to improve her toner bottles, as this is not an issue for any other brand.

  15. Amy B.
    Reviewed on Saturday, October 18, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Has really helped smooth my skin!
    • I am halfway through my second bottle of this stuff and it has really helped smooth my skin and has begun to fade all the acne scarring and sun spots on my face. Even the deeper "pocks" that I had along my jawline from scarring have basically disappeared! I still breakout but this helps the breakouts disappear faster. The only complaint I have about it is that it leaves a greasy feel to your skin so I only use it at night and use the lotion during the day instead.

  16. Y. L.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, October 08, 2014
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Not for me
    • I have oily skin with an adult acne. So I thought it would be the best solution. I purchased the full version, without trying a sample first. And now I'm regreting about this. I used it not every day, because it's too strong. But this didn't work. My skin become red and flaky. I used it for about 3 weeks and then decided to stop. My skin is still in bad condition. Maybe the redness become a bit little, but still. Also my acne and breakouts are still on my face. I really wanted it worked for me

  17. Ashley M.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, October 07, 2014
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Made My Skin WORSE!
    • I ordered the 3 step extra strength acne system because I have bad adult acne on my face. After a month of using the set not only did my face not get better, it got worse. I decided to cut this step out just to see if it was the problem and within 3 days my skin cleared up. I don't know if I have an allergy to salicylic acid or what, but I will not be repurchasing this. The cleanser and treatment are all I need.

  18. R.G.
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 28, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Amazing!
    • I have extremely oily skin, large pores, and much redness. After spending so much $$ on various products with minimal to no results, I had pretty much accepted I was stuck with it. Then I tried this product. I was so completely amazed at the difference in just 2 weeks! Redness and pore size greatly reduced! Some areas tend to get a little flaky, so I only treat those spots every other day.

  19. Poe
    Reviewed on Friday, September 26, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Loved it at first
    • It was pretty great at first as an exfoliate especially on monthly acne breakouts. Then it stopped working, which isn't really PC's fault, a lot of skin products do that. I tried not using it for 2 weeks and went back but the initial results never returned. I never did understand how and why this is supposed to reduce any redness. It's fine as a gentle exfoliate but the redness reduction claim is far fetched in my opinion.

  20. Robert D.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 16, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Absolutely Amazing!
    • It's amazing how much of a difference this made on my acne, and post red marks! Definitely will be a staple in my routine!

  21. Cloe J.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 09, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Great Product, but seriously for severe acne
    • I had been using a 2% bha lotion prior to using this, so I though I would be able to handle this "Extra Strength" version twice daily. In the past few days I've been using this, my skin has been flaky, dry, and red. Definitely not what I was expecting! Of course I regret using this twice a day from the beginning, BUT luckily my skin is adjusting to it. My advice is to try Regular Strength first, and if its not strong enough to try this. Otherwise, this is a great product!

  22. Rachel D
    Reviewed on Monday, September 08, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    I love this stuff! But..
    • Worked great for me! I got the trial size reg. strength first and that worked fine but I got the stronger stuff and my skin has been 80% clearer. The only thing, is that my skin has been so dry, (flaking and tight). I have to moisturize twice a day and can only use this at night. I am using the extra strength spot as well so that isn't helping. I have oily, sensitive, olive skin tone with mostly just the hormone breakouts. Recommendations?

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, September 08, 2014

    You should consider alternating between the stronger BHA exfoliant and a weaker one, such as our 1% BHA Lotion. Or, consider switching to our 2% BHA Lotion, which has a slower rate of penetration into pores than the Liquid you're using. Next option is to apply the exfoliant every other night, and only to breakout-prone areas. Please contact us via phone or email if you have additional questions.

    —Admin
  23. Kailey H
    Reviewed on Monday, September 01, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Holy Grail
    • I have combination/ oily, acne-prone skin, and this is my Holy Grail product. I began using it four months ago, and I remember the results were almost instantaneous. Now I use it twice daily, and it has played a key role in my acne being mostly under control (knock on wood). I do find that it isn't too drying so long as I use a daily AHA as well-- and the results are just incredible. Apply with your hands as not to waste product, as it is pricey (but I think worth it).

  24. Cecilia S.
    Reviewed on Thursday, August 14, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    too drying
    • Update: too drying. I'm currently on retin a 3 months in. Retin a is very strong on its own. So my skin started feeling tight an irritated. I stopped using this for 3 dys and my skin was brighter and healthier. So I used it again toda and I'm back to feeling tight and dry and alil dull looking. But its still a good product just not for my retin a laden skin. I use retin a at nite and this during the day wit a serum plus spf.

  25. Shelin C.
    Reviewed on Saturday, August 02, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Super acne containment solution
    • Been using it for 2-3 yrs now, and has done a very impressive job in controlling my acne-prone areas, despite previous poor facial routine (just washing with bathing soap, i have since graduated from this bad habit after graduating from uni thanks to paula's choice influence :3). Helped control, and reduced stubborn little acne on my forehead upon a week of using, when i just started. Have since had little acne problems upon habitual use.

Page of 6 Next »

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 3.5-3.9.

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: Apply once or twice daily after cleansing. Lightly soak a cotton pad and apply over the entire face, including the eye area (avoid the lower lash line and eyelids). Do not rinse. If excessive dryness or peeling occurs, reduce application to once per day or once every other day. For daytime, follow with a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 25 or greater.

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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