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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:

79 out of 100
(Based on 115 Reviews)
« Prev Page of 5 Next »
  1. TRACY P.
    Reviewed on Sunday, October 13, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    My 17 year old's face is clear!!!
    • I recently wrote an email to Paula's Choice, asking for some recommendations for my teenage son who has been battling acne. He takes oral meds and uses Differin. Not quite cutting it. Paula's Choice recommended this product, along with some others in the "Clear" line. In three weeks time, his face is clear and smooth. I am so thankful for all of you at Paula's Choice. I respect your honesty and integrity so much. I use many of your products and have hooked many friends too! Thank you!

  2. Joy C.
    Reviewed on Friday, October 11, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Oh WOW!
    • I ordered a sample of this out of desperation. I woke up with better skin this morning. I have never used any product that had more immediate effect on my skin. I am amazed.

  3. ZAW
    Reviewed on Wednesday, October 09, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Skin has become less oily
    • I started off using the Regular Strength version of this toner and noticed gradual positive changes, however, my skin remained very oily and began to have occasional blemishes again. The BHA gels did not absorb well, though I loved the overall feel of them, so I ordered a sample of the Extra Strength. To my surprise, it hasn't been too strong for my skin, and I have noticed a real reduction in oil finally. I switch between the Regular and Extra Strength depending on my skin and both are great.

  4. Jay C.
    Reviewed on Saturday, September 14, 2013
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Texture
    • I found this exfoliant to have an oily texture that feels that it just sits on top of the skin. I prefer the regular strength version of this product, it absorbs much more nicely.

  5. Carla W.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 10, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Something that actually works!
    • Reasons why I love this stuff: 1.) It's inexpensive. I'm someone who's shelled out as much as $100 for just a bottle of cleanser. Having to pay $20 for a product--that actually works--is very, very reasonable. 2.) It's mild. I have pretty sensitive skin and use this stuff nightly with no irritation/redness--just use a mild cleanser and moisturizer 3.) It works! My blackheads/whiteheads are almost gone after 2 weeks. My face looks brighter, cleaner, less oily, and my pores have shrunken!

  6. SSK
    Reviewed on Friday, August 23, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Really makes skin less oily
    • I have tried every single BHA that Paula offers and they all made my oily skin OILIER! Except this one! This gets rid of blackheads, whiteheads and other imperfections while making my skin less oily. This stings like crazy if I use with Retin-A so I had to make a choice between the two. I chose this because I see better results with this than with Retin-A. This is too shiny to use during the day so I use at night, followed by Skin Balancing antioxidant serum and wake up to glowing skin!

  7. patty t
    Reviewed on Tuesday, August 20, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Admit it 40 pimples and wrinkles
    • I've been using PC a few years now and love most all her products. It has come down to admitting I still have acne along with wrinkles and need help. I'm using the Clear cleanser, extra strength redness solution and the 2%BHA gel. Benzoid makes my face really red, but does rid the zits. I use the new light serum before makeup. I've never seen my face so EVEN Toned, and acne free. I keep looking in the mirror even though I'm not that type- have the crows feet though, cause I'm still laughin

  8. Wanda O.
    Reviewed on Monday, August 19, 2013
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Love Paula's Choice, but this is not for me...
    • I love Paula's Choice skin care, and I've tried a lot of her products. I've begun to have acne in adulthood (due to hormonal changes) and I tried the trial size RS CLEAR system. It seemed to work at first, but then my blemishes returned, so I tried the ES CLEAR. This exfoliant has an oily, greasy feel compared to the RS exfoliant. The Regular Strength one feels light as water, makes my face feel clean. This product also makes my face sting and feel itchy and dry. I guess I should go back to RS.

  9. Pauline S.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, July 16, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Good for body, but too potent for my face
    • This formula is a little too strong for my face; I don't have extra-sensitive skin, but this leaves me feeling slightly itchy and uncomfortable. However, I can use it on my neck/shoulders/back without any irritation, and it does seem to be helping with breakouts there. (Interestingly, I find I can use BHA 9 on my face without a problem, even though it's a higher strength.) 5 stars for the product itself; not ideal for me personally, but nice texture/formula and it'll be perfect for some people!

  10. Greg
    Reviewed on Friday, July 05, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great!
    • I have EXTREMELY oily skin that gets congested very easily. After using the Clear RS Exfoliant for a couple of months, I switched to the ES and now use it twice a day, morning and night. It does an outstanding job of keeping my skin clear and smooth! Because my skin is so oily, I have had no problems with dryness. To avoid any stickiness, I apply this by dispensing a SMALL amount onto my left hand, briefly rubbing my hands together and then rubbing the product, with both hands, into my skin.

  11. Art V.
    Reviewed on Thursday, July 04, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Off label use recommended
    • Suffering from KP? Me too. Upper arms for me is the worst area. I ran out the PC BHA for body and had some samples of this lying around. After a week, my KP was almost completely under control. I purchased a full bottle and now use this as part of my nightly regimen. I have no idea why this works better than the BHA for body, but for me this has been a winner. I highly recommend this for use on other areas of the body where you have KP. Would also recommend BHA9 for KP on upper arms as well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

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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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