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Clear Extra Strength Kit

This three-step routine fights stubborn breakouts, unclogs pores and calms redness without drying skin
Item #: 475
  • Acne Breakouts, Enlarged Pores
  • For All Skin Types
  • 3 products: Clear Cleanser, Clear Extra Strength Exfoliant, Clear Extra Strength Blemish Treatment

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Clear Extra Strength Kit

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Products in the Clear Extra Strength Kit Include:

Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser:
All Skin Types
This gentle, but thorough formula quickly dissolves oil, dead skin cells, and makeup that can clog pores.

Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution:
All Skin Types
This solution penetrates deep into pores for more thorough exfoliation, antibacterial action, and redness reduction.

Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment:
All Skin Types
A proven solution for stubborn acne. 5% benzoyl peroxide goes to work immediately to eliminate acne-causing bacteria.

NOTE: Those allergic to aspirin (acetylsalicylate) should not use products containing salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid).

Sources to support the claims made for Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser

Biochemistry and Pharmacology, June 2007, pages 1,786-1,795; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2007, pages 124-135; Contact Dermatitis, June 2006, pages 303-312; British Journal of Dermatology, July 2005, pages 124-131; Skin Research and Technology, February 2005, pages 53–60; Dermatologic Therapy, January 2004, pages 16–25; European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, November 2003, pages 407-412; Cutis, December 2001, Supplemental, pages 12–19; and Skin Research and Technology, July 2001, pages 49–55.

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.

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

Product Ingredients:

Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser:
Water, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate (detergent cleansing agent), Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer (polymer thickening agent), Glycerin (skin-identical ingredient/slip agent), PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate (thickener), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (detergent cleansing agent), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate (emulsifier), Panthenol (skin conditioning agent), Triclosan (antibacterial agent), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Citric Acid (pH adjuster), PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil (solubolizing agent), Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin (preservatives).

Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution:
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).

Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment:
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).

Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser:
DIRECTIONS: Wet face and apply a small amount of cleanser to your face and eye area with vigorous, yet gentle, circular motions. Rinse well. To remove heavy makeup, repeat or use with a clean, wet washcloth.

Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution:
DIRECTIONS: Use twice daily. After cleansing with Paula's Choice Clear Normalizing Cleanser, soak a large cotton ball with 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.

Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment:
DIRECTIONS: Apply to affected areas after cleansing and exfoliating. Because excessive drying may occur, start with 1 application and gradually increase to 2 or 3 times daily if needed. If dryness or peeling occurs, reduce frequency of application to once per day/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.

Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser:

I already use a Paula's Choice cleanser. Do I have to use the Clear cleanser?

You don't have to but it is recommended. The Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser contains a unique antibacterial agent that's designed to begin the process of killing acne-causing bacteria. It is designed to work with the other products in the Clear range, but if you prefer your regular Paula's Choice cleanser, you may continue to use it with other Clear products.

The Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser contains triclosan, an ingredient Paula has mentioned isn't a good option for acne. Why did she include it?

Paula and her team decided to include triclosan in our Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser due to its potential to begin the process of killing acne-causing bacteria. Recent research indicates that triclosan may play a stronger role than originally thought when it comes to anti-acne skincare. We have used triclosan in an amount that is effective as a first line of defense against acne-causing bacteria; however, benzoyl peroxide (the active ingredient in our leave-on Clear Acne Fighting Treatments) is the antibacterial powerhouse when acne is the concern.

Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution:

How does Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution differ from Paula's regular BHA products?

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 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 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.

Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment:

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, Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment is identical to our former Extra Strength Blemish Fighting Treatment.

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