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Clear Extra Strength Kit

Break up with breakouts. Stop pimples cold, zap those zits, unclog pores, and calm redness without the dry-out. Time to start a long-term relationship with great skin.
Item #: 475
  • Acne Breakouts, Enlarged Pores
  • For All Skin Types
  • 3 products: Clear Cleanser, Clear Extra Strength Exfoliant, Clear Extra Strength Blemish Treatment

Please Note: Do not use the Exfoliating Solution if you are allergic to aspirin or its derivatives.

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Customer Ratings:

87 out of 100
(Based on 90 Reviews)
« Prev Page of 4 Next »
  1. H. R.
    Reviewed on Friday, November 01, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    This is the One!
    • This is the one! I have had problems with acne since I was a teenager, and I have never tried any acne-clearing products or systems like this one, including prescription topical treatments, cleansers, and even pills. My dermatologist once told me I had some of the worst acne he's ever seen, because mine is STUBBORN. This system keeps the acne away CONSISTENTLY, even the pre-period pimples! So glad I ditched the Clinique system I was last using for this one in February. I am never going back!

  2. BEL
    Reviewed on Thursday, October 31, 2013
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Not for everyone
    • This product is not for everyone. I spoke with a nurse at my school who used to work for a dermatologist and she recommended this product for my persisting acne. I was extremely anxious and excited to begin this product. I gave it the full 6 weeks and my skin is so dry that one-to-two inch pieces of skin are peeling off of my face. I am so disappointed that this didn't work for me. It gave me fine lines all over my face as well. I've gone off for 2 weeks and am still battling the dryness.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Thursday, October 31, 2013

    We're sorry this system didn't work for you. Without knowing what else you may have been using, it could be the combination of CLEAR with other products that caused your skin to react in this manner. Please contact us so we can help you troubleshoot and offer advice to get your skin back to normal.

    —Admin
  3. Wendy
    Reviewed on Friday, October 18, 2013
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    I realy wanted this to work :(
    • Is there anything to help cure my acne? I've tried everything; superhealthy diet, supplements, about 8 different skincare products and routines over the years, incl. the current and previous PC CLEAR range. Didn't work then, doesn't work now. It dries out my skin terribly -which would be OK if it worked- but the pimples keep coming. The only thing that has ever stopped my acne is the pill, but I had to go off it in January. Wondering if I'm doing wrong, reading all these good reviews!?

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Friday, October 18, 2013

    We're sorry this system worked for you. Hopefully you gave it at least 6 weeks of daily use before making this determination. For some people, acne can be very stubborn and requires medical intervention. You mentioned being on The Pill but there are numerous other options, from hormone blockers to isotretinoin to topical prescriptions. Don't give up!

    —Admin
  4. P. Davidson
    Reviewed on Wednesday, October 16, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    The Best!
    • I'm 50 and I've been battling acne since age 14--both cystic and surface. I've tried everything from drugstore brands to expensive department store lines to "sold on TV" systems, and Clear is the only thing that has really worked. It's powerful but gentle on my skin. I actually get compliments on how "luminous" my skin is! Never, ever thought that would happen! I've been using Paula's Choice products for about 10 years and have been nothing but happy with them. Bless you Paula!

  5. Jen s
    Reviewed on Saturday, October 12, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Amazing results fast
    • I tried this product a week ago and I have already seen improvement in size and redness of my acne. I also suffer from white bumps on my chin and I have noticed a significant decrease in those as well. I am very happy with this products effectiveness. My only issue with it is that I experienced a little bit of dryness and irritation. I added a moisturizer and decreased the frequency of application and the dryness has started to go away.

  6. Lynn S.
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 08, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Cleared my daughter's acne - she is thrilled!
    • My 19-year-old daughter came home from her first year of college with a terrible acne breakout on her forehead. She has been using a few products that the dermatologist gave her over the years, but the breakouts persisted. I got her a trial kit of the Clear system (extra strength). By the end of the two weeks, things were getting better. She asked me to get the full sizes. In a few more weeks the zits were gone. She and I are both Paula's Choice fans. I use the Resist line and love it, too!

  7. Gabby M.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, August 21, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    PCOS Issues
    • Hi, ladies & Paula's Choice! I was recently diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome and I have been struggling with the acne that comes with this issue. I decided to finally try the Extra Strength solution (trial size). I have been using it for FOUR DAYS and can already tell a difference in my skin. It LOOKS and FEELS incredible. The acne, blemishes, and redness have subsided and minimized drastically. Thank you, Paula, for creating a product that really works. Give it a try, ladies!

  8. CeeBee
    Reviewed on Monday, August 05, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    This really works!
    • This is the ONLY system I have ever used that cleared up my blemish-prone, sensitive skin and did not dry it out! Many people have noticed the huge difference in my skin and have commented on it. Since I started using Paula's products, my skin has actually become "normalized" and pretty. I was never able to say that about my skin before. Thank you so much Paula!!!

  9. s v.
    Reviewed on Sunday, July 28, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Give it time
    • When I first tried this system, I got a rash on my face, and a burning sensation when I applied my moisturizer. I discontinued using the system, until my face went back to normal. Then, I started using the exfoliating solution once or twice per day and didn't have any adverse reactions. This helped with the size of my pores and got rid of the vast majority of my blackheads. I use this with the Skin Recovery Cleanser from Paula and Acne.org's treatment. I have no pimples now, and fewer blackheads

  10. CLAIRE F.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, July 09, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Works best together.
    • I have tried several of Paula's cleansers combined with the Extra Strength Toner and Extra Strength Treatment to clear my cystic acne and black heads. It wasn't until I started using the entire Clear system, including the cleanser, that my black heads completely disappeared and the cyctic acne began heal. I have flare-ups when I don't use the cleanser twice a day. Definitely get the system!

  11. RACHELLE
    Reviewed on Thursday, July 04, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Finally an acne system that works!
    • At 42 the texture of my skin is changing and I didn't realize how much until after using these products. For years I have used ProActive with little success. This product, even the extra strength, is gentle and VERY effective. It has drastically reduced the size of my pores and the presence of black heads, making my skin smoother than it has been in years. I recommend purchasing the RESIST Weekly Resurfacing Treatment with 10% AHA too.

  12. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Tuesday, June 18, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    only product that has ever worked!
    • I have struggled with acne since I was in my early 20's - I am now 33 years old. i have been on and off various prescriptions, tried Proactive, Mary Kay, Clinique, etc. This is the only thing that WORKS!!! My skin is the best its ever been, this is worth every penny!!! If I forget to reorder in time and have to go without a day or two I immediately start to break out again. I know my skin is clear due to this product!! I have used Clear Extra Strength for over a year and am still thrilled!

  13. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Tuesday, June 11, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best product I've tried!
    • I developed acne in my early 20s (thank you, hormones) and every dermatologist I saw recommended birth control, but I didn't want that to be my only solution. I have tried Mary Kay, Proactiv, and almost every OTC product - some made it "better", but none of them truly CLEARED and HEALED my skin the way this line does. I will say that my face was incredibly dry during the first week of using it and it does require moisturizer DAILY, but I have never had a cystic blemish heal in TWO days! LOVE IT.

  14. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Friday, May 17, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Works Quickly
    • My 28 year old daughter was having terrible problems with breakouts, blackheads and some cystic acne. It was causing her self-esteem issues. She had tried several products, none of them seemed to work. I was familiar with Paula's Choice and after reading the reviews, bought the Extra Strength acne products. Within 1 week, my daughter's face is noticeably improved. I will reserve further comments until we are sure that her acne does not get worse-as sometimes happens. I hope not!

  15. HITOMI S.
    Reviewed on Sunday, May 12, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Please try this products !!
    • 10 x stars!! I want to rate 10 x stars, because my daughters'(16 yrs old) skin start improving in a week. 90% of her face used to be covered with ugly pimples and scars. She'd tried any kind of face wash and lotion from drug store (even proactive.....) , suffered years and years. I found Paula's comment & knowledge on-line, read whole story, ordered right away.My daughter is still having acne on/off, but 98% of her face is soft and smooth. It's been three months since then. Unbelievable!

  16. Sonia
    Reviewed on Tuesday, May 07, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Impressed So Far
    • I started using this system about two months ago after years of acne that started in my teens. I've taken oral medication and used different topical treatments. I was so frustrated and decided to try PC. I'm so glad I did! I've seen a noticeable change in the texture of my skin (so smooth!) and the acne has decreased significantly. I'm still crossing my fingers as I hope that this continues to work well for me.

  17. Alli G.
    Reviewed on Thursday, April 18, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    My staple acne system
    • I bought the trial size of the Regular Strength Clear System. It didn't work. I decided to try the Extra Strength. My dermatologist told me Bezoyl Peroxide was the best treatment for my bacterial acne. The Extra Strength did the trick! My pores reduced to 75% of their previous size, I haven't had a breakout in over 2 weeks. Even during my PMS I didn't have a bad infected pimple. I do have to use a moisturizing cleanser at night. I have moderate cystic acne, need a potent system for severe acne.

  18. Rebecca M.
    Reviewed on Sunday, April 14, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Wonderful skin care!
    • I have been battling acne since I was a teenager, including severe bouts of cystic acne.This is the first line of products that has managed my skin's health without having to take BC or antibiotics. I still get breakouts and occasional cystic spots, but my skin looks soothed and so much healthier. I am much more confident about my skin! The only reason I took it down one star is because the toner leaks when traveling. I try to prevent by tightening the cap, but it still leaks. Hate to waste it!

  19. ANGIE R.
    Reviewed on Monday, April 01, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Miraculous!
    • I first tried this two years ago after suffering for decades with huge boils and hormonal/genetic acne all over my face, neck, chest and back. I think it was on sale and I thought, what the heck, might as well try it. Within 3 days the horrible mess was almost cleared right up, and after a week it was all gone! The large cysts just shrank away. I've just bought my 4th kit tonight -- I absolutely cannot be without it! I have NEVER found any acne product that worked as well as this.

  20. Lynn S.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 27, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Amazing
    • I got the sample kit when it was on sale a few weeks back & wish I would have tried it sooner. I had zero luck with the regular strength exfoliant & treatment, but the extra strength is working wonders. I had some cystic hormonal breakout along my jawline & saw about a 50% decrease in size overnight, & it was gone in three days. I have oily skin (which tends to be 'normal' in the winter), & this was not too drying for me. It does burn a bit initially, but I don't mind when it works so well!

  21. I
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 21, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Amazing
    • I am 28 and have battled persistent moderate acne since I was a teenager. I've tried everything including prescription meds and nothing has worked like this system does! For the first time in years my skin is 90% clear and looks healthy and smooth to boot. My breakouts are much less severe when they do occur and heal quickly. I have extremely sensitive skin and was irritated by many other brands but have had no problems tolerating these products. All I can say is thank you so much!!

  22. P. R.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 13, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    I owe PC for my clear skin!
    • I am 31 and after several years of dealing with acne, I was about ready to give up. I thought I would never have the clear complexion I so badly wanted. Then out of the blue, a new friend gave me Paula's Choice CLEAR Extra Strength to try. She had also suffered from acne and discovered Paula's Choice - she now has radiant, clear skin. The next day, I bought the CLEAR Extra Strength System package. It's now been a few months and I am SO pleased with the results. My complexion is now 95% clear!!

  23. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 03, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great!
    • Product dried my skin out a little bit, but really cleared my skin!

  24. PAM K.
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 02, 2013
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Likeable
    • I liked the trial kit, but I think the equate system that is similar to proactive works just as good.

  25. AliceinJapanaland
    Reviewed on Friday, March 01, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Pretty great stuff
    • My face is very oily so I was amazed by the face wash: gentle & left my face soft w/o leaving behind any oil. The toner is a bit odd. It makes my skin look and feel a little oily; a shame because it does it's job WELL. Winters tend to leave my skin dry and flaky which causes more under the surface pimples than usual and since using it, I don't have any flaky skin and noticeably less pimples. LOVE the 5% benzoyl! Silky and gel-like and really effective without drying my skin at all.

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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.

FREE Pack of Oil-Blotting Papers:
These handy and discrete Oil-Blotting Papers instantly absorb excess surface oil and leave your skin smooth and matte. These tissue-thin papers will not disturb your makeup nor will they add any powder to the skin.

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 www.naturaldatabase.com.

Key Ingredients: allantoin, panthenol, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, green tea, glycerin, bisabolol, triclosan, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate

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: Splash the face and eyes generously with tepid to slightly warm water. Spread a nickel- to quarter-sized amount of cleanser over your fingers and apply to facial skin with gentle but vigorous circular motions. Rinse well. Repeat or use with a clean washcloth to remove heavy makeup.

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: After cleansing with Paula's Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser and exfoliating with Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution, cover the affected area with a thin layer of 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.

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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