I HAVE THE DELUXE SAMPLE.
This product is almost the same as the 'extra strength' version. They have identicle ingredients lists -sans the amount level of active ingredients. The extra strength has 5% benzoyl peroxide and this has 2% benzoyl peroxide. Just so you know concentrations in 10% 5% and 2.5% all work the same! Yet this is a gentler alternative and if you have sensitive skin you should try this first.
I've never had more than mild-moderate acne, but it has plagued me for 20 years and, other than when I was taking one specific oral contraceptive (that I can no longer take), I've never had completely clear skin.
I've used other 2.5% BP products over the years and have experienced irritation, flaking, and redness. However, BP does seem to work for my skin, so after reading the reviews, I decided to give this a try. I have been using it daily for about six months now, every night and occasionally in the morning. I have not experienced ANY dryness or irritation whatsoever, not even in the first few days of use. The texture is perfect, it goes on beautifully, and I have no issues applying makeup afterward.
My skin is CRYSTAL clear. Not only have I had just ONE pimple in the last two months, all of the congestion is gone too! I have no more blackheads and no more of those flesh-colored bumps! My skin is even toned and smooth, and looks better than it has EVER looked, by far.
Right around the time I began using this, I completely overhauled my skincare routine (to include several other PC products), so I can't say this product is entirely responsible, but it certainly is helping, and without the typical side effects of BP. I will definitely repurchase!
Normally I wouldn't write a review so soon (I've only used it once) but I just have to say this products texture is perfect! It's a super light quick drying gel that's invisible on skin. It didn't sting or cause irritation on the areas I applied it last night. Compared to Neutrogena's On the Spot treatment ($6.50/.75oz.) this is economical for $17/2.25oz. especially if you can get it on sale or with free shipping.I will update if I find any negative qualities.
I do like this. It doesn't seem to dry me out as much as the acne.org one. That being said it also doesn't seem to work as well as the acne.org one. It does dry faster and when you layer things on top of it, they don't ball up, but since the acne.org one seems to give me better results, I think I'm going to sick with it. Also the price per ounce of the acne.org one is such much cheaper. This definitely isn't bad.
My skin is oily/dehydrated, sensitive, and VERY clog prone. I don't use this a lot because I try to avoid products with BP since my skin is very sensitive and dehydrated. Every time I've used it, I'd get a few new spots (whiteheads, some small inflamed red bumps) in the areas I've applied it and always shrugged it off as me spreading bacteria by messing with the original pimple. Only nearly a year later do I decide to check the ingredients. This contains laureth-4, which is very pore-clogging and irritating!! Laureth-4 should never be in anything for the treatment of acne in my opinion. No, I won't repurchase.
This is an effective yet gentle BP that works. I've used the 5% and it's too drying so the 2.5% is perfect. The formula is nice and lightweight and not too drying.
I've been battling hormonal acne (perimenopause) and Paula's Choice BP is helping me with my breakouts. Slowly, they're disappearing. (I'm also on spironolactone to solve the hormonal issue)
Wear a good sunscreen to help the acne heal and your skin will thank you for it.
PROS: My teen that has moderate acne uses this. It's the secret weapon she's been looking for. It works very well and still doesn't irritate her sensitive skin. No artificial scents. No animal testing. Price is decent.
CONS: Absolutely none for her. I guess it would be nice for me if it came in a huge bottle too, to save money on.
APPLICATION TIPS: She uses the CLEAR cleanser. Then she uses the regular strength toner (in the day) and the extra strength toner (at night.) She then applies Paula's 2.5% benzoyl peroxide (in day) and 5% benzoyl peroxide (at night). She then follows up with Clean & Clear Dual-Action Moisturizer in the white bottle.
ALTERNATES: We've tried Neutrogena for acne, Proactive (old and new version), Clean & Clear, Kiehls, Peter Thomas Roth, Oxy, Philosophy, and many other acne solutions. We always still had to struggle to help her keep it somewhat under control. She is now virtually clear faced because of Paula's products.
I have finally found a benzoyl peroxide product that i can use on a regular basis. It is hard to find a gentle BP cream, most are 5% or 10%. Those are great for spot treatments but are much to harsh to use all over my face for prevention. This has a light lotion texture and works well under sunscreen and makeup. I use it every morning and every other night. For my acne prone skin, I find that prevention is better than treatment. To keep my skin clear, it takes a consistent routine. I use the entire Paula's Choice Clear line (cleanser, 2% regular/extra strength exfoliating solution, 2.5% BP) and for sun protection I use PC Skin Balancing ultra-sheer daily defense SPF 30. I also use a prescription tretinoin cream, 0.025% every other night. Be aware that benzoyl peroxide will bleach your clothing and your pillowcases. For reference I have very sensitive, oily, acne/blackhead prone skin. OSPW (baumann).
Works well. I found 2.5% harsh at first and had to work up to using it twice daily. Within about 1.5-2 months the full effects of it were visible - clear skin! Side effects include persistant redness (I've been covering with a light layer of mineral makeup) and dryness on the areas of my skin that were "normal" to begin with (sides of face, chin, or any area that I apply a lot of this to). Also took a while to start clearing up.
I used it with the "clear" system and cetaphil moisturiser (became dry/flakey without this). Twice daily use of about a finger's length of the gel is what I'm using on my face at the moment. Overall I am happy with the results, although I would like to try the acne.org 2.5 % benzoyl peroxide when I run out because it is cheaper/gives more product.
EDIT 8/7/14 - I now use the acne.org BP and find it more cost effective for the same overall result. Dislike that both products result in chronic mild inflammation of my skin. But the most effective product I have found so far for treating my worst acne.
I bought this for my daughter's acne. For a while, she had been very happy with the brush system from Olay, but after a few months, her entire face became bumpy, inflamed, and broken out again. I bought this product because the bp level is low, so I felt it wouldn't cause serious dryness or redness. It was also clear and easy to use, which suited my daughter because she doesn't like to mess around too much with products.
Shipping was very fast. I ordered on Monday, and it arrived Thursday.
Within a couple days' usage, my daughter's skin was much more even and calm. The red inflammation and bumps she had before were evening out, and she said her face felt less irritated. After 1-2 weeks of use, her skin looks normal and smooth. It's still healing, but the texture is generally more refined and uniform in color and texture. Both the cystic and small breakouts she had are gone. She also has not complained of dryness, irritation, or burning from this product, and her skin is less oily when she wakes in the morning.
My daughter and I are very happy with this product. I had ordered her the trial size and will order a full size today. I think CLEAR is preferable to drugstore and prescription products because the results are very good, and I have seen no negative side-effects.