Paula's Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Acne Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide


39 reviews

82% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$

Not tested on animals


New ingredients- Active Ingredient: Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5 (topical disinfectant). Inactive Ingredients: Water, Propylene Glycol (slip agent/penetration enhancer), Bisabolol, Allantoin (anti-irritants), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer (film-forming/suspending agent), Hydroxyethylcellulose (thickener), Sodium Citrate (pH adjuster), Laureth-4 (emulsifier), Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol (preservatives), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

on 10/8/2015 8:46:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

This has been very effective for me as a spot treatment on the inflamed zits I get from time to time. It will usually take them down by 80% after 2 applications whereas if I did nothing it would take days to see any kind of change. Also works to prevent full blown cysts from forming if I catch them early enough. I have sensitive skin and cannot use it all over...tried that once during a particularly bad breakout and was awarded with intense burning, itching, and a gnarly rash that took over a week to go away (any BP product will do this to me so I'm not blaming PC). No issues as long as I only use it on the small areas that need it in which case any itching caused by the spots is actually relieved.

I only paid about $1 for this thanks to discount codes and some store credit I had (I refuse to pay full price for PC's products) and my tube will likely last a long time. I find it much more effective than the drugstore BP creams I've tried and greatly prefer the texture which is like a creamy gel that absorbs and dries quickly. I would repurchase since it works and, with some planning, I can get it on the cheap.

on 9/4/2015 12:06:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Clear Acne Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide is one a few products from Paula's Choice that really stands out, particularly if you have sensitive skin. I have a terrible time with my due to it being sensitive and both acne prone and eczema prone. My only other experience with BP is Persagel which is higher concentration more suited for those who do not have sensitive skin. Persagel would leave me flakey even on a once a day application after about three days.

I like that this is milder, but also that it absorbs into the skin very easily and does not leave any residue. Persagel always seemed to just sit on my skin leaving behind residue. The Paulas Choice has a very light texture somewhere between a lotion and a serum. A bit pricey at $17USD for a regular size tube, but sometimes you have to splurge a little. This contains no added fragrance another plus for eczema prone and sensitive skin types.

I would repurchase as options are few for sensitive skin with acne.

on 8/21/2015 8:53:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I have changed my opinion on benzoyl peroxide.
I've used it on and off for many years - for months when I was a teen and then for a couple of years after I had kids.

I usually take Paula's advice very seriously, but through experience I now think that her selling the product makes her praise this ingredient a little more than it deserves.

I personally think that you should only use this if you have mild to moderate acne only (not cystic) and only if you are not using other products (aha, bha acids, retinols, etc).

This is what happened to my skin while on it: it controlled smaller pimples most of the time, but the big cysts were more frequent. I was always so afraid to stop using it because I thought if my acne is this bad while I'm killing all this bacteria, it's going to be so much worse if I stop. But my skin was irritated all the time. Between the BHA and the suncreen and this benzoyl peroxide - it just didn't look or feel good. It was always a bit discolored.

I've stopped the every day BHA and the BP and my skin has returned to its normal tone. It still breaks out (and I know this is more complicated than just topical creams), but it seems to be doing better under Dapsone cream. Dapsone kills bacteria, it's gentle and never stings.

There is nothing wrong with this product though. It's as good as a BP cream can get, I just think it shouldn't be marketed with regular BHA use and the first line of defense against acne (especially cystic acne). If your skin is extra sensitive like mine and breaks out when you rub it too much or get stressed out, skip benzoyl peroxide, go to a dermatologist ASAP. This cream will not penetrate deep enough to address the cause of your issue.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 7/3/2015 2:33:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I'm not a fan of Paula's Choice products at all. And I'm suspicious of her reviews because of course she has to write some positive reviews of products so that people trust her. But every time I use products she rates highly, they don't work well at all. So when I say that this product is FANTASTIC, you know that it worked against all my Paula's Choice biases.

I used another product that gave me a ton of tiny pimples on my cheeks and forehead and chin. Usually, when I stop using a new product my skin clears up within a few days. But it didn't this time so I started searching for a low % benzoyl peroxide. I couldn't find one at the drug store, I only found 10%. As a teenager, I had a prescription for 10% benzoyl peroxide and since then have used persagel. But I find persagel to be very drying and leaves my skin flakey for several days after using it. My hair dresser is the one who told me that a lower % would still work and not dry out my skin. She's right!!

I felt like this worked overnight even though it was likely a few days. I still have some bumps and I recall my derm telling me it takes 4-6 weeks for benzoyl peroxide to work so I'm glad to have some results sooner.

Also, in terms of inactive ingredients, they work well for my skin. I've found some benzoyl peroxide with silicones in it, which I can't use. I also recall that in my youth the benzoyl peroxide bleached spots on my towels and pillow cases. I haven't noticed that with this product. It might be because it has a lower % of benzoyl peroxide.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 5/29/2015 10:54:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I'm a little on the fence with this product, it works quite well on exisitng pimples but it doesn't seem to prevent any acne for me. My skin looks exactly the same as it did a month ago when I started using it, infact I feel that I have more breakouts in areas I was previously clear in- possibly the Laureth 4 as another reviewer mentioned below is clogging my pores. Its very frustrating thats this isn't working for me as I had hoped it would, overall it seems like a great formula: lightweight, fragrance free etc but theres just something about it that my skin doesn't like, even so I still use it to spot treatment some areas. I'd still recommend you try it out thought, the majority of people seem to have good results, my skin is just super sensitive and picky!

on 5/25/2015 11:39:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Other, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

For the last week I've had a number of breakouts (specifically my mouth/chin area) as a result of eliminating sweets & chocolate out of my diet and including regular exercise. The last couple of nights I treated each of them with a dab of this treatment and WOW. Woke up this morning, and the inflammation went down tremendously! Including the one on my chin that was hurting.

Keep in mind Benzoyl Peroxide is drying, and it bleaches fabric. I recommend using it at night. Definitely worth the money!

on 5/4/2015 10:34:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I wasn't sure about this, but the reviews were positive so I thought I'd give it a try. The price wasn't bad (especially with Paula's sales), it's available on several different websites, and you get a decent amount. Unscented, light lotion-y texture, quick drying, and I don't have a problem with bleach spots from transfer as long as I put it on about a half hour before bed. It is a tad drying, but my skin is not red or irritated and I've had no new zits. I use this every night and some mornings. Works great under sunscreen and /or makeup. I like the tube packaging, very practical and easy to dispense the right amount.
At this point, I'm happy and plan to repurchase when I run out. Will update after more time goes by...

on 3/7/2015 12:08:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Green

This is such an effective treatment but surprisingly isn't overdrying. I put this on morning and night and have noticed a huge difference in the amount of acne I have as well as dark marks. It applies and dries nicely. A word of caution though: be very careful when putting this around your mouth! I had put too much, too often, probably, and had flaking skin for a week.

on 7/31/2014 10:36:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Red, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

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.

on 5/6/2014 2:16:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

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!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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