Paula's Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution With 2% Salicylic Acid

Paula's Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution With 2% Salicylic Acid
CLEAR Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution With 2% Salicylic AcidCLEAR Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution With 2% Salicylic Acid

4.3

115 reviews

80% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$$

Not tested on animals

INGREDIENTS

Active: Salicylic Acid 2%; Inactive: Water, Dipropylene Glycol (slip agent/penetration enhancer), Pentylene Glycol (slip agent), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Glycerin (skin-identical ingredient), Sodium Hyaluronate (water-binding agent), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Allantoin (anti-irritants), Panthenol (skin-conditioning agent), PEG/PPG-17/6/Copolymer (solvent), Methyl Gluceth-20 (skin-conditioning agent), Glycereth-26 (thickener), Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane (skin-conditioning agent), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Sodium Metabisulfite (stabilizer), Tetrasodium EDTA (chelating agent).

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on 11/10/2017 5:20:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Other

This one is a true HG for me! I've been using this for years, but six months ago I ran out and didn't repurchase. I really don't know why, perhaps I was thinking it wasn't doing anything for me. A short time after running out I began getting break outs, the sebaceous filaments on my nose and forehead seemed to double in quantity and size, and overall my complexion got less clear. I decided to try out the BHA from The Ordinary, and when that didn't seem to do anything for me, I began focusing on hydration and less actives. Nothing seemed to make my "new" skin any better, so I finally repurchased and after two weeks my skin was back to what is used to be. THIS was the reason I had somewhat clear skin without any major breakouts, and now I'll make sure never to be without. So definitely HG for me! I do find it a bit expensive, compared to a lot of other BHAs, but I gladly pay the price.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.



on 11/3/2017 3:35:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I had a stubborn case of Perioral Dermatitis for an entire year and during this time I avoided any and all exfoliants because my skin barrier was wrecked and extra sensitive. After clearing my skin and changing my skincare, my skin was in desperate need of some major (but gentle!) exfoliation...to say the least! Although I was nervous about trying anything potentially irritating or drying. This toner is amazing. Non-drying and no irritation. It literally feels like water going on and dries down quickly so you can move on with the rest of your skincare. I started with every 3 nights and moved slowly to every other night and I saw results within just a handful of applications. I've been using it most nights now and my skin is definitely calmer and my PD/Rosacea redness has virtually disappeared or at least it's controlled now (I can still get a bit pink on my cheeks with weather/temp changes). I'm nearly done with my second bottle and I have a backup ready to go in my closet.

Wait for a sale w/ free shipping and purchase the little 2oz trial size bottle. FYI, if you travel with the 2oz bottle, be sure to put it into a ziplock bag by itself or transfer to another bottle...it leaks!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on 10/9/2017 6:19:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Although I have mature, sensitive, roseacea prone skin, in hot humid weather, I get oily and reactive
with bumps. I bump up my skincare routine, and use Paula Choice for oily. I purchased this as a
possibility, and frankly I get better results on my skin using this instead of the BHA treatments.
It does tone down red reactions, and does exfoliate very gently.

Now that the weather is cooling down, I'm using this every other day, followed by oil free moisture.
But this is a winner!


Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I have normal to dry, occasionally congested, mature skin. My skin responds very nicely to both BHA and AHA products when I have access to quality formulations (or prepare my own solution/serums at home). I had high hopes for the PC 2% since I had read it was not as drying as the Obagi 2% toner I had been using previously. I absolutely hated the oily residue left behind when using the 2% PC product. I have skin more on the dry side and this actually caused me to break out, not purge, it caused actual breakouts in areas I do not have any congestion whatsoever...a sure sign that a product is not for me, unfortunately. I am also put off by the exorbitant cost of a product made from such inexpensive ingredients. I have mixed feelings when it comes to Paula's Choice's school of thought in regards to skincare...sometimes I agree with her and other times I find she's still touting outdated and disproven ideas about skincare. For instance, her stance on alcohol being such a complete horror to the point that she disregards (and even demonizes) any and all other aspects of those skincare products, in spite of the numerous studies that have shown small amounts are not damaging and in some instances are possibly beneficial...she even denies the positive attributes of fatty alcohols (while she uses several types of alcohol in her own products and slyly describes them as slip agents or penetration boosters rather than admitting the are alcohols). Nonetheless, she does make a number of products I can stand behind... Unfortunately, this is not one of them. There are just better BHA solutions/toners out there. The positive reactions you see on websites simply come from people who've seen the kind of results a sufficiently powerful BHA product will produce, rather than her product being anything special. My problem, the same as many others, are the various added ingredients that can be either too oily, drying (too astringent), and/or leave an uncomfortable residue on the skin. Those issues may or may not be ideal depending on one's individual skin type, so I have had a long journey of searching for a BHA product that had more balanced/soothing properties (although keep in mind Salicylic acids tend to be somewhat drying by nature, so I, having easily dehydrated skin, use an additional step and prep with a good ph balancing toner like Son and Park Beauty Water or Mizon AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner), rather than the extremes you get with Obagi or Paulas Choice. For anyone else who has had similar problems finding a good affordable BHA, I recently found a new one I really like on Amazon, it is listed as Humane BHA Clarifying Toner Blackhead and Pore Minimizer Salicylic Acid 2% (the front of the bottle simply says; Humane Clarifying Toner with 2% Salicylic acid) and it has been amazing. It is made with less irritating ingredients, plus it's available for under twenty dollars, $17 actually! I've added it to my routine with spectacular results, which has me curious about other products by them ...affordable, quality skincare should not feel like a long and arduous quest, but it sure feels like I'm constantly being sold lesser rings, for hellacious prices, in my search for the "precious" holy grail products

4 of 7 people found this helpful.


on 6/29/2017 2:03:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

This exfoliant along with the Clear Cleanser helped get rid of my cystic acne and I have been able to maintain my clear skin for the last 2 years, before which no other products had worked. I also recommended it to my younger sister who was struggling with cystic acne - prescribed topical treatments and going on the pill did not help - and this combination of Paula's Choice products improved her skin dramatically. I highly recommend to anyone struggling with acne. It prevents future breakouts, heals current acne quickly and over time greatly reduces scarring. The only thing it doesn't entirely diminish is the emergence of white heads, though considering how well it works otherwise this is a minor if even non-issue.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Good for oil control and clogged pores. Have to say it does not u unclog the stubborn ones. Worked almost same as the original bha liquid.


on 1/29/2017 6:06:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

Wow!! I am in love with this toner! I have dry, acne prone, sensitive skin and after two weeks of using this product (I use it once a day in the PM applied with a cotton pad) my skin has never looked better! Red marks from old breakouts have faded significantly, my pores are smaller, the blackheads on my nose have been reduced and my skin feels so soft and smooth and has a glow I haven't seen since my early teens. I noticed a visible difference in my skin's brightness and texture after just one use and the results have kept coming! My husband even told me my skin looked pretty after my first week using it and that is not a compliment I am used to hearing as my skin tends to be dry, dull and prone to redness and sensitivity. This is an HG product for me, if the results continue to be this amazing I will be a loyal Paula's Choice customer for life, it's just that good!!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on 2/12/2017 8:15:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Over the past year, I have cycled through nearly all of the Paula's Choice BHA treatments. Clear Regular Strength 2% BHA ended up being my second favorite after RESIST 2% BHA. The Clear product is a water-weight liquid, has a neutral scent, and soaks in very quickly, leaving the skin slightly plumped and ready for the next skin care step. Its consistency is such that I can use it as a toner and treatment in one step. It is wonderful under my sunscreen in the AM, and does not contribute to any extra oiliness or shine. I have never had any irritation from this BHA, and in fact find it slightly soothing. It has been best for regular maintenance of clear pores rather than an antidote for severely clogged skin, however, it has been fairly good at occasional spot treatment. The consistency is very similar to RESIST 2% BHA, so is a good backup if my favorite RESIST is ever out of stock. Clear Regular Strength is a slightly lower price per ounce than the RESIST, so it is a better value if anti-aging ingredients are not wanted / needed.

Below are my rankings for various qualities I was seeking in a BHA treatment (1 = best, 5 = worst). Clear hits a sweet spot for my skin due to its balanced formula and versatility for daily use. However, if given a choice, I would prefer to use the RESIST 2% BHA because of its additional anti-aging ingredients. Bottom line, I have found Clear Regular Strength 2% BHA is a great skin-supportive formula for a complexion that has breakouts or clogged pores mostly under control, which perfectly describes my skin.

Gentleness
1) Calm 1% lotion
2) Resist 2% liquid / PC4Men Soothe + Smooth
3) Clear 2% regular strength liquid
4) Skin Perfecting 2% lotion
5) Skin Perfecting 2% liquid or gel

Effectiveness
1) Skin Perfecting 2% liquid or gel
2) Clear 2% regular strength liquid
3) Resist 2% liquid / PC4Men Soothe + Smooth
4) Skin Perfecting 2% lotion
5) Calm 1% lotion

Texture and ease of use in daily skin care routine
1-2) Resist 2% liquid / PC4Men Soothe + Smooth or Clear 2% regular strength liquid
3) Calm 1% lotion
4) Skin Perfecting 2% lotion
5) Skin Perfecting 2% liquid or gel

10 of 10 people found this helpful.


on 2/21/2017 11:18:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I've tried this and the Paula's Choice Extra Strength BHA (a.k.a. their Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid), and unlike the latter which I found a bit too drying and far too sticky, the Regular Strength BHA is lightweight and watery (i.e. more like what you would actually expect a liquid to be like), much more absorbent, and in my experience isn't the slightest bit drying or irritating. This is because they very wisely combined the salicylic acid with humectants like sodium hyaluronate and anti-irritants like dipotassium glycyrrhizate - which is derived from licorice root. Also, it's at a higher pH than the Extra Strength (3.9 as opposed to 3.5), which is still within the right level for the salicylic acid to work its exfoliative magic but without the irritation that comes with a more acidic pH.

While the formula itself would earn 5 stars from me, I have to knock off at least one star for Paula's Choice's awful packaging for their liquid exfoliants. It seems the company doesn't understand that liquids can easily leak from bottles that aren't tightly sealed, so forget trying to travel with this bottle unless you want to deeply exfoliate the bottom of your suitcase. I've noticed the leakage issue has been a common theme in their reviews and yet Paula's Choice has done nothing to address this issue. Funnily enough, the trial sizes for their liquid exfoliants DO have a cap that can be properly sealed, so I don't know why they don't simply replicate that design for their full size bottles. For now, I keep a trial size bottle handy and travel with that instead.

Despite the frustrating packaging issue, this is my Holy Grail BHA, although I'm going to try the COSRX BHA once this bottle finishes just for curiosity's sake to see if I can get similar results (particularly as the latter is more cost-effective).

9 of 9 people found this helpful.


Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Not a big fan of this product. Really. Bought it after seeing tons of glowing reviews of it. I thought my skin would be less problematic but worsened my whiteheads and irritates my skin so much! Furthermore, I get new pimples each time + skin turns red when I used this! + IT'S PRETTY EXPENSIVE TO GET THIS.


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