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 AcidCLEAR Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution With 2% Salicylic Acid


117 reviews

79% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.7

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.7

Price: $$$

Not tested on animals


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).

Where to Buy

Start your review

on 2/19/2019 11:17:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Tan, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

This has hylaronic acid (sodium hyaluronate) which is supposed to be water binding and moisturizing. Unfortunately I always break out from this ingredient which is also there in Cerave moisturizer and lot of other products nowadays. I tried this to exfoliate my acne prone skin but unfortunately I broke out badly after using it for 1 week. My skin was pretty much under control using the 0.5% clean and clear moisturizer but now it is a mess again after trying this. It did make my skin soft and plump but also gave me lot of big if you are acne prone, I would suggest patch testing on a small part of your face is a clear liquid consistency so I would put 3-4 drops in my moisturizer and then put it on.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

on 1/8/2019 10:54:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

This is my first Paula's Choice product and it was a little hard to figure out her line. There seems to be many salicylic acid products and it got confusing for me. I started breaking out on my chin last year and benzoyl peroxide did not help. I tried a drugstore salicylic but all these things dried out my already dry, older skin terribly. I have been using this for 3 months and it controls my breakouts and does not dry out my skin. I use it only on the chin and it is runny but I am very happy with the results as I have not had a cystic pimple since using it. I was getting a lot of post inflammation and redness so thank goodness for this. it is not cheap but worth every penny for me.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 2/4/2018 11:04:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Blue

I bought this after reading the reviews on makeupalley, and its the first Paula's choice product I tried. Having tried it for 3 months, until the trial size 30ml bottle ran out, I can say that unfortunately its not for me.

Firstly, the solution is far too runny. I have tried applying it with cotton pads and my fingers, but both times I think a lot of the liquid is wasted and don't know how much has actually gone onto my face. A second con for me is that this bottle is really leaky; I thought with it being a travel size it would be good for, you know, travelling. But I found that everytime I took it anywhere it would leak a bit, and towards the end I think i lost about 5ml of product which is a big waste - basically dont ever have this anything but upright, or maybe put it into a different bottle if you want to travel with it.

The main issue, however, is that I don't really think this did anything for my skin. My skin is pretty reactive and spot prone, and on the plus side it didn't react to this, but I don't think it was strong enough to give me any results.

I was really wanting to like this but I wont rebuy, I have moved onto PC 8% AHA which, so far, I absolutely love! So if you dont have super super sensitive skin and you're not worried about 8% AHA being too strong I would definitely recommend you choose the AHA over this, and I much prefer the gel solution (please read my full review if you want to hear more)

3 of 3 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!) 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 leaks!

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 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!

1 of 1 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: 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

7 of 10 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.

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).

10 of 10 people found this helpful.

Back to Top