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

108 reviews

81% 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).

Start your review


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).

6 of 6 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

7 of 7 people found this helpful.


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!!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I love this stuff! I was debating on this and the extra strength version but my skin is sensitive and can be finicky so I thought I'd play it safe and get this one. I have normal to dry skin with occasionally clogged pores or irritation bumps and this product keeps those problems at bay! I use this once a day in the AM after cleansing and toning and then I use my serum then a moisturizer with spf 30+ (also Paula's choice might I add). I tried using twice a day but it's a little much for my skin and makes it dry. This was the first BHA I've ever used and I would totally repurchase and reccomend this to anyone who has mild acne. Haven't seen a reduction in my pores yet but I'm hoping I will see that with continued use :)

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


on 12/22/2016 4:24:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Green

I only used this product a few times and it left my skin incredibly rough and dry, which lasted for weeks. I don't think my skin likes this much exfoliation. Oh well, at least I bought the trial size.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on 12/6/2016 6:56:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I used to see a new cystic pimple every other day. This has reduced that to roughly every other month (maybe even less if I stop experimenting with other products). The most valuable product in my skincare arsenal.

I have dry skin, and it can be a bit drying/irritating, but definitely manageable when used in conjunction with moisturizing products

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on 11/9/2016 9:37:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Entire clear line is very affordable and yet effective. It really helps my skin and keeps blemishes away. I am a big fan of Paulas choice and clear line. This exfoliant is very light weight and non irritating. Just after 1 week of use I noticed amazing results. For $10 off follow this link https://goo.gl/byQqpB


on 10/21/2016 3:37:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I've used this and her standard 2% product interchangeably. They are both good, but I do need the 4% foam to really make a dent in nose blackheads.

If you want a $10 referral code, visit my Notepad.

EDIT:
I've used Paula's Choice BHA for the last six years, and just learned something new. Salicylic acid (or BHA) is not soluble in water at concentrations of more than 1%. This is why so many companies add alcohol to their BHA products: to dissolve the BHA before adding water to get higher BHA concentrations. Paula's Choice uses propylene or butylene glycol to dissolve salicylic acid in their water based BHA products. Is this a good thing? It's better than alcohol, which is drying, and it works. Propylene glycol is the active ingredient in my deodorant, and is in premade banana cream pies that I used to eat at work, e-cigarettes, and animal-safe antifreeze. I noticed that there are only two options on the market for water based BHA: Paula's and the cheap alcohol based BHA products like Stridex and Clearasil. However, there is one more way to buy BHA at the drugstore: Psoriasis cream. I might try one in the future, since I have combination skin that can handle lotions.

Edit: This post might have been down voted because I claim Stridex is alcohol based. I stand corrected. It is not. My best guess of how Stridex achieves a 2% BHA concentration is by using the surfactant Ammonium Xylene Sulfonate. (I'm not a cosmetic chemist so let me know if you have more info.)

8 of 10 people found this helpful.


on 9/30/2016 8:55:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

The effect is fairly noticeable after one night only but... I'm afraid I mistakenly see my ordinary skin as it might be the reflection of my imagination. After a week, I can tell that the improvement is real. My skin is smoother, my pores are cleared up, blackhead and whitehead are less noticeable, mild acnes on my forehead are tamed. While I use PC religiously, I try to extract some blackhead and whitehead and they're not going back. But it's true that I have stubborn blackhead on my nose, and they won't go away anytime soon.

The price is not ok for me cause salicylic acid is cheap. The price makes me starve! Even so, there's no product in the market that has 2% bha in ±100ml bottle and can be use safely everyday , except from PC. And the results make me proud of myself that I decided to splurge on this particular product.

At night I use 3 drops after I wash my face with clear n clean. Followed by rosehip seed oil, and finished with tetrinoid gel 0.025. I found that these steps are very effective for me and I don't feel any dryness.

For your reference:

Skin concerns: small acne in T zone , enlarged pore, blackhead, whitehead, fine lines from smiling, rough texture around my T zone

Skin type: combo normal-oily, easily dehydrated

Age: 23 years old


**UPDATE 4 OCT 2016 **

My stubborn blackhead, that is very black, became less noticeable and more brown-ish. It doesn't make my pores smaller but it cleans the gunk pretty well.

My forehead start to react. I don't know whether these new acne caused by PC or tetrinoin gel. I'm pretty new to both products. I think tetrinoin irritates my skin just like it irritate every human's skin.

BUT
I FIND THAT THE BOTTLE LEAK MAYBE CAUSED BY TRAVELLING I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO IT'S SO EXPENSIVE I'LL CRY BLOOD

**I live in non-English speaking country. I tried my best to write it down, hope you can understand cause I know I made a lot of mistakes.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.


on 9/12/2016 2:25:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Overall this product functions as a good calming toner. I haven't had any adverse reactions to this, nor do I feel that it created a drastic change in my skin.

I use this mainly in the morning as my exfoliant and have noted that it helps me skin stay calm and non reactive, with makeup use during the day.

I love the ingredients deck and feel it's definitely doing something so I will keep repurchasing.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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