Clear Acne Extra Strength Exfoliating Treatment 2% BHA (Salicylic Acid)

What It Does:
  • Removes old skin cells on the skin’s surface & inside the pore
  • Unclogs Pores
  • Shrink Enlarged Pores
  • Reshapes Pore Lining
  • Improve Skin Cell Turnover Rate
  • Smooths Wrinkles & Skin Surface
  • Increases Collagen Production

Who This Product Is For

CLEAR Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid is ideal for all skin types struggling with stubborn acne, blackheads, or white bumps. It has a potent acne-fighting formula that can immediately reduce the appearance of blackheads, pimples, white bumps, and acne by unclogging pores and calming redness.

How It Compares
  • The lightweight, non-occlusive formula allows for a faster and deeper exfoliation rate than our gel or lotion BHA products, so it's an ideal choice for stubborn clogged pores or blackheads.
  • Additionally, BHA has antibacterial properties that attack blemish-causing bacteria. That makes it a good complement to any benzoyl-peroxide based acne treatment.
  • 2% is commonly the right strength, unless you have sensitive skin.
  • Our Pore Refining Treatment 2% BHA is formulated with a richer blend of antioxidants, but has a lower volume at a higher price point.
  • The Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid is the exact same formulation and performs to equal benefit.
  • 1% Calm BHA Exfoliant offers the same benefits for a more sensitive friendly dose
  • 4% BHA Exfoliant offers a stronger dose in a foaming liquid texture
  • The Skin Perfecting Range offers a Gel (Oily skin) or Lotion (Dry Skin) variant.
  • RESIST Pore Refining 2% BHA is also a liquid, which is slightly runnier.
  • The RESIST Pore Refining 2% BHA is formulated with a richer blend of antioxidants
  • This exfoliant has a pH range of 3.2-3.8, slightly more acidic than its Regular Strength variant

Key Ingredients

  • Function
    Skin Types
    Skincare Routine
    After Toner, Before Serum
    Allergy Information
  • Water (Aqua), Methylpropanediol (hydration), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Polysorbate 20 (texture-enhancing), Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract (green tea/skin-soothing/antioxidant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancer), Tetrasodium EDTA (stabilizer)


    Journal of European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology, September 2016, issue 9, pages 1480-1490 Archives of Dermatology, August 2000, issue 8, pages 989-94 Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 2015, volume 8, pages 455-461 Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, September 2008, issue 3, pages 170-6

  • Apply once or twice daily after cleansing and toning. Lightly soak a cotton pad and apply over the entire face, including the eye area (avoid the lower lash line and eyelids). Do not rinse. For daytime, follow with a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 25 or greater. Detailed instructions on how/when to apply your Paula's Choice products can be found in our How to Put Together Your Own Skin-Care Routine article.
  • How does Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution differ from Paula's regular BHA products?

    Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution is actually identical to our longstanding, best-selling 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Liquid. The original product is so effective at keeping acne under control that Paula decided to add this formula to her Clear line so it is a distinct part of this 3-step routine for those struggling with blemishes. If you're already using our 2% BHA Liquid, you don't need to switch to this product; either way, you're getting an exceptional product to help combat acne, blackheads, and whiteheads while creating smooth, healthy skin.

    Why does Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution feel tacky and/or greasy on my face?

    Most likely because you're using too much product. The average amount necessary for facial application is less than the size of a dime. The product is best applied in a thin layer, and has great spreading properties. The "greasy" feel can be attributed to the high levels of glycol in this product (glycol helps the BHA penetrate the surface layers of skin and also works as a water-binding agent). If you live in a humid, moist climate, this effect will be more pronounced and, if too much product is used, can create a "greasy" feel on the skin. Many customers have remarked how silky-soft their skin is as a result of Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution, and that is the result of the humectants working with the BHA to exfoliate and hydrate the skin. To eliminate the tacky feeling, press a tissue gently onto skin after the exfoliant has been absorbed. This removes any residual product while not affecting efficacy.

    What's the difference between the Regular and Extra Strength Clear exfoliants? Both contain 2% salicylic acid!

    The difference between the Regular and Extra Strength exfoliants is in the delivery systems and their textures. Both anti-acne exfoliants contain 2% salicylic acid but the Regular Strength has a nearly weightless feel on your skin and a pH of around 3.9, making it gentler on the skin. The Extra Strength version's formula can penetrate deeper into the pore and has a pH of 3.5. It is designed for those with more stubborn or persistent breakouts. Both exfoliants are highly effective options as part of a routine for Clear skin; you may need to experiment with both to see which works best for your skin type. It is also fine to use both: Apply one in the morning and the other at night.

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