Clear Acne Regular 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 experiencing mild to moderate acne, blackheads, or white bumps.

How It Compares
  • With this light-as-water texture, you will barely feel it as it goes to work fast to reduce blackheads, white bumps, and acne by unclogging pores and calming redness.
  • 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 at a slightly higher pH value for stronger acidity.
  • 1% Calm BHA Exfoliant offers similar 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 thicker.
  • The RESIST Pore Refining 2% BHA is formulated with a richer blend of antioxidants
  • This exfoliant has a pH range of 3.5-4.0, which is less acidic than its Extra Strength variant.

Key Ingredients

  • Function
    Skin Types
    Skincare Routine
    After Toner, Before Serum
    Allergy Information
  • Water (Aqua), Salicylic Acid (exfoliant), Dipropylene Glycol (hydration), Pentylene Glycol (hydration), Polysorbate 20 (stabilizer), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Glycerin (skin replenishing), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration/skin replenishing), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (skin-soothing), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Panthenol (hydration), PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer (texture-enhancing), Methyl Gluceth-20 (hydration), Glycereth-26 (texture-enhancing), Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane (hydration), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Tetrasodium EDTA (stabilizer), Sodium Metabisulfite (stabilizer)


    Journal of European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology, September 2016, issue 9, pages 1480-1490 Phytotherapy Research, August 2015, issue 8, pages 1117-22 Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine, 2013, volume 2013, article 827248 International Journal of Cosmetic Science, February 2000, issue 1, pages 21-52 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 Dermato-Endocrinology, July 2012, issue 3, pages 253-8

  • Apply once or twice daily after cleansing. 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. If excessive dryness or peeling occurs, reduce application to once per day or once every other day. 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 Skincare Routine article.
  • How does Clear Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution differ from Paula's regular BHA products?

    Clear Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution contains salicylic acid just like all of her other BHA products. The difference is that this product is a nearly weightless liquid for those struggling with acne and blackheads. It also contains specialized anti-irritants and a blend of skin-conditioning agents designed to help calm skin that's inflamed and reddened from acne.

    Why didn't Paula formulate a 1% salicylic acid exfoliant for the Clear line?

    The Clear line was designed to be an over-the-counter routine that's as effective as possible for those struggling with acne. Rather than offer an exfoliant with 1% salicylic acid, Paula opted to use 2% but formulate the exfoliant so its pH is slightly higher but still within range for efficacy. The penetration enhancers chosen help control the release of salicylic acid into the skin; the result is an effective product that's surprisingly gentle.

    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 Clear exfoliants is in the delivery systems and their textures. Both 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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