Paula's Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment (2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide) reviews
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Benzoyl Peroxide (2.5%).
Water, Propylene Glycol, Bisabolol, Allantoin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Citrate, Laureth-4, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol.
Items marked with red have tested a 3 or above (out of 5) in comedogenic (pore-clogging) testing.
The list of ingredients above is provided for informational purposes only. Always check the actual product label in your possession for the most accurate ingredient information due to product changes or upgrades that may not yet be reflected on our web site.
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Note: This review is for a 3-product kit which includes this treatment. No idea why the kit isn't listed on this site!
I've had mild to moderate acne since I was a teenager, over 15 years ago. It's been bad enough that while in college I did a round of Accutane, which greatly improved my skin but didn't completely eliminate acne. In the ten years since then, I've had some acne, not enough to undergo a serious treatment again but enough to be annoying and make me self conscious. I have few large zits at this point, but often have a lot of rash-like red bumps, especially on my chin and jawline, and closed comodones on my forehead that are bumpy.
I've been using the Paula's Choice Clear Regular Strength Acne Kit 2x day for a few weeks now, and I've been really surprised by how much my skin has improved: redness down, bumps down, no new zits, skin that feels much, much smoother when I apply stuff to it, and more even skin tone. I've tried lots of things over the years and nothing really worked, including some of the Paula's Choice products used individually, so I am generally very skeptical of skincare product claims. I haven't seen improvement like this since the Accutane.
It is drying, so I apply moisturizer more often. (Cleanser, exfoliant, treatment, moisturizer, + more moisturizer ten minutes later.) I also find that my regular moisturizer (not Paula's Choice) stings when I apply it after the BP treatment, and the stinging and a slight pink hue can last for a few minutes. But it's not unbearable, and my skin calms down before long. It feels as if my skin is just more sensitive, since the top layers are being exfoliated off and the pores are open and clean. But I'll take the minor dryness and stinging for better skin, and so far these products have delivered. I'd definitely recommend that someone with a similar kind of acne try it. The kit comes in a trial version that is not expensive, so you can see if it works for you without spending very much.
I have been using this for several months now, it is a nice product but again my main complaint with paulas choice is the price. These really are nice quality products so I understand the price, none of her products have broken me out which is important for most people on this site. It hasn't reduced my redness to a significant extent however this is only a face wash so don't have high hopes.
It doesn't dry my skin out (Combination oily) and I don't really have any complaints. However, once my bottle has ran out I don't know If I will re-purchase due to the price and me feeling that it does not do that much for redness left behind from spots which is my primary concern.
If you have slight redness I would recommend this, however if you have stubborn marks of redness like myself you need to focus on something targeting the deeper layers of the skin, I dont think this working on the epidermis will do much unfortunately.
I've used this BP treatment for over two years following the birth of my second child, although they have changed the formula in the last year or so. Right now it's a lot more liquidy, absorbs faster and supposedly works better. I'm not sure that it works better than it did before, it's definitely slightly more drying than it was before. While I was using it, I was also on the bc pill and using Retin A cream at night (plus moisturizers and an exfoliator on occasion). This combination didn't clear my acne completely, but it kept it in good check - a few break outs a month. However, winter came and I could not put up with the dryness, so I switched to azelaic acid. I don't think this product is cost effective if you're going to do the regimen, but I also think the amount of BP the regimen calls for is not necessary. A thinner, more frequent application would probably keep bacteria in check better.
I bought this for my sons to use for their back acne and really wanted to like it, thought it would be a good 2.5% BP product to try. My sons have used Dan's BP, as well as ProActiv and Neutrogena 2.5% BP in the past with great success in treating acne. However, the Paula's Choice didn't really help clear their acne at all, it just seemed to make it more red and inflamed. Unlike the other BP products they've used, which really worked quickly and produced results, this just made the acne look worse. They stopped using it and the back acne actually cleared up quicker using nothing at all.
First the good stuff: This is 2.5% which is the ideal strength for benzoyl peroxide. Also, it's in a nice liquidy-gel formulation which spreads easily and dries relatively quickly.
Now for the drawbacks: It's $7.50 per ounce, so it will become extremely expensive to use this with The Regimen on a regular basis. Also, after the initial pleasant cool gel feeling when I apply it, a burning feeling presents itself about a minute later. It's uncomfortable but not terrible. I'm unsure if this is from the preservatives in the product, or perhaps the choice of propylene glycol instead of butylene glycol? It's hard to tell. Also, after it dries, it leaves a stickiness on my skin. While this stickiness is not a total deal breaker, it is not a very pleasant after-feel. This stickiness disappears after I apply moisturizer, but my skin is left feeling a bit tight and just not quite right. It also contains Laureth-4, which is considered a 5 out of 5 for comedogenicity (clogs pores). I'm confused about why this ingredient would be added to an acne product.
My bottom line: Kudos to Paula's Choice for selling a gel-based 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, and this might be OK to use in a pinch, but the sting, stickiness, and addition of Laureth-4 makes me give it a 3 out of 5.