Paula’s Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Acne Kit Review

CLEAR Regular Strength Acne Kit by Paula’s Choice has been developed and marketed to treat mild to moderate acne breakouts. We have selected it to review its product ingredients and overall effectiveness in fighting acne for a blemish-free skin.

Paula's Choice Acne Kit regular strength

Quick Takeaway: Both Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid in the kit is critical, but the formulations have a big weakness, almost no use of natural ingredients. That’s one of the reasons it doesn’t measure up to Exposed🏆.

For the price you can find better formulations that still use both OTC medications.

Founded by Paula Begoun in 1995, Paula’s Choice has introduced a range of skincare products over the past two decades under the “smart, safe beauty” philosophy. The brand is known for its research-based formulas and environmentally-conscious and ethical approach to product formulation and marketing. Over the years, it has expanded the Paula’s Choice product range to address common concerns of everyday women, from aging to acne-prone skin. The CLEAR Regular Strength Acne Kit is one of those solutions developed by Paula’s Choice to treat common acne breakouts. It has been designed for a 3-step routine with the CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser, Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution and the Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment.

🙂 The Pros:

In a market with only a handful of treatments that use both BP and Salicylic Acid, the CLEAR Regular Strength Acne Kit holds a definite advantage over most other products. Its gentle and light-weight formulas are developed to provide fast results for normal, dry, oily as well as combination skin.

Salicylic Acid will open pores and allow the Benzoyl Peroxide to kill acne causing bacteria. The products are highly medicated to be gentle on the skin but lack many benefits of natural ingredients we look for what counter dryness, redness or irritation. Noticeably absent are Green Tea, Azelaic Acid(Dicarboxylic Acid), Licorice Root Extract, etc.

Let’s look at some of the key active ingredients and characteristics of the Paula’s Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Acne Kit products and what they mean to your skin.

  • Salicylic acid – The Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution contains 2% salicylic acid in the Exfoliating Solution, a commonly used ingredient by dermatologists to fight bacteria. Salicylic acid is known for penetrating deep into the skin pores and exfoliating to remove dead skin cells, and thereby clearing clogged pores and preventing blemishes, blackheads, and whiteheads.
  • Benzoyl peroxide – 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, is the main active ingredient of the Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment. It’s especially known for its ability to kill acne-causing bacteria deep within the pores.
  • Free from harsh ingredients – The CLEAR Regular Strength Acne Kit is free from added alcohols, astringents, and fragrances, providing gentle care for the skin. Products are not tested on Animals.

Paula’s Choice products are also known for their cruelty free formulas.

Retailing at around $50, it’s also reasonably priced for an acne treatment kit, placing it within the average price range of other similar products in the market.

🙁 The Cons:

Poor Natural Formulations – The products are well medicated, but users saw some occurrence of redness and irritation probably due to the lack of natural ingredients that can help with these side-affects. If the CLEAR kit came with a better quality formulation that added natural products along with OTC medication it could be one of the best out there. We would look at the Exposed Skin Care options if you can afford a few dollars more.

Also, this treatment kit is recommended for mild to moderate acne. Therefore, if you experience regular breakouts, hormonal or cystic acne, this might not provide you with effective results.

good medication, but low marks for lacking natural ingredients

In addition, while salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are used in low concentrations, they are both known for their drying effects and could cause peeling and irritation on hyper-sensitive or damaged skin. Therefore, it’s recommended that you first consult your doctor if you suffer from such conditions.

Amazon Reviews

The CLEAR Regular Strength Acne Kit is featured on Amazon under the Amazon Choice label, which recommends top-rated and reasonably-priced products for shoppers. It has a 3.8-star rating based on average ratings by over 146 users.

57% of customers have given it a 5-star rating on Amazon, with 1 out of 4 users giving 1 or 2 stars. Reviews on the Amazon product page provide great first-hand insights from users for you to get an idea before purchasing.

Here are some of the most recent reviews, which provide both negative and positive insights.

Be conscious when buying.

jaimie bartholomew | Nov 29, 2019

one star rating1.0 out of 5 stars
verified purchaseVerified Purchase

This made my skin worse. I would not recommend.

Do not buy.

Fati | Nov 25, 2019

one star rating1.0 out of 5 stars
verified purchaseVerified Purchase

My face has completely had an allergic reaction to this. I will be contacting them directly to file a complaint.

Fati amazon review images

Optimistic about This

Optimus Crymez | November 6, 2019

four star rating4.0 out of 5 stars
verified purchaseVerified Purchase

Received it today and the bottles are small. Genuine articles that have worked for so many I know. I’m praying for the same. Arrived on time, as described and looks authentic. Will update results!

Update: After a few days, the raised acne marks have become smooth and no new outbreaks. TBC…

Get it!

Jennifer | October 28, 2019

five star rating5.0 out of 5 stars
verified purchaseVerified Purchase

I love this!!! All of a sudden I started getting deep white heads, and tried lots of products but this product worked for me. I love it!! You literally see results over night. Worth it.

Skin test first before using in face!!!!

Mars | October 18, 2019

one star rating1.0 out of 5 stars
verified purchaseVerified Purchase

I was very excited to try this kit. Unfortunately, after the 2nd night, i started experiencing a burning sensation and when i awoke the following morning, my entire face had broken out and my top dermal layer had risen into a red, itchy, scaly, rough, and lizard-like texture. I had quite a bad reaction to one (or possibly all) of the products in the kit. I’m thinking it may have just been the benzoyl peroxide, but i ended up tossing everything anyway. This reaction lasted for over a week before it started clearing! While this product may work fine for some people, i would heavily suggest spot testing the kit on a section of your skin before using on your face. I learned the hard way and it was not fun.

Final verdict

Paula’s Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Acne Kit is one of the best options in the market to achieve clearer blemish-free skin. The fact that it can be used effectively on any skin type places it among the few products currently available for especially sensitive skin types that are suffering from acne breakouts.

These “Regular Strength” products by Paula’s Choice works on all skin types mainly because of their non-harsh formulas that are gentle on the skin. This also means that they will not be so effective for acute or regular acne conditions. But if you suffer from mild to moderate acne, this would be a good acne treatment option to get fast results.

 

Better than a strong acne medication? The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that Benzoyl Peroxide + Salicylic Acid produced even better results than a leading non-OTC product: so it might be best to look for that combination in the acne treatment you choose.

Acne Treatment Comparison Chart

Discover which acne treatment is best for your skin. Below we compare the most popular, best-selling complete acne treatment systems available on the market today3.

comparison arrow
active ingredients icon
Scientific Actives
& Skin Repairing
Ingredients
Murad Clear Control
Murad®

Clear Control

Visit
Murad
Exposed Basic Kit
Exposed®

Basic Kit

Visit
Exposed
Paula's Choice CLEAR Regular Strength
Paula's Choice

CLEAR Regular Strength

Visit
Paula's Choice
Rodan & Fields Unblemished
Rodan & Fields®

Unblemish

Visit
Rodan & Fields
benzoyl peroxide icon
Benzoyl PeroxideKills Acne Bacteria
salicylic acid icon
Salicylic AcidUnclogs Pores
glycolic acid icon
Glycolic AcidRenews Skin
sulfur icon
SulfurDries Sebum
azelaic acid icon
Natural Dicarboxylic AcidNormalizes Skin
natural extracts icon
Natural Extracts
Proven to Heal
Skin
Murad®

Clear Control

Visit
Murad
Exposed®

Basic Kit

Visit
Exposed
Paula's Choice

CLEAR Regular Strength

Visit
Paula's Choice
Rodan & Fields®

Unblemish

Visit
Rodan & Fields
green tea icon
Green TeaKills Acne Bacteria
passion flower icon
Passion FlowerReduces Inflammation
aloe vera icon
Aloe VeraSoothes Irritated Skin
sage extract icon
Sage ExtractFights Free Radicals
goru kola icon
Gotu KolaImproves Skin Healing
value icon
Guarantee and Price(60-day supply)
60 days$79.94
365 days$59.95
60 days$48.00
30 days$193.99
amazon icon
Amazon Rating(Updated 9/10/2019)
3.683 reviews
4.01,663 reviews
3.8219 reviews
3.650 reviews
google icon
Google Shopping Rating(Updated 9/10/2019)
4.0529 reviews
4.5929 reviews
4.2568 reviews
4.02,756 reviews
staff rating icon
Staff Rating
Exposed Basic Kit
Exposed®

Basic Kit

active ingredients icon
Scientific Actives & Skin Repairing Ingredients
benzoyl peroxide icon
Benzoyl PeroxideKills Acne Bacteria
salicylic acid icon
Salicylic AcidUnclogs Pores
glycolic acid icon
Glycolic AcidRenews Skin
sulfur icon
SulfurDries Sebum
azelaic acid icon
Natural Dicarboxylic AcidNormalizes Skin
natural extracts icon
Natural Extracts Proven to Heal Skin
green tea icon
Green TeaKills Acne Bacteria
passion flower icon
Passion FlowerReduces Inflammation
aloe vera icon
Aloe VeraSoothes Irritated Skin
sage extract icon
Sage ExtractFights Free Radicals
goru kola icon
Gotu KolaImproves Skin Healing
value icon
Guarantee and Price(60-day supply)
365 days$59.95
amazon icon
Amazon Rating(Updated 9/10/2019)
4.01,663
reviews
google icon
Google Shopping Rating(Updated 9/10/2019)
4.5929
reviews
staff rating icon
Staff Rating
Murad Clear Control
Murad®

Clear Control

active ingredients icon
Scientific Actives & Skin Repairing Ingredients
benzoyl peroxide icon
Benzoyl PeroxideKills Acne Bacteria
salicylic acid icon
Salicylic AcidUnclogs Pores
glycolic acid icon
Glycolic AcidRenews Skin
sulfur icon
SulfurDries Sebum
azelaic acid icon
Natural Dicarboxylic AcidNormalizes Skin
natural extracts icon
Natural Extracts Proven to Heal Skin
green tea icon
Green TeaKills Acne Bacteria
passion flower icon
Passion FlowerReduces Inflammation
aloe vera icon
Aloe VeraSoothes Irritated Skin
sage extract icon
Sage ExtractFights Free Radicals
goru kola icon
Gotu KolaImproves Skin Healing
value icon
Guarantee and Price(60-day supply)
60 days$79.94
amazon icon
Amazon Rating(Updated 9/10/2019)
3.683
reviews
google icon
Google Shopping Rating(Updated 9/10/2019)
4.0529
reviews
staff rating icon
Staff Rating
Paula's Choice CLEAR Regular Strength
Paula's Choice

CLEAR Regular Strength

active ingredients icon
Scientific Actives & Skin Repairing Ingredients
benzoyl peroxide icon
Benzoyl PeroxideKills Acne Bacteria
salicylic acid icon
Salicylic AcidUnclogs Pores
glycolic acid icon
Glycolic AcidRenews Skin
sulfur icon
SulfurDries Sebum
azelaic acid icon
Natural Dicarboxylic AcidNormalizes Skin
natural extracts icon
Natural Extracts Proven to Heal Skin
green tea icon
Green TeaKills Acne Bacteria
passion flower icon
Passion FlowerReduces Inflammation
aloe vera icon
Aloe VeraSoothes Irritated Skin
sage extract icon
Sage ExtractFights Free Radicals
goru kola icon
Gotu KolaImproves Skin Healing
value icon
Guarantee and Price(60-day supply)
60 days$48.00
amazon icon
Amazon Rating(Updated 9/10/2019)
3.8219
reviews
google icon
Google Shopping Rating(Updated 9/10/2019)
4.2568
reviews
staff rating icon
Staff Rating
Rodan & Fields Unblemished
Rodan & Fields®

Unblemish

active ingredients icon
Scientific Actives & Skin Repairing Ingredients
benzoyl peroxide icon
Benzoyl PeroxideKills Acne Bacteria
salicylic acid icon
Salicylic AcidUnclogs Pores
glycolic acid icon
Glycolic AcidRenews Skin
sulfur icon
SulfurDries Sebum
azelaic acid icon
Natural Dicarboxylic AcidNormalizes Skin
natural extracts icon
Natural Extracts Proven to Heal Skin
green tea icon
Green TeaKills Acne Bacteria
passion flower icon
Passion FlowerReduces Inflammation
aloe vera icon
Aloe VeraSoothes Irritated Skin
sage extract icon
Sage ExtractFights Free Radicals
goru kola icon
Gotu KolaImproves Skin Healing
value icon
Guarantee and Price(60-day supply)
30 days$193.99
amazon icon
Amazon Rating(Updated 9/10/2019)
3.650
reviews
google icon
Google Shopping Rating(Updated 9/10/2019)
4.02,756
reviews
staff rating icon
Staff Rating

Find more information and before/after pictures on the Exposed Skincare website.

What the Pros Say: Review Summaries

Basic Kit

Best Overall Acne Treatment   4.5/5

Our Top Recommendation – If you have sensitive skin, this kit is definitely a good option for you. This product has all the key ingredients and more, utilizing both scientific and natural actives to effectively treat and prevent all kinds of acne, from blackheads to pimples. It contains benzoyl peroxide to help treat pimples, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid to treat blackheads and whiteheads, and it contains green tea, aloe vera, and passionflower extract to reduce inflammation and redness.

High-quality ingredients with an ideal combination of active ingredients, this kit has the highest customer ratings on both Amazon and Google Shopping, & comes with a full one-year money-back guarantee.

Although it is still generally very affordable, this kit is slightly more expensive than some of the other kits in this list.

Mild Acne Treatment – (Runner Up)

Clear Control Kit   3.5/5

This kit is designed to treat and prevent very mild acne and works best with normal to oily skin. It contains salicylic acid, which helps open pores and fights blackheads and whiteheads, and sulfur, which helps dry out excess oil. It also contains a few natural ingredients, like passionflower and sage extract, which can both help reduce inflammation.

This acne treatment kit is the most affordable option in this list, making it a great place to start if you are hesitant to invest too much money into your skincare right away.

The products in the Murad kit do not contain ingredients that effectively prevent or treat pimples (pustule or papules), though it is a good solution for treating white/blackheads.

CLEAR Regular Strength

3.0/5

This is a classic acne treatment kit, containing the two most popular ingredients on the market: salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. By combining these ingredients, this kit can effectively treat blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. It is relatively gentle, meaning it’s a great option for dry to normal skin types.

This kit contains only three products and involves a very simple routine, so it’s a great option for those who struggle to stick to new habits.

Surprisingly it does not contain any anti-inflammatory ingredients and isn’t the best for sensitive skin types and can reduce its effectiveness.

Unblemish

Overall Acne Treatment (Runner Up)   4.0/5

This kit is a good option for those who have both oily and sensitive skin. The benzoyl peroxide effectively treats pimples, while the sulfur helps dry out excess oil that can contribute to blackheads and whiteheads. It also includes sage and green tea extract, to help prevent sensitive skin from having an inflammatory reaction to the benzoyl peroxide or sulfur.

This kit is the best one in this list for skin that is both oily and sensitive.

Unfortunately, this particular kit is far more expensive than the other options by nearly $150.