Fragrance-free Acne Skin Wash: Review of Paula’s Choice Clear Extra Strength Kit (2024)

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Sensitive to fragrance and struggling with acne? Read on for our review of Paula’s Choice Clear Extra Strength Kit and find out whether it holds up to its promises.

Paula’s Choice Clear Extra Strenght Kit

The Clear Extra Strength kit is tailored for those struggling with stubborn acne. It’s a fragrance-free formula that fights acne-causing bacteria. The 3-step routine includes three products: a fragrance-free Cleanser, an Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid, and a Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide.

Review of Paula's Choice Clear Extra Strength
Paula’s Choice Clear Extra Strength Kit

Who is Paula’s Choice Acne Kit Good For?

The Clear Extra Strength Kit is formulated for those dealing with stubborn acne. Paula’s Choice also carries a Regular Strength Kit for those dealing with mild to moderate acne. Next, in my Paula’s Choice Clear Extra Strength Kit review, I’ll see if it holds up to its promise.

Review of Paula’s Choice Clear Extra Strength Kit

I have suffered from stubborn acne around the cheeks and chin and have tried a large number of various acne products. I even tried the ever-trendy (and very, very expensive) facial ‘hypofacial’ (recommended by our dermatologist), but alas, nothing seemed to work. Dealing with acne as an adult can be incredibly frustrating, and it can be especially frustrating when you also have sensitive skin and are unable to use fragranced products, which we all know is difficult to avoid in skincare.

I have been wanting to test Paula’s Choice Acne for a long time, and I am so happy I finally took the leap and tried the products. Paula’s Clear Acne Fighting Products don’t come cheap if you compare them to drugstore choices, but they’re also not as unaffordable as some prescription medications and acne washes tend to be.

Here’s what you get in Paula’s Choice Clear Acne Kit

The Clear Extra Strength Kit from Paula’s Choice comes with 3 products, each of which you will apply in 3 separate steps.

  • Step 1. CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser
    The cleansing gel cleanses the skin and is specifically formulated to remove excess oil and debris that can clog pores and lead to breakouts.
  • Step 2. CELAR Exfoliating Solution
    The exfoliating solution contains salicylic acid (2%), which is one of the most common ingredients used in acne-fighting products. It helps exfoliate and unclog pores.
  • Step 3. CLEAR Skin Clearing Treatment
    The exfoliating solution contains a low concentration of benzoyl peroxide (5%) and works by clearing and preventing acne-causing bacteria. It is mild but surprisingly effective, combined with the other products in the kit.

Paula’s Choice advises that you avoid using all products together initially and instead gradually increase application frequency and combine products as tolerated. Remember that not every skin type is the same, and be sure to patch-test products first if you’re prone to sensitivity and breakouts.

Verdict of Paula’s Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Acne Kit

Products claim to not cause dryness, flaking, or redness, which I, unfortunately, found not to be the case. Throughout the years, I have tested numerous products for acne, and it generally seems that acne products often cause dryness, so I won’t hold that against the Paula’s Choice Clear Extra Strength Kit. That said, I would prefer that they would be more upfront about the possibility of dryness, as it’s clear that other reviewers have also experienced dryness.

The products were drying and caused quite a bit of skin flaking, but in our opinion was worth it. After a few days, I could already tell that it was clearing up the skin. But expect some initial dryness when using the products, and make sure to use a good, rich moisturizer. Because I have sensitive skin, I started by using the products once a day instead of two times a day as the product suggests.

In conclusion, I really liked the Clear Extra Strength Acne Kit from Paul Choice. It is incredibly effective. A few weeks after I started using the products, I noticed a noticeable decrease in acne and much clearer skin – and after a few weeks of use, the dryness subsided. That’s why I think it’s one of the best fragrance-free products for acne-prone skin.

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