Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Paula's Choice Clear Extra Strength BHA Review

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So guys… I kind of have a problem (and so does my cat).


"It started with catnip... where did it all go so wrong?" - Hector, the Paula's Choice Cat-ddict
I can’t stop using this product. It is my holy water. I would bathe in it if I could. Now let me tell you why this product is angel tears in a bottle (and pass on my obsession like the flu).

What is it?
The Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% salicylic acid is a standard chemical exfoliating liquid product made by Paula’s Choice [PC]. According to PC, the:
Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution provides an almost immediate reduction in blackheads, white bumps, and acne by unclogging pores and reducing inflammation with 2% salicylic acid. Unlike most products designed for acne-prone skin, Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution doesn't use harsh, irritating ingredients such as alcohol, menthol, peppermint, or camphor that can make acne worse. Clear Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution is designed to penetrate deeper into the pore lining than our Regular Strength Clear exfoliant for fast, concentrated results on stubborn, more serious breakouts. Ongoing use can guarantee significantly Clearer, smoother, even-toned skin and can significantly reduce redness from acne lesions. This product is 100% fragrance- and colorant-free with a pH range of 3.2-3.8.


Ingredients:
[active] Salicylic Acid 2% [inactive] Water, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Extract, Polysorbate-20, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA. Now personally, I’m a huge fan of products that are just here to do what they’re labeled to do. Usually I find products that try to do everything all at once tend to do nothing instead. Maybe my skin is more moisturized… but it's never as magically transformed as the multi-wondered unicorn had promised me- ya feel me?
So it’s no surprise that I love the simple ingredient list of this product. The powerhouse of this product is most obviously the salicylic acid. I’m not going to go into too much detail about how amazing BHA’s are [I think I did a pretty awesome job here explaining why]. Basically, salicylic acid is an incredible skincare ingredient because it’s anti-inflammatory, helps with acne, helps smooth the skin, and it can help other products in your routine penetrate even deeper.
Another great ingredient is the green tea extract. Green tea extract is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and some research points to it being anti carcinogenic and helping with UVR induced tumors production. It’s a great, simple ingredient. I don't think there's enough of this ingredient to truly help your skin in an impactful way, but it's certainly not hurting.


What’s it like?


This BHA toner comes completely colorant free and appears like water. The scent is faint and reminiscent of other BHA products (so, you know, it smells like salicylic acid- so helpful, I know).
Seriously, there's a whole dime's worth of BHA there


With my own pH strips, the pH of this product tests at between 3.5 and 4.0, which is in line with what the site claims. All in all, it’s your standard watery toner.

What do I think?


Come 'ere, baby. Gimme a kiss.
I think you can tell that I’m kiiiiinda obsessed with this stuff.

Longevity
I use this product multiple times throughout the day and it still lasts me months. Roughly about 6 months- although I have friends who see this toner last them upwards of a year. As miss Martha would say, it’s a good thing.

Cost
There are a lot of complaints that PC’s BHA is really expensive (even prohibitively so), but I completely disagree. I think this is one of the cheapest BHA’s on the market. And here’s why:
This product, without discounts, currently costs 28 dollars. If I consider how long it lasts me (6 months, remember?), I’m essentially spending 4.67 per month for to use it (for some of my friends, it’s 2.34). Now consider something like Stridex. For 90 pads (which lasts me 45 days), it costs 6.29. Using a bit of math, the Paula’s Choice BHA costs me, comparatively, about 7.02 for 45 days of use. That’s little more than a 70 cent difference. And when you consider that the BHA is frequently on sale, that cost is even lower resulting in even lower comparative costs.

Use
This liquid BHA is so wonderfully easy to use, I cannot begin to emphasize this enough. I like to pour a small amount (about the size of a dime) into my hand, rub my hands together, and smooth it onto my face. If you don’t like the idea of that, you can use a cotton round to apply the toner. Some people even like to use old Stridex jars, fill it with rayon/polypropylene applicator rounds, and soak that with the toner.
So what do you think? Have you used PC’s Clear Extra Strength Exfoliant? If you have did you like it (oooo honey, or did you hate it)? Do you have BHA exfoliants that you like better? Let’s chat about it in the doobly-doo below.

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