Beauty Round-Up



REVIEW┊ Paula's Choice Clear Regular Strength Kit

Review Paula's Choice Clear Regular Strength Kit skincare acne
I've been hinting at the new changes to my skincare routine in a couple of previous posts and here are the new additions! I'm just going to say it now: these products work without over-drying my skin. The Paula's Choice CLEAR line in Regular Strength really works and I stand behind these products 100%!

A bit of background on my skin--grab your drink of choice and get comfortable because it's a long one. I've always taken good care of my skin. Starting when I was 11, I was washing my face and applying sunscreen daily. I almost made it through high school with relatively clear skin. Starting my senior year, I just broke out around my chin and cheeks. Since prom was coming up, I was in a panic to get clear skin. Asking my sister for some advice, she recommended St. Ives, which I used up until my 1st year of university. The harsh apricot scrub really messed up my skin, causing breakouts and blemishes in areas I never broke out on before. I immediately repurposed the scrub into a foot scrub, which it did eerily well. I used up the cleanser and tried something else. After two years of trying out a ton of brands products in an attempt to clear my skin, it was dry in places, oily in others, irritated, and red. The blemishes I was dealing with are the ones that are stuck underneath the skin for a very long time, usually weeks or months. When they do decide to surface, they are almost always inflamed, red, tender to the touch, filled with pus and very large. At that stage, they take a week or more to go away, leaving my skin with a dark hyperpigmentation mark to remember it by. At my wits end, I decided to give Paula's Choice a chance due to the glowing review of Wayne Goss. That was March of this year and I have not strayed from these items one bit! 

Another incentive to buy: Paula's Choice products are 15% off until October 7, 2014 at 11:59PM ET!! Free shipping when you spend $50+.


The items in the Clear Regular Strength kit are the Pore Normalizing Cleanser, the Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid, and the Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide. It retails for $45 USD plus shipping. 


                                      Review Paula's Choice Clear Regular Strength Kit pore normalizing cleanser

  •  Pore Normalizing Cleanser--This cleanser claims to refresh skin without causing dryness, reduce red marks & prevents redness, and dissolve pore-clogging oil & dirt. The clear gel texture also helps to remove traces of makeup. It contains triclosan to fight against acne. With a U.S. nickel- to U.S. quarter-size amount, apply with your fingers and wash in gentle but vigorous circular motions. This cleanser retails for $11 USD for 6 oz ($1.83 USD per oz). There is also a trial size that is 1 oz for $4 USD.  

  • Review Paula's Choice Clear Regular Strength Kit anti-redness exfoliating solution
    • Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid-- Formulated without harsh ingredients like menthol, camphor, alcohol, and peppermint, this solution works hard to eliminate blackheads, white bumps, and acne with 2% salicylic acid (BHA). Suitable for anyone with mild to moderate acne, blackheads, and white bumps, its clear, light-as water texture works hard all day to guarantee significantly clearer, smoother, even-toned skin and can eliminate redness from acne lesions. Use once a day after cleansing. Do not rinse and avoid the eyes, eyelids, and mucous membranes. Also, do not use if you are allergic to aspirin! Full size is 4 oz for $22USD ($5.50 USD per oz). Trial size is $6USD for 1 oz. Right now there is a 20% discount on all AHA and BHA exfoliants
    Review Paula's Choice Clear Regular Strength Kit  daily skin clearing treatment
    I'm not sure where all the purple marks on the bottle came from but let's just ignore those for now >w<

    • Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide -- This acne spot treatment is unlike any other--the light lotion texture is less harsh that traditional spot treatments yet effective at 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide (AHA). This targets acne-causing bacteria to treat acne, help prevent acne blemishes, and penetrates pores to reduce acne blemishes. It sets to a matte finish and can be worn under makeup. This will set you back $17 USD for 2.25 oz ($7.56 USD) or $6USD for 0.5 oz. 

    --THE GOOD--

    Seriously, I cannot sing enough praises about these three items (except for the fact that I can't sing, but let's overlook that for now...)! I was using St. Ives and Biore, which really dried out my skin. I had to use a heavy duty cream day and night to keep my skin hydrated. It wasn't helping that I was using the Clean & Clear Acne Spot Treatment and the Clinique Acne Solutions Clearing Gel (not at the same time). Those contained alcohol which irritated my skin so much that it started peeling and feeling tender to the touch. I even tried the Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 with 10% benzoyl peroxide. I should have known that 10% was waaaay too much as my skin paid for it with immense itchiness, redness, and flakiness after just 3 applications.

    The Pore Normalizing Cleanser was a welcome godsend because it has no harsh cleaning agents, fragrance, or color, which cut down the number of irritants immensely. It gently removes any oils and grime that accumulates throughout the day and any traces of makeup I have. I do use a separate oil cleanser to remove most of my base makeup beforehand. 

    The Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution didn't seem like much at first. My skin was really dry and dehydrated so I didn't see a difference right away. The blemishes were still there so I was a bit disappointed. I was also breaking out more but looking back, my skin must have been purging because I don't have those pesky under the skin bumps anymore. The redness around my nose and chin are gone. The only thing left is the post acne hyperpigmentation marks but those things take months to go anyway. One day, I just noticed that my foundation was going on more smoothly and looked more radiant than usual. That was about after a month or two of constant use but I definitely noticed a difference. I love how I don't have to use abrasive, physical exfoliants to get this level of smooth and radiance. Even with the Clarisonic, my skin never felt this good. The only other time my skin was this smooth and radiant was when I used the Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, which was good but really expensive. 

    The Daily Skin Clearing Treatment is another miracle product. It doesn't leave my spots looking more inflamed and irritated than they already are. It's definitely gentle. Do not expect that the blemishes will disappear overnight. They will however, heal without hurting and scarring. I have a few scars from where I picked at them but when I let them be and use this, they don't leave pick marks. I do have the dark spot afterwards but Vitamin C works really well to fade my spots. 

    All in all, this combination of products and diligent use really helped my skin. My skin is clear for the most part (if I stick to the regimen), my skin is less oily than before, and my pores have dramatically shrunk in size (not that they were that large to begin with but still). I'm almost out of the cleanser and the exfoliant but I have already repurchased the exfoliant. I don't think I can live without this product! I love that there is proven research backing up these products and not just some hocus pocus advertising. The thought that goes into formulating the products is much appreciated in the oversaturated market. And the price isn't too bad either--it's not drugstore affordable but it's not luxury expensive.

    --THE "BAD"--

    This is more personal preference than anything but the fact that the Pore Normalizing Cleanser contains triclosan is worrisome to me. It's been linked to a lot of health and environmental problems. Though the FDA is currently reviewing it, the current literature points overwhelmingly to the negative aspects of triclosan. Of course, this triclosan is probably what is helping decrease the acne bacteria on my face but I'd rather find something else to cleanse my face with. 


    I cannot say this enough: I love and recommend Paula's Choice products wholeheartedly! As I mentioned before, I have already repurchased the exfoliating solution. The acne spot treatment contains so much product since you only need a little bit so I'm set for a long time. I wouldn't repurchase the cleanser because of the triclosan issue but I'm sure it contributed to my clearer skin. I know that each person's skin is different and so I cannot guarantee that you'll achieve the same glowing results I have with her products. I am not a licensed dermatologist or esthetician or anything like that--I am speaking from personal experience. However, if you have a similar skin type to me and respond well to salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, you might want to give it a try. There is a two week trial kit for those who aren't willing to commit to the complete kit. I wasn't aware that it was available but lucky for me, the products worked well for my skin. If you want to purchase Paula's Choice products, you may use my referral link here!

    If you give it a try, let me know how it goes. 
    Here's to clearer skin without dryness, flakes, irritation, or tenderness!

    MWAH ♥

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    Disclosure Statement: All products mentioned were purchased with my own money. I am not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned above and was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. Links are not affiliate links and are provided for the readers' convenience. I cannot guarantee that the product(s) will work for you. I do not approve or endorse the products or information available on these sites. Proceed at your own risk.

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