How I CLEARED my acne: Paula’s Choice CLEAR Extra Strength REVIEW

WELCOME to Skin Care Sunday. I will be posting a skin care review/demo/thingy every single Sunday from here on out. To check out my other skin care posts please subscribe and like my post!

On to the review!

One of my favorite youtubers (Thrift Thick) RAVES about Paula’s Choice and how it cleared her skin. Granted, her skin was no where NEAR my skin’s break out level… But the way she has very little scarring tempted me to do this review.

My Skin Type.

I have a medical condition which caused my skin to be IMMENSELY oily over the past year. I can’t wear most foundations, as they will break me out… and I get cystic acne around my jaw line. Because my skin is on another level of oily, I need a change in my skin care… So I’ll be trying all sorts of kits and brand for 2 weeks at a time and giving my final thoughts.

Because my skin will never run out of pimples until my hormone levels are finally balanced (by medication), I will have an endless pimples to test out products! (yay…?)

The Product Claims.

Trio picture

“This simple-to-use 3-step routine quickly combats and controls stubborn acne and breakouts, unclogs pores and calms redness without causing dryness or flaking.

  • For stubborn acne
  • No harsh ingredients that can cause dry, flaky skin”

This is the “Extra Strength” line as I have had plenty of experience with acne products and… let’s just say I don’t have the type of acne that “regular strength” does anything for.

This product is available from the original seller, for the same price, Here. 













The Review.

Before Pictures:

1. before picture.jpg
White arrows point to current cystic break outs. My skin was very painful.

Before using any product… my skin was pretty bad. At this time I was not utilizing ANY make besides on my eyes to try to slow down the break outs. Any foundation worn for more than 30 minutes would severely clog my pores as my skin is ULTRA oily. I had to blot my face with 2 sheets, 2 times a day. I was utilizing a gentle cleanser, double cleansed at night, and moisturized with a light weigh moisturizer every morning… man having a health condition with acne as a side effect sucks.


The first thing I noticed about this trial kit… was that there was no moisturizer! From Left to Right is a Cleanser, Blemish treatment, and exfoliant. There was no mention of when to insert a moisturizer, and the exfoliant seemed to have a nice dewiness to it… so first time I used this without a moisturizer… BIG MISTAKE

There isn’t a notable smell to any of the products… kinda smells like soap?
The cleanser works up into a nice lather, but doesn’t leave your skin feeling SQUEAKY clean (which is actually a good thing! Drying cleansers can cause your skin to produce too much oil!)

After the Cleanser, comes the exfoliant. It said to use a cotton pad… but I took a thin layer on my fingers and directly onto the skin to save product.

The most notable thing during first application was that the exfoliant was TINGLY! But not uncomfortable at all. It also left my skin looking nice and dewy, but didn’t feel sticky.

The blemish treatment was a little runnier and liquid-like than I’m used to. But was in no way hard to work with or abrasive.


First Check-In

2. Day 2.jpg
Without a moisturizer my skin was all sorts of dry. My cheeks and nose were the worst! BUT my complexion already looked a lot brighter and all my cystic break outs from the “Before” picture (green arrows in this picture) are… GONE! Magic! Never in my life has my oily skin ever been soooooo DRY!

BUT look how much better my skin looks already… I was very surprised!

3. Day 2.jpg
LOOK AT THAT DRY! Alligator skin, that made my tinted sunscreen grab at all my acne. Even my undereyes were getting lines… and I normally don’t have lines! .. also I don’t remember rubbing this into my undereyes. Also my skin still got oily.. so I was Oily and flakey. Lovely.

Check in 2: The Purge

With any good exfoliant/detoxifier… there will be a purge. This is when all the acne that was living underneath the skin comes up to the surface. Before they leave, they must rear their ugly head, as they don’t want to leave their home. Not surprisingly, the purge makes you not want to leave your home as well… it is a sad time.

4. day 4.jpg
My skin really began purging on the 4th day utilizing this product. I’ve had acne for so long I can tell that this is different acne than what my disgusting oily skin produces. LET ME EXPLAIN. My skin makes DEEP, PAINFUL, CYSTIC acne. These tiny, red, baby bumps are painless. I’ve tried enough skin care to know that this is classic purging (at least for me this is normal)

At this point I have learned to incorporate my Laniege Moisturizer, and my skin is a little more life like. I still have dry under eyes and emphasized smile lines at this time.

Half way Check in

5. Day 7.jpg
The purging finally came to an end! and 3 days of serious moisturizing has brought life back to my skin. One side of my face is basically acne-free, while the other side NEEDS TO STEP UP ITS GAME. None the less, walking around without any foundation, I feel more confident in myself. Hopefully it’s all downhill from here!

FINAL Check in

Let’s take a look at the BEFORE PICTURE one more time before the final check in:

1. before picture


6. Day 14.jpg

Can I just say when I started this review…. I had literally tried everything. I cut sugar, sugar substitutes, and COFFEE out of my diet. I went silicone free. I went foundation free. I tried Differin, Vitamin C, Benzoyl Peroxide, and like MILLIONS of other products. The rate of pimple product remained > the rate of pimple destruction at all times. I felt so bad about myself….

And despite my inability to take selfies at 7am in the morning in this last check in I am ECSTATIC.

My skin at this point is pretty much all scarring. I can wash my face without feeling like the sides of my cheeks are fish scales. My skin has never been so soft, and so glowy since… I don’t even know when! And this trial kit ONLY cost me $13 USD! WHAT?!

Now I am all about the daily chemical exfoliant. I really think that’s what made the difference.


The Paula’s Choice  CLEAR “Extra Strength” is the current love of my life… but I also wanted to say that I did make a lot of lifestyle changes during this process to try to clear my skin. I took care of my health and got LOTS of sleep, drank lots of water, and stayed away from anything in my diet that I wouldn’t want to rub in my face (i.e. Fried chicken… yummy in the mouth, but that wouldn’t be fun to rub on your face.)

Also, I have nothing against the cleanser or the spot treatment… but I feel like that exfoliant is the TRUE powerhouse in this trio. I love beauty products too much to stick to just one moisturizer, but….




4EVA ❤ ❤

So…. Here’s my final review.

4 75 Stars

4.75 Stars out of 5 Stars. It only is shy of a perfect score because it dried out my skin at first, and it didn’t include a moisturizer, OR instructions to utilize a moisturizer… which is strange because Paula’s Choice is a brand that is AWESOME with skin care education. ALSO the exfoliant leaks, and I’ve heard that the full sized product also leaks. Price wise, especially with this sampler kit, there is nothing to loose. If you also want a good moisturizer kit to utilize, here’s an amazon link to a Laniege Trial Kit that I utilized during this review.

If you want to give Paula’s Choice a try, I have the kit I ordered linked here. If you’re a noobie to skin care/acne care, or if your skin is not as severe as my skin I recommend getting the Regular strength instead of the Extra strength.

Be happy and stay healthy! Until next time!



******FULL DISCLOSURE: This are my personal experiences and thoughts. I am not being paid by any brand or the company to review this product or talk about any claims. This product was not sent to me. Links in this post are part of the amazon affiliates program.*******

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