Category Archives for "Acne"

Paula’s Choice Acne Kit Review: Goodbye, Acne

Most people think acne is something you grow out of, along with your poor choice in music and skimpy clothes. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, around 85% of teens experience mild or severe acne until the age of 24.

Surprisingly, acne occurrence in adults is on the rise, with 15% of women reporting outbreaks in their 30s, 40s, and beyond. Acne care is a huge industry, with over five million Americans getting medical treatment for the condition in 2013.

Since there’s such a big demand for acne treatments, beauty companies conduct a lot of research and spend a lot of money to develop effective acne treatments. There are so many different products to choose from, and it can be challenging to find a clearing treatment that works. Different skin types react differently to products, with some being too harsh for sensitive skin.

If you’ve ever struggled with problem skin, you’re probably familiar with the cycle of trying out new products that promise instant results, only to find that they don’t work, and you’ve just wasted weeks of time and plenty of money.

That’s why it’s so important to stick to proven, evidence-based formulations. As research into acne continues, companies are starting to determine which ingredients work without causing excess damage to your skin.

Paula’s Choice acne kit promises great results without drying out your skin. But how effective is the product? We did some digging to find out whether this kit is worth your time.

A Little Bit About the Brand

The company started up in 1995 as one of the world’s first online beauty brands. The founder, Paula Begoun, struggled with eczema and acne, and her struggles as a consumer informed her decision to start a brand that would offer high-end, effective products for all skin types.

The brand has expanded into over 20 countries worldwide, including Taiwan, Australia, Europe, Taiwan, Singapore, and India. The company’s dedication to researching and finding science-backed solutions to formulate products with compounds that work is what sets them apart.

The company doesn’t just focus on researching and making skincare products that work; it’s also committed to cruelty-free and environmentally conscious production.

The brand is Leaping Bunny certified and continues to reduce its carbon footprint by finding sustainable ingredients. In 2019, Paula’s Choice also partnered with Terracycle to offer free recycling options for 100% of packaging.

In addition to Paula’s Choice for acne, the brand has plenty of other award-winning products including:

  • Omega + Complex Serum which won the 2017 Allure Best of Beauty Award
  • The UnScrub which won the 2018 Allure Best of Beauty Award
  • The CALM collection for sensitive, redness-prone skin
  • The DEFENSE collection for maintaining your skin’s youthful glow
  • The industry-first Niacinamide 20% treatment

Notable Ingredients

The Paula Choice acne treatment kit only uses proven compounds that have been tested in the lab to help clear acne and reduce redness. The two main compounds are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, both of which are an excellent choice to reduce the causes of acne.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide has two main acne-fighting abilities: it kills bacteria in pores and helps pores shed dead skin and excess sebum. Acne is often a result of pores getting clogged with sebum, after which they become infected by bacteria, leading to pimples and whiteheads.

As with any other skincare ingredients, benzoyl peroxide does have some limitations and potential side effects. The two most common side effects include irritated and red skin and stained clothing and hair. Some people also experience allergic reactions, and it may not be the best choice if you suffer from eczema.

Salicylic Acid

BHA, or salicylic acid, is an organic compound found in willow bark. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory and antibiotic. Skincare companies have started using BHA as one of their main ingredients in pore-cleansing formulations.

Salicylic acid is the choice ingredient against acne and other skin conditions because it’s an oil-soluble compound. It can get deep into your skin and break down excess oil and dead skin that may trigger an acne outbreak.

The main drawback of regular BHA use is that it’s an acid that can dry out and irritate your skin. That’s why it’s so important to have other compounds that can combat this effect.

green cosmetic ingredients

Other Compounds

While the two products above represent the most important ingredients in the CLEAR line, they don’t work alone. Since both the active compounds are quite harsh on the skin, it’s essentialto have other compounds that counteract thisnegativeeffect.

Many of the soothing compounds found in the CALM line of products are plant-based and include:

  • Bisabolol, a soothing and moisturizing oil found in German chamomile
  • Allantoin, a moisturizing found in comfrey and chamomile
  • Dipotassium glycyrrhizate, an anti-inflammatory found in licorice

Apart from beneficial ingredients, some compounds in the CLEAR line may cause some people concern. The first one is glycol, which has received a bad reputation due to its use in manufacturing processes and as the main compound in antifreeze.

Glycol is a common chemical in the cosmetics industry, and, despite scaremongering, is safe for skincare use. It helps other compounds enter the skin and work their magic and keeps the formulation soft and smooth.

What’s in the Kit

The Paula Choice for acne kit contains three main products:

  • CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser
  • CLEAR Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution
  • CLEAR Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment

In addition to Paula’s Choice CLEAR regular strength line, you can also choose the extra strength anti-redness exfoliating solution and daily skin clearing treatment. These extra-strength products contain higher concentrations of the main ingredients, making them more effective while still retaining their gentle skincare approach.

The main difference between the regular strength products and their extra strength variants is the concentration of active ingredients. For instance, the regular strength one has 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, compared to 5% in the extra strength.

You can also combine the kit with other CLEAR Paula’s Choice products like an oil-free moisturizer, purifying clay mask, or SPF 30+ light hydrating fluid. Doing so will provide you with a comprehensive skincare routine that addresses your acne issue while still taking care of your skin.

young gorgeous beautiful woman

What we like about this kit is its simplicity. Unlike many other skincare routines on the market, this kit only has three simple steps to follow: cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize. If you’re one of those people who wants an effective routine that heals your skin without spending hours in the bathroom, this may be a perfect skincare kit for you.

Pore Normalizing Cleanser

The first step in the CLEAR skincare routine is the normalizing cleanser. It helps get rid of any accumulated oil and grime while also removing dead skin. The cleanser contains salicylic acid as its active ingredient, which helps combat inflammation and redness.

The pore normalizing cleanser is relatively fluid, which helps it penetrate deep into the pores, helping neutralize bacteria while also minimizing pore sizes. According to an independent clinical trial, over 96% of users found smaller post-acne marks after using the cleanser for several weeks.

We like this cleanser because it rinses off without leaving any residue, which may otherwise irritate or clog the skin. Once you’ve cleansed your skin with the cleanser, your skin will feel refreshed, clean, and ready to receive the benefits of the products to follow.

Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution

This exfoliating solution comes in two strengths: regular strength or extra strength, depending on the severity of your acne. The main ingredient in this solution is BHA, which works to unclog pores and calm redness.

The solution also contains allantoin and dipotassium glycyrrhizate, which are lesser-known skin soothing agents. It even has glycerin and sodium hyaluronate, which replenish the skin, leaving it feeling plump and soft.

All of these ingredients combine into a leave-in exfoliator that reduces the occurrence of blackheads and white bumps. Unlike many harsh exfoliating solutions, the CLEAR anti-redness solution is gentle enough to use, even on skin prone to cystic acne.

Daily Skin Clearing Treatment

Also available in regular strength and extra strength variants, the CLEAR skinclearing treatment uses benzoyl peroxide to target the leadingcause of acne. Benzoyl peroxide is a well-known antibacterial agent, and clinical studies have repeatedly shown that it helps clear up acne-producing bacteria.

The treatment also has several plant-based extracts that soothe and calm the skin and combat the harshness of benzoyl peroxide. These extracts allow you to safely use the treatment twice a day, even if you’re prone to cystic acne.

The main difference between CLEAR regular strength and extra strength is the amount of benzoyl peroxide used. The CLEAR regular strength variant uses 2.5% of the active ingredient, while the extra strength doubles to 5%.

What Does This Kit Promise?

Smiling young woman closeup portrait outdoors

Many acne treatments make huge promises and simply don’t deliver. Some use overly harsh ingredients that combat acne but will leave your skin worse than when you started. Others are so gentle that they don’t even make a dent in your breakouts.

So what sets this brand and this particular kit apart? We’ve taken a look at some of the brand’s more appealing qualities that makes their promises more believable.


Most skincare companies will say what their products and ingredients do, but won’t follow it up with any evidence. Luckily, Paula’s Choice is different, with a strong focus on transparency and scientific research.

Every product on their website has a section that links to a set of articles backing their claims. They also use independent studies to test their products, further supporting their effectiveness.

If your eyes glaze over when reading over a list of ingredients, you’ll also appreciate that the company explains what every compound does. If you’ve never heard of dipotassium glycyrrhizate before, the ingredient list will inform you that it’s a skin-soothing agent.

60-Day Product Guarantee

Product guarantees are a good way to find out if a company believes in their products. Brands tend to offer 30-day guarantees, which isn’t long enough for you to experience their products’ full effect on your skin. So what you may end up with is irritated skin,an empty wallet, and no way to get your money back.

Paula’s Choice has a refreshing 60-day, hassle-free guarantee, which states that you can get a full refund on any product returned within 60 days. It goes a bit further than that as well, giving you a 180-day window to request store credit instead.

So instead of worrying if a skin care productisthe right choice for you, you can try out Paula’s Choice products with peace of mind that you’ll get your money back if it doesn’t work.

Target Market

While many acne products for problem skin get targeted directly at teens, Paula’s Choice kit offers a refreshingly minimalist approach. Instead of focusing on age, it focuses on the problem it’s going to fix. It’s suitable for most people struggling with acne-prone skin, no matter what age.


If you’re starting to think that this kit may be the one to solve your problem skin, you’ll be happy to know that you can find a range of Paula’s Choice products either online or in Nordstrom stores in the US.

We recommend buying through the Paula’s Choice website, which also offers free consultations and delivery to over 20 countries worldwide. You can also take advantage of the regular sales to pick up the CLEAR kit at a more affordable price than in stores.

You can also subscribe to Paula’s Choice’s email list to gain access to exclusive offers and 15% off of your first order.

Final Thoughts

So is Paula’s Choice good for acne? The short answer is: Yes. It contains two of the most well-researched compounds in skincare, namely benzoyl peroxide and BHA.

The kit also comes with a choice of regular strength and extra-strength formulations, which target different skin issues. You can also adapt the kit with other products in the CLEAR line to customize the routine for your skin type.

One thing we would have liked to see in the CLEAR kit is a product that targets hyperpigmentation or scarring. Unfortunately, none of the main ingredients in this kit address these issues, and if you have severe hyperpigmentation, you may want to find another product.

Overall, we found that these products did exactly what they said they would. We appreciate the brand’s transparency, the generous money-back guarantee, and their commitment to science-based skincare. If you’re looking for a skin treatment that backs up its promises, this may be the one for you.

  • Updated August 20, 2020

The Complete Proactiv Review: Does This Acne Treatment Work?

There are a few things that everyone agrees are awful: telemarketers, traffic jams, paying taxes, and, of course, acne. More than 40 million people suffer from acne each year, most of them with mild to moderates cases. It’s natural to look at those blemishes or red marks and wish they would disappear.

If you’ve spent even a small amount of time looking at acne treatments, you’ve probably heard of Proactiv. It’s one of the most recognizable brands, but the true test of acne products is how they fit with your skincare routine. We hope this Proactiv review will help you decide if Proactiv is right for you.

About Proactiv

Proactiv is a heavyweight in the acne treatment industry. The company markets itself as America’s number one acne brand, selling more products than every competitor in 2019. More than 20 million people worldwide use Proactiv each year, which centerson three systems with three steps each.

Proactiv got its start in 1995 as the brainchild of two dermatologists, Kathy Fields and Katie Rodan. The duo initially formulated the idea after meeting at the Standard University School of Medicine in the late 1980s. Their goal was to provide fast and affordable acne treatments.

Direct-response marketing company Guthy-Renker agreed to create commercials and distribute Proactiv starting in October 1995. Proactiv Solution, which contains a cleanser, lotion, and toner, was an instant hit. Subsequent years saw Proactiv roll out new products to keep up with market demand.

The company released a Proactiv line in 2010 with benzoyl peroxide balls for quicker and gentler results. Three years later, it launched Proactiv+ to fight acne and aging simultaneously. ProactivMD is the latest innovation, a gel 30 years in the making. The adapalene-powered solution marks the first over-the-counter FDA-approved acne treatment with adapalene.

While it’s easy to get swept up in Proactiv’s volume and valuation, the results are what’s important.

Do these acne treatments work, and whatskin types are they right for? Belowis a quick overview of Proactiv’s three acne treatments. To learn about any of these more in-depth, visit


Proactiv+ uses combination therapy to prevent acne. This multi-step skincare treatment includes an acne-fighting formula that quells existing breakouts and prevents new ones from forming. The comprehensive approach to skincare is one of the hallmarks that made Proactiv what it is today.

Proactiv+ contains Smart Target technology, making it precise and effective. Smart Target contains benzoyl peroxide (BPO), which experts consider a high watermark in acne treatment. The compound eliminates bacteria in the pore, so acne doesn’t have a chance to start.

While the modest 2.5% BPO content can sometimes cause skin irritation, Smart Target contains the BPO in a gel-like liquid.

The design allows the treatment to penetrate deep into the skin. It delivers twice the BPO power but a fraction of the irritation.

Don’t just take our word for it. Proactiv performed a 13-week trial of Proactiv+, and each participant saw their skin quality improve. Some of the other perks included the following:

  • Better overall skin complexion, texture, and clarity
  • Improved skin hydration
  • Less irritation
  • Less oil
  • Less redness
  • Reduced appearance of acne marks
  • Smaller-looking pores
  • Smoother-looking skin

Proactiv+ is as easy as one, two, three. Many users experience a complete skin transformation in as little as six weeks with the three-step routine. Here’s how it works:

Step One: Cleanse

The first step in the Proactiv+ system is askin-smoothing exfoliator. This cream cleanser removes dead cells, oil, dirt, and other particulates to restore a healthy complexion. Proactiv recommends applying the solution twice a day, preferably in the morning and evening.

Place a dollop of exfoliator on slightly damp skin. Massage the cream into your face using a circular motion for one to two minutes. Cleanse your face with warm water before patting dry.

Step Two: Treat

The pore-targeting treatment serves as the heart and soul of Proactiv+. The formula kills bacteria inside the skin that otherwise leads to blemishes, thus stopping the acne before it starts.

woman washes her face at the bathroom sink

Put at least two pumps of pore-targeting treatment onto your dry skin. Rub the cream across your face and let it stand. You should wait until your skin absorbs the cream before moving onto the final step.

Step Three: Repair

The complexion-perfecting hydrator provides radiancea quarter-sized dose at a time. This moisturizing medication helps restore your skin’s plumpness while adding a healthy sheen. You’ll also notice an improved tone and color without pesky red bumps or post-acne marks.

Apply the hydrator to your dry skin and rub it over your entire face. Let the skin absorb the cream and reapply as needed during the day. Apply sunscreen in combination with the complexion-perfecting hydrator if you decide to go outdoors.


BPO is the primary active ingredient in the skin-smoothing exfoliator and pore-targeting treatment. The complexion-perfecting hydration features 0.5% salicylic acid. The acidic compound dissolves dead cells that clog pores and lead to acne.

Salicylic acid exfoliates skin for over-the-counter and prescription products. It provides proven relief from whiteheads and blackheads while reducing the chance for future blemishes. However, using salicylic acid more than three times can cause dryness.


Proactiv touts ProactivMD as its most advanced formula. The three-step system is ideal for mild and moderate acne and oily, dry, and sensitive skin types. The thing that makes ProactivMD unique is adapalene.

The United States Food and Drug Administration recently greenlit adapalene for over-the-counter medicines. The topical retinoid medication garnered pharmaceutical attention for increasing cell turnover and clearing pores. Adapalene works to stop acne before it has a chance to start.

Most acne occurs because dead skin cells collect inside your pores. Adapalene removes these potential blemishes, making it a highly sought-after treatment. It also comes with anti-inflammatory properties, so there’s no need to worry about redness or irritation.

Step One: Cleanse

Exfoliation breathes new life into your skin, removing old skin cells for an unmistakably healthier appearance. The deep-cleansing face wash contains exfoliating beads to rejuvenate your skin. Proactiv recommends the cleansing solution for anyone with moderate or persistent acne.

Apply a health dollop of face wash to slightly damp skin. Massage it into the skin using circular motions for one to two minutes, treating the entire face. Cleanse your face with warm water until the face wash is no longer visible.

Step Two: Protect

Step two instills your skin with vibrance and lushness. The daily oil control moisturizer hydrates your skin for a long-lasting glow. Proactiv recommends using the moisturizer once in the morning after the exfoliation step.

Apply the moisturizer the same way you use sunscreen, making sure to cover your neck and face. The cream comes with SPF 30, which is more than enough if you want to enjoy some sunshine. You can wear the moisturizer with makeup too.

pretty black woman applying moisturizer on her face in the morning

Step Three: Treat

The star of the show is the adapalene gel 0.1%. The trace dosage of adapalene provides adequate treatment with a single drop per day. Cover the afflicted area with a fine layer of gel and let it sit until it’s no longer visible.

We recommend using the moisturizer before the adapalene gel 0.1%. Too much adapalene can dry out your skin, which is why the gel contains a small dose. ProactivMD is also best for people over the age of 11.


Adapalene is the critical ingredient, but all three steps optimize the skincare treatment’s results. They work in unison to clear and refresh skin without irritation. Other active ingredients include avobenzone, octisalate, and octocrylene.

Dermatologists have used ProactivMD in the clinical setting with stirring results. Participants’ demonstrably clearer skin made the acne treatment a first of its kind, paving the way for other topical retinoid medications. Some additional benefits include smaller-looking pores and improved ultraviolet light protection.

Proactiv Solution

When Proactiv launched in 1995, Proactiv Solution was at the forefront. It’s the treatment that transformed Proactiv into a household name with spokespeople, such as Adam Levine, Britney Spears, and Justin Bieber. The original solution’s success vaulted it into tens of millions of American households.

BPO operates as the centerpiece, clearing breakouts and reducing the number of dead skin cells. The compound keeps pores clear, but it’s not the reason for Proactiv’s effectiveness. Glycolic acid creates a one-two punch that improves cell turnover and skin radiance.

Glycolic acid is a form of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that appears in fruits and sugar canes. It separates dead skin cells from the underlying dermis, revealing a fresh layer of skin. The AHA also brightens complexion, stimulates collagen growth, accelerates healing, and improves tone.

Step One: Cleanse

Say goodbye to old skin and hello to unclogged pores and exfoliation. The renewing cleanser washes away sweat, oil, makeup, and dirt that make it hard for your skin to breathe. This first step provides a clean foundation for subsequent makeup or moisturization.

Apply a quarter-sized amount to slightly damp skin. Massage the cleanser for one to two minutes before rinsing your face. Pat your skin dry before moving to the second stage.

Step Two: Tone

The revitalizing toner acts as Robin to the cleanser’s Batman. It purifies your skin, wiping away impurities and replacing them with an unmistakable sheen. The exfoliating cream leaves skin feeling younger and fresher than ever.

Place a dab of toner on a cloth or cotton ball. Rub the moist surface along your face in an upward motion, repeating the exercise in the mornings and evenings. Allow the skin to absorb the toner while making sure not to rinse or rub your face.

Step Three: Treat

The repairing treatment stands as the unsung hero of the Proactiv Solution trio. It does the dirty work, digging in pores to remove the bacteria that causes acne. The solution contains small BPO crystals, which target microbes at the source.

Spread a small amount of repairing treatment over your face. Let the treatment dry before adding makeup or other skincare products. Use the three-step treatment twice a day for optimal results.


BPO is the active ingredient in the cleaner and repairing treatment, while glycolic acid does the heavy lifting in the toner. The combination therapy works because the ingredients target acne beneath the dermis. The precision approach allows each component to repair and soothe skin, improving blemishes, redness, or post-acne marks.

How Long Until Results Appearance?

woman smiling on a photoshoot with yellow flowers

Your acne is as you unique as you are, which means treatment results will vary. Some people see results within the first three weeks—our tester did—but most people notice clearer skin within two months. We recommend contacting a dermatologist if you have an adverse reaction or don’t see results in the first six weeks.

Here’s what one of our helpful staff skincare testers experienced when usingProactiv in her words:

  • Week 1: My skin seemed to be adjusting to the treatment. I experienced some dryness and flaking.
  • Week 2: My pores began to clear, and the dryness and flakiness subsided. My skin also felt suppler.
  • Week 3: This was when I started to see visible progress, with blemishes gradually receding from sight. I had some hyperpigmentation, and it began to even out as well.
  • Week 4: My skin looked and felt smoother and healthier. My face was clear for the first time in a long time.
  • Week 5: More substantial blemishes, like post-acne marks, started disappearing, and my skin was glowing.
  • Week 6: Lookout Fashion Week because my skin looked healthier and brighter than ever!

We’re not saying Proactiv is a miracle cure. Even the best acne treatments take time to reduce visible acne marks and blemishes. Follow the directions, though, and results will follow. Proactiv treatments typically take up to six months to achieve their full effect.

If Proactiv doesn’t work for you, it’s worth considering another premium treatment. Exposed Skin Care offers state-of-the-art cleansers, tonics, and serums with natural ingredients. The integration of science and nature makes it an attractive alternative to Proactiv products.

The Final Verdict: Are Proactiv Products Worth It?

We’ve reviewed a lot of products, and few of them can stack up with Proactiv. They have built a name for themselves on innovative and effective treatments that offer actionable solutions for mild and moderate acne. Proactive products are not miracle workers, though, and a visit to a dermatologist is a better bet for severe or cystic acne.

However, Proactiv acne treatments will treat a wide range of skin issues. The original formula is the industry gold standard for treating pimples, while Proactiv+ provides a three-pronged attack on pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads. ProactivMD stands out for anyone with sensitivity, dryness, or hyperpigmentation.

All Proactiv products come with rigorous clinical research to ensure the best results. The easy-to-use treatments fit naturally into any morning or evening skincare routine. It’s one of the many reasons Proactiv reviews—like ours—are so overwhelmingly positive.

Get started with America’s number one acne brand by visiting Proactiv offers subscription and single-use packages, so you can find a product that fits your routine. You can also find Proactiv wherever acne treatments are available.

  • Updated July 17, 2020

The Perfect Acne Treatment? Learn More In Our Exposed Skin Care Review

Are you one of the over 50 million Americans that have acne? If so, are you tired of programs filled with harsh, artificial ingredients that leave your face burning, itchy and dry – albeit breakout free?

Exposed Skin Care offers a line of acne treatment products that combines effective, science-made ingredients with healing, healthy natural ones. The result is a skin care routine that is effective and sets you up with healthy skin for life.


This is one of the most effective regimens available today

Most skin care programs focus on one issue at a time. They might only eliminate acne or smooth out wrinkles. The majority just concentrate on cleaning the surface of the skin or healing active breakouts.

Most programs are ultimately not successful because research shows that skin conditions are all connected.

In fact, acne is the source of most skin problems. It is the underlying cause of pits or scars on the face and early onset of aging skin. Exposed Skincare, however, combines ingredients focused on general skin care, blemish treatment, and anti-aging. These products work together to prevent acne and keep skin healthy for life.

In addition to a comprehensive approach, this program combines science and nature for enhanced effectiveness.

Unlike other skin care programs that use only either harsh chemicals or less effective natural products, the ingredients of Exposed Skin Care uses a combination of the best of both worlds. They use the safest acne-fighting chemicals, in the lowest possible doses, combined with the most potent, most effective natural ingredients. The result is a powerful acne treatment program with few side effects.

science and nature

Because these face products aren’t full of large doses of harsh chemicals, results might be slower to appear than other acne treatment programs. Different skin care regimens like Proactiv, Rodan and Fields, or Clearasil promise quick results. They can live up to their promises, but often at a cost.

It may take more time than 30 days for your skin to be completely cured using this acne care plan, but the result will be healthy skin for life. You won’t have fixed one problem while causing two new ones. Quick fix, chemical-based programs often leave skin dry and damaged. The holistic approach and the addition of ingredients (all-natural of course) ensure your skin stays protected and healthy throughout the entire face acne elimination and treatment period.

Based on reviews from customers, you should use it for at least 30 days before you decide. Why not start today?

How does it work?

In our Exposed Skin Care review, we found that it works to repair and rejuvenate skin while treating and preventing breakouts simultaneously. The key focus of the program is skin exfoliation and acne treatment. Their dedication to this goal shows. Every product and ingredient that makes up the Exposed Skin Care line maintains the emphasis on these two, skin-healing objectives.

The ingredients used in the Exposed Skin Care line are both chemicals created in labs by scientists and natural ingredients pulled right from the earth. The inclusion of both is one of the characteristics that set this program apart from the rest.

Sometimes, acne problems need more help healing than more subtle natural ingredients can provide. That’s where the chemical components come in. They pack the necessary punch to alleviate acne and kickstart the healing process.

The ingredients provide the staying power for the Exposed Skin Care formula. Many are just as effective as their chemical counterparts but don’t harm your skin in the process. They soothe, moisturize, and nurture your skin while it finds a new, more clear and healthy balance.

What does it contain?


Though the Ingredients list we found in our Exposed Skin Care review seems long, keep in mind these ingredients are spread out across nine different products.

First, let’s look at the active chemical ingredients.

Keep in mind, each of these chemicals is approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). So, even though they are not natural, they are considered healthy enough for topical application to heal acne issues.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide is the most common acne treatment used in both prescription and over-the-counter acne treatments. It works to moderate natural oil production, which is one of the top causes of breakouts. It kills the bacteria living both on the face and deep in your pores. These face products use organic peroxide.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is a mild acid that protects tightens your pores. Shrinking the size of your pores reduces the chances that they become clogged and inflamed in the future. Salicylic Acid also kills the bacteria on the surface of your skin that blocks pores. Overall it leads to smaller pores with less trying to fill them.

Glycolic Acid

Most often, Glycolic Acid is used in anti-aging skin care products. It works through all levels of your epidermis to break down old skin cells and reveal new, younger looking ones. It also helps to rebuild the collagen already in your body so that your skin becomes stronger.

Azelaic Acid

Dead skin cells tend to build up around hair follicles. This buildup creates an ideal environment for acne-causing bacteria to thrive. Azelaic Acid works to open up the hair follicles on your face to discourage the dead cells from congregating around them. Without a place to grow, the bacteria cannot turn into acne.

Now for a look at the natural ingredients.

Green tea extract

green tea extract

This is an antioxidant that is scientifically proven to help reduce adult acne symptoms. It is the same plant as the green tea you drink – drinking more green tea can help your acne as well – but is most effective when applied topically.

Passion flower extract

The Passion flower helps to balance insulin levels and reduce inflammation in the body. Using passion flower extract helps to prevent hormonal acne. Plus, the anti-inflammatory properties work to calm down breakouts while they happen.

Licorice root extract

If you’re looking for a magic skin care ingredient, especially if you have sensitive skin, licorice root extract is the answer. It moderates oil production and reduces the appearance of acne scars. What more could you ask for?

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that acts as both an antibiotic and antifungal. It kills acne-causing bacteria while also toning the face and making it appear more even.

Aloe Vera

aloe vera plant

Aloe Vera heals, hydrates, and soothes your skin, as we know from its common use treating sunburns. Similarly, it reduces the itching, pain, and irritation that comes along with severe breakouts.

Sage extract

Sage extract keeps you looking good as you grow older. It is an antioxidant which helps you to develop healthier, stronger skin cells. It also helps to soothe irritation and hydrate your skin.


Sulfur is one of the harshest ingredients that this acne treatment line uses. It is a drying agent, which means that it absorbs the excess oil on your body and pulls it out of your pores to unclog them. When used in moderation with other hydrating ingredients, sulfur is incredibly effective and ideal for treating intense breakouts.

What products does the system include?

The Exposed face care program consists of nine different products. Keep reading for a full description of each product in the line.

Facial Cleanser

The facial cleanser replaces your regular face wash. Its primary purpose, like any cleanser, is to remove dirt from your face. This cleanser is easier on your skin than many designed for acne prevention but still gets the job done. It works by eliminating oil, dirt, and acne-causing bacteria both from the surface of the face and deep in the pores.

It includes salicylic acid, vitamin B5, and sage extract. The intensity of these ingredients makes the Exposed Skin Care facial cleanser more of a deep cleanser than most daily face washes. However, it works well for people with acne-prone and oily skin.

This facial cleanser is soap-free, non-comedogenic, and hypo-allergenic. Also, like all products in this Exposed Skin Care review, it is free of parabens.

woman washing face

Clearing Tonic

Clearing tonics works to restore your skin’s balance by targeting blackheads and whiteheads and setting the stage for the following steps in your acne treatment program.

Many tonics, also called toners, include alcohol as a primary ingredient. In the short term, alcohol is effective at reducing inflammation, decreasing oil on your face, and soothing skin. However, in the long run, alcohol actually stimulates oil production which means your oily skin and active breakouts will return after extended use.

Instead of alcohol, Clearing Tonic uses witch hazel extract. It is much better at soothing skin and reducing irritation over the long term.

Most of the other active ingredients in the clearing tonic are natural. The extracts from green tea and passion flower do most of the acne-fighting work.

Acne Treatment Serum

The Acne Treatment Serum is designed to act as a protective barrier for the healing ingredients to do their job. Think of it as a light, moisturizing wall that prevents acne from showing up or anything from clogging your pores.

The Acne Treatment Serum works by balancing the hormones and PH levels of your skin. To do this, it combines both intense acne treatment medications with hydrating, calming ingredients. This product is a prime example of Exposed Skin Care’s balance between science and nature.

The most intense element of the serum is benzoyl peroxide. Remember, benzoyl peroxide works to prevent acne before it even begins to form. This is not the highest level of benzoyl peroxide. However, it is a level that will progressively clear acne without causing lasting skin damage.

acne pores woman

Natural ingredients counter the harshness of the benzoyl peroxide, specifically tea tree oil, green tea extract, glycerin, and propanediol. The glycerin and propanediol add moisture to your skin and keep it there. The tea tree oil and extract from green tea work alongside the benzoyl peroxide to control acne.

Clear Pore Serum

The Clear Pore Serum is not designed to prevent acne actively, but instead works to restore and repair your skin. It is the counterbalance to the Exposed Skin Care Acne Treatment Serum. The goal of this product is to create healthy and glowing skin. If you apply this before bed, the claim is that you’ll wake up with a more perfect complexion.

The primary ingredient in this evening serum is salicylic acid. It unclogs your pores and makes them smaller and less noticeable while you sleep. The salicylic acid is complemented with witch hazel extract that helps to smooth your skin’s irritation.

Moisture Complex

One of the biggest mistakes people make when treating acne is not using a moisturizer. They think that because oily skin causes breakouts any kind of moisture on your face will make the breakouts worse. This doesn’t happen if you’re using the right moisturizer!

The Moisture Complex is an oil-free moisturizer. It hydrates your face and provides the necessary support for your skin to rejuvenate. It won’t leave your face greasy and blocks external triggers from adding to your existing breakouts or irritations.

The primary ingredient of the Moisture Complex is silicone, so it’s not the most natural product in the Exposed Skin Care line. However, the silicone is extremely useful to lock in moisture and counter the drying effects of the benzoyl peroxide found in other products.

Caffeine and green tea extract supplement the silicone to encourage skin growth, increase moisture, and cell repairs.

Clarifying Mask

The Clarifying Mask absorbs the extra oil off of your face and washes away the impurities that make your skin appear lackluster. This purifying mask is not meant to be used every day but instead 1 to 2 times each week as a supplement to the rest of your skin care regimen. If used too often, it will dry out your face and make your acne worse.

facial mask

The primary ingredients of the Clarifying Mask are activated charcoal and bentonite clay. They are supplemented by Sulfur to absorb the toxins, impurities, and oil that thrive on your face. Resorcinol acts as an antiseptic and disinfectant to eliminate the acne bacteria that the first ingredients might miss. Once you rinse the Exposed Skin Care mask off, your skin will feel fresh and clean.

Microderm Scrub

Effective skin care routines require exfoliation. As other products kill bacteria and separate oil, you need something to get rid of these unwanted elements that leave your face looking dull. Using the Microderm Scrub helps to get rid of the buildup of dead skin cells, bacteria, oil and grime on your face.

Tiny microcrystals in the Microderm Scrub force away impurities so that your skin looks smoother. These crystals are made from Aluminum Oxide, the same element used for microdermabrasion. As you scrub your face with the Microderm Scrub, you’ll be revealing the clearer skin that’s living just underneath the surface. This step not only brightens your face but can also help to reduce acne scars and marks.

Even though this product mainly consists of the more gentle, natural materials of the Exposed Skin Care line, it should not be used every day. Using the scrub too much can make your skin raw. Every other day is ideal.

A bonus of this scrub not found in many other acne treatment lines on the market is the ingredients that nourish the new layer of skin exposed by the product. New skin is extra vulnerable to dryness and the elements. Exposed Skin Care helps to ensure that the new skin remains balanced instead of simply repeating old patterns of inflammation and breakouts.

Derm-X Cloth

derm x cloth for exposed skin care

The Derm-X Cloth is only available as part of the Exposed Skin Care Treatment Kits. It is a microdermabrasion cloth that, much like the Microderm Scrub described above, works to exfoliate dead skin cells. This cloth acts as a supplement to the larger program promoting the creation of new, more healthy skin.

Probiotic Complex

Research shows that healthy skin often begins from the inside out. The presence of inflammation or toxins inside your body can reveal themselves through blemishes and pimples on your face. So, to clear your face, you must restore the healthy balance inside your body first.

The focus of the Probiotic Complex is to boost your immune system and help your body detox from the inside. The goal here is to create a long term balance and find lasting health benefits that will manifest through clear skin and not dead skin.

Body Wash

As anyone who suffers from acne knows, breakouts are not limited to your face. Acne can also appear on your back or chest. The Body Wash helps to attack these breakouts.

This will replace your regular body wash that does not help balance your skin and minimize acne. The ingredients (natural) in the Body Wash purify and exfoliate your body to leave you feeling refreshed and acne-free.

How do you use it all?

With the large number of products in the Exposed Skin Care line, it might seem like there are lots of steps involved in the program. Luckily, it’s not as hard or time-consuming as it might appear. If you’re wondering how to use Exposed Skin Care, all you have to do is follow this routine:

In the morning, wash your face with the Facial Cleanser. Apply the Clearing Tonic and then the Acne Treatment Serum. Then, you’re all ready to go about your day.

Before bed, wash your face again using the Facial Cleanser. You’ll still apply the Clearing Tonic, but this time you’ll next use the Clear Pore Serum. Then, fall asleep knowing your acne is healing while you dream.

All of the other products in the Exposed Skin Care line are optional and to be used occasionally, not all the time or every day.

Does it live up to the hype?

Acne skin care programs that emphasize natural ingredients often don’t work. However, in our Exposed Skin Care review, we found that it’s one of the best acne treatment systems available on the market today. The combination of science and nature has developed a program with an average of 4.5-star review ratings on Amazon.

This is a perfect choice, especially if you have severe acne. Other programs prioritize benzoyl peroxide, which is excellent for kickstarting the acne healing process. However, it will leave the skin extremely sensitive and dry. That’s where the other brilliant ingredients of the Exposed Skin Care system come in.

If you use the line as recommended, you will see results.

As with most skin care programs, consistency matters above everything else. Most people see results in 2-3 months. Because of the more subtle nature of these products, faster results are not realistic.

Good, sustainable acne care requires time to balance the skin and resolve the underlying issues. To eliminate acne, you must get rid of the bacteria, unclog your pores, and re-balance your skin to the new, healthier normal. This can’t happen overnight!

Keep in mind that everyone’s face is different. As with all acne treatment programs, listen to your body and be ready to experiment with what works best for you. It’s a good idea to start slowly and build up to using more of the products. Less is more with many of these ingredients.

happy woman carefree

If the scientifically proven ingredients, both natural and not, and our support aren’t convincing enough, check out the Exposed Skin Care website for lots of before and after pictures and other testimonials.

Are there negatives to this program?

Exposed Skin Care uses only FDA-approved ingredients. So, there should not be any adverse side effects.

Some customer reviews report experiencing face tingling or dryness. However, most saw these side effects for 2-3 days and then they went away. If your side effects continue longer, stop using this acne treatment and consult a dermatologist. If you don’t see any side effects, make sure you try the products for at least 30 days before you make a decision if it works or not!

How can you purchase it?

Exposed Skin Care products can be found individually costing between $15.95 and $34.95 per product. However, it’s a better value to buy the products in a kit. There are three available:

The basic kit includes four products: the Facial Cleanser, Clearing Tonic, Acne Treatment Serum, and Clear Pore Serum. It also contains the Derm-X cloth. This kit costs $49 and saves you 40% from punching the Exposed Skin Care products individually.

The expanded kit includes everything from the basic kit plus the Moisture Complex. It is the best selling product line at $59, offering a 50% savings from the separate items.

The ultimate kit is the most comprehensive Exposed Skin Care kit available. It has everything from the expanded kit plus the Microderm Scrub, Clarifying Face Mask, and Probiotic Complex. Purchasing this kit saves 53% and costs $94.95.

Compared to other acne treatment lines, this plan is extremely cost-effective vs other programs when you look at price and quantity. For example, Proactiv Plus kits come with only 60 mL of face cleanser while Exposed Skin Care has 120 mL.

The best place to purchase Exposed Skin Care is their website because products come with a one-year money back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied at any point in the first year, ship the products back and get refunded. You can make a one-time purchase or sign up for an auto-ship membership at

Another bonus of shopping on their site is that they often have promo or coupon codes available and their customer service is top notch.

If you’re looking at where to buy an Exposed Skin Care acne kit elsewhere, can also find it on eBay or Amazon, at Walmart stores, or other locations across the United States and Australia.

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Clear and Healthy Skin through Science + Nature

  • Updated July 4, 2020