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Review: The Ingenious Paula’s Choice CLEAR Acne Body Spray

By Megan Griffith

Reviewed for medical accuracy by Dr. Jaggi Rao,
MD, FRCPC Double board-certified dermatologist

The Paula’s Choice CLEAR Acne Body Spray is a unique body acne treatment, and based on hundreds of reviews found on Amazon, Influenster, and the Paula’s Choice website, it seems to really work. In this review, we analyze its ingredients, summarize its online reviews, and examine other important factors, like ease of application and cost. Overall, if you have mild body acne, this could be the ideal acne body spray for you, but if your body acne is severe or cystic in nature, you may want to check out your other options.

Summary:

  • The CLEAR Acne Body Spray contains 2% salicylic acid, an ideal ingredient at an ideal concentration for body acne.
  • Reviews from several online sites reveal that users are extremely pleased with its effectiveness.
  • The nozzle on this acne body spray is specially designed to spray at any angle, meaning no more missed spots.
  • The CLEAR Acne Body Spray is affordable if you have a little wiggle room in your skin care budget for an extra product.
acne body spray
Paula’s Choice CLEAR Acne Body Spray utilizes salicylic acid and gentle inactive ingredients like licorice root extract to treat your body acne without irritating your skin.

Key Ingredients in Paula’s Choice CLEAR Acne Body Spray

Like many acne treatment products, Paula’s Choice CLEAR Acne Body Spray uses salicylic acid as its main active ingredient. Salicylic acid is a great acne-fighting ingredient because of its deep exfoliation power. It penetrates the pores to remove excess oil and dead skin cells, preventing clogged pores which can lead directly to blackheads and whiteheads, and contribute to pimples. However, the main active ingredient isn’t the only one that matters in a skin care product. It’s also important to take a look at the inactive ingredients.

Most body acne treatments are body acne washes, but unfortunately, many body washes contain harsh, irritating foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulfate. That’s why we love this spray so much: none of those harsh foaming ingredients. Instead, Paula’s Choice has included several powerful natural ingredients like licorice root extract and barberry extract to help soothe the skin rather than irritate it. The CLEAR Acne Body Spray also contains glycerin, water, and panthenol, all of which are gentle ingredients that contribute to softer, safer skin.

Does It Really Work? Answers According to the Reviews

One or two glowing reviews aren’t enough for us to whole-heartedly endorse a product, but hundreds of 4- to 5-star reviews certainly get our attention, and this is exactly the case with Paula’s Choice CLEAR Acne Body Spray. According to hundreds of reviews on Influenster, Amazon, and the Paula’s Choice website, the CLEAR Acne Body Spray isn’t without its faults, but overall it works very well.

The biggest complaint people had about the product is its smell. Most people said the smell faded once the spray dried, but while it was wet it was truly horrible. A few people mentioned that if they worked out while wearing the spray, the smell came back. If you have sensitivity to odors, this may not be the product for you, no matter how effective it is, but if you can get over the scent, the reviews revealed that it can be extraordinarily effective.

Many reviews claimed that the CLEAR Acne Body Spray improved their body acne within a few days, making it very fast-acting. Usually we’re skeptical of such fast-acting products because it usually means they are too harsh, but as we discussed in the previous section on ingredients, this spray seems to be both gentle and effective. The reviews were split, however, on exactly how effective the spray is. Half of people claimed the spray cleared their skin entirely, while the other half said their back and chest looked clearer than it had in ages, but it still wasn’t completely acne-free, even after several weeks or months of using the spray.

Why This Particular Acne Body Spray is So Effective at Getting Rid of Body Acne

Getting rid of body acne is different than getting rid of facial acne because the skin on our bodies is different from the skin on our faces. Paula’s Choice clearly understands these differences, because the CLEAR Acne Body Spray perfectly addresses many of the issues people run into when trying to treat their body acne.

One of the reasons this spray is so much better than other acne body sprays is because it is designed to spray at any angle, making it possible for you to reach some of those tricky spots in the center of your back.

First, the Acne Body Spray contains 2% salicylic acid, which is a higher concentration that would typically be used for facial acne. This is effective because skin on the body is typically thicker and tougher than facial skin, and it requires stronger formulas for effective treatment. Second, even though body acne treatments typically need to be a bit tougher in order to get the job done, they still shouldn’t be so harsh as to cause irritation and inflammation, and this body spray walks that line very carefully. Based on its ingredient list and reviews, it seems that this acne body spray is just strong enough to reduce acne without causing the kind of irritation that often leads to even more acne.

Finally, unlike many body acne sprays, this one is designed to spray at any angle. This might sound minor, but if you’ve ever tried to spray your own back, you know it sometimes requires the bottle to be tilted at odd angles. The only downside is that this product needs rubbed in after it’s sprayed, and there are some spots on the back that can be reached with this amazing nozzle, but not with our own hands.

Have Cystic Body Acne? You May Want to Explore Other Treatment Options

Although some reviews claimed that this spray helped reduce their cystic body acne, we recommend checking out different treatment options if your body acne is cystic or particularly severe.

Although salicylic acid is a great ingredient for reducing blackheads, whiteheads, and may even help with pimples, it is not particularly effective in treating cysts. This is because cysts involve a bacterial infection and skin cell damage, neither of which salicylic acid can address. Instead, look for body acne treatments that contain 5% benzoyl peroxide to kill acne-causing bacteria, or mild retinoids like adapalene, which help regulate the skin cell life cycle to replace cells damaged by cyst formation.

Cost of Paula’s Choice CLEAR Acne Body Spray is Manageable, but Not Ideal

woman holding money
This body spray isn’t the most expensive product we’ve reviewed, but it definitely might not fit in everyone’s budget.

Four ounces of the CLEAR Acne Body Spray costs $25, which isn’t so bad, until you realize that you use a lot more product for your back and chest than you do for your face. According to the reviews, one four-ounce bottle only lasts about a month. For comparison, some of the most helpful acne skin care kits cost around $50 for a three-month supply of several products. However, if you have room in your budget, it does seem to be an effective product worth the money.

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