Paula’s Choice is a cult-favorite skincare brand that offers a range of effective products, particularly for those who are prone to breakouts. If you have acne-prone skin, we’ve gathered a list of the absolute best Paula’s Choice products for acne. 

The Best Paula's Choice Products for Acne

Best Acne-Fighting Cleanser

Best Paula’s Choice Cleanser for Acne

Paula’s Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser

This salicylic acid cleanser removes excess oil and debris without drying out the skin or causing any redness.

Skin types: Normal, Combination, and Oily Skin
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: No
How to use: First, wet the skin with lukewarm water. Dispense the cleanser into your palms, and then gently massage into the skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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This gel cleanser is one of the best Paula’s Choice products for acne because it contains salicylic acid, a chemical exfoliator that sheds excess skin cells and decongests pores to fight acne and blackheads[1].

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-drying

Cons

  • May irritate sensitive skin

This cleanser has a 0.5% concentration of salicylic acid. The low concentration helps clean the skin without irritating it.

Best Gentle Cleanser for Acne-Prone Skin

Best Gentle Paula’s Choice Cleanser for Acne-Prone Skin

Paula’s Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser

This cream-to-foam cleanser is gentle on the skin, but still effectively removes excess oil and debris. It contains replenishing ingredients that balance moisture levels and leave the skin feeling soft and balanced.

Skin types: Normal, Combination, and Oily Skin
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: No
How to use: First, wet the skin with lukewarm water. Dispense the cleanser into your palms, and then gently massage into the skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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Some people may find the Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser irritating, or may wish to alternate with a more gentle cleanser. This cleanser is formulated to gently cleanse while still maintaining balanced and moisturized skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Gentle
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • May irritate sensitive skin

One of the key ingredients in this cleanser is hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin retain moisture[2]. It also contains ceramides, which work to restore the moisture barrier and strengthen the skin[3]. Additionally, this cleanser contains aloe, which is an excellent ingredient for calming the skin and reducing redness.

Best Mask

Best Paula’s Choice Mask for Acne

Paula’s Choice Clear Purifying Clay Mask

In this mask, the combination of clays, salicylic acid, and soothing ingredients work to absorb excess oil, minimize the appearance of pores, prevent future breakouts, and calm the skin.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Absorbing Excess Oil and Preventing Breakouts
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing the skin, apply the mask all over the face. Let it sit for 10 minutes, and then rinse with lukewarm water.
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This mask is one of the best Paula’s Choice products for acne, because it refines pores and minimizes breakouts without irritating the skin. The addition of soothing ingredients also helps calm and hydrate the skin to diminish redness.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • May irritate sensitive skin

The salicylic acid in this mask helps decongest pores to minimize breakouts, while the clays absorb excess oil and refine pores[1]. This mask also contains chamomile, green tea, willowherb, and other soothing ingredients that calm and hydrate.

Best Acne Treatment

Best Paula’s Choice Treatment for Acne

Paula’s Choice Clear Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide

The 2.5% concentration of benzoyl peroxide helps fight current breakouts while preventing new acne from forming.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Diminishing Breakouts and Preventing New Acne
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply the treatment to acne-prone areas. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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The key ingredient in this treatment is benzoyl peroxide, which is highly effective at fighting acne. It kills acne-causing bacteria on the skin, and also gets rid of excess oil and pore-clogging dead skin cells[4].

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Oil-free

Cons

  • May irritate more sensitive skin

This treatment also includes soothing and hydrating ingredients, including allantoin and bisabolol. These additional ingredients help calm redness and minimize drying from the benzoyl peroxide.

Best Exfoliant for Acne

Best Paula’s Choice Exfoliant for Acne

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

This cult-favorite product is one of the absolute best Paula’s Choice products for acne. It contains salicylic acid, a chemical exfoliator that gently exfoliates dead skin cells and unclogs pores for a clear complexion.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Gently Exfoliating and Preventing Breakouts
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, soak a cotton pad with the product and swipe all over the face. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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This is a best seller at Paula’s Choice, and for a good reason. Salicylic acid (a beta-hydroxy acid, or BHA) is an excellent chemical exfoliator that sheds excess skin cells and decongests pores to fight acne and blackheads and promote a more even skin tone[1].

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • May irritate more sensitive skin types

This product also contains green tea, which soothes irritation and provides anti-aging benefits.

Best Moisturizer

Best Paula’s Choice Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin

Paula’s Choice Clear Oil-Free Moisturizer

This moisturizer is perfect for those with acne-prone skin, because it is lightweight, non-greasy, oil-free, and doesn’t clog pores or lead to more breakouts.

Skin types: Normal, Combination, and Oily Skin
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing and applying any treatments, apply the moisturizer all over the face, neck, and chest.
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It can be difficult for those with acne-prone skin to find a suitable moisturizer, but this option delivers hydration without contributing to further breakouts. It also contains ingredients that soothe the skin, helping to eliminate any irritation.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No SPF for daytime use

This moisturizer contains niacinamide, which helps to minimize pores, smooth skin, and eliminate redness. It also contains antioxidants that soothe the skin, and ceramides that strengthen the skin’s surface.

Best Moisturizer with SPF

Best Paula’s Choice Moisturizer with SPF for Acne-Prone Skin

Paula’s Choice Clear Ultra-Light Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 30+

This lightweight moisturizer contains SPF that protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays without contributing to breakouts. It also leaves a matte finish to eliminate shine often associated with sunscreens.

Skin types: Normal, Combination, and Oily Skin
Best for: Daily Sun Protection and Moisturization
Tested on animals: No
How to use: In the morning, after cleansing and applying any treatments, apply the moisturizer all over the face, neck, and chest.
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This SPF moisturizer is one of the best Paula’s Choice products for acne-prone skin, because it protects the skin but doesn’t feel greasy or clog pores. It also contains antioxidants and hydrators that calm the skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Matte finish

Cons

  • Contains chemical sunscreen, which may irritate sensitive skin

This lightweight SPF moisturizer contains antioxidants and replenishing ingredients that calm and hydrate the skin, including vitamin E, grape seed extract, green tea, and oat extract.

FAQ

Is Paula’s Choice good for acne?

Paula’s Choice has a variety of products that are excellent for those with acne-prone skin, including the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant and the Clear Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide, among many others. 

What does Paula’s Choice salicylic acid do?

Salicylic acid (which is found in the Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser, the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, and the Clear Purifying Clay Mask) is a chemical exfoliator that works by shedding excess skin cells and decongesting pores to fight acne and blackheads.

Is Paula’s Choice worth the money?

While Paula’s Choice isn’t the least expensive skincare brand on the market, it does offer products that are backed by science and research. The products are proven to be effective, especially for those with acne-prone skin. 

The Bottom Line

Paula’s Choice has an impressive selection of products for those who deal with breakouts.

Those with acne-prone skin can confidently build out a skincare routine using the best Paula’s Choice products for acne to effectively reduce breakouts and achieve a clear complexion.