I HAVE THE DELUXE SAMPLE
I used this about twice this week and I've seen some results, but it has not entirely been successful (yet.) I used it on some whiteheads I developed one of my whiteheads looked bigger than usual, and distorted with uneven ridges. My first time after applying this it reduced to a normal sized whitehead. My second use was a tiny reduction in the pore neck around the pimple. Granted the second time I used it my acne flare was not as bad. I had a slight pain- like someone stuck a needle into my pore; luckily though this only lasted for one second. I got the same sensation my second use but the length of irritation was somehow even shorter. All exfoliants whether mechanical or acid based can irritate the skin to a degree as they remove dead skin cells , so I don't mind some irritation with an exfoliant. The anti-irritants will reduce irritation in this too; I could tell because my irritation was short and miniscule. Now onto the packaging...
First off the deluxe samples packaging is pretty poor. An ample enough amount is offered and it can last 2 weeks if you use it sparingly, but the liquid is in a glass tube with a cap .The tube is slid between a carboard mini booklet. Be careful when you use this as it can easily spill as there is no stopper. The texture is oil like, but if you ' spot treat' it you forget it's there.
There doesn't seem to be any antioxidants, but there are some anti-irritants, and a peptide which I thought was a cool idea because peptides have potential as skin cell communicators.
If you are wondering what the number 9 is for, it's not for antioxidants, but rather the number of skin problems a BHA can hope to address. The directions advise using this as a leave on 'treatment', but that advice is contradicted in her book.
This was a disappointment. Firstly, you can't just squeeze it out drop by drop, it just comes out in a huge glob. Secondly, it stung and I use Tactuo on my skin (Tactuo is a prescription grade retinoid) so I know it's not a sensitive matter. Finally, it was sticky feeling without seeing an improvement in blackheads or milia. I did however hear great reviews on her BHA foam, but that's currently on back order :(
This is an excellent treatment for stubborn acne, cysts, clogged pores or blackheads. I find that this is much more effective than the 2% liquid while being less drying too. The formula is a bit thick and sticky, however this doesn't bother me enough to outweigh the positive effects.
Love paulas choice 2% bha liquid and aha product so got a sample of this with high hopes. Tested it on a stubborn blemish and I felt it did the same job as her 2% BHA's. Prob will not spend more $$$ on the Bha 9 as I will stick with the 2% BHA's.
I learned two months ago that I have sebaceous hyperplasia, which is a condition that is extremely difficult to treat. I have been using Retin A Micro for approximately 1 year, and at a follow up appointment, I asked my dermatologist why the yellow hard under the skin bumps weren't resolving. That's when he broke it to me that they aren't acne, they are sebaceous hyperplasia (SH).
I recalled that Paula's Choice had a product that is supposed to help --BHA 9 -- that I had ordered the prior year and used without seeing results. I smoothed it on that night after RAM 0.1%, and the next morning, the bumps looked smaller and flatter. Over the last 2 months I have been using the BHA 9, sometimes alternating it with the BHA 4% foam. I do think there has been substantial improvement in my SH. Sadly, however, the bumps aren't totally gone -- they are still visible and I can definitely still feel them on my forehead. I do think that they are much less noticeable though. I am hoping that with consistent use of BHA 9, plus RAM 0.1%, over time the bumps will become completely flat and perhaps even disappear. I am now experimenting with using the BHA 9 twice a day on my problem areas.
The product is expensive, but Sebaceous Hyperplasia is really hard to treat. There are virtually NO treatments available over the counter. The in-office treatments, like lasers and PDT, cost a fortune, and I had an appointment with a cosmetic dermatologist who told me that even lasers could not be guaranteed to resolve SH.
So even if this product isn't perfect, I am grateful to have something that seems to help my sebaceous hyperplasia. Thank you Paula, for helping those of us with this frustrating condition.
UPDATE 6/9/2014: I've been using the product for about 3 months now and there has been substantial continued improvement with my sebaceous hyperplasia. It is not gone, but the bumps are smaller and flatter. It is taking time but I am hopeful that continued consistent use will reverse years of growths. I will continue to update. I want to reiterate that the results have been obtained only in concert with RAM 0.1%.
Such a major disappointment. I have oily skin with large pores and sebhorreic (sp?)keratosis, which are clear bumps, all over my forehead. I already use PC BHA 2% gel and it's great; it tightens my pores, and keeps the hormonal acne and blackheads at bay. I was really hoping the BHA 9 would reduce the bumps on my forehead. Nope. Nothing. That's not really a big deal, but it didn't work any better than the 2% gel at clearing blackheads and enlarged pores.
If it was the same price as the 2% I wouldn't complain, but the 2% is $22.00 for 3.3 ounces, while the 9% is $40.00 for 0.3 ounces. Yeah, that's $18.00 more for 3 ounces less. That wouldn't even bother me if it worked, or if there was a lesser size/price discrepancy, but I find that ridiculous. I gave this 3 lippies because it's not a BAD product, it's just that I can get more product for much less that does that same thing.
One thing I must mention is that Paula's customer service is incredible. I posted a review on her website stating my opinions, and they refunded my money. So kudos to Paula's Choice. Not many companies will do that.
I do not know why PC's products doesn't work for me. One of them is this product. I have normal/oily skin. I have few fine lines on the forehead (can live with that), eyebag (hate it, but I believe, there's no treatment for it) and the milia (which is really bugging me for sometime now). When I saw that this product can treat milia, I bought one and use every night for 8 weeks. I use Retinol Skin Smoothing Body Lotion as a moisturizer. I am scared to use the ones with pure Retinol. Needless to say it didn't work for me. I also dab a small amount on my fine lines, still no improvement.
I've been using this for three weeks on hardened oil that has created a bumpy appearance on my forehead and nose. I've seen NO improvement and while I've always found Paula to be ethical, I seriously doubt this contains 9% of pure salicylic acid. It seems like if it did, there would be slight peeling or something. I see absolutely nothing. I think it's some unique concoction Paula created and found a loophole to advertise it at 9%. I will post an update once I've used all the product.
I love Paula's products overall and her extensive research/writing on Beautypedia. I was thrilled when this product launched -- I hoped it would reduce a few spots of hard-to-treat sebaceous hyperplasia that I have! (Reducing sebaceous hyperplasia was one of this product's 9 benefits.) Unfortunately, I saw zero difference. When I realized this wasn't reducing them, I decided to use a light amount all over my face as a cost-effective salicylic acid peel like you'd get in a derm's office. I used it this way once every other week. Unfortunately, I broke out a few days later and my skin became REALLY dry and flakey.
I switched back to the 2% BHA Liquid and my skin is completely clear and smooth again. Overall, this worked no better for me than Paula's 2% BHA Liquid or Lotion -- which come in a large 4 oz bottle and costs much less per ounce.
Paula's Choice BHA9 is a very intriguing product to me. Reading the literature that came with it makes it look like a miracle worker. It seems to do everything that you could possibly want for your skin albeit in a very vague way.
Here are some of the claims: "Effective for: Acne Breakouts, Anti-Aging, Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Keratosis Pilaris, Wrinkles, Reduces clogged pores, Diminishes enlarged pores, Reduces white bumps (milia), Minimizes flesh-colored bumps (sebaceous hyperplasia), Softens rough, dry, and flaky skin, Calms redness and irritation Fades marks from past breakouts, Reduces wrinkles and fine lines, Dissolves stubborn blackheads"
I have combination skin, very oily and breakout prone on my nose and chin, very dry cheeks, and normal forehead. My breakouts are usually due to the makeup I wear (or am testing out) rather than persistent acne. I do have fine lines, and I also have melasma on my cheeks and forehead.
I am actually quite impressed with this product. It exfoliated my skin without stripping it and making it feel raw, and I could actually see a difference in my skin within 1-2 days (not a big difference that other people would notice, but enough of a difference for me to think 'wow".)
I had been breaking out due to using a new foundation, and my normally clear skin had at least 6 new pimples on my cheeks and chin basically overnight. I was horrified and didn't know how best to treat them. Then I remembered that I had 2 sample sizes of BHA 9, and thought that using this couldn't hurt. So I applied to clean skin, and used nothing else on my skin that night. Within 48 hours they had vanished totally, no redness, no bumps. I applied a thick layer of this to my chin where I have been breaking out a lot recently and I noticed that the skin in this area peeled off in one big sheet the next morning. That was a strange sensation but it did leave my skin 80% clear (and just 2 days later my chin is 100% breakout free after using the same application technique). Now normally breakouts take a week or more to calm down, and can often take a month to disappear completely.
The product itself is a super sticky and yet oily liquid which you are supposed to use all over your face. I don't use all over my face but do use as a spot treatment on pimples, rough patches etc etc. Applied on a night before bed, the stickiness DOES NOT disappear, and in a morning I can still feel this product on my face (and my pillows and sheets too). It doesn't moisturize so you would need to add a separate product on top if you have dry skin. I found that the stickiness was enough for me to deal wth so I didn't apply anything else over the top. I can't comment on what it does for fine lines as I don't apply it to them, but I have seen first hand the exfoliating effects of this and think it might be too strong to apply around my eyes where my lines are.
It had no effect whatsoever on my melasma (but Alpha Hydrox Spotlight really did!) even when applying every day for months. It did make my skin peel but the dark spots were still there.
I notice some reviewers complaining about the pump, it has recently been changed to a "Precise Control Pump" which dispenses less than the old style pump did so maybe this would work better for them now.
As it is right now, this is a phenomenal product for zapping my pimples when they appear. Will definitely repurchase and keep this on hand for troublesome skin issues.
Ingredients from the Paula's Choice website:
Propylene Glycol (solvent/penetration enhancer), PEG-75, PEG-8 (thickeners), Water, Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/time-released exfoliant, 9%), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract (anti-irritant), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (antioxidant plant extract), Sea Whip Extract (soothing plant extract), Arginine (amino acid/skin-conditioning agent), Polysorbate 20 (stabilizer), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent).