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Treatments - Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

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rated 3.7(33 reviews)

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rated 1 of 5 top reviewer on 4/19/2014 2:22:00 PM More reviews by NoirAngelx

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

My skin type is combination, clog-prone with occasional bouts of hormonal acne, and also quite sensitive. One of my biggest concerns about my skin is the mild comedones on my forehead, cheeks, and chin which can give it a bumpy appearance in texture, and can also turn into inflamed pimples if I don't give it the right care and balance. My previous go-to BHA product for many years was the Neutrogena 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment, which I had (mistakenly) been under the impression it was being discontinued, so I searched high and low for a gentle, but effective BHA product. Paula's Choice is reknowned for her well-formulated BHA products, so I gave her 2% Liquid a try.

The first few nights I had no problem with it, other than the odd heavy and oily texture which I had not expected at all. It left a sticky and rather itchy film on my skin that took a while to absorb into the skin. I had initially decided I didn't need a moisturizer because of the heavy texture. Not long after, my skin began to feel extremely parched and flaky, a problem I never had with my other BHA product despite having the same percentage of salicylic acid. At night after the heavy oily texture would absorb, I would then apply a moisturizer hoping it would counteract the dryness, but the next morning my skin would still be parched and alas, still breaking out, and this time in inflamed pimples. After two weeks I gave it the boot when even my coworkers noticed my skin was looking bad.

I definitely would not repurchase due to the effects it had on my skin. I've not had any experience with her other BHA products, but since I discovered my beloved Neutrogena is still being manufactured in Canada, I don't feel the need to try any others now. I know many others do love the liquid exofliant with a similar skintype to mine, but this was just my personal experience.

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rated 3 of 5 on 4/10/2014 5:57:00 PM More reviews by ariturn

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Black

I've had this product for 6 months. I did not use this religiously. There is still a good amount left. It leaves a oily film right after you apply it but it dries fairly quickly and then my face turns extremely dry.

BEFORE I APPLY THIS PRODUCT - I massaged my face with a wash cloth in circular motions using Clinique Mild Liquid Facial Soap and then applied Clinique Lotion 2 with a cotton pad, (recently purchased 3 days ago) I've noticed a difference in the amount of blackheads on my nose in 2 nights.

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/10/2014 1:20:00 AM More reviews by kkbears1

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Hazel

This worked for me. I only use it at night and about 2-3 times a week. My skin is noticeably smoother and pores shrunk up. After it dries, I use a mild cream (Ponds).

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rated 2 of 5 on 4/8/2014 4:21:00 PM More reviews by lilme

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Product Ingredients:
Water, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol (slip agents/penetration enhancers), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (anti-irritant/antioxidant), Polysorbate-20 (solubolizing agent), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancer), Tetrasodium EDTA (chelating agent).

They claim the product "rapidly exfoliates both the skin's surface and inside the pore, reshaping the pore lining, unclogging pores and improving skin cell turnover rate".

Sounds good, right? I hoped so, too...

Unfortunatley, my skin did not have such success as anticipated. It left my skin feeling red, bumpy and itchy.

fragrance free
colorant free

irritated skin
heavy/oily feel

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rated 5 of 5 on 2/18/2014 2:57:00 AM More reviews by Gia_milano

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue

I have tired this product many times over the years and have never been able to make it work for me, I would always break out from it..until recenlty! Now I simply cannot live with out it! It has made acne prone skin able to use other products with out breaking out.

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rated 5 of 5 on 2/15/2014 5:56:00 AM More reviews by Burma76

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

This is the one product my skin cannot live without. I use this once per day at night and it has truest helped to keep acne and enlarged pores at bay. I put this in a spray bottle to spray an on back and have much smoother skin with less "bacne". I've used this for at least 10 years and definitely notice if I run out. HG for sure

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rated 1 of 5 on 2/11/2014 12:47:00 PM More reviews by camenzind

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Blue

This is the only Paula's Choice product I have used. I was excited to try out the brand and had been wanting to ditch the Stridex for a while and go for something without menthol. Unfortunately, I used this product on two separate occasions and had horrible reactions each time (dry, bumpy, red, itchy skin for a WEEK each time). The first time I had the reaction, I thought it might have been to a mixture of glycerin and water I had been using for a few days. I gave this product another chance, however, and was shocked by how itchy and painful my skin was the next morning. I am not at all sensitive to BHA, and have never had a reaction like this to anything. I wrote a review and they immediately issued a refund (awesome), but I went back to the review page and they deleted my review - pretty fucking shady.

I know PC has a huge following, but this product is not for everyone, and the way they tried to pay me off and then quietly got rid of my damning review is a huge red flag.

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rated 5 of 5 on 2/1/2014 3:25:00 PM More reviews by ashleywilkes

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I've been using this for about 4 years now and I'll never stop using it. This is a desert island product for me, along with sunscreen. It's helped me improve my skin texture considerably, helped with blackheads for sure and kept my pimples at bay. No, it didn't do all this over night. I had to use it for months and months before I started seeing this kind of difference and now, 4 years later, I wouldn't live with out it. I take with me on travel as well. The texture is just like water and feels like water on your face until it sinks it which only takes about 15 seconds. It doesn't sting and I do have sensitive skin.

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rated 5 of 5 on 1/19/2014 7:30:00 PM More reviews by Biioniic

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Acne-prone, Medium Brown, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Wow. This product is so truly amazing. I have had blackheads and I have tried everything to eliminate them, such as expensive scrubs (Clinique, Clarins, YSL), natural scrubs (kyoku, St. Ives, Bulldog) , pore strips (Biore), and Avene Clearance K and none of them touch this exceptional performance this does. I've tried other toners in the past which are full of alcohol and I had to find out the hard way that my skin doesn't like it and it's a breeze finding one without that dreaded ingredient. Why there are lippies under 5 is beyond me, maybe you should start at 1% and work your way up to 2%? Anyway...

I have had blackheads since my acne begun when I was 12. Thankfully my acne is beginning to die out now but my blackheads are going strong! And also I had really stubborn small spots dotted around my cheek which refused to go no matter what I did; I used my Epiduo and my oral prescribed tablets and nothing really helped. I was sick and tired of it. Then one day I stumbled across Paula's Choice - friendly, informative, and helpful website. I read about her 2% BHA, it said do not scrub your face as you're only scrubbing the surface of the blackhead; you'd need a BHA to exfoliate inside your pores to de clog your pores and help eliminate your blackheads... I did not know this and this was perfect because I wanted to stop using a scrub anyway and starting using an chemical exfoliate!
I liked the fact she's done all the research for you and shows a genuine interest about ingredients in products and also how there is a small list of ingredients (it's so frustrating seeing about 100 ingredients!) after debating for a day whether to buy it (it's £26 here including the £3 delivery charge) I bought it, I was so scared that I wouldn't like it and I was literally on the verge of doing anything to get rid of it!

The day it came (was a day early! Love the tracked delivery too!) I used it on the night and applied it to the affected area (all over my face basically) and it leaves a film over your face which I'm not concerned about anyway. I was kind of scared because I thought I'd have to work my way up from 1% to 2% which I didn't want because I'm inpatient and didn't want to go through the returning postage hassle. I woke up the following morning and my spots were dramatically reduced and my blackheads were SLIGHTLY de-clogging. My skin was GLOWING! I've been using it for less than a week now and if you saw the improvement it's made to my face, you wouldn't buy that an over the counter product could do such a miraculous thing! My spots have pretty much vanished and my blackheads are slowly going too (I've had them for years! So it's understandable) I really want to make my own with water & aspirin but it needs to be at a good PH for optimal results so I rather splurge for something that I know will work than being cheap and ruining my skin!

I use it 2 times a day right now but I think I'm going to minimize my usage to once a day because my skin is beginning to flake! I have a slight spots on my forehead but apparently that was already surfacing anyway or it was my hormones which l can understand! I think this works perfectly with BP! If you're using BP then try it in conjunction with this! Stop using all those expensive night creams that promise to get rid of all your spots & blackheads! This WORKS! I've also noticed it's evening out my skin time cus I have slight hyper pigmentation under my neck from shaving and cutting myself (I was like 14 when I did these) and it's helped so much! It helps with razor burn too!

Seriously, I get told complements about my skin and how smooth it looks! I can't stop touching my face 'cause of how smooth it is! When my face is in direct sunlight, you can't see anything! Just clear skin! Obviously a few blackheads because it's been there for years but patience is virtue!

My only negative about this is the price... £22 for 118ml? The Dior toner is cheaper (I KNOW THEYRE IN DIFFERENT LEAGUES) but I think if she dropped it down by a pound or two, that would be better but regardless of the price. The research, the passion and performance behind this is truly phenomenal... Can't thank Paula enough! Seriously if you're laze with your routine just use this and a gentle cleanser! Perfect!

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rated 2 of 5 on 12/26/2013 7:43:00 AM More reviews by Lorel1

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

Too drying for my sensitive skin! My skin broke out, felt extremely irritated & my skin was dry & flaky. I initially used it every other night, but even this was too much for my skin. Will not use this again!

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