Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant


92 reviews

67% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$$

Not tested on animals


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).

on 7/2/2015 2:41:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Brown

At first, my skin became so incredibly soft and looked really clear. I could see my pores getting smaller. I was able to extract a blackhead I've been battling for years! Then, suddenly after a few weeks, my skin became a little itchy around my nose and mouth whenever I'd use this. I reduced my usage to once a day, then once every other day. I didn't want to give up! The reaction kept getting worse with each use until I broke out in full blown itchy, stinging hives around my chin. It was then I threw in the towel and this ended up in the cabinet along with other products I didn't love but don't want to throw out yet. Oddly enough, I discovered a few months later, I can use it on my forehead with no issue, so I'm using up the bottle that way. I do find Paula's 1% lotion works fine for the rest of my face so I continue to use that and will eventually just use the 1% all over. So not a terrible product, it just did not agree with half my face.

on 6/23/2015 1:34:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

You have to wait to see lasting results and it can cause a bit of purging in the first few weeks but it really changes your skin. Amazing. Overnight your skin looks glowy, after the first 2 weeks i stopped having breakouts and havent even had an ocasional hormonal breakout after that. My hyperpigmentation is almost gone. Love it and have been using it for only 3 months :)

on 6/23/2015 12:26:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Red, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I really feel like the odd one out with this stuff, but it has been a royal pain in my arse. I purchased this in hopes that it would help clear and prevent closed comedones which I have been battling since puberty. My skin is naturally oily to a ridiculous degree and my cell turnover rate simply can't keep up. I have used the PC Clear Regular and Pore Refining in the past, but neither of them made a difference (nor did they cause further problems). I figured the lower pH of the regular liquid might be more effective although I find the texture and finish unappealing (sticky/shiny). Well, I won't be finding out because after a week I have 3 new patches of small closed comedones on my cheeks and jawline. I've never had them pop up that fast or in that quantity before and this is the only new product in my routine. Of course all of my pre-existing cc's are still chilling and now getting to know their new roommates.

From here I plan on testing Dermarest Psoriasis Treatment Gel (3% BHA) and GOW 5% Mandelic Serum in hopes that they can handle damage control in addition to the reasons I needed an exfoliant in the first place. I also have a tube of Finacea coming from Australia which may be promising. The great thing about skincare is that there are always other options.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 6/22/2015 9:51:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Very Oily, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Saw results overnight literally. I would swear by this product any time since it reduced inflamed pimples around my cheek area. The small pimples around the big ones were basically gone after i woke up the first time i used it. My skin was super soft and less bumpy, also now i've seen that my skin tone is more even and my skin brighter (not oily) after about 2-3 weeks of use. I will continue tu repurchase indefinetely :D

also you can get 10$ off if you click this link (if you want to of course)

on 6/18/2015 1:01:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Unfortunately, this product didn't do anything for me. I used only Paula's Choice Resist line for 6 months. It just dried out my skin even more and made it look so dull. The items I used were, Skin Perfecting 2% BHA, Resist Wrinkle Repair Retinol serum, Resist Cellular Day Moisturizer with spf 25, Resist c15 super booster, Resist Toner, Resist Cleanser, Resist Foundation, Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA, Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment 10% AHA. I like to enjoy my skincare and see some kind of results. With all of this, I not only saw no results, my skin looked worse. I like to enjoy my skincare. That is huge for me. These products bored me. I ended up throwing what wasn't used up in the garbage after giving it a good 6 months. In summary, they were so boring and ineffective. Fortunately, I am using new products now that have made a huge difference. I am enjoying my skincare routine again!

on 6/10/2015 4:31:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue


After noticing I was developing a few tiny milia around my eyes, I did a lot of research on the topic, which led me to two conclusions - dermatologist or BHA. Both get rid of and prevent milia (though don't quote me, it's just what I read on the interwebs). I'd never had or heard of milia before I noticed those stupid little white bumps, and side note - I'm convinced the milia was caused by my trying out a few "luxury" rich eye creams, which turns out can clog pores and dry out skin. Anyway, I decided to start out by trying the BHA.

I'm not sure why I'd never even heard of Paula's Choice before, because it is basically the holy grail of skin care. I'm just so happy it exists.

The bottom line is, the BHA toner is incredible. My skin looks noticeably clearer and smoother and just overall healthier and let's say glowier. Enough that (no exaggeration) my husband + 2 friends commented on it within one week without any provocation.

I started by ordering the trial sized BHA for $9, which awesomely included a few free samples of choosing as well and everything I've tried so far is truly wonderful. For milia, I've been diligently washing twice daily, exfoliating, using the BHA, and a light moisturizer, for about 3 weeks. The milia is close enough to vanished that unless I'm staring at my pores in a magnifying mirror (ok it happens), they are imperceptible. Win.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Hmm, I must have hit a glitch on their website, because I bought what I thought was a trial size at $9 and I received the four ounce bottle. Did it again and it happened again. I love it. Yes, it makes my face look shiny, but my face seems clearer and smoother. Will buy again.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 5/25/2015 5:12:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

My HOLYGRAIL exfoliant! Use it everyday in the morning and BHA 9 at night gives me acne-free face that I always dream of.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

MY REACTION: Great for my sensitive rosacea, sub-type 2, skin. Was hesitant to try it, but does not burn or cause flares.

EFFICACY: Unclogged the blackheads around my nose within two weeks without any attempt at extraction

APPLICATION: Bottle says cotton ball, but at this price, I don't use a cotton ball; just put a couple drops on clean fingertips and apply multiple times.

TEXTURE: Obviously a liquid but a tiny bit viscous; has lots of slip, so glides on easily with fingers

APPEARANCE: Looks shiny when it dries, not like alcohol-based BHA, almost like oil but does not feel that way on the skin to me

SCENT: No scent to me

OTHER: I apply only before bed since BHA increases sun sensitivity, and this looks shiny; I also use every other night, alternating with my Retin-A gel.

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

on 4/27/2015 8:04:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Green

I have been using this for about a week, so I will update as I go. I bought it hoping to see some improvement to blackheads, enlarged pores and breakouts. This delivers in all of those areas. My skincare routine consists of mostly Clarins products - I don't care what Paula says, they work for me. My skin is good, except for some redness and hormonal breakouts during that totm.

After a week of using this, blackheads have shrunk drastically (though they were not particularly big originally). My pores look smaller and more refined. But most of all... no monthly breakout! I have a tiny amount of redness, but my skin looks amazing. So much so, I'm enjoying not wearing foundation.

Update: 1 month later. I have continued to see great results with this, though it has not completely eliminated blackheads. I have also noticed that my skin is less oily when I use this, which is an unexpected plus since I am always looking for ways to take down the shine on my nose. My face doesn't seem particularly dry either... Just more balanced. I use this about 2-3 times a week max max or sometimes I will concentrate it on problem areas every other day if I have a spot etc. I'll repurchase when it runs out and I'm consider considering buying a backup.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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