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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
This is an HG for me!! I apply this every morning. I don't use a cotton pad to apply this product. I pour a little into my hand and then rub it on to my face directly with my hand. I felt applying it with a cotton pad was wasteful. This product I credit with getting my acne under control and now with maintaining my skin. I will not be without it! When I near the end of my bottle, I immediately go to Paula's site to order a replacement.
This product is absolutely amazing and a staple for me. I CANNOT be without it. I began using it several years ago and as s result, I have had incredibly blemish-free skin. I can't express how remarkable that is.
I love that it has a substantial amount of BHA but no alcohol (which is hard to find - believe me - I've tried.) The price is great, too. Since I can't bear to be without this liquid miracle, I usually stock up and buy two or three bottles when there's a special on either the product itself or the shipping.
If your're prone to blemishes and are at your wit's end, you MUST try this product.
All that being said, the only drawback is that it takes a while to dry, so in the meantime, your skin feels a little tacky. This concern is addressed on the Paula's Choice website, with the response being that a 'tacky' feel is caused by using too much of the product. I've tinkered with the amount I use and, sure enough, if I use less than usual, it dries a little quicker. I typically only use this at night, and I don't want to skimp on the amount of product for fear it won't be effective, so I tolerate the icky feel for about 30 - 45 mintues, after which time my skin feels 'normal' and completely smooth. Not a bad tradeoff for the amazing results it delivers.
I'd also like to add that over the years, I've tried to go without this product. Whenever I do, like clockwork the blemishes begin to appear after a 2 week hiatus. Then it's back to using the BHA, wait out a mini-purge period, and finally return to clear skin. (When will I learn my lesson and simply admit that I can't live without this product?)
This was my first venture with a BHA product and now that I use Paula's Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Anti Redness Exfoliation Solution, I much prefer that over this one. This is great but too strong to be used daily as my skin is sensitive, acne-prone and now combination as I am on Accutane (but usually oily).
To apply this, I put some on a cotton round and swipe all over my face after removing my make up and cleansing, it's almost like a toner. This one does give me a stinging sensation and I found that I had flakey dry skin after a couple of uses. It did however work very well at removing all the clogged pores on my cheeks which is why I love BHA's SO much! I had closed comedones all over my cheeks and this removed 99% of them. I had to stick with it at first though because within the first week I did break out more as this seemed to bring up all of the underlying congestion but after that all went away this definitely is keeping my acne under control.
Overall, this works well for very stubborn clogged pores & blemishes but it is a bit too drying for me personally to use every day. I would use this only when I had a lot of blemishes just the once off or once a week but not consistently day to day.
I just noticed that I had posted my original review for this product in 2009 under the 2% lotion exfoliant. So here I would like to post my original review, followed by an update.
Original review 2009:
I absolutely love this product. If I had to choose one HG skincare product, this would definitely be it. I must admit that i'm a skincare product junkie and that I've tried many different products, but I'm really impressed by Paula's line. Actually, her products are the only products that I've ever repurchased and that I'm actually planning on repurchasing time and time again. This BHA liquid leaves my skin soft and glowing and the amount of breakouts I get has diminished dramatically. It has also made a major difference in the visibility of my blackheads. I stopped using this product this summer because I was in Syria for 2 months and was just to lazy to keep up with my skincare routine and my skin has deteriorated significantly. Now that I've picked up my routine again, my skin is returning back to 'normal'.
I must admit that my skin had to get used to this product though. In the beginning, it would sting and make my face quite red. That's why I started by using it once a day, but now I use it twice a day without any problems, just healthy, glowing skin.
Update 03/11/2013: I have bought and used several bottles of this product over the years because I loved it so much. It was a staple in my skincare routine. However, my skin has changed over the years. It it still sensitive, slightly congested and normal to dry, but it just reacts to products differently I suppose. Recently, this product did not sink in as well as it usually did, leaving a tacky finish. I also felt like the results were not as remarkable as before. My skin seems to be reacting better to the Weekly Overnight Treatment with 10% glycolic acid by Paula's Choice, so I have now switched to that product. Nevertheless, the 2% BHA liquid worked really well for almost 4 years and I really enjoyed using it