Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant


274 reviews

80% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$

Not tested on animals


Water, Glycolic Acid (alpha hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (chamomile/soothing agent), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (water-binding agent), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (antioxidant), Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Sodium PCA (water-binding agents), Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol (slip agents/penetration enhancers), Hydroxyethylcellulose,), Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben (all preservatives).

on 3/26/2015 12:24:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I've been using this off and on for a few years now. I have very sensitive skin and cannot tolerate any of the higher % products on the market. These days I only use it once or twice a month in order to smooth things out as I can't tolerate physical scrubs. HG AHA for me since it gets the job done, I like the texture, and it contains none of my acne/irritation triggers.

on 3/16/2015 9:03:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I will never be without this product or Paula's Choice 2% BHA Gel. I alternate between the two of them. I use them every day, and I am a 45 year old with oily skin that is not sensitive, some wrinkles, some sun damage. occasional acne. This makes my skin smooth, clear and helps with preventing breakouts. I haven't noticed a huge difference in my hyperpigmentation from this product. For that, I use the Fade Peel from MUAC as well as the Lactic Acid peel. But this is a great, everyday exfoliant for oilier skins.
I went for a facial last week and the facialist coudn't believe that I hadnt had a facial in over 3 years--she said my skin was in excellent condition.

on 3/2/2015 3:29:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

Pros: Effective AHA exfoliant in stable packaging, large amount of product included

Cons: A little expensive, and texture is sticky.

This is a good product, but a good AHA isn't so hard to find. There are others that are less expensive, just as effective, and with a more pleasing texture.

What I use instead: currently, I use Olay Night Resurfacing Elixir on a daily basis, and Alpha Hydrox 12% Souffle once a week.

on 2/24/2015 8:00:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have acne prone, sensitive, extremly oily skin that is covered in clogged pores. Using this together with Paula's BHA made a huge difference in my skin. It has never ever been so smooth and pores are so much less visible. I am switching between those two every other day. I am so happy that I finally discovered something that is working for this type of skin, and yes, I will repurchase as soon as I run out of it.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Other

Eyes: Brown

So far I like this it has replaced my Peter Thomas Roth Acid gel I use it at night layered with other products, its helped clear up some congestion I have in my chin and nose area. The price and quantity is much better then the PTR acid gel I was using.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 2/1/2015 3:44:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

An excellent product, through and through.

An incredible exfoliant and doesn't agitate my skin. Keeps my skin clear and smooth and lightens dark spots(sunspots/ance spots). Love it!

The texture is a sticky gel, which was little strange at first, but it dries rapidly. The smell is acidic (surprise) but it isnt offensive.

I only uses this at night.

I've gone through several bottles and I'm sure I will go through many more. Total holy grail!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 1/29/2015 7:45:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Red, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Green

I've deleted my original 1 lippie review because I don't think it gives a fair reflection of this product. This bottle has been lying dormant in my bathroom cabinet for the last year, because it wreaked havoc on my skin a while back, but I decided to give it a try again. Unfortunately it seems that my skin just can't handle AHA's because I get break-outs every single time I've tried this. This is no fault of the product itself, I have it with all lotions/creams containing AHA's.
I would advise anyone considering this to try it out first, PC has a sample service.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 1/27/2015 9:44:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Black

I've been using this at night for about 1-2 weeks on my forehead, and then I wash it off in the morning.

When I tried the sample all over my face, it had stung - not as much the burning sensation, but more like little tiny ant bites that sort of caused some itching. It was bearable, but irritating. I don't know if you're meant to rub it in or slather it all over your face and wait for it to dry, but I tried both and I didn't see any difference so I did the latter.

What I immediately noticed within the first few seconds upon application was that the two little red pimples on my face quickly and quite noticeably grew in size and had started to become whiteheads. I had to wash off the gel on those areas before my pimples became horrible. Regardless, I wasn't deterred, although I stopped putting it on any spots.

In the morning, I washed if off, and I did notice some brightening, but more obvious was the tiny little bumps across my skin. I don't have severe acne, extremely sensitive skin, nor am I inexperienced with acids, so I was quite surprised. Definitely try the sample before you buy it, in case you do get some sort of reaction. I heard people say that it did start off bumpy before it could get better so now I'm just using it on my forehead in the hopes of reducing my frown lines and premature forehead wrinkles.

After a week's use, I haven't seen much visible change - the tiny little acne scar I've had since initial use is still visible, but just slightly lighter, nor do I notice anything different about my wrinkles or frown lines, but the stinging is hardly felt, my skin does look less dry, and the little bumps I experienced initially haven't appeared again. Maybe it's because I didn't use as much as when I first tried with the sample so maybe it's working a little slow. Nonetheless, I'm persevering with high hopes.

on 1/27/2015 3:15:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I use this for 2 years now, about 5 times a week at night, and sometimes also during the day.

I've never had any problems with irritation or break-outs. Only the first time it stings a bit.

It makes my skin a bit softer.
I doesn't make my skin "radiant" or "glowing", like others say.

It should also build up collagen, but I didn't see any improvement on wrinkles or sagging skin though. But maybe without it, it would be worse, you never know.

on 1/8/2015 8:41:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Kinky, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I hope I'm not writing this too prematurely as I've only used a sample of this.

I suffer with very oily skin and despite a good skin care regime (cleansing, day cream, night cream, twice weekly masques) my skin never really seemed to improve - oily, very visible pores, a dark patch on my forehead that wouldn't go, dry patches on my cheeks. I noticed over the last few months that I was starting to get rough skin on my cheeks that felt like tiny microscopic bumps, funnily enough only since I started contouring. Using a regular face scrub every other day didn't make any difference and it was only when reading Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes that I even learned about AHA exfoliants. I immediately did some reading and ordered a sample from Paula's Choice.

Wow, what can I say? After just the first application, my skin felt incredible. I used about 1/3 of the sample sachet which was plenty to cover my face and neck. My skin tingled slightly when I applied it but I read that this is normal when you first use an AHA so I wasn't concerned.

The next morning when I looked in the mirror, my skin looked amazing. So much clearer, brighter and so soft and smooth. And the rough skin/numps on my cheeks - completely gone! After a single use! My boyfriend described my skin as looking radiant.

I ordered a full size gel straight after that first use as I didn't want to be without it when the sample ran out. I'm hoping that my skin will continue to improve and I'm hoping that I see a reduction in the melasma on my forehead as others have.

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