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Treatments (Face) - Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant



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rated 4.0(213 reviews)

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 8/19/2014 8:58:00 AM More reviews by ellie179

Age: 30-35 Skin: Normal, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Previously I used the lotion and I didn't quite like the texture. It was thick, and left a whitish cast like sunscreen and sometimes when I rubbed it in it would flake off. However, the blackheads around my nose disappeared. After years of trying different methods and products, finally something that worked! I decided to opt for the gel this time around and it's much more to my liking, even though it's marketed for combination/oily skin (my skin is normal to dry). It's a slightly runny transparent gel that spreads easily and absorbs quickly so there's no real need to wait in between products, and no problems with skincare balling up. I follow up with a serum that contains retinol (Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Antioxidant with Retinol) and moisturizer and have not experienced any irritation or dryness. In the mornings I switch to an AHA exfoliant. My skin has never been better since I started including AHA/BHA exfoliants into my skincare routine. That so far, has been the game changer for me.

The plastic packaging and pump dispenser makes it easy to travel and the price is definitely good value. The only downside for me is that it's not available in Malaysia.

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 8/16/2014 3:23:00 PM More reviews by Eire1

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool Hair: Red, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown

I HAD A SAMPLE.
This states that it is for all skin types, yet due to its gel like texture I would recommend it to oily and acne prone skin types. This did not irritate my skin but if you find it irritating there is a 1% BHA gel as an alternative to this. This was disappointing for me because even though it was the right pH , and there was enough BHA it did not impact my acne whatsoever.

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rated 5 of 5 on 6/21/2014 3:29:00 PM More reviews by looopy

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This stuff makes me cry tears of joy!

Honestly, I've got terrible skin. It's been acne-fied since I was 11. I'm 23 now. I can definitely tell when I haven't used this stuff because I get little whiteheads all over the place. It even prevents and reduces the angry pustules my body lovingly decides to develop.

I like this product because it doesn't have a strong smell, or feel weird on my skin. It makes my skin radiant and it doesn't dry me out much.

Thanks Paula, whoever and wherever you are!

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rated 5 of 5 on 5/28/2014 2:57:00 PM More reviews by Neen2131

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

This product has been an absolute life saver for me.

I have never had perfect skin, but also, until recently my skin has never been awful (odd spots on my chin, especially around that time of the month) but then, about 6 months ago i got the worst break outs I have ever had all over the sides of my neck and jawline - and i had never had spots on my neck before. I do not know what caused this, i am 28 so long past puberty. My skin is not particularly greasy, but I had large patches of cystic acne all over either side of my neck, and up to my ear lobes.

I have spent a lot of time stressing about the spots and a lot of money trying to fix them. I can say that the avene tri-acneal range (cleanance get and the exfoliant gel) have done nothing for me, i actually think the cleanance gel was too drying and made it worse. Likewise Dr Brandt vacuum gel did not help (although that is specifically aimed at blackheads which was not my problem) and Proactive night cream also did not help.

I started to religiously double cleanse every evening with a balm cleanser and cloth (aromatherapy associates) and then a gentle gel wash (eucerin anti-redness) - this made it better but did not fully get rid of the spots - although I have to say that a proper cleansing routine has made the rest of my face much brighter and more glowy and has got rid of the blackheads on my nose. I highly recommend caroline hirons for her tips on how to cleanse.

But it is only since i started using the paula's choice 2% 2 months ago that i have had a noticeable improvement in the spots. I apply it at night only and after cleansing, and i find it works best if you spend a few moments really rubbing it into your problem areas. i then apply a light night cream. Now my spots have pretty much gone, there is still a bit of redness left over, but that is fading.
I tried wearing it during the day as well under an spf moisturiser but it made the skin around my mouth a bit red and slightly flakey, so i have found just wearing it at night works best.

i can't recommend this highly enough, it is not cheap but it is definitely worth it (unlike a lot of the other more expensive products i have tried which do not work)

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rated 5 of 5 on 3/10/2014 7:47:00 PM More reviews by m331

Age: 25-29 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue

I am on my second bottle of this. It really works. I still have blackheads, but they've gotten better, and I've found I'm significantly less oily. The gel formula makes skin feel comfortable. I'm tempted to try the liquid formula because of all the raves, but I'm pretty attached to this one.

FYI - I have very sensitive combination skin. I don't apply this where my skin is driest (on the apples of my cheeks or under my nose) because my skin gets flakey there if I do. On the oilier spots I can use it twice a day, no problem. Order samples if you're unsure! Well-formulated active ingredients like this BHA will definitely change your skin, for better or for worse.

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rated 5 of 5 on 2/20/2014 10:05:00 AM More reviews by Simonjw

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium Eyes: Green

This is my second bottle and since them the number of blackheads on my nose and whiteheads on my chin have been reduced so much! There not 100% gone and I don't think they ever will but this has made such a difference its a great product and for 23 you can't not give it a go. It also reduces redness and one bottle lasts me just under a year and I use it twice a day over my entire face. Just be patient with it as it does take a while to see improvements.

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rated 5 of 5 on 2/6/2014 2:40:00 PM More reviews by FloraC

Age: 30-35 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

The 2% liquid broke me out like crazy. At first I thought it was purging but after a few months decided to take a break. Then I remembered I had a sample of the 2% gel and decided to try it. Fantastic results. Smoothed my skin out and calmed it down significantly. I still get hormonal acne but this really helps to get rid of it and to keep the small bumps under control. I only use it at night as it takes awhile for it to dry/become less tacky. Definitely worth a try if the liquid doesn't work for you.

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rated 3 of 5 on 1/13/2014 7:06:00 AM More reviews by geeemm

Age: 19-24 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Hazel

I was surprised and a little disappointed to find how this 2% formula seemed so different to my beloved 1% BHA Gel! Everything about the 1% version suited my skin, although I hoped I could try a higher strength for the more stubborn blackheads I still get. It therefore made sense to step up to the 2% Gel next.

The first thing I noticed was that this is more of a true gel than the lower concentration, which is a runnier consistency. What I've found, however, is that it's incredibly sticky on application - unpleasantly so! It feels rather occlusive once it's on and takes a while to comfortably sink into my skin. I've ended up unable to use this in the daytime because I simply don't have the time or patience to wait long enough to apply moisturiser and sunscreen on top of this sticky base, so I've been carrying on with the 1% in the day and using 2% at night.

As for the efficacy of this product - I'm not sure it's having much greater an effect than the 1% formula on me. It does manage to smooth out my skin overnight, but my main concern is reducing any blotchy erythema I'm experiencing from rosacea. It's a little inconsistent in calming this concern - maybe I'm not as tolerant of the higher amount as I hoped. I think the next step is to try one of the liquid formulas to see if it's a better fit, but for now I don't think I'll be buying this gel again.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 1/6/2014 4:43:00 AM More reviews by timothybcat

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine Eyes: Hazel

This product is the S*** for someone like me who has had huge pores and blackheads all over my nose and chin since I was like 12. Younger ladies, you have no idea how lucky you are to live in this age where so much more is known about skin care. I'm 38, so when I was in my teens it was Oxy 10 and Noxzema and other harsh products. The attitude toward acne was "terminate with extreme prejudice, scrubs made of ground glass, and anything that burns like hell".

Anyway, Paula set me straight. I started with her 1% BHA lotion, because my face is very red and I didn't know how it was going to react. Great product, but I thought I could go up to 2% because I had no problems with it, and I really don't like the smell of that lotion. I've had no issues of sensitivity or drying with this at all. It's tightened my pores and I really don't get blackheads at all anymore. I haven't had a really nasty hormonal zit like I was getting around my chin and cheeks. I can sometimes still feel a pimple coming, and think "uh-oh", but then it just goes away without coming out like a giant nipple on my face. Yay! No face nipples!

I only use it at night because when I used it twice a day my face got a little red. Also I don't want to layer yet ANOTHER product under makeup, although it didn't seem to affect the wear of my foundation at all. When I use this, my skin looks noticeably fresher and brighter in the morning. And it's been the most effective product I've ever used for acne. The only thing is the price: $22.00 for 3 ounces. Not saying it's not worth it, but I need to be more budget-conscious these days. I'm going to try a different product Paula recommends with the same 2% BHA that's much cheaper. But if that price isn't an issue to you, definitely go for it. If the other product I plan on trying isn't good, I'll still come back to this.

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rated 5 of 5 on 11/26/2013 5:30:00 AM More reviews by Itsheatherlol

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

This stuff has transformed my skin. Why every review on here isn't 5/5 I don't know.

It has significantly reduced the size of my pores, removed all of the gunk inside my pores, smoothed out all the little bumps on my skin and made it super soft. Because of this product alone, when I wear foundation I am constantly told that my skin is FLAWLESS or that it looks like porcelain.

THIS product is why. I use it Mon, Wed, Fri & Suns underneath my makeup every morning. I would never, ever be without this product. It has taken my skin from average / largeish pores, damaged from acne to radiant, flawless, PERFECT.

What a wonderful product.

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