I just did my 3rd weekly treatment last night and am in awe of the results this morning! I can't stop checking out my skin in the mirror. I have been using retin-a micro .04 for the past 5 months and had the worst breakout this past month, painful, deep pimples along the jawline and big pimples all around my mouth and chin, I looked terrible :( I decided to try the Paula's Choice extra strength clear 3 step skincare 1x a day in the morning (on my 3rd week, so far so good). And did this foam treatment 1x week by itself. Last night I followed with the Paula's Choice C15 serum and this morning my face is definitely red and sensitive in spots but other than that all the dark and red spots on my face lightened dramatically! I practically look clear. (Tear, lol ) This is strong stuff so just watch your skin reactions, I've cut back my retin-a to 3x a week instead of nightly and it's working better for me. I've come to learn that battling acne is not a one size fits all or one magic potion in a bottle. It's something you have to customize for yourself. I highly recommend this product.
I won't "bury the lead" as they say - this is the best skin care product on the market. It works, its cheap. I use 90% of Paula in my skincare regimen and was quite happy. I was unsure of what this would do (I have good skin) because I use the BHA 2% lotion everyday and weekly AHA resurfacing treatment, My skin became as smooth as the inside of my arm with this once a week addition. I honestly didn't think it could get any better. The container dispenses the right amount of foam which sinks right in. Over that I layer PC antioxidant serum and CeraVe PM. This is a treatment that should only be used at night. Listen up ladies - stop spending money on those highly marketed products that will never be as effective as Paula's. Paula's products ARE NOT SEXY but they work and they are reasonably priced.
In a slew of genius products, this is Paula's most brilliant creation yet. I use this once every 2-3 weeks all over my face. It is too strong for me to use on my face any more frequently. However, I try to apply it to my nose, 1-2 times every day, either in the daytime or at night or both. I am seeing improvement. The more consistent I am, the better my nose looks.
Nothing has ever worked as well to clear the clogged pores on my nose. Not even accutane. I took accutane when I was in my 20's to clear up cystic acne. The medicine cured me of cystic acne forever. It also emptied my nose pores of blackheads but in doing so, it left huge pothole-type pores all over my nose. Looked worse than the blackheads. As soon as I finished the medicine, the blackheads returned. And, quite frankly I was glad because I could cover them up with makeup. The cleaned out potholes were impossible to hide.
Paula's 4% BHA foaming treatment is dissolving the blackheads that have been on my nose for thirty years! Some have disappeared. Others are shrinking in size. My nose pores look smaller than ever. It works, but it is not a cure--meaning if I get lazy and skip a day or two, then my pores return to a clogged state. That said, I think my nose pores could use an EVEN STRONGER treatment when you consider how often I am using this on them.
Nevertheless, I am grateful for the improvement. I love the texture of this product because it dries to a matte finish. Makeup applies beautifully over it. Also, I find that the treatment reduces redness.
One pump is supposed to cover your face, so after I apply what I need to my nose, I rub the excess over my elbows so that it doesn't go to waste. This stuff is worth its weight in gold. Thank you Paula Begoun!
A big WOW. I returned the 9% BHA because this one is so much more effective for my skin. It makes such a visual improvement to my skin. Clogged pores, brighteness, texture. THIS IS A KEEPER!!
Yay Paula she's such a temptress with her new products. I am a big fan of her products and if something new comes out I have o try it. I am a big fan of her 2% BHA liquid and this is better! It comes in a cute little pump bottle and comes out as. Bubbly foam. You then massage it onto your face and let it try. You can apply other products ontop if you want to as well. It is quite strong so it might not suit everyone. This has helped my skin keep crystal clear and soft and smooth. I will definitely be buying this agin and again!
Of all the BHA exfoilators, this one is my favourite.
I've used the 1%, the 2%, and the BHA9.
BHA9 was least irritating so far.
The 4% does a good job as well.
Amazing texture - goes on easily, one pump is enough
Works to minimize blackheads for a couple of days (they do come back slowly)
A little pricey
A little drying in the winter
I do wish that PC would make the 2% in a time released formulation. I'd like constant gentle exfoliation for my blackheads and I find their regular 2% too strong - it makes my skin flakey. Yet the 9% does not. But it would, if I used it every day.
2% time-released formula - I will be a slave to it if they make it.
I should start out by saying that my skin is pretty sensitive and reactive. I have used Paula's Choice Clear (regular strength) toner for a long time, so I thought that going to the 4% foam wouldn't be such a crazy leap. I was very wrong. I only used it one time. I don't think it was even a whole pump of foam because of the air inside the pump. I spread it around my face and all seemed fine. The next morning, my skin looked fine too. But then the day after that, it got very rough in texture and there some little red bumps in random places. Terrible!! I looked like I had aged 10 years. My skin felt like orange peel when I washed my face. It took me a little over a week to [mostly] heal my skin (I thought it was going to take many weeks!) by putting vaseline over damp skin every night (I also did honey masks almost every day). I feel bad writing a 1 star review because I know this product works great for some people. Just not for me, sadly!
CLIFFNOTE VERSION... AMAZING (near) overnight results!!!
Foreward... I usually hate reviews written after usuing a product for a short time period but WOW. That's it all it took for us to see results!!! I promise future updates!
LONG STORY... My preteen son had major breakouts and some milia on his nose and forehead for two years. I thought his problem was not washing well enough - and that might have been what started it, but even after making sure he washed his face better and with better products. We started with PC BHA9 (the strongest BHA PC offers). It didn't work. Also my son hated the oily drippy consistency. He would drip it on the vanity and all I could see were dollar signs. AAAaaaa! As others complain the BHA9 pump SUCKS!
Before you think I am being the vane mom, he is VERY self conscious about the bumps and wanted my help getting rid of them.
So, I bought the new PC 4% foam. It was easier to apply than the BHA9. The pump works perfectly! You can get as much or as little as you want (1 pump is enough for whole face). He loves the texture. It soaks in super fast and feels like nothing afterward. When the foam hits the heat of your skin, it kind of melts into it if that makes sense. I chose a high strength product because I know how stubborn milia are and I also know that he (like most preteen boys) aren't that great with consistency. This product isn't meant to be applied EVERY night. I like not having to nag him. Althought tonight he came to me wanting to put "that stuff" on his face. He was just "lit up" with excitement becuase it is working so well.
RESULTS: He has used it 2 nights in a row and the results are phenomenal. I WISH I had taken pictures because they could be in a before and after PC ad!!! Seriously!!! Most of the bumps on his nose are gone. He had one big one on forehead that got really white like the skin on top was thinner. I was able to extract it easily with just a little pressure from my fingers. Milia are usually very deep and near impossible to extract without needle. I did NOT expect this kind of results. I had given him the "now this isn't going to work overnight" speech "you are going to have to be consistent." Well, it did!!
I TRIED IT TOO: I have pretty good skin - its naturally dry but blemish free. I use PC 8% AHA, C15, and PC Skin Recovery Retinol Serum. I have tried the 4% foam twice (not back to back nights) and didn't see dramatic results like my son did, but I don't have blemishes. I do have sebacious filaments on my nose and they *may* have looked a little better. I have 3 tiny (needlehead size) milia under eye near my temple. They have NOT gone away in my 2 uses of BHA 4%. I was kind of surprised since his were much older and larger have already responded. I'm going to keep spot treating them. I'll update again on my results and my son's.
COST: Everyone is complaining about the cost of PC's new products. Well, most of the newest products contain much higher % of active ingredients. Also to consider, this product is meant to be used once or twice per week. I think I read the container has 40 pumps worth in it. So for <$30 (on sale) I can get 20-40 WEEKS worth of use out of it. That's fantastic and probably cheaper than stridex pads - I haven't done the math to be sure! MUCH cheaper than a dermatologist appointment!!!
EDIT: My son continues to have amazing results with this product. He was having breakouts during the week between the weekly applications of the 4% foam - so he now used the 2% CLEAR BHA on other nights. NO spots at all for him! For me, my skin has been oilier lately and I'm having breakouts that I'm not sure if it is hormones or my new Dr. Jart BB that is breaking me out (please no I love this BB!!!). So I put down my AHA and started using this BHA and it is helping. It is just a wonderful product. It does leave a sticky finish on skin but I'll take it for results! We only use it at night.
A knockout of an exfoliant. Marketed and designed for our oily-skinned friends, this also works well for those with dry skin as well. Liquid-to-foam formula housed inside a handy pump, so it's very easy to apply. The foam is helpful in application by virtue of keeping the product from jostling every which way on hands the way a liquid might. Of course, full with antioxidants, cell-communicating and skin-identical ingredients. Would not be a Paula's Choice product without the careful maximization of a formula!
User experience: Go slow! One pump suffices for me, and I use this about twice a week. It is STRONG. Strong, strong, strong. For comparison, much stronger (in my experience) than BHA9 (and yes, I used BHA9 all over the face - not just spot tx-ments). The first few times my skin looked a little rough the next day, but after a while got accustomed to the strong exfoliation. Now it is tight and radiant (the magic words, eh?).