Paula's Choice RESIST BHA 9 Treatment


75 reviews

58% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

Not tested on animals


Propylene Glycol (solvent/penetration enhancer), PEG-75, PEG-8 (thickeners), Water, Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract (anti-irritant), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (antioxidant plant extract), Sea Whip Extract, Arginine (amino acid/skin-conditioning agent), Polysorbate 20 (stabilizer), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent)

on 1/17/2014 10:18:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

This is a key player in my skin care regime. I use mostly Paula's products since I know what I am getting, the price is very reasonable and THEY WORK. This is a product that will intensely clean out your pores since BHA's exfoliate inside the pores (AHA's exfoliate the surface). I use a 2% BHA twice a day as a base before my serum/moisturizer and use the 9% strength on spots such as milia that develop under my eyes and pores that are inclined to get clogged around my nose and chin. I do this about every 10-12 days. Sometimes I use it all over my cheeks. It does an amazing job of clarifying the skin which is noticeable the next morning (this should only be used in the evening). The container releases a set amount of the serum probably so you only use the proper amount. I totally believe that there are no better skin care products around and that means at any price. These ingredients are not so rare that they command exorbitant prices and you should not be continued to be fleeced by exotic claims from cosmetics companies. It took me a while to break away from that belief but seeing is believing and my skin looks terrific.

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

on 1/17/2014 8:49:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

Yes I was a sucker and bought this ridiculously overpriced product. It's a clear, sticky, gel with a thin consistency. No fragance. The container is tiny, and the pump squirts out an amount that is often more than I wanted, and then 1/2 of what squirted out dripped down the side. I applied to some areas of my face and body where I wanted extra exfoliation. I have oily/acneic/rosacea prone skin that does not shed on its own. This went on sticky and stayed sticky. I noticed less exfoliation than the PC 2% BHA, which made me question whether there really was 9% BHA in this stuff or if the formulation was reducing the exfoliative power of the BHA. It didn't break me out, irritate me, or do anything bad, but I also saw zero, zip, nada effect of any noticeable kind. I really like some of the PC products, but this was not one of them. For me, total waste of $$.

on 1/3/2014 10:56:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Blue

I am not sure about this. I have dry combo clogged skin. Went through a few samples on breakout spots. and it was great. It is gentle and in a heavy serum that feels like the retinol serum. It is sort of silky and dense. I find it gentle and it exfoliates, but can be tricky as the base can clog.

Many use it on their entire face. So, I tried it. It felt great, not drying and exfoliated, but I broke out a bit. They say it is just a spot treatment and I agree. I have had no problems on spot use. I see why people have mixed reactions to it. Maybe what makes it so gentle, can clog a bit.

Verdict: The tube is smaller than I expected and the pump is a little tricky. Tap very gently and let go for a dab. It is great for pimple busting, maybe the best ever, but it is crazy expensive. I will have to see how long this lasts, to decide if I will buy the full size again or use the sample tube size. I will always keep some form of it around for breakout emergencies though.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 11/2/2013 6:00:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Bought this one last week. Since I got great results with PC's 15C booster I decided to try the retinol body smoothing cream and this one. I have only applied it once - and I have already joined the "I hate this pump" club! It is indeed irritating that you cant control the amount you get. I planned to use it only on my nose, chin and two spots on my cheek but since I got too much product out, I used it on my forehead as well. No stinging, burning or any reactions on spot. However, I takes a while to dry and it is quite shiny. I would not wear this under foundation. For night use, no problem. I did not wake up to a miracle, but I do think pores look smoother (but maybe this is from the 15C booster?) Oh well, I will apply it again tonight.
Update Nov 6: loving this so far.. I had previously used PC's BHA 2% gel, which I find very sticky. This is ten times better, but then it should be since it is sooo pricey.

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 10/27/2013 8:10:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

What a product!

I started with the sample size, focusing on a huge damaged pore in the middle of my nose that has been haunting me for a year. I noticed a slight improvement almost immediately. It's still there, but I'll keep applying this treatment and see how it goes.

The full size is CRAZY expensive, but was on sale this month so I took the plunge.
The packaging is annoying because you can;t control how much you pump out. It automatically dispenses TONS of product, which feels wasteful because it's so expensive. The texture is sticky and oily at the same time. It's a bit stingy and causes my skin to peel in little sheets, but acne is definitely improving and it's not flaring up my redness!

I'll keep using this with hope.

Edit: It hasn't cleared the persistent white bumps & blackheads on my chin or forehead, or the blackheads on my nose. I've been getting more large pimples around the sides of my face, jawline, and middle of my forehead than I used to. Could it be this is not working?

The hellpit pore on the middle of my nose is still there. Sometimes a bit of white stuff comes up and I can't help squeezing it away.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I am a regular user of Paula's choice exfoliants, but this product has done nothing! I have been using it regularly for 2 moths and I have not seen any results. I regret I bought it and I will go back to my Dermalogica.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 9/30/2013 2:15:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Silver, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I have been using Paula's Choice products for a bit now and I have absolutely loved what the RESIST line has done for my face but I had one problem area that wasn't improving....the sun damaged skin on my chest between my clavicles. The skin was discolored and rough and my products weren't working. I ordered a sample of the BHA 9 before making the $40 commitment to see if adding this would work. The morning after my first use I saw amazing improvement! The skin was soft and supple and the rough bumps were completely gone! The tone was also greatly improved. I thought there might be irritation because I applied it over the 5% AHA exfoliant, C15 Boost, and the Retinol moisturizer, but nope! Still no irritation after one week of nightly use. It is zapped a few zits that were coming up under the skin due to that time of the month and it's started to improve the tiny blackheads under my bottom lip I have had since I was 13 (I'm 40 now). Immediately ordered the full size. This product is perfect for me! I think it's just important to remember that there is no one perfect product for everyone. We're all different people so why wouldn't our skin be just as different. Definitely try the sample first and if it doesn't work or is irritating for you, don't order the full size. You'll know within a week if this product is worth it for you.

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

on 9/22/2013 11:12:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm

Hair: Other, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I stuck to this for a little while (only using a bit here and there, as spot treatments and as all over occasionally). Part of it was fine, but I can't help but feel this is the reason I was covered in little bumps. Really small ones, so they only aggravate me. But knowing me, the urge to not pick at those and turn it into a nightmare is sooo difficult. I'm going to try and cut out all SA and see if that changes anything. But as far as this product, the pump lets out way too much. That's not what my review is based on, but it's not good either. To get a small dab for spot treatments, I had to pulse the pump super gently til just a tad squeezed out. This is a small bottle, even when I pushed down to get enough for my face, it was too much, and I could see the bottle being finished quickly while most of the product is wasted. I like how you can see through the window how little you have left on the side, I guess that's nice. I've tried 4 Paula's Choice SA products now (and a few other things) and haven't been happy with any (which makes me feel like its more an issue with me, but still) I am going to try and return these. Disappointed.

Update: I'm almost positive after much research that the problem for me is propylene glycol. So I can't use any products with that in there. It's probably not the SA as once thought.

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 9/8/2013 6:21:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Acne-prone, Deep Dark, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

awesome spotter recommend to anybody of any age with any problem such as large pores , blackheads or a stubborn or upcoming pimple !

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Red, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I really wanted to love this product. I was excited to hear about it when Paula first introduced it. I've used other BHA products from Paula's line before, and have had good results. I wanted this one to really add something extra above and beyond the good results I was already accustomed to seeing. This product didn't do anything BAD to my skin, but given the high price tag and the fact that it didn't even come close to performing as well as Paula claimed it would, I'm extremely reluctant to purchase it again. Perhaps more consistent use over a longer period of time would allow it to live up to the hype, but I'm reluctant to spend that much money on something that may or may not work. While I know that Paula always tries to package her products in a way that keep the active ingredients stable, this pump is just fussy and unpredictable in terms of how much it dispenses.

Paula has always been really outspoken about the high cost of treatments and skin care products when something more affordable can accomplish the same thing. She has also chided many skin care product manufactures for over-inflating their prices based on overblown claims and taking advantage of the consumer's desire for unbelievably good results that just aren't possible. I've always had the utmost respect for Paula, her products, and her ability to cut through the hype and present the evidence and the science behind skin care.

That said, I was truly astounded when I saw the price for this product. I don't understand why this product is priced so high compared to all of Paula's other products that are formulated with similar ingredients. The BHA 9 is a whopping $34-$40 (depending on sales, specials, etc) for only 0.3 fl oz. Her other BHA and AHA exfoliants range in price from $21-$30 for about 3.3 fl oz. Uhm.

This product is definitely a serum, and feels slippery and tacky on the skin. You can definitely feel the properties of the first ingredient, propylene glycol, and one of the other main ingredients, glycerin. It will sink into the skin, but be prepared for it to take a while and to glisten a whole lot until it does. Probably best used at night, because I'm not sure if you'd be able to apply makeup over it without waiting a really long time.

I've read a lot of reviews on this product, and for some it seems to be the holy grail of BHA and gets lots of raves and repurchases. And that's great! If this works for you, and you can afford it, then that is wonderful! And yet for others, it is a huge (and costly) disappointment. I'm on the fence in terms of what this product can or can't do, but for me, given the price and the hype that seems to violate everything Paula has always stood for, it just isn't worth it.

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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