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Treatments - Paula's Choice - RESIST BHA 9



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rated 3.4(67 reviews)

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rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 9/8/2013 4:08:00 PM More reviews by three_black_cats

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.

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 1 of 5 on 9/5/2013 3:00:00 PM More reviews by ting2

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This is one of the worse product I have ever tried!!! It goes on sticky and leaves an oily film. After two weeks on using this at night, I began getting a bunch of clogged pores and blackheads. At first I thought it was purging my skin but it got worse! As soon as I stopped, my skin cleared. This product does nothing it was advertised to do. I have used paula's choice porducts before with relatively good results but I feel very disappointed in this treatment and will not buy anything from the brand again.

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rated 1 of 5 top reviewer on 8/30/2013 6:25:00 PM More reviews by rav2b

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

This was one of my worst ever cosmetics/treatment disappointments. I've used Paula's BHA products for over ten years, so was eager to check this out. It's gotten my vote for "the emperor's new clothes" product ever since it came out. I can't believe it's so absolutely nothing that i've kept trying it every so often just to be sure. Well, you know what they say about doing the same thing over and over, hoping for a different result... No more.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 1 of 5 top reviewer on 8/25/2013 12:55:00 AM More reviews by msdi2u

Age: 44-55 Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Hazel

I bought my Resist BHA 9 several months ago, and didn't want to review it until I gave it a lot of time. Time's up. :)

I like most Paula's Choice treatment products, toners & cleansers; they usually are very kind and cooperative with my ultra-sensitive, rosacea, zit-prone, sebaceous hyperplasia-ridden facial skin. (Yes- as you can guess- I was definitely cursed by the hair & skin gods when I was born.)

But this high-priced "miracle" serum did NOTHING good for my skin. Nada. I am a little offended every time I am on YouTube, and a pop-up ad appears from Paula's Choice saying this product can get rid of sebaceous hyperplasia (SH). It doesn't. At least not for me.

That is probably the main reason I invested in this concoction. I should have known better, as I have been plagued by SH since I was in my early twenties. I have been to numerous dermatologists and aestheticians begging for help and answers. I left every office more distressed than before. When I became internet savvy, I googled SH for hours searching for information & answers... hoping for a cure!!! Every source basically told me there was no cure... it's a genetic skin condition with no permanent solution. They were right. So I learned to accept the curse I had somehow inherited and make peace with it.

Then Paula comes out with this "miracle" product that bragged it could get rid of SH. I had my doubts, but was certainly not going to pass up the chance of a cure! I spent my $40-ish bucks and waited anxiously for it's arrival. I used it the first night it arrived- and every night after. I hated the way it felt on my skin: it felt like I was smearing K-Y Jelly all over my face! *YUCK* It also left a sticky feeling on my pillow. Gross.

Well, needless to say... after several weeks of using this product and waking up in the AM with a sticky, slimy face... I saw ABSOLUTELY NO IMPROVEMENT in my SH bumps, and I really didn't see any miraculous improvement in my skin tone AT ALL. ::sigh:: I wasn't really surprised. Disappointed, but not surprised.

I have given up on my BHA 9 and have gone back to using the 2% BHA Liquid (great product!) and alternating with RESIST Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA and RESIST Weekly Resurfacing Treatment 10% AHA. None of these products get rid of my SH, but they don't promise to, either. They just make my skin look healthy and relatively smooth- except for the SH bumps. And these 3 products feel great on my skin and apply beautifully without greasing up my face & pillows. :oP

Needless to say, I will never waste money on the RESIST BHA 9 again. Nor would I recommend it. I read people's reviews who said that this product "vaporizes zits overnight" and "makes their SH bumps vanish," and I have to laugh and wonder if these reviews are not coming from employees of Paula's Choice. I dunno... it never vaporized any of my zits... and it definitely did NOTHING to my SH bumps. All it did was grease up my face and make it feel disgusting. I'm done.

7 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 7/21/2013 10:20:00 AM More reviews by marylizette

Age: 36-43 Skin: Oily, Other, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Green

I love this stuff. Its a miracle in a bottle for me. My skin loves BHA so this is a big win for me. If salicylic acid is good to your skin, this will work for you. I put it in some breakouts last night and today they are gone.
Thank you Paula.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 2 of 5 on 7/7/2013 3:14:00 AM More reviews by TotesAmaze

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Green

So disappointed with this. I love Paula's choice and use a lot of her products. This sounded like a God send as I have some congestion on my chin and nose and one really enlarged/blocked pore on my forehead.

I put this on and was waiting for the miracle I had read about. Sadly nothing. I used this dutifully for 7 months and nothing changed.

It may work for you, it didn't work for me

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 6/29/2013 5:41:00 PM More reviews by sharonj31

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm Hair: Red, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Grey

Much to my dismay, I had still been getting facial blemishes about 3-5 per month, even though I am closer to 60 y/o than 55. As these are considered to be hormone related at my age these blemishes and my enlarged pores in my t-zone tend have been a challenge to keep clear. Well until I tried this product that is! Resist BHA-9 is as close to a miracle skin product for combo-oily skin as there can be. I still get the blemishes but they are not as large and long lasting and my poors are the finest they have ever been and I cannot imagine them being finer.

A little goes on a long way when using Resist BHA-9 and it does feel a bit oily in cosistency but don't be put off because within about 5-10 minutes the oily feel disappears. The downside is that the container/dispenser is a challenge to use without releasing too much product but practice does make perfect. If I had to give up all my skin care products but got to keep usinfg one, I would definitely keep this one! 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 6/25/2013 12:05:00 PM More reviews by faireyfantom

Age: 36-43 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

This product feels like a serum. It is not drying and I had no tingles or irritaion. I have been experimenting with some products I pushed aside for this shiny new penny and I have to say that overall I don't find this to be better than any product with lower BHA. The price of this product seems ridiculou$$$. No animal testing!!!!!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 6/22/2013 7:52:00 AM More reviews by Annemarie24

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Green

I think this product works great as a spot treatment. Beta hydroxy acids in concentrations from 1-2 % can be a great daily exfoliant, but doesn't really have a big impact on stubborn blackheads imo.
I use this in the evening in areas of the face where I have clusters of small clogged pores - the next day several are gone or considerably smaller in size. This product works pore magic!

The price is a bit high, but I've been using the same bottle for 8 months and is just about to run out - you only need a tiny bit. The pump is really annoying and do dispense a large amount, but if you just keep tapping it (and don't press down with full force) a smaller amount eventually comes out.

This product can cause dryness if you use too much or too frequent for your skin type. If your skin gets dry and flaky from this, I find it helps to take a 1-2 day break for the bha and/or make sure to put a moisturizer on top.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 5/10/2013 9:07:00 PM More reviews by LizWords

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

This is one of the best spot treatments on the market. Perfect for stopping a zit at the first sign, and amazing at unclogging blocked pores. I find this the most effective BHA product I have ever tried, and I've tried a lot.


I do not use it all over my face, just on trouble spots, so the full bottle lasts a very long time. In fact, the sample lasted me a very long time too, i would definitely suggest buying a sample or two and giving it a try if you have issues with acne and/or clogged pores.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No