This is a highly unique product, but it takes time to work, so don't expect results overnight. I had to use it three to four nights a week for a month to see the results I was looking for.
I use one pump all over mixed with my regular exfoliant three or four nights per week. In the morning I cleanse, tone, and exfoliate with my regular exfoliant. I think the key is being consistent with this product.
Use up rate for me was about 6 weeks. I repurchased because I think it is a great add-on treatment especially if you have stubborn blackheads or whiteheads.
5/1/13 UPDATE: Downgrading this to 1. It seemed to work well for me the first couple months (used sparingly), but I've had more pimples pop up lately in areas where I've used BHA 9, so I think it's the culprit. It didn't seem to be doing anything, so I used it several nights in a row and it really dried out my skin and caused more breakouts. I think the SA becomes ineffective after repeated exposure to air, so this might be better in the full-sized container afterall (if it's airtight), but I'm definitely not spending the money on it. ORIGINAL review: I tried PC's 2% BHA liquid a few times in the past with a negative reaction each time, so I'm not sure why I decided to give this one a try. I bought it with spot-treating in mind, and I'm actually quite surprised by the results. My skin is sensitive, oily/dehydrated, prone to clogged pores and occasional inflamed pimples that are sometimes cystic (hormonal as they usually happen around my period). After reading through the reviews, I think samples are the way to go. I bought 3 of them for under $13 shipped while there was a % off. A deluxe sample comes in a small .03 ounce vile, like a typical perfume sample. I put a clean fingertip over the vile opening and turn upside down to get some product on my finger, then I dip a clean eyeliner brush into what's on my fingertip and dab it onto any spots on my face. A little goes a long way; I've been using the same vile for almost 2 months with a bit left. I tend to use only as needed, and I've found it really does take down the swelling and sometimes the pimple is almost gone by morning. Of course, some pimples are worse than others and require more than one treatment, but overall this works well for me. I'm pleasantly surprised.
I have been using Paula's BHA products for several years. She offers several that are all good and reasonably priced. BHA 9 is a new addition to her BHA options - other formulations include a gel for oily skin and lotions for dry skin. If this potent serum doesn't suit you, I'd encourage you to check out the other BHA products which are available in sealed foil sample sizes if you're reluctant to commit to a whole bottle without trying first. In general, I like BHA products for their ability to exfoliate skin gently and encourage cellular turnover. I tend to apply my skin treatment products at night. When I use BHA 9 at night, I wake up with a smoother, more even skin tone with no irritation and a nice glow. Naturally, I am also eating healthy, which helps. I am also alternating my use of this product with Paula's Choice Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant in the blue tube. I feel the BHA 9 is a more amped-up potion - I see results faster than with similar products. However, it does have a glossy "serum" texture, and if you don't like that I'd urge you to try the BHA gel. Those with inflammatory skin conditions often find that they tolerate BHA products well because they contain salycylic acid, the same ingredient in aspirin, which is soothing when applied topically to the skin.
Fantastic for sebaceous hyperplasia, those pesky age- and sun-related exuberant, well " warty" skin-colored outgrowths that seem to crop out overnight. I would give it a 6/5 for that- apply the BHA9 over just the hyperplasia with a lip brush, and it disappears in 2-3 days. If I skip a day or two, it comes right back. So far, so good, but......The container dispenses unpredictable amounts, sometimes too little, sometimes WAAAYYY to much, squirts all over the place, so I give the packaging a 2. In terms of black heads, it's pretty decent, especially if you use a lip brush just to dot in on top of the blackhead, otherwise you may find it too drying for the rest of the skin. PS I use a retractable lip brush just for ease of application..
Heartbroken! I'm usually a huge PC fan, but this stuff is rubbish! First of all, the texture is a light oil, which is just.. odd. Secondly, the (tiny) vial leaks, so be very careful and always store it upright. Thirdly, I saw no results whatsoever! None! I smeared this greasy stuff on every night for a week and NOTHING. For fast-acting zit-zapping, I'll stick to my beloved Acne.org 10% AHA lotion. Very disappointed in this "miracle" product.
This product is AMAZING! Just love it! I had lot of small pimples and pums and stuff around my shin area and they are almost gone! I just ordered a sample size of it and I have used it for a week now and I still have half of it left because you don't need lot of it, just a pea size. Just ordered a full size, just in case I finish the sample and need emergency treatment in future :)
A bit expensive for such a small size but I am more than happy to pay that money to get rid of these pimples.
I ordered a couple of samples of this stuff and I liked it enough to order the full size.
I was expecting a good size bottle of this stuff and to my surprise, I ended up getting this small vial. I suppose the rationale is that I just need a tiny bit of this BHA 9 for breakouts.
This stuff does help with breakouts that are emerging. I put it on a breakout and by the next day, it had subsided.
The texture is slippery and may feel 'slimy'.
When I use it, I feel a strong tingling sensation for about 5 minutes and then it goes away.
I wouldn't recommend it if your skin is very sensitive. Mine is but I've been using Retin-A for the past number of years and it seems to have developed a tolerance to chemical exfoliants.
I hope Paula's Choice gives a larger amount of product for the price point.
Other than that, I'd consider buying it again.
EDIT: I've just ordered my 3rd vial of this stuff. I've been getting some fierce cystic acne on my forehead and this product helps with reducing them until they're gone. A little goes a long way, otherwise my face looks very red. I've got regular breakouts on my chin and this BHA is just too strong to use on that area. I suggest using it for major cystic acne.
I figured to try BHA for a change since I always have good result with glycolic/AHA 10-12%.
This stuff is gluey to begin with, not a comfortable feeling on the skin, usually with AHA, I see smoother clearer skin in just 2 applications (before bedtime).
This stuff does not offer any, I mean ANY improvement at all.
Total waste of time & money.
Purchased two products and used them in succession and got no results that are claimed. No millia reduction, no pore reduction. Left a review on Paula's website and it didn't get published. Interestingly, my positive reviews are published. Definitely heavy censoring is taking place. Not only the product didn't work, the company has no integrity. Lame. Had I known that other people got no results, I wouldn't had ordered. But given the glowing reviews I also wanted miracles. I just didn't realize that not so glowing reviews are simply not published.
Wow - I'm surprised by the negative reviews. Luckily, I have found what I hope to be an HG product.
I got the BHA 9 to try and clear out stubborn congestion. My chin has very tiny bumps on it. They're slightly reddish and I'm not sure what to call them but they're definitely clogged pores; nothing seems to have worked on them so far. I also have some blackhead issues on my nose and I will get the occasional whitehead on my chin or above my mouth/below my nose (aside: is this weird or what?! I think it might be because of all the lip balms I slather on my lips??).
So. The sample of the BHA 9 came in the mail on Friday. It comes in a little glass vial like a perfume sample would. Friday night I used it all over my entire face, and put a little extra dab on top of new blemish that was about two days old and still growing (I wouldn't go so far as to call it cystic but it was pretty deep and very angry). Normally, this thing would have continued to grow for another few days and maybe have come to a head. The BHA 9 stopped it dead in its tracks. Saturday AM, the thing no longer hurt and the inflammation was going down. I used the product again, but as a spot treatment only on the zit, during my Saturday AM routine. By Saturday PM it was again noticeably smaller and less irritated. I used the BHA 9 all over my entire face during my Saturday PM routine. It is now Sunday morning and this thing is nearly gone. I am so shocked. I normally give a product at least two weeks before I review it but I couldn't help it. I am that impressed.
I plan to come back and update the review as to its efficacy regarding clearing out my T-zone congestion after a few weeks.
This product is slimy and does feel a bit filmy on the skin, which is what other reviewers said who gave it negative marks. A product's texture is vitally important however I find I can easily deal with the texture of this because I use it at night. It does soak in eventually and since I go to bed immediately after I do my PM skin care routine I am not awake to worry about it (not that it bothers me so much anyway). I would not use this all over my whole face during the AM and you're not even supposed to. As a spot treatment in the AM, though, it's fine. My makeup went over it just fine. No pilling or anything annoying. Someone mentioned they returned this so they could just buy the BHA 2%. I like the BHA 9 MUCH BETTER than the BHA 2%. I didn't feel the 2% did that much. The 9 is far more effective.
I got my BHA 9 sample for free from Paula's Choice. I contacted them on their website via their email form. I gave them all my skin care gripes and listed all the products I was using and what I was trying to accomplish (clear congestion, slow down line/wrinkle formation). A nice lady replied and asked for my address. Two days later I had samples. If you're confused about her products or what you should use definitely reach out to them. I was planning to buy completely different products from her website but will now buy the ones recommended to me b/c they're AWESOME! Good luck, everyone!