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!
I have combo, acne prone. Blackheads, enlarged pores and slight acne scarring and red marks. This product just didn't give me any results, I also could not stand the texture. It felt very oily and I felt like my skin was being smothered and clogged even further. I much prefer the bha liquid 2% to this, as that is light, sinks in nicely and clarifies my skin. I won't be purchasing this again.
Purchased this product and returned it after using it twice; I couldn't stand the oily, greasy feel of it on my skin. The instructions are to use it at night before bed but it was like waking up to a grease pit on my face.
I have combination skin with large pores and blackheads and really no acne problems. I really believed this product was going finally be the thing that would de-clog my large pores with a whopping 9% of salicylic acid and all. Alas, it does not do anything for my skin but cause HUGE pimples.
Okay, so a disclaimer. I refused to buy a whole bottle of this stuff, so I've been ordering 2-3 little sample tubes every few weeks and using as sparingly as possible. Yep, I'm cheap and I'm not completely sold on this product just yet. I've been applying at night only for about 2 to 2.5 weeks, focusing on my problem areas (forehead, nose, temples, chin, and upper cheekbones where I get the majority of my black heads and clogged pores and little bumps). This product does not seem to help at all with active blemishes or cysts. At least not on me. Its hard to say if the little bumps I get on my forehead and temples are less or just staying the same? Its sort of driving me crazy, because in some lighting I think I see a definite improvement and then in others I think, "no change". Zip, zero. Hmmm...I'm going to invest more time and minimal money into continuing use of this product. I will say it doesn't seem to cause breakouts and it feels sort of oily/sticky when you first apply it, but after that it sinks in and feels nice. I have started applying after I put on my Jojoba oil on my face, allowing it to dry and then applying the BH9. I'm hoping this helps with the penetration into my pores. I love my Jojoba oil and highly recommend it for your face and body.
05/20/13 Update: stopped using this product after a few weeks, did not notice any difference.
Update (2/10/13): CS emailed me and let me know that they gave me a refund for this product even though I noticed it was outside of the 60 day window. The rep also said I could email her about my skin care routine. This made me VERY happy! I have never dealt with their CS dept before, but I am impressed so far.
Edit (2/2/13): I'll admit my original review was scathing as another member pointed out to me, so I edited it to try to make it more objective. Per her suggestion, I have contacted CS to give them feedback on the product. I will update again when I get a response from CS.
I normally only use PC products (except for sunscreens, as her's either make me break out or my face is crazy shiny or pasty white).
Here is why I bought it:
1. I get cystic outbreaks sometimes, and hoped BHA9 would clear up the painful and HUGE bumps quicker.
2. I get red marks from those bumps, even if I never touch them.
3. I wanted to get rid of the blackheads on my nose and upper cheeks that I've had since I was a teen....so a good 16 years or so!
4. I have a wrinkle developing on my forehead and was hoping BHA9 would smooth it out.
5. I cannot use any AHA products anymore (breakouts!), or anything with retinol or niacinamide (worse breakouts!), and I suspect the only serum I can use (RESIST serum) was clogging my pores. I saw there was an ultra light water based serum that just came out, but it has niacinamide in it. Darn! I was hoping this product would fade brown spots since the new skin brightener has niacinamide too. I'm terrified of hydroquinone after reading some of the reviews of peoples' skin turning brown from it.
Unfortunately, it didn't work for me in all areas. My cystic bumps did not heal any faster, my red marks lasted much longer than they normally do (strange?), the blackheads are still there and it didn't unclog whiteheads, the wrinkle is still there, and my skin isn't any brighter than before. I gave this product about a month using it every night, and my skin only seems to be getting worse. Perhaps it's the stickiness?
The pump is awful to deal with. I would barely put any pressure on it and would be able to get tiny little drops and then a second later a bunch of it would squirt out and land partly on my finger and partly on my sink causing me to waste product. I see that PC is getting a lot of feedback on that so maybe they will change it.
Sorry for the long rant, I'm just so disappointed after this seemed to be a miracle product for my picky and grouchy skin, and spent $37 dollars on it. My search continues....
This stuff is one word...AMAZING! I was just here last week on the skincare board on Christmas Day venting about how horrible my skin was doing. I had a minor breakout that I freaked about and started to use differin cream and it made my face disgusting after seven weeks of using it my face was irritated, broken out, and so clogged..I ordered Paula's choice bha liquid and got this as a sample and after just one night of using it I had the most amazing results ever. Looking at my skin in the morning you would have never believed it was so red and irritated and broken out, and clogged the day before! I can't get over this product. I put on a very light layer of makeup and I felt beautiful and confident walking out the house. I placed a full size order and this is already a holy grail product for me! Please give Paula'a Choice a chance. Her stuff has saved me money and time because a dermatologist is just going to give you something that makes your skin a mess for months! Her bha liquid cleared my skin years ago and I can't believe I forgot about it. I'm using that during the day and the bha 9 at night. They say you can use this two to three times a week so it should last a while. I'm going to use it for another night or too just to clear my skin all the way and then i'll use it every other night. I love this and will recommend it to everyone I know please at least order a sample it's only $3.50!
I have sebaceous hyperplasia on my forehead (those nasty, persistent acne-like bumps) and nothing would get rid of them. Scrubs, regular acne products, nothing.
I ordered a sample of this and with 2 applications, my forehead was significantly changed. The bumps flattened and the redness went away. I've now been using it longer and it is the only thing that can control the truly stubborn condition.
Unfortunately it's expensive. There's a lot of complaints on the packaging of this product so what I would recommend is purchasing a few of the trial sizes to equal the full size product. The trial size is the little clear tube with a stop top that they usually put perfume samples in. It comes out to the same price if you do this, only difference is a few small tubes instead of just one. But with the trial sizes, there won't be any waste and you can control what comes out so it's worth it.
I give this a 3 on packaging and price, but on effectiveness a 5! This just works really well and gives fast results! If it worked on my forehead, it will work on ANYTHING!
I've repurchased the 2% BHA liquid several times and can't be without that item. It calms my face down and produces an even skin tone, makes my pores disappear and reduces the time pimples last. Then comes along this BHA 9 and I was intrigued, wondering if it could be any better. Purchased the trial size and used it ONLY for the occasional pimple, and this stuff does *vaporize* zits like a previous reviewer wrote! Its way more expensive and it is thicker, yet I'm only using it for that purpose, and will continue using the 2% BHA liquid for all over.
I just ordered my second vile. LOVE this. Doing wonders for clogged pores that nothing has been able to treat! In my 50's, sensitive skin that can still break out. This is tacky at first but quickly soaks completely in.
This is one of the best products I've ever used. Constantly now getting asked what I'm using and this is the only new product I've used in 6 months. Do have to be careful with the application, hard to control the amount. But even with that this is - A KEEPER!!!!
This lasted me 2 months with daily use on my entire face.
UPDATE: Ran out in between orders and my skin didn't look nearly as good. This stuff ROCKS. It just amazing for my skin!