I've deleted my original 1 lippie review because I don't think it gives a fair reflection of this product. This bottle has been lying dormant in my bathroom cabinet for the last year, because it wreaked havoc on my skin a while back, but I decided to give it a try again. Unfortunately it seems that my skin just can't handle AHA's because I get spots every single time I've tried this. This is no fault of the product itself, I have it with all lotions/creams containing AHA's.
I would advise anyone considering this to try it out first, PC has a sample service.
I've been using this at night for about 1-2 weeks on my forehead, and then I wash it off in the morning.
When I tried the sample all over my face, it had stung - not as much the burning sensation, but more like little tiny ant bites that sort of caused some itching. It was bearable, but irritating. I don't know if you're meant to rub it in or slather it all over your face and wait for it to dry, but I tried both and I didn't see any difference so I did the latter.
What I immediately noticed within the first few seconds upon application was that the two little red pimples on my face quickly and quite noticeably grew in size and had started to become whiteheads. I had to wash off the gel on those areas before my pimples became horrible. Regardless, I wasn't deterred, although I stopped putting it on any spots.
In the morning, I washed if off, and I did notice some brightening, but more obvious was the tiny little bumps across my skin. I don't have severe acne, extremely sensitive skin, nor am I inexperienced with acids, so I was quite surprised. Definitely try the sample before you buy it, in case you do get some sort of reaction. I heard people say that it did start off bumpy before it could get better so now I'm just using it on my forehead in the hopes of reducing my frown lines and premature forehead wrinkles.
After a week's use, I haven't seen much visible change - the tiny little acne scar I've had since initial use is still visible, but just slightly lighter, nor do I notice anything different about my wrinkles or frown lines, but the stinging is hardly felt, my skin does look less dry, and the little bumps I experienced initially haven't appeared again. Maybe it's because I didn't use as much as when I first tried with the sample so maybe it's working a little slow. Nonetheless, I'm persevering with high hopes.
I use this for 2 years now, about 5 times a week at night, and sometimes also during the day.
I've never had any problems with irritation or break-outs. Only the first time it stings a bit.
It makes my skin a bit softer.
I doesn't make my skin "radiant" or "glowing", like others say.
It should also build up collagen, but I didn't see any improvement on wrinkles or sagging skin though. But maybe without it, it would be worse, you never know.
I hope I'm not writing this too prematurely as I've only used a sample of this.
I suffer with very oily skin and despite a good skin care regime (cleansing, day cream, night cream, twice weekly masques) my skin never really seemed to improve - oily, very visible pores, a dark patch on my forehead that wouldn't go, dry patches on my cheeks. I noticed over the last few months that I was starting to get rough skin on my cheeks that felt like tiny microscopic bumps, funnily enough only since I started contouring. Using a regular face scrub every other day didn't make any difference and it was only when reading Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes that I even learned about AHA exfoliants. I immediately did some reading and ordered a sample from Paula's Choice.
Wow, what can I say? After just the first application, my skin felt incredible. I used about 1/3 of the sample sachet which was plenty to cover my face and neck. My skin tingled slightly when I applied it but I read that this is normal when you first use an AHA so I wasn't concerned.
The next morning when I looked in the mirror, my skin looked amazing. So much clearer, brighter and so soft and smooth. And the rough skin/numps on my cheeks - completely gone! After a single use! My boyfriend described my skin as looking radiant.
I ordered a full size gel straight after that first use as I didn't want to be without it when the sample ran out. I'm hoping that my skin will continue to improve and I'm hoping that I see a reduction in the melasma on my forehead as others have.
This is pretty potent stuff! I like it. very exfoliating and fades red marks. Not hydrating though. If i use it too much i get a little pink so as much as i love it my skin doesn't look great if i use it too much but a couple times a week seems to be ok and is helping my skin look great.
Game changer! This in conjunction with PC 2% BHA gel has changed my skin. I'm 24, suffer from normal great skin in the tzone, but dry skin with acne on the jaw, neck, and temples. I use this only at night and put the BHA gel on acne at night. I wear the BHA during the day as well. Packaging is fantastic (it's not what's shown in the picture on MUA). It's an airtight pump in opaque packaging. 3.7 oz is a great value IMO for something that works! I thought the gel might dry me out but it's done the exact opposite. My skin is seriously glowing and acne/closed comedones have been reduced by 80%, and NO MORE FLAKEY SKIN!!!! I have tried ahas in the past that have irritated me but I have never had any stinging, redness, or irritation with this product. Don't pass this up!
I really like Paula's Choice products because they don't use fragrance, don't use alcohol, disclose information such as percentage of AHA and pH of their products. Plus, they will exchange almost anything if you don't like it. This smells like vinegar and stings when I use it. I do notice that my skin looks better the morning after applying this. I do use a lot of other active ingredients (BHA, tretinoin, niacinamide), so maybe that is why I feel a stinging when I apply it.
Believe the hype. It works. I've used most of the AHAs listed as best on PC beautypedia, and this is the absolute best. 8% isn't gentle but not over the top strong either. This does tingle, especially when you start using it or if you have any cuts or open blemishes. The tingling is normal, but it shouldn't be too painful. Even though I'm not new to AHAs I still had to use this every other day for the first couple of weeks, now I use it ever night after cleansing. My melasma has lightened substantially since I started using this, and even more so since I introduced the PC resist brightening trio a 3 months ago. I think this exfoliation should be part of that line, as it does lighten pigmentation. Oddly I'm finding my PIH is fading slower than the melasma, but nothing OTC was very successful at melasma treatment before this. I have bad reactions to BHA so I rely on this product as my only chemical exfoliator, though sometimes use a konrad sponge if my skin becomes flakey. If you have dry skin like me you absolutely need to use a good moisturiser. In fact I needed to get something heavier after starting to use this, as it does dry the skin out if you leave it on for 20mins to get the full benefit.
This product WORKS, yes you will feel a slight tingle when you first apply it (it might feel stronger if you've never used a chemical exfoliant). A little goes a long way, I find if I apply a pumpful, it feels too sticky, I use about half a pump for my entire face. After 4 weeks of nightly usage, it significanly reduced the amount of closed comedones I had on my cheeks. I think it also helped clear a milia I had under my eyebrow. I've reduced usage to about 3x a week and find my skin is less bright and even when I stop using this.
This was my first exfoliating product from Paula's Choice and I ended up returning it. The problem was that it kept pilling (a problem I have had with ALL the PC gel exfoliants). I switched to the RESIST 5% AHA product and I love it.