Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant

3.9

974 reviews

72% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.4

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.4

Price: $$

Not tested on animals

INGREDIENTS

Water, Cetearyl Alcohol (thickener), Squalane (emollient), Glycerin (skin-identical ingredient), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate (thickeners), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Epilobium Angustifolium (Willowherb) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract (anti-irritant), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Extract (antioxidant), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil (antioxidant plant oil), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil (non-volatile plant oil), Beta Glucan (antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Panthenol (water-binding agent), Bisabolol (anti-irritant), Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate (emulsifier), Xanthan Gum (thickener), Sodium Citrate (pH adjuster), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Acacia Senegal Gum, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum (thickeners), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Ethylhexyglycerin (skin conditioning agent), Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate (preservatives).


on 7/13/2015 12:59:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I feel bad giving this product a two as it wasn't terrible, it just didn't really do anything either. I ordered a sample of this and have been using for about two weeks. I'm assuming the full size has packaging similar to the aha gel exfoliant, which has a pump that I quite like. This product did not irritate my skin or dry it out. I have heard that BHA's can be drying so I appreciate that PC made this option for drier skin types. I was hoping this product would reduce redness and help clear up the breakouts around my chin and jawline, my problem areas. The product is a white lotion that is actually fairly good at moisturising, but I imagine could feel kind of heavy and greasy on oilier skin. I wouldn't rely on it as a sole moisturiser though. Feels nice enough on my dry skin and not too heavy. Compared to the 8% AHA gel by PC, I couldn't see any difference to my skin whereas I could with the former. Due to this, I would not purchase the full size. I was really hoping to see results, I'm not sure whether to explore the gel or liquid BHA options by PC or to look at other brands that have a higher percentage of BHA. Hmmm... I do think it is worth trying a sample as it may work for others. I think for really dry skin in particular this would be a nice option.



on 6/18/2015 1:22:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Unfortunately, this product didn't do anything for me. I used only Paula's Choice Resist line for 6 months. It just dried out my skin even more and made it look so dull. The items I used were, Skin Perfecting 2% BHA, Resist Wrinkle Repair Retinol serum, Resist Cellular Day Moisturizer with spf 25, Resist c15 super booster, Resist Toner, Resist Cleanser, Resist Foundation, Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA, Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment 10% AHA. I like to enjoy my skincare and see some kind of results. With all of this, I not only saw no results, my skin looked worse. I like to enjoy my skincare. That is huge for me. These products bored me. I ended up throwing what wasn't used up in the garbage after giving it a good 6 months. In summary, they were so boring and ineffective. Fortunately, I am using new products now that have made a huge difference. I am enjoying my skincare routine again!


on 5/24/2015 7:47:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This is holy grail. I'm 2 months into accutane and not breaking out, but I still have whiteheads from my pre-accutane days. I'm not sure if they are whiteheads, they are like white skin colored lumps filled with gunk. Anyways I tried extracting them with a pimple extractor, but nothing came out until I started using this product. I put it on once a day and waited until it wasn't sticky to put on moisturizer afterwards. The whiteheads looked the same but I was able to extract them with the extractor. I think the SA helped to loosen the contents inside or something because they popped right out. I'm so glad they are finally off of my face.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


on 5/8/2015 11:58:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Half a year ago I would have given 1 lippie to this product, now I'm giving it 5. Why is that? When I first tried it, I got huge pimples by the next day. My skin had reacted badly to BHA products in the past, so I put it in the cabinet. A couple of weeks ago I decided to give it a second chance (after having some very good experience with the Resist line), and have been using it since every other day. Now I think it's a great exfoliant for dry skin. It made my skin a lot smoother, softer, more radiant and youthful. This product is very strong and effective (when I tried to use it every day I got redness and peeling), especially compared to department store brands (it has cosmeceutical strength and efficacy), and I seriously think that it should come with a leaflet containing a health warning and all the information about exfoliation.
If you're planning to try any exfoliant from Paula, I strongly suggest you to read up everything on her site, and gather all the information you can. What I learned and experienced are the following:
- BHA products exfoliate the deeper layer of the skin, that's why they are suitable for people with blemishes, they clear out the junk
- they are also suitable for people with sensitive skin and rosacea
- Paula has several BHA products for various skin types, this lotion is made for people with dry skin
- there are many possible reasons for breakouts after using this product, some of them being: 1) it clears your skin, so it speeds up the process of your breakout (purging) 2) pure coincidence: the breakouts may coincide with hormonal fluctuations 3) the lotion texture is too rich for you
- breakouts don't develop overnight: it's also possible that there's something in the BHA formula that doesn't agree with your skin, resulting in contact dermatitis, that resembles breakouts
- you can also experience dryness, redness or flaking: the 2% concentration is too much for you or you use it too often

To sum up, exfoliation is a risky field where you can't avoid learning and experimenting at your own cost. Try samples, see how your skin reacts, and proceed with caution, especially if you have good skin, so you have a lot to lose. (I still don't know why my skin reacted so differently the second time, it might have been a coincidence or the hormones. I was pregnant the first time and now I've just stopped breastfeeding.) Be especially cautious if you use AHA and/or retinol products as well, because you can easily over treat your skin, causing more harm than good.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.


on 4/6/2015 1:22:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I think I'm not the best to write a review about this product because I only used this product once in a while and not everyday or every other day as I'm supposed too. I purchased this product to help with my keratosis pilaris (KP) and it's not enough for that, I prefer the Resist body line from PC also for treating this problem.

However, this is still a good product! It's calming (in a weird way lol) for my skin, and it's moisturizing in the same time. I may repurchase it again so I will be able to test it more, and if I do, I'll udpate my review.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I'm about to finish up my first bottle and have already bought a second! I had extremely clogged pores (blackheads and closed comedones) all over my cheeks and chin and this has been a nothing short of a miracle product for me.

I did go through a purging phase that lasted about 2 weeks until I noticed improvement to my skin's texture and pores. My pores are now much smaller from no longer being clogged and with continual use I have rarely seen a clogged pore since!

The price is also great- especially because there are always promos and through the referral program it can be quite cheap. Even without those, I would definitely pay full price for this product.

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Dark, Warm

Hair: Black, Kinky, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

This isn't the 2% BHA formulation that I -should- used based on my skin type (combo) but it's the only one I can use on a daily basis without my skin getting dry, flaky, and irritated. For me, this formula also worked better under other products than either the gel or liquid.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


on 3/19/2015 4:11:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I tried this for about a month, thinking I had to stick around long enough to see if it was a purging reaction or not. My skin is covered with pimples, my skin feels dry and a bit itchy after application. It has not helped with my flaky skin either. Basically this product made my skin much worse, I am so dissapointed.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


on 2/24/2015 8:04:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have acne prone, sensitive, extremly oily skin that is covered in clogged pores. Using this together with Paula's AHA made a huge difference in my skin. It has never ever been so smooth and pores are so much less visible. I am switching between those two every other day. I am so happy that I finally discovered something that is working for this type of skin, and yes, I will repurchase as soon as I run out of it.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

What a great product. Since stopping using harsh cleansers with polyethylene beads or apricot kernal/walnut shells this product has been my go to exfoliant next to the liquid BHA from PA. Overnight skin is calm, soothed, moisturized and my black heads and pores seem much smaller. Highly Recommend! GO PA!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.


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