Paula's Choice • Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant (2012 formula with cucumber) • Treatments

rated 3.1(11 reviews)

Average Rating.3.1
Would buy this product again.54%
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rated 4 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* katwalker on 2/1/2014 3:53:00 PM more reviews by katwalker

Age: 36-43   Skin: Sensitive, Fair   Hair: Blond   Eyes: Hazel    

It's hard for me to rate this product because it seems my skin does not want exfoliants, at least regularly. Using this or even a mild AHA once a week leaves my skin irritated. I know it's not bad products, though; it's my sensitive skin. I have rosacea, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis, so BHA is supposed to be better for me than AHA. I use this for exfoliation only when my skin is getting flakey. Any more often and my skin gets irritated. So, my dilemma of how to assess the product. I'm giving a four because I wish I could use more often, but I think it's a good product.

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rated 3 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* Xxkonixx on 9/2/2013 1:34:00 AM more reviews by Xxkonixx

Age: 30-35   Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium   Hair: Black   Eyes: Black    

This lotion has reduced my pimples dramatically.............although my face is still not clear but i can see huge improvement with this...pimples are not as big and red and heals faster....people are telling me that my face is looking better...... i'm suprised that so many people have problems with the smells...it's just cucumber and it disappeared after a short while.....let's say i've put things on my face that smells 20 times worst than this which didn't give any improvement at all at the end....i guess it's just depends on how desperate you are...........

UPDATE: Took off one lippie because after finishing one bottle, my face has turned really sensitive with more bumps and swollen angry cystic acne and itchiness........i duno whether it's due to weather change or other reasons......I had to stop and it has been three weeks without it and my face is much better.....a cosmetician from shoppers told me my skin might be too thin for this kinda acid exfoliation or i just somehow become allergic to bha......

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rated 2 of 5 GGSISTER on 8/2/2013 8:54:00 PM more reviews by GGSISTER

Age: 44-55   Skin: Combination, Medium   Hair: Brown   Eyes: Hazel    

WHAT IS UP WITH THIS SMELL??? Lord I can't stand myself. No wonder it work's on acne it's afraid of the smell

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rated 1 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* joyelle on 7/15/2013 10:55:00 AM more reviews by joyelle

Age: 25-29   Skin: Other   Hair: Other   Eyes: Other    

I had used the original formula (non-cucumber) BHA 1%Lotion for approximately a year and absolutely loved it. It had smoothed and brightened my skin and didn't cause my normal-slightly dry mild rosacea skin any irritation at all. Unfortunately PC decided to change the formula and add some form of cucumber in it. It has a runny white lotion-like texture that instantly absorbs into your skin easily. But, it reeks of pungent cucumber. One week after using it (and changing nothing else), my skin looked as if I had the worst sunburn. It was red, itchy, and so sensitive. If you have sensitive skin I would not recommend this product at all. PC always touts her products as fragrance free and when I wrote them about adding the cucumber, they said it's not fragrance, it's simply the scent of the natural cucumber ingredient. That may be true but the bottom line is that if you're sensitive to fragrances in facial skin products, this is NOT for you. I tried the 1% Gel (too drying) and the 2% Lotion seems a bit strong for me. PC please go back to the original formula!

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rated 1 of 5 qingdao on 3/21/2013 7:06:00 PM more reviews by qingdao

Age: 36-43   Skin: Combination, Medium   Hair: Other   Eyes: Black    

I had horrendous eczema flair up and after a month it is still not vanishing. The drying ingredient in it is the reason. I wouldn't recommend to apply on dry areas. I will never touch it again.

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rated 4 of 5 glamgirl31 on 3/17/2013 12:41:00 AM more reviews by glamgirl31

Age: 30-35   Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral   Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium   Eyes: Green    

After using this product for a month I feel I can give an honest opinion. I have dry combination skin (drier at certain times, oilier at others). I chose the lotion formula because of the nature of my skin. I went with the 1% because I don't have acne, just some clogged and visible pores I would like to reduce.

First off, I want to explain the 4 out of 5 lippies. When I first used this, I thought it smelled horrible. I didn't know if I was going to be able to have it on my face. My husband didn't think it smelled bad, so I figured if I could stand the smell and make it through the night and I wasn't offending the person closest to me (literally) I went ahead and used it. The scent did dissipate, and, by morning, was gone. Interestingly, as I've continued to use it, the smell has become MUCH less offensive. Either it has calmed down since I opened it or I've gotten used to it. Either way, it doesn't bother me at all and I'm able to use this twice daily.

Scent aside, this product works well. I haven't noticed a dramatic difference in my pores but my skin does look brighter and healthier. I haven't had any new breakouts either. As far as preventing breakouts, the only problems I have are hormonal and I don't think much can change that (besides BC pills). I will continue to use this up but I think I'll try the 2% lotion formula next time. I've read that BHA can take up to 12 weeks to really show improvement, so I'll keep using this patiently and see.

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

rated 5 of 5 miyae on 3/8/2013 6:01:00 PM more reviews by miyae

Age: 19-24   Skin: Other, Fair   Hair: Blond   Eyes: Green    

I have been using the Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant together with the Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant for a month now and I couldn't be happier. My acne prone skin has really cleared up -- I rarely ever get new pimples nowadays. I also think that my acne scarring has been reduced, or maybe it's just that my skin is not as red as it once was.


As a few other people have said the 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant doesn't smell too good though, and since I live in Sweden all Paula's Choice products are a bit pricey (it's the shipping that's expensive). But I will still keep buying this product until my skin doesn't need it anymore.

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rated 5 of 5 Misirlou1982 on 2/22/2013 10:27:00 AM more reviews by Misirlou1982

Age: 30-35   Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Neutral   Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine   Eyes: Brown    

Because of my sensitive skin, I have to use very mild skin cleansers. Until last year, my skin didn't ask a lot, just some mild soap in t morning and the evening and it looked great. But since i'm not a twenty something anymore(hehe :)) i noticed my skin needed a little bit more. Because I developed rosacea, my skin became a lot more oilier, and i got more blackheads and pimples. So that's why i started searching for a product that was a bit stronger, to get rid of all the 'dirt', but still mild enough so it wouldn't aggravate my rosacea. So I first ordered a few samples of the BHA 1% lotion. I was a bit afraid to try it at first, but it didn't sting or cause any irritation. So now i've been using it for a few monts now and I must say my skin looks much better now. I have less blackheads and when I do get a pimple it's cured much faster. I also don't have those dry patches i mostly develop in winter time anymore. First I used it every 2-3 days, and now I use it every day in the evening. You can use it twice a day if necessary, but I think this will be a bit too much for my sensitive skin. I've also noticed that after i've cleansed my face, it can be a little bit red, but when I put this on it seems to calm down the redness. You also need a tiny bit of this, and it sinks in very fast. Like a lot of people, I don't like the smell, but it's vanished after a few minutes, so that's not a big issue for me. So yes, I will keep buying this product :)

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rated 5 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* timothybcat on 12/22/2012 12:29:00 AM more reviews by timothybcat

Age: 36-43   Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool   Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine   Eyes: Hazel    

Your hormones continue to jump around and play with your mind once you think the adolescent breakouts are under control. If you haven't experienced your 30s yet, ladies, let me tell you--your skin changes, and you don't know which way it's gonna go. I'm 37, I've had oily, acne-prone skin with HUGE pores for my entire adult life. I've had redness, broken capillaries, and dark circles. THEN I developed sebaceous hyperplasia (clear pimple-like bumps that NEVER leave) on my forehead. Then they started popping up on my cheeks. Then I started getting acne along my jawline, where I'd never had a problem before. On top of that, I'm aging just like everybody else. The old wisdom used to be that if you have oily skin, you won't age as much. Untrue.


I looked into Paula's Choice on the advice of some Skin Board ladies here, and started reading what she was about really liked her honestly about the skincare industry, and what's scientifically proven to work and what isn't. I've been using this lotion every night for about 8 months, and my pores have never looked better. My skin feels smooth and is more even, and the redness is not nearly as bad. My skin actually...glows. It's radiant and smooth. I'm not saying I have perfect skin, but this keeps most of my problems at bay, and I haven't had any of those hormonal cystic breakouts on my jawline since I've started using it. It also keeps the bumpy sebaceous hyperplasia at bay. The bumps on my cheeks are gone, and the ones on my forehead are much flatter and smaller; no new bumps have appeared.


I'll agree with one of the other reviewers that this smells icky, but the smell fades almost immediately after I put it on. It's not sticky or oily at all, and I haven't experienced any irritation except for a brief period when I used it a twice a day for several days in a row, then I got some redness. Then I went back to using it only once at night and never had any other problems. God, I wish I'd known about this 20 years ago! I probably wouldn't have done half the damage I've done to my skin with all the harsh chemicals and scrubbing and poking and squeezing. If you're any age, and have problems with acne, large pores, or redness, please try this! And please be gentle with your skin!

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rated 3 of 5 *TOP REVIEWER* Endit on 6/6/2012 5:17:00 PM more reviews by Endit

Age: 19-24   Skin: Other, Fair, Neutral   Hair: Brown, Medium   Eyes: Brown    

I have normal - dry skin that's mostly good but has some nasty areas. I have some tiny spots on my forehad (not sure if they are blackheads or not), blackheads on my nose, and enlarged pores on the side creases of my nose. My chin area could also be better in general. Plus I wanted the benefit of just smoother skin regardless so makeup looks better. I already use a Skinsonic daily but it does NOT help for anything I just listed. It just helps me get a more through cleaning and slightly smoother skin (the black brush will get my skin a lot smoother but can't be used consistently). That's where this 1% lotion comes in. There was a new version released and I found a great deal so I thought what better time to try it.


PROS: I love the consistency of this stuff! I did not expect to comment on this at all either. Even though my skin leans towards dry, I hate feeling product on my face and a lot of things either feel heavy or dry me out. It absorbs VERY quickly and I don't feel it, but I don't think it dries me out. If it does, it's very slightly. This is a big deal since it was the number one reason I put off trying a "proper" exfoliant for so long - I didn't want to waste time for layers to dry or not dry. Secondly, I do feel it working. It gives me something extra, a little more smoothness that was not possible with the Skinsonic alone. My forhead is pretty smooth to start, but I feel this made it even moreso. My makeup in general looks better. Also, I think I've experienced a hydrating effect. Areas I use this one after I moisturize them, sometimes they turn a bit "greasy". That's probably not a compliment but I can tell it's working and do know it's NOT the BHA since when it dries before I put on moisturizier, my face is not greasy, so it must be my moisturizer taking better. Also, I really like the packaging and pump. 1 pump is good to cover problem areas and blend out a little, but not enough for the whole face.


CONS: In terms of hard hitting results, this does nothing. While some of my skin looks smoother, it's the kind of thing that I would notice more than others. So far it has done nothing for my blackheads and bad texture areas. They feel smoother and aren't overly rough looking, but not as good as the nicer areas of my skin. I'm probably asking for too much in 1%, but just wondering how effective this would be anyways. Given these two things, the price is too high. Another thing is I hate putting moisturizer on top of this - it doesn't spread as easily, it's like there is drag.


OTHER: Quick reformulation info - the 2012 version was released in early 2012, I think February. One of the most talked about things of it was the addition of cucumber, since it makes the product stink... or so said most of the reviews I read. I read that it smelled rotten and totally killed the product for some. Personally, I don't think it's that bad AT ALL. To me, it smells like "cream", it just has a kinda "creamy" smell, like something I'd associate with butter or something creamy. Yeah, it's not pleasant, and it does linger, but I got used to it so now I don't notice it. It smells very similar to Jason's 5000 IU Vitamin E cream (but stronger) if you want a reference. I noticed that Paula's Choice website first said something like "new improved formula" then after a lot of bad reviews, changed it to say "New Look. Same Great Formula!" when that is clearly not true, since they shipped me the new formula with that text up. SNEAKY! So be careful if you don't want to try the new one yet.


OVERALL: I would suggest this for those who want a mild BHA. If you have mostly good skin or as an alternative to sonic cleansing devices. Probably good for upkeep after using the tougher ones. I'll use this up but not return. I need something stronger and want something I don't have to use this consistently to get results.

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