Paula's Choice RESIST BHA 9 Treatment

3.6

99 reviews

59% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

Not tested on animals

INGREDIENTS

Propylene Glycol (solvent/penetration enhancer), PEG-75, PEG-8 (thickeners), Water, Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract (anti-irritant), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (antioxidant plant extract), Sea Whip Extract, Arginine (amino acid/skin-conditioning agent), Polysorbate 20 (stabilizer), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent)

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on

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Background:
I have acne prone skin, with a lot of clogged pores (cheeks, chin, forehead), blackheads all over and super oily skin. I had great success with Paula's other BHA products (below) and thought I'd amp up the BHA % for those extra-tough spots/areas.

Some years ago I was all about AHAs, but these days BHAs have helped me more with my issues with clogged pores. That being said... I'm starting to incorporate AHA into my routine again.

Routine:
Morning: I wash with La Roche Posay Oily Sensitive Skin, apply the BHA 2%, then Paula's Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense Spf 30.
Night: I wash with the same cleanser, apply Clindoxyl Gel, and then moisturize with jojoba oil. I alternate the Clindoxyl Gel with the 4% BHA product every couple/few nights or with Paula's 10% AHA Weekly Treatment (now that it's summer, I'm mindful not to use the high % acids at night, if I know the next day I'll be out in the sun all day).

Other Paula's Choice BHA products I've used...
- Skin Perfecting Liquid Exfoliant BHA 2%
- RESIST Weekly Retexturizing Foaming Treatment 4% BHA
- Clear Exfoliating Body Spray BHA 2%

Results:
Unfortunately, it hasn't improved anything. I gave it 2 lippies because it didn't break me out (yay!), but it just didn't do anything..

Texture:
Product felt very silky. I was worried that because of this I would break out - but luckily did not!

Smell:
I personally don't care how a product smells, as long as it works. That being said, it doesn't have a harsh smell to it.

Packaging:
The packaging could use some improvement. The tube looks very nice, and it's useful that you can see how much product is left through the side window (not sure how it's called), but you can't really control how much product comes out. It's near impossible to use it as a spot treatment. Sometimes, you can manage to get a small amount out by barely pushing the pump, but you can't do that a second time! So then you have to push the pump harder, and a whole glop comes out, and then you end up just spreading the extra product elsewhere. It's a waste - especially when the tube is so small !!

Price:
Considering how much product you actually get - it's quite an expensive buy.


All in all.. a one time purchase for me.



on

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I received the BHA9 as a sample with recent PC order. I have been using the 2% BHA liquid for 4-5 months with no significant difference. I think it helps keep things clear, but I have had issues with blackheads on my nose and cheeks for years now. No product I have used whether it be BHA, retinol, tactuo, benzoyl peroxide, or glycolic acid will touch them. The only thing that helps is manual extraction, but then they are back in full force a week after! I didn't want to continue that route due to it damaging my skin, so I thought i'd give this a try. I saw a small improvement after one night, and this super tiny sample has lasted me three weeks now and my blackheads are much smaller, which has caused my pores to decrease in size and be less dilated. My skin honestly looks better than it ever has, I am even doing the unthinkable and going out with no BB cream or foundation on! I usually always wear some even if I have no active blemishes simply to hide the blackheads that are so damn apparent. This stuff is not totally a miracle in a bottle, but for me it's pretty damn close. My skin did sting and peel a bit the first week of using it, but once it adapted to the higher strength it has been fine since. I dab it on a zit that is coming up and it prevents it from further development as well. I hate the price, but I will purchase a full size because I just don't think I can live without this!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


on

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Edit: this has been working better for me. It hasn't dried me out as much. I am also using less and making sure my skin is more hydrated before applying this. I also think my skin now is less damaged than it was at the time of my original review, so perhaps better able to deal with the strength of this product. This go around, it is also eliminating blackheads that I thought I would have forever. Added two stars.

Note: I found grynn's review below useful in terms of the prices of the active ingredients.

----
Original review:
I have combination skin and am prone to hives and milia. This dried me out a bit too much and didn't really help with bumps, spots, wrinkles. I also disliked the pump format which dispensed too much product and was a waste of money; a pea sized amount was definitely too much. (Agree with Lenchens review below). My skin does better with using sparing amounts of PC 2% BHA liquid and 8 % glycolic. I alternate usage of those items every two nights or as needed. I think the reason why I do better with 2% BHA liquid than this product, is that it's easier for me to regulate the amounts (just a few drops). I like husveges review below as well as that of huntybooboo (I use her tip of lightly depressing the pump since I would like to use up what I have).

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


on

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I quite like this product. It feels like it makes a different on stubborn spots. However, it is rather strong, so it can irritate the skin. Also the product is very expensive, which is why I don't think that I would buy it again. Also I think that my bottle will last for quite some time, since I just use very little of it. The pump is not very practical, as other reviewers have already written. If you press down the pump you will get too much product, and since it is very expensive, it feels like a waste. Also if you are tempted to put the rest of the liquid on the rest of your face not to waste it, it will irritate the skin, as it is too strong, and not ment to be used on big surfaces.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Green

This is ridiculously overpriced — by a factor of about 100. I can get 10x the amount for 1/10th of the price; 10% salicylic acid in propylene glycol, that is, without the bells and whistles. 100 ml of that goes for about €5 in any Greek pharmacy, as psoriasis treatment, no Rx necessary. As for the bells and whistles, $40 for about 1/4 teaspoon of glycerin and a couple of plant extracts is leniently outrageous.

That said, 10%ish salicylic acid in propylene glycol is an absolutely brilliant thing which smooths your skin, clears bumps and blackheads, and reduces pores like nothing else. Enthusiastically recommended, just don't pay through the nose for it.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.


on

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Silver, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Grey

I've used this for a few years, but it's just recently that I've come to really appreciate it. Post menopause, I get fewer outbreaks, but my skin no longer tolerates most acne medicines, including any form of benzoyl peroxide.

So, my chin is prone to seborrheic dermatitis, and I must use highly emollient (clogging) products to keep it at bay. So every once in awhile, my chin will freak out and clog up. First line of defense is twice daily 3 minute hot wet washcloth compress; second big guns is this. I do have to be very careful where I apply it; if there is any active seb derm in the area, this will make it angry (Hulk angry). Last night I had three zits on my chin; used this (and cicaplast B5 balm) overnight... 85% gone. In conjunction with the hot compress, it also keeps a very stubborn under the skin cyst on one side of my mouth (which I no longer squeeze; wow, what a mess!) down and under control.

This can be problematic to get the right amount out of the container; seems either too little or too much. Last night it was the latter, so I used the excess on my forehead, which is tougher and tends to be bumpy. Smoother this morning but not irritated.

Texture is oddly oily, thickish liquid.

UPDATE 5/31/17:
Prior to my skin getting so dry, I regularly used this for stubborn blemishes, most notably the hard under the skin ones that never come to a head... and sometimes my nose, if it was particularly congested.

During the recent bout of sensitivity/dryness/seb derm, I could not use at all without causing a major breakout (irritation) that would peel and take weeks to heal: NOT worth it!

I had a few of these hard blemishes lately, and have successfully used the BHA 9 by applying the tiniest bit with a tiny elf concealer brush, to avoid getting any on the surrounding skin. This has been working, only the blemish dries/peels.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

The 4% BHA foam works better for me than this product and is cheaper. All of Paula's options disolve the BHA (salicylic acid) in propylene glycol or butylene glycol rather than alcohol like other brands. This makes them less drying. Choose which one to use based on the texture that you prefer. I like the foam because it's light weight.

Check out my notepad if you want a $10 referral link.

Edit:
I've used Paula's Choice BHA for the last six years, and just learned something new. Salicylic acid (or BHA) is not soluble in water at concentrations of more than 1%. This is why so many companies add alcohol to their BHA products: to dissolve the BHA before adding water to get higher BHA concentrations. Paula's Choice uses propylene or butylene glycol to dissolve salicylic acid in their water based BHA products. Is this a good thing? It's better than alcohol, which is drying, and it works. Propylene glycol is the active ingredient in my deodorant, and is in premade banana cream pies that I used to eat at work, e-cigarettes, and animal-safe antifreeze. I noticed that there are only two options on the market for water based BHA: Paula's and the cheap alcohol based BHA products like Stridex and Clearasil. However, there is one more way to buy BHA at the drugstore: Psoriasis cream. I might try one in the future, since I have combination skin that can handle lotions.

Edit: Sorry for the misinformation. While most drugstore BHA is alcohol based, Stridex is not. I believe they dissolve their BHA by using the somewhat harsh surfactant Ammonium Xylene Sulfonate.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.


on

Age: 25-29

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

This is a true miracle! If you have stubborn blackheads or whiteheads, this product will get rid of them in no time. It has a pretty powerful formula and not recommended if you are pregnant or nursing due to a high concentration of BHA. It has a runny consistency so be careful when you are dispensing it since you just need a little bit of it and plus it is pricey but totally worth it. Here is a $10 off, just follow the link https://goo.gl/byQqpB


on

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

Love this i use it with the clear regular bha 2%. Its the best for congested skin and stubborn pimples. Packaging could be improved.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

This is one of the best spot treatments I have ever used. I use a 2% salicylic acid (Paula's Choice CLEAR BHA exfoliant) all over my face, so spot treatments at that strength don't tend to effective on the more stubborn acne spots I get on my chin and along my jaw.

Using Paula's Choice RESIST BHA 9 Treatment 2/3 times a week has made a big difference in how long those spots stick around, and I also find it helps unclog areas where my skin feels a bit congested (like my nose and cheeks).

The two cons I would raise are price and packaging (and really, the two go hand in hand). As other reviewers have mentioned, it is difficult to dispense a small amount of product based on the pump mechanism, which often makes me feel like I'm wasting it. This stuff is pretty potent, so you definitely don't need as much as the pump releases, even if you are treating multiple breakouts. This stuff is not cheap, and it would be more economical if you had better control when dispensing the product.

One element I really appreciate is the clear section on the side. This helps you to see how much product you have used up, and if you need to think about repurchasing soon.

TL; DR: Ah-maz-ing spot treatment for stubborn breakouts (think hormonal spots), but packaging and price may deter some. A great option if your skin doesn't respond to lower levels of BHA.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

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