Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant
No Title


239 reviews

71% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$

Not tested on animals


Water, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol, (solvent/water-binding agent), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Phytosphingosine (cell-communicating ingredient), Hydroxyethylcellulose (gel-based thickener), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract (antioxidant), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract (antioxidant) Epilobium Angustifolium (Willow Herb) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract (anti-irritant), Bisabolol (anti-irritant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH-adjusting agent), Tetrasodium EDTA (chelating agent

on 6/12/2016 12:00:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Pros : Soothes Skin, Moisturizes, Lightweight
Cons: None
Best Uses : Daily Use, Enlarged Pores, Sensitive Skin, Redness/ Blotchiness

I've tried almost all the BHA products in the PC's line, and this is one of my favorites. It is not a daily use product for me, but it could be, depending on skin type. Since my skin is normal-to-oily with dry patches on my cheeks and neck, there are times when I need a little extra boost of moisture, but not quite to the point where I would need the 2% BHA Lotion. The product is soothing, and does reduce my red spots in short order, sometimes as quickly as over night. As others have commented, it is a little sticky. The trick for daytime use is to apply sparingly. The small amount of stickiness will be overcome by the next skin care step (eg, I use Hydralight 30SPF). The thicker texture also makes this a great product for treating small spots, or for my weekly skin care routine, where I apply a much larger amount as a kind of BHA facial mask. Overall, this product is extremely versatile--recommended!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 6/4/2016 3:35:00 AM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I bought this because I thought it would help get rid of all the blackheads on my nose without being to greasy. I must say I'm dissapointed. It leaves a sticky layer on your skin after applying, as if it doesn't want to sink in. My blackheads have not improved, and I've used this for weeks morning and night! I'll try the liquid and see if that's any better, but I wouldn't recommend the gel!

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I absolutely love, LOVE this stuff! This saved my skin when I thought nothing would work after trying way too many products. I leaves my skin feeling smooth, calm and most importantly acne-free. I use it all over my face and neck every night and when I do have a pimple breaking through, I like to spotttreat them during the day. Packaging is great. The pump dispenses exactly the right amount of product. Love how easy and quick this gel works. I like to use this over the liquid. I don't have to use this with a cotton round, just my fingers. I could not live without this anymore. I got my friend, her sister and her mom hooked on this stuff. I would repurchase this over and over again! 😻

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 4/1/2016 8:10:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

First of all, be very careful using this types of products! It can be very damaging for your skin if not used with caution!

I have normal/combination skin with hormonal acne on the chin/cheeks/forehead (i use birth control for non hormonal acne)

After using this for 1 week the BHA 2% burned my cheeks, leaving it with scars/flakey and very thin skin that reacts to everything.

The product itself comes in a clean and hygienic packaging with a pump dispenser.
It smells like ''plastic'' in my opinion.

I would not repurchase this product.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

Now, as a disclaimer, I do not believe in miracles when it comes to skin care. I'm pretty realistic and I don't expect anything to clear my skin up magically in 2 or 3 days.

With that being said, this is a great product! I can tell a difference in my skin and I've been using this morning and night for about 3 weeks now. I rarely get pimples and my skin texture is like silk! I still have some pigmentation/acne scarring and some blackheads, but these things can take months of use to diminish so I'm not too worried about that right now.

I love that the gel is gentle, non-drying and fragrance free as my skin is pretty sensitive, especially to acne products. I do sometimes still get pimples, but really only caused by my period or shamefully sleeping in my makeup (ugh). Speaking of makeup, I'm really happy that I no longer have to slather my face in acne concealer. c: Yay!

Anyway, the only things I don't like about this product are that it takes a little while to absorb (I don't wanna wait around for that, honestly...) and it pills easily under my sunscreen and certain moisturizers (I had to switch from CeraVe AM which was a pilling nightmare to Clinique All-Over Clearing Treatment, which is working out way better for my skin!). I think I'm going to try skipping this during the daytime to see if I can go without it without breaking out...

So, quick summary:
Pros - Clears up acne, exfoliates skin well, no fragrance, no alcohol, lots of good ingredients, price is not particularly evil, not tested on animals, wearing less makeup on my skin is cool!
Cons - Pilling/doesn't wear well under ss (so avoid use during day), takes a while to absorb which is annoying during the day

Overall a great product! Really, really helped my acne and saved me a painful trip to the French dermatologist.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 3/9/2016 5:36:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

This BHA gel actually made many of my blackheads disappear! I've used the liquid in the past, but really didn't like the runny texture and the stickiness of the product. So I ended up giving the bottle to my sister.
The gel however takes about 5 minutes to absorb, so even when I'm in a rush in the morning I can use it. I use it once in the morning and once in the evening, after I've washed my face. Make sure to wait 15 minutes to apply this if you're using a product with vitamin c first. Also, put spf on your face during the day.
This product won't make your blackheads disappear overnight, but with consistent use it will definitely reduce them. I noticed the difference after 1,5 months. One bottle lasts me 6 to 7 months, and I will absolutely repurchase this product once I run out.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I discovered acids last year and they have really changed my skin. I don't have what you would necessarily call problem skin -- I am typically blemish free, but I have dry and sensitive skin, splotchy parts on my face, redness, mild rosacea, and some CCs on my nose. I started using this daily, switching sometimes between morning and night. I apply it after cleansing my face and leave it on for 20-25 minutes before I move on with my routine. It is so mild -- I never experienced any irritation or stinging with this. In fact I feel like it has an anti-inflammatory effect (as opposed to, say, AHAs or vitamin C which can cause stinging for me if used too frequently). I will keep repurchasing this and I love the gel texture. I haven't tried the liquid or lotion.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Significantly reduces the size of spots overnight, though it can be a bit drying overtime.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 2/1/2016 2:27:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Other, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I have acne- prone and sensitive skin and this product really works for me.
I use it at night after cleansing. It leaves the skin very shiny and I would not try to use it under makeup. I let it set before I put my regular night creme on.
I bought the lotion formula once by misstake and I think the gel one is far better.
Make sure to always use sunscreen if you are using this product.

Does not irritate the skin.
Helps reduce breakouts
Reduces acnescars
Reduses winkels and leaves the skin smooth
Hygenic packaging
One packaing lasts a very long time.

A bit difficult to get your hands on in my country
Difficult to know how much is still left in the bottle
leaves the skin very shiny.

on 1/19/2016 10:48:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I have bought this several times because the formula works. It's a gentle exfoliant that doesn't irritate my sensitive skin, and when my skin is oily (usually in summer) I much prefer this clear, fragrance-free, dye-free gel to the BHA lotion. In fact, this was my favorite exfoliant until the brand expanded its line to include more chemical exfoliants. I'm not crazy about the BHA lotion because although there is no fragrance added, it does have a faint cucumber scent that I can ignore, but I don't like it. I am grateful that the brand does not add masking fragrance to its products. Whatever we smell is what the blend naturally smells like. I don't detect any scent at all from the gel which is one of the reasons I like it better.

However, I have to agree with other reviewers who stated that this gel makes your face look very shiny when applied and has a slightly tacky feel on the skin until it dries, so I only use it at night before bedtime. This phase is short-lived. Within twenty minutes of applying it, my face doesn't glisten from the gel and any stickiness is gone. In the morning my skin feels soft and smooth, and moisturized. For the price point, $28 for 3.3 ounces, it's a good exfoliant and prevents blackheads from forming.

The gel has been available for several years, and since then Paula's Choice has expanded the line. Now I prefer the stronger Resist Weekly Retexturizing Foam 4% BHA and I also like the liquid Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment With 2% BHA. But I still alternate this gel with the other exfoliants. I always had trouble finding physical exfoliants (scrubs) that didn't irritate my skin and make it look worse, so these BHA products were life-changing. I am glad she has so many BHA products to choose from. If you don't like one, you can probably find another you do like without switching brands.

I appreciate the company's dedication to making cruelty free, no-nonsense skin care products. I've been using this line for over a decade with wonderful results. I know my skin pretty well and know how to select the right products for me. My skin looks clearer and healthier now than it did before I found this line. Although I have changed my skin care routine a bit by switching to the aforementioned alternatives, this 2% BHA gel remains one of the best exfoliants I've found for sensitive oily skin.

Key Ingredients: willow herb, bisabolol, BHA (beta hydroxy acid), phytosphingosine, grape seed extract, green tea, salicylic acid

Product Ingredients:
Water, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol, (solvent/water-binding agent), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Phytosphingosine (cell-communicating ingredient), Hydroxyethylcellulose (gel-based thickener), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract (antioxidant), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract (antioxidant) Epilobium Angustifolium (Willow Herb) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract (anti-irritant), Bisabolol (anti-irritant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH-adjusting agent), Tetrasodium EDTA (chelating agent).

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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