01.05.2015
19
1029
Resist BHA 9 for Stubborn Imperfections
Rating
0.3 fl. oz. for $40
Category:Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Blemish/Acne Treatments > BHA
Last Updated:01.05.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Resist BHA 9 for Stubborn Imperfections is a spot treatment formulated specially to address stubborn skin imperfections with a 9% concentration of salicylic acid (also known as BHA).

That's a higher-than-usual percentage, but the time-released formula prevents irritation without sacrificing the results of its 9% strength. As with all Paula's Choice exfoliants, the pH is within the range salicylic acid needs to exfoliate.

The fragrance-free formula also includes an anti-irritant and soothing plant extract to ensure even those with sensitive skin can reap the benefits.

Speaking of benefits, what exactly does BHA 9 do? It unclogs pores, diminishes white bumps, minimizes enlarged pores, refines skin texture, minimizes the skin condition sebaceous hyperplasia, smoothes dry, rough patches, helps balance oily skin, fades red marks from breakouts, and, in general, helps reduce persistent breakouts. Quite a list there! We're happy to report it really can do all those things (at least for most people) due to its powerhouse formula!

BHA 9 has a serum-like texture that is dispersed via a pump applicator, and a surprisingly small amount of product can do its magic. Whether applied as a spot treatment or to larger areas at night, a little goes a long way.

The fluid consistency is on the thick side, which makes applying this spot treatment easier, although it can leave a shiny/greasy-feeling finish if you're overzealous. The pump can be tricky to master at first (dispersing more product than you may need for smaller areas), but you can readily control that by depressing with a softer touch so as to not release a full pump of product. (The company is working on transitioning the packaging to a completely different type of component that's easier to control.)

Formulated for all skin types, this is suitable for acne-prone skin, eczema, and rosacea (assuming you know your rosacea-affected skin can tolerate salicylic acid).

Bonus: Although the claims don't specifically state that BHA 9 treats blackheads, it absolutely does! Up next, world peace.

Pros:
  • Helps reduce persistent breakouts and unclog pores.
  • Diminishes blackheads and fades acne marks.
  • Minimizes and potentially controls sebaceous hyperplasia.
  • Smoothes dry, rough patches.
  • Powerhouse formula is surprisingly gentle on skin.
Cons:
  • Pump can be tricky to master.
Claims

Resist BHA 9 is a salicylic acid-based spot treatment designed for anyone who has struggled with stubborn skin imperfections or wants enhanced results over and above the treatments they've been using. It is compatible with any other skin-care products, including skin lighteners, prescription retinoids, over-the-counter anti-acne or retinol products, and regular skin care such as moisturizers and serums. Works to improve skin in numerous ways, and may be used once daily or less often (depending on your concerns).

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).

Brand Overview

Paula's Choice Skincare At-A-Glance

Strengths: Fragrance-free products; all products formulated based on extensive published research on how ingredients can benefit skin; uniquely formulated AHA and BHA products; effective skin-lightening options; gentle cleansers; toners that go beyond the norm; all sunscreens provide broad spectrum protection (including UVA-screening ingredients); proven anti-acne products; antioxidant-rich serums and moisturizers; anti-aging products that work as claimed; gentle yet effective natural products; most foundations provides sun protection and come in a range of neutral colors; unique brow products; on-the-go teeth whitener; lipstick with sunscreen; impressive, reasonably priced makeup brushes; samples are available for most products.

Weaknesses: Does not offer a complete collection of makeup; makeup shade range isn’t as extensive for darker skin tones; limited concealer options.

Disclosure: Paula Begoun is creator of Beautypedia and founder of Paula's Choice Skincare products. Reviewing thousands of skincare and makeup products over the past 30 years, both on this site and in her best-selling books, Paula's mission has always been to help consumers find the best products possible for their skin. The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains this commitment. In addition, The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same rating standards and criteria, whether it is a Paula's Choice product or another brand.

Paula's Choice Skincare was established in 1995 when best-selling beauty author and consumer advocate Paula Begoun (known as The Cosmetics Cop) decided to develop her own products. Like most of us, she was fed up with products that overpromised results, cost a lot of money, and failed to deliver—or made matters worse!

As a natural evolution of Paula's personal mission to help consumers find the best products for their skin, the line has grown into an extensive range of skincare and makeup products that are formulated to meet the needs of almost every skin type and skin concern imaginable. From acne to wrinkles, oily skin, rosacea, large pores, eczema, redness, sagging, dry skin, and on and on, Paula's Choice offers a solution.

Paula's Choice Skincare stands apart from other cosmetics brands. The formulas contain only ingredients that have substantiated, published research showing they are beneficial and effective—so you get visible results. Stable packaging is another feature of the brand, using innovative, opaque, and air-tight or air-restrictive components that keep antioxidants and other light- and air-sensitive ingredients from breaking down (unlike jar packaging, which compromises what might otherwise be an effective formula). The line is also 100% fragrance-free, which is best for all skin types, especially for those with sensitive skin or rosacea.

From cleansers to broad-spectrum sunscreens to anti-aging serums to specialized treatments, Paula's Choice Skincare has you covered from head to toe with innovative, state-of-the-art products. The brand also offers professional-quality makeup products including concealer, foundation, eyeshadow, lipstick, and more. (Paula started out as a makeup artist so she definitely knows her way around a face!)

Paula's Choice Skincare does not test on animals and also takes an environmentally friendly approach by featuring minimalist, recyclable packaging. Another plus—the Customer Service team is among the best in the industry, offering a "100% satisfaction or your money back" guarantee.

For more information about Paula's Choice, call (800) 831-4088 or visit www.paulaschoice.com.

Why are all Paula's Choice Skincare products rated highly? The Paula's Choice Skincare Team would not launch a product unless it was worthy of a high rating from The Beautypedia Team. Paula and The Beautypedia Team were researching and reviewing products long before Paula's Choice Skincare ever existed and consumers were constantly requesting a skincare brand that met all of Beautypedia's criteria. As a result, The Paula's Choice Skincare Team was created and uses the same research and criteria to formulate Paula's Choice products as The Beautypedia Team uses to review products.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
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05.19.2015
already working

The big brown spots on my face are already fading (can't believe it -- nothing else has worked) and I've only used this for a week. HOWEVER - it is almost impossible to get a "pea-sized" amount out of that pump. It's either nothing or too much and this is going waaaay too fast. I am not happy because this is expensive and wasteful. I don't need the amount that comes out. Can you help? Improve your pump? I feel taken advantage of in this respect.

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Reviewed by
rayna g.
05.19.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  We're so happy that this product is working for you.  If you contact Paula's Choice's customer care team, they can assist you with getting a replacement product if the pump is causing you problems.  They'd also love to hear your feedback on it, we're sure :)

—Admin
05.12.2015
Really Helps Heal Scars from Breakouts

I struggled with sensitive, acne-prone skin in my youth which returned during menopause. Finding a Paula's Choice Regimen that works for me has been a struggle because of the continuing sensitivity, but BHA9 was a gift from the start! It really goes after those bumps, lingering red spots from breakouts and dry patches that moisturizes didn't resolve. I'm happy to learn that PC is redesigning the pump, because it is almost impossible to manage the quantity of product the current pump dispenses.

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Reviewed by
Sally P.
04.23.2015
very expensive, wasteful pump, only partly effective

This product, per weight, is MORE expensive than Sunday Riley's Good Genes, which Beautypedia berates for being too expensive. I have tried both, and I find Good Genes to be more effective. The CS response claiming "BHA9 is unique" is lame; it's supposed to do the same things as Good Genes which at $105/oz is cheaper than BHA9's $125/oz. I returned my BHA9 because it didnt work any better than the 2% BHA liquid, and both Paula's Choice products had minimal effect on my large pores & acne.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
04.28.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  We are sorry that this product did not work for you but are so glad you were able to return it!  Sunday Riley's Good Genes, however, is a very different product than Paula's Choice's BHA 9.  The BHA 9 contains BHA, or beta hydroxy acid, and is primarily to be used as a spot treatment.  BHA can minimize the appearance of pores and help with blackheads and acne.  Sunday Riley's Good Genes is actually an AHA, or alpha hydroxy acid, product.  The goals of an AHA are different than a BHA in that an AHA is more focused on anti-aging and reducing fine lines (although BHA can do these things too).  I hope that cleared up the difference between the two products and their ingredients :)

—Admin
03.19.2015
wow this is a miracle work

I put this on at 1am and at 7am my pimple was done

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
03.01.2015
So far so good

Even though my skin is dry and sensitive, I still have blackheads on my nose and chin area that will not go away. Nothing has worked;only irritated my skin leaving it red,sore,overly dry,scaly and itchy. I added the BHA 9% not quite a month ago to my evening routine.I'm seeing a definate shrinkage of the pores and disappearance of some of the blackheads. My chin area is looking good and my nose is improving.

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Reviewed by
Muirne' T.
02.12.2015
I've seen a difference with the $5 trial size

I was skeptical and scared of the price so I got the little $5 trial tube. It's lasted me three weeks now, using it daily. I've seen a difference. Some rosacea spots I've had for years are totally gone. A couple of UV damage spots are fading away and one giant clogged pore is half the size it was. I've been using PCs Skin Perfecting fluid in conjunction with this and no irritation on my sensitive skin. WOW!

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Reviewed by
Jenny A
01.13.2015
Best help yet for sebaceous hyperplasia

I have been using this daily for several years, along with Retin-A. I had previously had a derm electro-needle my hyperplasias, and it barely reduced them, and left me with dark red spots that lasted several days, and, in one place, a hole. I tried this, and it takes a while, but it markedly flattened my spots, and in many cases, they are no longer visible. I have super-sensitive skin, and this causes me no trouble, but I have been using Retin-A .1% for many, many years.

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Reviewed by
Kathryn F.
12.13.2014
Resist BHA 9 works

I also have sebaceous hyperplasia. No known treatment for this condition. Doctor said maybe a chemical peel might help. I showed her this product and she said this product uses same ingredients as a chemical peel but more slowly and with no down time. The product has helped me immensely. I waited until I had used it for a full three months before reviewing to give it time. Plus I have very sensitive skin that breaks out easily. No problems at all with this prodict. It is a holy grail product!!!!

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
10.28.2014
Incredible and worth the money

This stuff works wonders. I have post-acne marks and little white bumps, plus other skin blemishes and imperfections that I've been treating nightly with this serum for a few weeks now. I'm a little shocked that my sensitive skin can tolerate a 9% BHA formula, which tells me that it was indeed formulated with those who have rather intolerant skin in mind (in addition to everyone else). It's pricey for a pretty small amount, but I only need one drop to treat my entire chin area plus other spots.

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Reviewed by
CARRIE W.
07.18.2014
Miracle - Thank you!!

Face went crazy with acne a couple of years ago in my early 30's and nothing would help. Got a Paula's Choice sample, I think a differenct product, with Birchbox, which led me here to learn more and try this serum. Results the same week and have just one or two blemishes a month instead of one or two NEW ones/day like before. Working slowly on the acne scars, but I am seeing progress. Otherwise, my skin is glowing. Am so grateful to find this. Thank you, Paula!

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Reviewed by
MT
05.31.2014
Nothing, yet

I added this to a regimen of Retin-A & B/AHAs for my sebaceous hyperplasia. Maybe, I'm not using it properly or often enough, but there's no change. I hoped it would prevent more but new ones have emerged. After a year of treatment for sebaceous hyperplasia, nothing works on mine, including this. The amount of product that shoots out uncontrollably with mild pressure on the dispenser is irritating, but I've figured out a way to dispense one drop with minuscule pressure. I need directions.

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Reviewed by
Mary B.
05.31.2014
Not sure, yet.

I added this to a regimen of Retin-A & B/AHAs because of my sebaceous hyperplasia. Perhaps, I'm not using it properly or often enough, because there's no change. I hoped this product would prevent more but new ones have emerged. Any progress on sebaceous hyperplasias will take time, but nothing works on mine, including this. The product shooting out with a mild compression of the dispenser is irritating, but I've figured out a way to get a drop at a time with minuscule pressure.

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Reviewed by
Mary B.
04.05.2014
good results so far

I've used my sample for about 6 days. I have a very small skin-toned growth under my eye that appeared about 2 years ago, that I suspect is sebaceous hyperplasia, but I don't know for sure. After the first use, I noticed that it didn't feel as high. The change seems slow, but steady. Also, this sped up my acne cycle: emerging bump to flat red mark in 2 days, so maybe 1/2 the time. Reserving judgement on pores, dark and dry red spots for now; I'll update after a longer trial. Its a bit spendy

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Reviewed by
RH
02.17.2014
Took some time but great results

This is the only product that has been able to successfully reduce stubborn blackheads on my nose. I've had them for years and used at one time or another all of Paula's top picks for blackhead reduction. It took a tube and a half of use but then the blackheads began to disappear. Over time most have disappeared. I use this twice a day and have been maintaining noticeable results. The container is small but lasts several months for me. I recommend BHA 9 wholeheartedly.

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Reviewed by
ANN P.
01.26.2014
Try it for your Cystic Acne

Nothing helps my cystic acne as much as oral antibiotics or/and a cortisone shot from my dermatologist; the shots drain the wallet, and it is not good for your stomach to be on antibiotics long-term. Enter: the BHA 9% treatment! I recommend this to everyone suffering from cystic acne. Get the sample first and see if it does anything for you. :)

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Reviewed by
Eliza F.
07.26.2013
Marvelous!

Love it! My husband used it for a stubborn lump that wouldn't go away. I have used it on my nose, and pores which were damage in my 20s have gotten smaller and! I'm 40 with normal skin on my nose, and this doesn't make me break out or make me irritated at all. It is expensive, but try the sample size. I just keep reordering those, so I don't waste any. It is a spot treatment. I wouldn't spread it all over my face. Marvelous, I only wish this was around in my teens and 20s when I had acne

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Reviewed by
Tara S.
04.08.2013
Good product

This product does help my acne prone skin. I like the gel consistency...it glides onto the skin as opposed to feeling sticky like other gel products I have used. However, I think the pump on the bottle needs to be redesigned. It's hard to control pumping out the product...usually it ends up squirting out like a bullet and ending up on bathroom counter or on my mirror or in the sink! Maybe I just got a defective bottle.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
02.22.2013
Defied Regulations

Paula complained in her review of Spa Teen Blemished Skin Blemish B-Gone that the product defied regulations because it included to many anti acne medicines in one product. However, it is well known that the FDA has set the upper limit at 2% for salicylic acid in skin care products. This product seems to defy FDA regulations.... perhaps a FDA task force should be taken on this?

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
02.26.2013
Beautypedia Team Response
Thank you for your comments, and we'd be happy to address your concerns. The full quote referenced from the Beautypedia Team's review of Pevonia Botanica's Spa Teen Blemished Skin Blemish B-Gone is,"This product defies FDA regulations for over-the-counter drug products because it contains three active ingredients: salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and sulfur." This is accurate, as acne-treatment products are regulated as OTC drugs and have specific regulations regarding the number of actives and percentages used. Only in OTC drugs is there an "active ingredient" indicated as this is an OTC drug term. RESIST BHA 9, like our Skin Perfecting BHA exfoliants, are not acne-medications or treatments (unlike our CLEAR collection). Thus, there is a higher level of salicylic acid permitted (and the reason why these exfoliants do not have their percentages listed as "actives"). Paula's Choice, of any brand, would not develop a product that wasn't in accordance with FDA regulations. We hope this helps clear up any confusion, and please let us know if you have any additional questions.
—Customer Care Team
01.13.2013
Misleading affordability rating

Ounce for ounce, this is by far the most expensive product in the "best" BHA product category. How could Paula not indicate $$$ for this product other than the obvious reason this is from her own product line. I've been criticizing that the $$$ rating is not based on price for equal volume, time to make a change and be truthful to us customers please!

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Reviewed by
P.P.
01.15.2013
Beautypedia Team Response

On Beautypedia the '$$$' is only used to indicate if a product is more expensive than other options that are similarly formulated and yeild similar results Although there are other BHA spot treatments, BHA9 is the only product of its kind currently on the market. BHA9 is unique from other BHA products because of its potency, efficacy and outstanding results.

—Paula's Choice Research Team Response
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