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Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Shrink enlarged pores with this 2% liquid salicylic acid leave-on exfoliant that removes old skin cells both on the skin's surface and inside the pore.
Item #: 201
  • Acne Breakouts, Anti-Aging, Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Keratosis Pilaris, Redness, Rosacea, Wrinkles
  • For All Skin Types
  • Creates radiant, even-toned skin
  • Reduces redness & builds collagen
  • Unclogs & diminishes enlarged pores

Please Note: Do not use if you are allergic to aspirin or its derivatives.

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Customer Ratings:

84 out of 100
(Based on 739 Reviews)
Page of 30 Next »
  1. SHELLEY L.
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 26, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    excellent results
    • Love this product, has kept our skin clear for years.

  2. Aileen M.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 24, 2015
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Not bad but not sure it's for me
    • As with all skin care products, what works for one person may not work for another. I had high hopes for this 2% BHA Liquid as it's gotten stellar reviews on other skin care blogs but after using it 3 times, it seems like it's leaving my face tight and darkening the overall color. It definitely shrunk my pores but only because it made my skin tight and somewhat dry despite moisturizer. I wanted a leave in exfoliant to help get brighter/clearer skin...maybe AHA would be a better option?

  3. Nora
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 21, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Luv BHA
    • This product has done wonders for my skin. I had an issue with break outs and untoned skin. I have been using this product for a few months and my face glows!! I have received so many compliments on my skin. The pores in my face have reduced and my blackheads and clogged pores and gone! I have sensitive skin too, prone to breakouts and this product is not irritating at all. I can use it everyday on my face and neck. It does not leave a residue at all. I follow with a light moisturizer.

  4. Meghan W
    Reviewed on Friday, March 20, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Loved it
    • The first week using this product my face was super oily and looked disgusting under my make-up. Then my face adjusted to the product and then I hated not putting it on under my make-up because my skin did not look as healthy and radiant. I did not however see a difference in the amount of black heads I had. But my skin loooked better all around so I happy. Looking forward to ordering the product again.

  5. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 17, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    very disappointed
    • i'm very disappointed : ( product feels sticky and thick on my skin, makes it feel gross, and after two days of use I got two huge zits...I haven't had zits in years! Serves me right for falling for ads in women's magazines....

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, March 18, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  6. sharon
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 17, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    most blackheads stilll present
    • I am a huge fan of PC. I trust them and even though this product didnt work for me, I will try their other exfoliants. The 2% bha hasnt seemed to have shrunk my pores. It has eliminated a few blackheads on my nose, but most are still there.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Tuesday, March 17, 2015

    Ugh, how disappointing! Well, although we're sorry this didn't work as well as you hoped, it could be that your blackheads are more stubborn and will benefit from one of our stronger BHA treatments. Please contact us to discuss your options, including a refund or exchange should you not wish to keep the 2% BHA Liquid.

    —Admin
  7. Michelle B.
    Reviewed on Monday, March 16, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Makes my skin look pretty
    • I first tried the 2% lotion, then received a trial,size of this liquid, and I am blown away at how much more effective the liquid seems to be. My skin looks brighter immediately after using the liquid, and it feels softer and smoother. My serum absorbs quickly after using this BHA, too. I have super-sensitive skin plus Rosacea, and this works without irritation (except when I accidentally overdid the retinol, then everything stung). PC has been amazing for my skin and edification.

  8. Melea
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 14, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Goodbye scrubs!
    • I've been using the BHA liquid for almost 3 years. I use it in combo with Resist Retinol Serum, Moisture Boost moisturizer in the winter and Hydralight moisturizer in the summer. I'm 40 this year and have spent decades trying to exfoliate my flakey skin and get rid of blackheads & big pores. Thanks to finding PC products and info, the BHA has revealed smooth skin that needs little makeup. Friends and my sister noticed the difference in my skin right away. Thanks Paula!

  9. kirk r.
    Reviewed on Friday, March 13, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Quality service; bad reaction
    • I bought this product because i needed to incorporate an exfoliant into my routine. I got a discount on this purchase and the shipping was very quick; I was pleased by the service. I used this for about a week before i realized i was starting to break out in heavy cystic acne. Reading reviews and researching this product made me very hopeful of its effectiveness, but it is just not for me. I reduced my use of the product and applied it only to a small part of my face: it broke that part out.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, March 16, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  10. Jo
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 12, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Rough, dry skin much smoother
    • I love this product. I've been using Paula's skincare for about two months, and together with products from the Resist line the BHA liquid has transformed my skin. I am 56 y.o. and my skin has become very dry and rough in recent years. It is beautiful and smooth now. I used to have rosacea and I was worried that my sensitive skin wouldn't tolerate BHA, but I am able to use it every night with no problem. I love the fact that Paula's products do not irritate and are fragrance-free.

  11. V
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 10, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Can't live without
    • The only acne treatment works for me and it works so well that I can't live without.

  12. Huong D.
    Reviewed on Monday, March 09, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Textured skin evened out
    • I have been using this product twice daily for about 8 days and have noticed the following: (1) my pores on my checks are much smaller, (2) nose blackheads diminishing [might need the BHA9 for this so just purchased sample], (3) textured checks have evened out and bb cream/foundation goes on smoother/evenly, and (4) face discoloration has lessened - not as blotchy. Love this product! Thanks, PC team!

  13. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 07, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best Product I've Ever Used
    • Let me start off by saying that I have never in my life left a review for an acne product, since none have worked for me. Like so many, I have struggled with acne my whole life and have tried everything. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I have actually found something that has worked. I am 24 and had those skin-colored bumps and blackheads on my forehead and chin, and would often get white heads on the corners of my mouth too. This product has cleared my skin tremendously within a week!!!

  14. Jaclyn P.
    Reviewed on Friday, March 06, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Really great product
    • This product blows away any drugstore salicylic acid treatment I have used. Its gentle yet effective. Daily use without a moisturiser, you will notice flakes. That's normal and shows that its working! Use moistuizer and don't use daily if that bothers you. I had some KP on my cheek bone (basically really rough, bumpy skin that no moisturiser could fix) I fixed that after using this and one glycolic acid treatment. My skin is so smooth now and the acne is MUCH better and scars are fading a bit

  15. Claudia
    Reviewed on Friday, March 06, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Glad I tried it!
    • I saw an ad in Glamour magazine for a trial size of this product & was very skeptical. I use a cotton pad to apply it & it does leave a slight tacky residue, but I let it soak in & then follow with a moisturizer. I have very oily skin, some post-acne roughness & discoloration. I've only been using this less than a week & I can see & feel the difference in my skin. It is much smoother & pores are definitely smaller. Will definitely purchase the full size!! I like that they have sample sizes.

  16. Michele W
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 05, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    I really like it!
    • I've been using this products for the last 3 months (alternating nights with the AHA+ from acne.org). It has helped to smooth my skin (scars and dark marks), and reduce the size of some pores. I used it twice a week, at night, to start. Now I use it every other day, but only at night, because it does have somewhat of a film that needs to absorb into your skin. My advice for this product is to start slowly and always moisturize afterwards because it can be drying.

  17. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 04, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Made my skin worse
    • I really wanted to love this, but after using it for nearly a year, my skin is worse than before. I have more issues with clogged pores and closed comedones. I did find this product to be non-drying compared to other BHA products I've used in the past, but it left a weird film on my face after it dried. It was very good for reducing redness though.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, March 04, 2015

    Hello, and thanks for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team for information on a possible exchange or refund of your latest purchase.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  18. David P.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 04, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Issue with Product
    • I purchased this product and realized it was liquid and not gel. What can I do?

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, March 04, 2015

    Hello, and thanks for contacting us! Just contact a member of our Customer Care team, and they should be able to help you with an exchange.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  19. PAULA p.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 03, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Worst product ever!!
    • I have a mild form of rosacea and I ordered this product hoping it would relieve some of the redness on my cheeks. I applied a small amount before bed and because of the greasy tacky feeling it left, i did not apply my usual moisturizer on top. The next morning i looked in the mirror and to my horror my face was red and puffy, i mean REALLY puffy. That was almost 3 days ago and im still waiting for the swelling to subside. So much for non-irritating!!

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, March 04, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  20. My N.
    Reviewed on Monday, March 02, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Work so well
    • BHA has done wonders to my skin! I was normally prone to acne and didn't know how to avoid acne when my skin's condition went down. But now thanks to using BHA regularly, my skin really improves.

  21. Link
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 01, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Not for me
    • I have tried this product on two separate occasions and it stings and makes my face pretty itchy. And also red sometimes I think. For me it is not gentle. I will not buy this product again.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, March 02, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  22. wc
    Reviewed on Saturday, February 28, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    didn't work for me
    • I don't know if the formula has changed or not since I tried this a few years ago but it didn't work for me in reducing the appearance of pores or blackheads, whiteheads, etc. Since the product contains salicylic acid as in aspirins I am simply dissolving aspirins in warm water, adding honey and place this on my face, leaving it for about 5 minutes, so far I can't tell a big difference, nothing seems to work as far as reducing pore size along with blackheads and whiteheads.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, March 02, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  23. Margaret V.
    Reviewed on Saturday, February 28, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Amazing
    • I've been troubled with large pores on my nose for years. I've tried all sorts of products but nothing has ever worked. I bought this product and even though I was using it incorrectly it still worked. I was using it in the shower and rinsing it off. It still made an improvement. Once I finally read the directions the changes in my skin are outstanding, I do not believe it has ever looked better and I am in my sixties.

  24. Louise
    Reviewed on Friday, February 27, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    This product worked for brilliantly for me
    • This is the first time I have used a BHA. I have been using it for about 3 weeks. It did dry my skin a little, hence I decided to gradually build up the usage, but using moisturizer afterwards resolved this. My skin is combination, oily on the T-zone and much drier on my cheeks, with large pores on my nose. I am in my late 30s but sill get occasional cystic acne on my jawline. It has made a big change to my skin, which is now softer, with smaller pores, more even-toned and no acne! Love it.

  25. Hid R.
    Reviewed on Friday, February 27, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    from purging to cystic acne within a month
    • I have combination skin. I bought this last Oct and finally used it on Jan 8. It was fine with the purging (small whiteheads). Then a week after it got worse. Cystic acne, -bumpy, throbbing- began to form on right temple, then my right cheek, small ones at first then big ones came right after. It shows no sign of decreasing up to today. I had never had a cystic acne on my cheek, regardless during my breakout days in my teenage years. I want to love this so much but it's not working for me.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, March 02, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, for information on a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
Page of 30 Next »

What makes this product unique?
Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant rapidly exfoliates both the skin's surface and inside the pore, reshaping the pore lining, unclogging pores and improving skin cell turnover rate. The result is a dramatic improvement in the skin's appearance, feel, and function which leads to healthier skin. There is a great deal of research indicating that BHA (beta hydroxy acid) increases collagen production and drastically smooths the surface of skin. Additionally, BHA has antibacterial properties that attack blemish-causing bacteria. The lightweight, non-occlusive formula allows for a faster and deeper exfoliation rate than our gel or lotion BHA products, so it's an ideal choice for stubborn clogged pores or blackheads.

This product is 100% fragrance- and colorant-free with a pH range of 3.5-3.9. Every Paula's Choice BHA product is formulated with additional soothing agents.

Who is this product for?
All skin types may use this product, but the texture is especially suited for those with normal to oily or combination skin, stubborn blackheads, and blemish-prone skin. It can also be used regularly to eliminate calluses on feet, elbows and knees.

NOTE: Those allergic to aspirin (acetylsalicylate) should not use products containing salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid).

Sources to support the claims made for SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid exfoliant

International Immunopharmacology, August 2009, pages 1,126–1,130; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2007, pages 124-135; The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, February 2006, pages 416–421; Journal of Cosmetic Science, November-December 2004, pages 519-531; Archives of Internal Medicine, July 2002, pages 1531–1532; Annals of Dermatology and Venereology, January 2002, pages 137–142; Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, volume 175, issue 1, pages 76–82; Preservatives for Cosmetics, 2006, by David Steinberg, Allured Publishing, pages 39-40; Pain, January 1996, pages 71–82; and Seminars in Dermatology, December 1990, pages 305–308.

Key Ingredients: methylpropanediol, salicylic acid, green tea, BHA (beta hydroxy acid)

Product Ingredients:

Water, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol (slip agents/penetration enhancers), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (anti-irritant/antioxidant), Polysorbate-20 (solubolizing agent), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancer), Tetrasodium EDTA (chelating agent).

DIRECTIONS: Apply once or twice daily after cleansing and toning. Lightly soak a cotton pad and apply over the entire face, including the eye area (avoid the lower lash line and eyelids). Do not rinse. For daytime, follow with a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 25 or greater.

Detailed instructions on how/when to apply your Paula's Choice products can be found in our How to Put Together Your Own Skincare Routine article.

What's the difference between the 2% BHA Liquid and the 2% BHA Gel?

First, texture: One is a fluid with a toner-like consistency, the other is a thicker, clear gel. Both contain the same amount of salicylic acid, though the 2% BHA Liquid contains an ingredient that allows the salicylic acid to penetrate faster and further. With the 2% BHA Gel formula, you're getting a slower release of salicylic acid. Both are great options for treating acne, blackheads, and signs of aging. Both are suitable for all skin types but best for normal to oily or combination skin.

What's the difference between AHA and BHA exfoliants? Do I need both?

When properly formulated, both AHAs and BHA are brilliant options for exfoliating the surface of skin. Both AHA and BHA work to reduce wrinkles, stimulate collagen, and firm skin but each has its special qualities you'll want to consider when deciding which one to use:
  • AHAs are preferred for sun-damaged and dry skin because they exfoliate on the surface of skin and have the added benefit of also improving moisture content.
  • BHA is preferred for oily, acne-prone skin and for treating blackheads and white bumps because BHA can get through the oil that's clogging your pores, normalizing the lining of the misshapen pore that contributes to acne.
  • BHA has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action. Those are two more reasons to use a BHA exfoliant if you have acne or sensitive, reddened skin.
  • BHA is preferred for those struggling with rosacea. Not everyone with rosacea can tolerate an exfoliant, but it is wise to experiment with a BHA product to see how your rosacea responds.

If your skin is sun-damaged and you're also struggling with acne or clogged pores, add a BHA product to your routine.

If you'd like to use an AHA and BHA at the same time, that is an option, though not really necessary. Some people find they work well when they're applied at the same time, but if you want to give this a try it is best to apply them separately, one during the day and one in the evening.

How do I use an AHA or BHA exfoliant?

  • You can apply an AHA or BHA product once or twice a day.
  • You can also apply either of these around the eye area but not on the eyelid or directly under the eye.
  • Apply the AHA or BHA product after your face is cleansed and after your toner has dried.
  • Once the AHA or BHA has been absorbed, you can apply any other product in your routine, such as moisturizer, serum, eye cream, sunscreen, and/or foundation.
  • If you're using a topical prescription product such as Renova, other retinoids, or any of the topical prescription products for rosacea, apply the BHA or AHA first.

Your AHA (glycolic acid) products have a higher percentage than your BHA (salicylic acid) products. Does this mean AHA is a stronger exfoliant?

AHA products are most effective at a 5% to 10% concentration and BHA at 1% to 2% concentration. Think about it like making bread, the amount of yeast you need is tiny in comparison to the amount of flour you use but equally important to get the results you want. The percentage of effectiveness varies depending on the ingredient. Rest assured that the BHA products are not any less effective due to lower concentrations of the exfoliant.

The Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant feels sticky and kind of greasy on my face! Why is that?

If the BHA is feeling sticky, you are probably using too much product. The average amount necessary for facial application of the 2% BHA is less than the size of a dime. The product is best applied in a thin layer, and has great spreading properties. The "greasy" feel can be attributed to the high levels of glycol in this product (glycol helps the BHA penetrate the surface layers of skin and also works as a water-binding agent). If you live in a humid, moist climate, this effect will be more pronounced and, if too much product is used, can create a "greasy" feel on the skin. Many customers have remarked how silky-soft their skin is as a result of using the 2% BHA Liquid, and that is the result of the humectants working with the BHA to exfoliate and hydrate the skin.

At what point after my laser and/or peel procedure can I begin using my BHA exfoliant again?

First, we urge you to follow the post-procedure instructions your doctor or nurse provided. If nothing was mentioned about when to resume use of a BHA exfoliant, please contact the doctor's office where you had the procedure done. Otherwise, our general advice is to begin using your BHA again as soon as possible. Or, if your skin seems extra-sensitive, you may want to wait and apply the BHA exfoliant a few days post-procedure. Salicylic acid is an excellent anti-inflammatory ingredient that can enhance skin's natural healing process as it works to reduce post-procedure redness.

585630-IIS2 v1.0.0.379 3/28/2015 4:39:36 AM
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