Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Shrink enlarged pores with this 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:

86 out of 100
(Based on 489 Reviews)
Page of 20 Next »
  1. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 16, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    On to week 2
    • I have only been on 1week tomorrow. Seen improvement. I was on Dermalogica before & caused my left side of my face to be irritated in red, & caused me to have red bumps on my cheeks. This along with my other products from Paulas Choice have started clearing that up. However, I am still getting the occasional pimple. Told that BHA's can cause this. I am hopeful that it will stop and I cn finally clear my face. hopeing that I am not alone and that others saw clear skin aftera few weeks.

  2. S
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 16, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Greasiness is Gone!
    • I'm in my early 30s and have never had good skin. I started using this product about a week ago and I am already impressed. Usually products don't really seem to DO ANYTHING for my oily, clogged skin-- but using this 2x per day for just a week, I have seen AMAZING improvement. My skin is not greasy anymore! My pores are much less clogged and those under-the-skin bumps are almost totally GONE! Another thing I can hardly believe is that my skin hasn't become dry, either. It's just NORMAL!

  3. Louise P
    Reviewed on Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Wonderful
    • I have been using this wonderful liquid longer than I can remember. It is the only product I've found that stops the hormonal cystic acne on my chin. I needed to experiment to find out how often I could use it (every day was too drying, twice a week not enough, every 2-3 days is perfect) but otherwise it is so simple. Just dab a few drops on my chin. Thank you so much Paula for creating this product. It really did save my skin all those years ago and still is!

  4. Monica N.
    Reviewed on Sunday, April 13, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Liquid gold
    • I've struggled with large pores around my nose for as long as I can remember. No matter what foundation I used, my huge pores were always visible underneath. I've been using this product for a few weeks now, and it has CHANGED MY LIFE!!!! I never thought a miracle product like this existed. Now when I apply foundation the texture of my skin is so even and smooth, and my pores are so tiny now!!!!! I have a new found confidence, and I'm SO GLAD it's happened for me at 22 :) :) thank you Paula

  5. Laura B
    Reviewed on Thursday, April 10, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Beyond wonderful
    • I have had issues with flaking and skin texture for as long as I can recall. I tried $10, $50, $100 treatments. I saw multiple dermatologists. No product ever truly helped me. A friend recommended the 2% BHA liquid to me and I tried it. I was stunned. After ONE USE my skin texture changed. I was so miserable, embarrassed by my skin texture and the flakiness. I can't thank you enough Paula. It sounds lame but I finally feel pretty again.

  6. Ashley
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 09, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Amazing product!
    • I was skeptical purchasing this, my skin is so unpredictable I didn't know how it would react. I have large pores, black heads, and acne marks, and I wanted them gone! Nothing I had tried worked, it either made my skin red and dry or break out. After using this for a week, morning and night, I can see a visible difference. My skin is moisturized yet tight, my pores have gotten smaller, and my skin tone is more even. I will definitely continue using this product!

  7. L
    Reviewed on Tuesday, April 08, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    back on the wagon
    • Ive used paulas choice off and on for 8 years. I seem to get my skin in good condition then relapse to using drug store product and end up with acne again. Im 27 and have oily , sensitive acne prone skin, As i get older Ive struggles with painful pimples on the jaw line and sides of face, Ive been using this product along with hydralight face wash, and regular strength benzoyl peroxide. its been 3 weeks and my skin has cleared up dramatically! gives it time but it defiantly works!

  8. J L
    Reviewed on Friday, April 04, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Going back to basics
    • I've always been a bit skeptical of Paula's products, but having read so many reviews i decided to try this. After using this for 2 days, i have seen some amazing results. I thought the change to Aesop six months ago was a good improvement already, but this BHA liquid is just amazing. Black and whiteheads have diminished drastically, skin texture looks much smoother, and even the pimples seem to "die" quicker! Would definitely like to see whether this continues in the following months of use

  9. Dian S.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 02, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Simply AMAZING!
    • I am 33 and my skin has been going through a period where it has had the worst texture I've ever experienced. You know those little bumps that seem to be just under the skin. I've tried everything to get rid of them from scripts to super high end skin care products. Nothing comes close to what this has done for my skin. I saw an immediate improvement just after the 1st use! I had pretty much given up when I ordered this and this has changed my world. Thanks so much PC for my now amazing skin!

  10. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Tuesday, April 01, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Holy Grail
    • This product has been a game-changer for my skin. I've probably spent over $20,000 in skincare products (including prescription retinoids) in my lifetime, but my skin has never been as clear as it is now after using exclusively Paula's Choice products for one month. I'm using the 2% BHA Liquid twice daily…it's not drying or irritating, cleared out existing breakouts within several days, eliminated blackheads within a week, and has dramatically improved skin tone and pore size.

  11. Karen A.
    Reviewed on Monday, March 31, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    AMAZING
    • This product is truly amazing. After ONE use, it made a huge difference in "cleaning" out pores. Within 5 days--WOW---pores are so much clearer and smaller. (I only use it at night). Highly recommend this product, I have tried many many others--this 2% BHA is a miracle liquid.

  12. AE
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 30, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    After one use!
    • I'm 26 and just HAD the worst breakout of my life. I spent hundreds on brands like murad, dior, glamglow, kiehls, origins, antipodes, caudalie, and even the oil cleansing method when all of it failed. Almost giving up, I ordered this and applied it before bed and for the first time saw an improvement in redness and texture! My order only took a day to arrive after shipping! I'm so impressed with this company that I placed another order yesterday, the month after I made the first one! Very happy!

  13. Carolyn T.
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 29, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Texture not for me
    • I'm not really sure about the exfoliating properties of this product, as I haven't really used it consistently enough to see results..and that's because I just don't like the texture! I have dry skin, so I thought the liquid exfoliant would be great. Unfortunately, it just sort of sits on top of my skin. I use an AHA at night, so I wanted to try a BHA in the morning to help with my acne, but this just doesn't sit well under my makeup.

  14. Rachel R.
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 29, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    I'm impressed
    • I was skeptical ordering this. I've tried BHA products before, and never saw results beyond mild irritation. I have a lot of blackheads on and around my nose, and very oily skin. Even after getting a professional extraction, my pores still look huge. I decided to give this stuff a shot after listening to Wayne Goss rave about it on YouTube. I have to say: I'm impressed. I am about a week into using it, and my pores are smaller, and the blackheads less black. Hopefully the trend continues.

  15. Philicia A.
    Reviewed on Friday, March 28, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Good Product, but...
    • I'm new to PC products, and I love them. This is one product I'm on the fence about. I believe this clashes with my sunscreen and makes my skin burn. I use this lotion in the morning, due to using Retin A (Refissa) at night. I've never had sensitive skin; my skin is pretty resilient... until now. I'm 48 w/oily combo skin; breakouts are not a issue, but pore size is. I've notice a reduction in my pore size, but now my face burns when I use my sunscreen which was never an issue before.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Friday, March 28, 2014

    Hi Philicia! Thank you for sharing your experience, and it sounds as if you may be using the 2% BHA Liquid more often than your skin can tolerate (increased sensitivity to other ingredients, especially synthetic sunscreens).  We would recommend contacting our Customer Care Team for assistance and tips on how to fit the 2% BHA Liquid into your routine in a way that works for your skin!

    —Admin
  16. Deanna M.
    Reviewed on Friday, March 28, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    A Must Have
    • I have oily skin and thus I have battled a lot with enlarged pores and black heads. This stuff has been a wonder for me! It is the only stuff that has ever really worked for me in cleaning up my pores. And I notice that when I do not use it, that my pores start to get dirty and big again.

  17. CW
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 27, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Glowing Skin!
    • This is the only product I've ever used that makes my skin glow like I've just received a facial! Due to my super dry skin, I can't tolerate the 2% liquid every day. My skin tolerates the 2% lotion better for my daily routine, but I love busting this sucker out when I'm feeling like I need some extra exfoliation. I definitely recommend this product for those that tend to be more oily/combo.

  18. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 27, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Teenager Problem
    • Nothing like this! I have a 15 year old teenager who's self esteem was poor due to acne, enlarged pores and BLACKHEADS. I make sure this product is used twice daily and within 2 days I have notice an amazing transformation. I know she will soon have her porcelaine face again.

  19. Jessica W.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 26, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    This stuff is the bomb.
    • A truly impressive product, as are all Paula's Choice products that I've tried. I have had problem skin since I was 12, and it took me until age 29 to find something that FINALLY works. No gimmics, no fluffy fragrances, just formulas that work. I use this exfoliant 2x per day (morning and evening), and it has done wonders for my skin. I never break out anymore, my tone has improved markedly, and everyone says I have a beautiful glow. It really has degunkified my pores. HOLY GRAIL!

  20. Joanne
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 23, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Miracle worker
    • I've been using this for a month now and my skin is radiant, clear, and healthy. This is so much better than the clarisonic. I don't even use the clarisonic anymore.

  21. Jess
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 22, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Amazing!
    • After years of searching for something that would consistently clear my skin, I finally found this. I'm 34 and have been fighting acne breakouts for about 20 years now. I always thought they were something I would grow out of, but I got older and they never stopped. I first ordered samples of a few different products. This is the BEST! It has cleared my skin completely!

  22. Pam C
    Reviewed on Friday, March 21, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love this product!
    • I've been using this product twice a day for 2 weeks, and can't believe the difference. ( also used c booster) My forehead which use to have large pores and thick texture, is now smooth, and looks perfect. I just turned 50, and have never found anything to improve my skin. Fantastic results, just ordered a full size of the booster, as well as a serum. I have been telling everyone about these products! At this rate I may look 20 in no time! LOL

  23. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love it!
    • I always make sure to have an extra bottle on hand in case I order my replacement too late. I will not be without this. I use it nightly and it has helped so much more than anything else I have tried in regards to my clogged pores.

  24. Jennifer K
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    miracle product
    • Reduces redness and shrinks blemishes overnight! A must-have for me. I have somewhat sensitive skin and can use it nightly with no problem, but might be too much for very sensitive skin.

  25. Jennifer K
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    miracle product
    • Reduces redness and shrinks blemishes overnight! A must-have for me. I have somewhat sensitive skin and can use it nightly with no problem, but might be too much for very sensitive skin.

Page of 20 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 3.2-3.8. 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 Skin-Care 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.

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