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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 693 Reviews)
Page of 28 Next »
  1. Evelyne M.
    Reviewed on Monday, January 26, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Broke me out like nothing before
    • That thing broke me out like nothing before managed cause breakouts. The whole lower half of my face became fully irritated and very dry. And because this was not bad enough I developed a billion zits (even more than when I was a teenager!). My whole face was uncomfortable and I had to apply moisturizer several times a day for many days in order for my face to calm down. And the weirdest thing of all is that I normally do not react to skin care products. I am very disappointed.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Tuesday, January 27, 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
  2. elektra
    Reviewed on Monday, January 26, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    love
    • OBSESSED with this product. this is definitely my favorite face products i use. my skin is amazing never dry around my nose like it was. and i always feels fresh and glowing.. i do wish this product came in a bigger oz. and also a pop lid would be great instead of a twist of cap.. PLEASE make it in bigger oz one day.. over all a must product

  3. Sarah W.
    Reviewed on Monday, January 26, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Sarah Wyatt
    • So glad I ordered this! Within 3 weeks this product has changed my adult acne prone/oily/large pore complexion. SO happy.

  4. Tina P
    Reviewed on Sunday, January 25, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    2% BHA Liquid
    • I cannot rave enough about this. My poors are so much smaller. My face has restored radiance. The Holy Grail of skin care products. Love Love Love it!! ??????

  5. pg
    Reviewed on Tuesday, January 20, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    was sent the wrong item
    • im new to pc and so far so good i recently just bought the skin perfecting 2% bha GEL and you sent me the LIQUID!!!! wasn't happy about that but i will see how this works for me.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, January 21, 2015

    Hello, and thanks for contacting us! Definitely contact our Customer Care team - they can send you a replacement product!

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  6. Lauren F.
    Reviewed on Monday, January 19, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Can't live without
    • Seriously, the title says it all. I can't imagine what I did before this product and I don't think I can ever live without it.

  7. Yelyzaveta Y.
    Reviewed on Sunday, January 18, 2015
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Works! Salon treatments are rubbish compared to this!
    • Good product! I didn't have major issues with my skin but blackheads and occasional breakouts. I EXPECTED to have NO blackheads what so ever. I say that I'm 90% happy with how the product worked on getting rid of them. At times (period related) I have almost no blackheads. Did get mild flaking of skin when started - use once a day still. Skin still flakes when I apply too much. Recommended to 2 gilfriends and we are ALL happy with it. Paula cannot be beated on price or efficacy! Thank you.

  8. Hong, C
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 17, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Question
    • Is this product appropriate for a 14-year old girl who starts getting acne? My niece and I love this product. Thanks!

  9. Panghoua V.
    Reviewed on Friday, January 16, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Fabulous Stuff
    • I have been using this product and a PC regime for 2 years now. I love this stuff!!! I can't say enough good things. I use it morning and night. I can even layer her products and it works wonders on my dry sensitive skin. I use this first and then add the 10% AHA on top of it. Some times I even add the resist toner after that too. My skin just drinks it all up. When I gave my bottle to my aunt I noticed the difference right away. I will never be without this product.

  10. Julia H.
    Reviewed on Thursday, January 15, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Incredible results for my acne-prone skin
    • I have been struggling with acne my entire life. You name the treatment, I've probably tried it - including two rounds of Accutane. Just when I thought I was in the clear, a breakout cropped up and I've been looking for a routine for months to battle my old nemesis. The BHA transformed my acne-prone skin into healthy, smooth, and breakout-free, and it happened in just a couple weeks. I was floored. I'm still floored. Between this and the makeup remover, I've found my lifelong skin care partners.

  11. Kim
    Reviewed on Sunday, January 11, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Thank goodness.
    • I've always struggled with acne and had a regular regimen that worked well for me. Last year unfortunately, my usual routine stopped doing anything and I started breaking out more! This was different though, now the acne was deep nodules that were swollen and painful. (I understand this is probably adult onset acne…awesome :/) I started using BHA as a part of my daily routine and over about 2 months my skin was dramatically better! No more painful nodules, Thanks Paula!!

  12. devya b.
    Reviewed on Sunday, January 11, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Changed my skin
    • I tried samples of the lotion version, when I ran out of my samples, I decided to buy the full size liquid one. I love this product. I break out way less than I used to, it slightly helps big stubborn zits, but the little tiny bumps I used to have are mostly gone. It has smoothed out my skin's texture as well, My face is MUCH smoother than before. I use it morning and night, and sometimes even after I shower and wash my face after a work out. It also has helped in fading my post acne marks :)!

  13. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 10, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    15 Years and Going Strong
    • I have not been without a PC BHA product for about 15 years now. I still get some breakthrough acne on my chin once a month (one or two zits), but other than that, things are fine. But it's not just acne control. I credit the BHA with the overall quality of my skin in my mid 40s (very few wrinkles and good tone). Even when I get seduced by some cosmetic counter (yes, I do), I still remember this mantra: exfoliate (BHA), moisturize, protect---and no irritants. Thank you, Paula!

  14. LAUREN H.
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 10, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Not for me.
    • I got this hoping it would help my oily/combo skin with stubborn clogged pores and redness. It didn't help with either, plus it made the skin around my nose peel like crazy. On the bright side, I'm very happy with the PC return policy. Hopefully the 1% will work better for me.

  15. Jennifer M.
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 10, 2015
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Pleasantly impressed!
    • First time I've ever felt compelled to write a review on a product. Noticed a difference in my skin the morning after its first use. Visible difference in a red mark after just one application. Now it's 3 days later since I first started using this product, and I'm still continuing to notice marked improvement. I can't say I've ever experienced results like this in any other skin care product I've tried.

  16. viv d.
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 10, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    amazing results
    • I've only been using this product for a short time, but it's like night and day, my skin is less greasy, my pores are less visible and the texture of my skin is smooth, I never thought I could have skin like this

  17. Caty R.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, January 07, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Yes - Finally
    • I have been hoping, praying to write a review about a product for about half a year. By that I mean, I promised myself I would finally write one when it felt like something made a difference. My normal, maybe slightly dry skin, started breaking out for the first time this year (age 25 - yay mid-twenties!) and I spent about 7 months only getting worse. Then finally, FINALLY, I found the BHA liquid. It's been a month - and it's working. I'm almost clear, and have loved every minute of the progress

  18. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Wednesday, January 07, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Wonderful!
    • Great as always!

  19. Mary P.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, January 06, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    So glad I discovered this!
    • I used to have occasional breakouts and scarring from either picking at blemishes or sun damage (unsure) but this has improved my skin dramatically after a couple of months use, every night after cleansing & toning. Before I found this, I could not leave the house without applying concealer to hide one thing or another on my face. In fact, I would carry concealer everywhere I went. Now, my concealers are all drying out because I don't need them anymore!

  20. Penny M.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, January 06, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    My skin got broke out
    • I bought this product because I heard a lot of good things about it. At first it did nothing, after a month I noticed I was getting more pimples (I have problematic skin). I continued to use it until I heard that this product made some other people break out too. Anyways needless to say I have a nice amount left.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Tuesday, January 06, 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 about a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  21. Joy A.
    Reviewed on Monday, January 05, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Not getting results
    • I have oily skin, especially on my T-zone area (shocker there). A few weeks ago I decided to buy some Paula's Choice products because I've read so many good things about them, particularly the 2% BHA liquid and the 8% AHA gel. I've been incorporating this BHA into my routine since and have seen.... nothing. No results. In fact, every single time I apply it I get a greasy film on my face that lasts throughout the day. Not happy with it; glad I bought the sample size. At least the AHA worked!

  22. McKena S.
    Reviewed on Monday, January 05, 2015
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    PLEASE make a larger size!!!
    • I love this product, but it's irritating that it runs out way before my toner and cleanser! Please make a larger size!!!;

  23. Jonathan K.
    Reviewed on Sunday, January 04, 2015
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Decent, but not for my skin type.
    • I'm an Asian male in my mid-20s, and frequently get a few stubborn clogged pores that develop into pimples. I was a happy user of the Resist 2% BHA before deciding to try this product. I could see this working well for some (note, you should be careful how much you use because it could feel heavy on your skin!), but the product was not beneficial for my skin. It does not help to keep my pores clear, so think twice if you think you have similar skin as mine!

  24. Tracy W.
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 03, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love this exfoliant!
    • I have been using this for about 6 months and the texture and clarity of my skin is beautiful. The pores on my nose are now virtually non existent, as well as the pores on the rest of my face, which were never too bad. I have noticed diminished fine lines even around my eyes and diminished milia in the tear trough! Start out using it slowly I think is the best advice. I can't use retinoids, so this is my anti aging product. Using this PM and a good moisturizer with spf AM has changed my skin!

  25. Rebecca T.
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 03, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Not for Oily Skin
    • I thought by opting for the liquid it would be less likely to be too heavy for my oily skin. I was wrong. Maybe it will not be so bad using it at night, but using Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant during the day will not happen again. I was excited by the idea of a skin care company that understood that oily skin does not go away, for some of us, as we age. I'm starting to think I should lower my expectations; there might not be skin care for me.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, January 05, 2015

    Thanks for your review! We have lots of BHA options to consider, including a couple with water-light textures that you may prefer. Please feel free to contact us to discuss.

    —Admin
Page of 28 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.

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