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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Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

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Customer Ratings:

86 out of 100
(Based on 489 Reviews)
« Prev Page of 20 Next »
  1. Hadassah G.
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 15, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    smoother skin, smaller pores and reduced redness
    • I am now on my second bottle of this, and I would not do without it. It has made a huge difference in my rosacea, as well as the size of my pores. It smooths my skin and helps my foundation go on easier. I love it.

  2. sisi w.
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 13, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Can't live without it
    • This is a fantastic product for me. I had bought the first one last year in Hong Kong, It changed my skin a lot..I have a new face now.. I really want to upload my before and after photos for your guys. The another thing is the second one I bought in the US is better than what I had bought in the Hong Kong official website.

  3. Caitlin A.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 11, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    LOVE!
    • This definitely lives up to the hype! I was concerned because I actually saw an increase in break-outs and was told it was normal. Had my doubts, but they were right! After a week or two of annoying skin woes, my skin is looking much better and evened out, blackheads nearly non-existent. I have extreme combo skin and found once a day (usually at night) works best for me. If you find it irritating, try only using at night and see how it goes!

  4. Bridget
    Reviewed on Monday, March 10, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Must-have
    • I always make sure I have this one around, it is great for preventing clogged pores! A must-have if you are struggling with acne or uneven skin texture!

  5. DEBRA M.
    Reviewed on Monday, March 03, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Works great!
    • Works great to remove built up skin cells on my scalp due to psoriasis

  6. Lauren H
    Reviewed on Monday, February 24, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Can't Live Without This
    • I cannot say enough about this product! I have always had large pours and congestion and NOTHING tackles these issues the way this product does. I try other products as my skin ages a bit to see how they will preform and I ALWAYS come back to my BHA liquid. My skin just isn't the same without it. I've turned my sister and cousin onto it to who are acne sufferers. Thank you Paula!

  7. Chris L
    Reviewed on Monday, February 17, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    This product does what it says
    • This product absolutely does what it says--it has significantly diminished the size of my pores, removed stubborn blackheads, and made my skin feel incredibly smooth. I have tried everything from every brand at every price point--from Clinique and Estée Lauder to La Prairie and La Mer--and I'm absolutely thrilled with the results I've achieved with this product in mere DAYS. Most other lines I've tried have ended with disappointment, but not this one. Fantastic. And Paula's reviews are spot-on!

  8. Angela M
    Reviewed on Monday, February 17, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Wow.
    • So, I absolutely love this stuff! I can see why it's rated one of their most popular products. I am 43 and have worse breakouts that I EVER did as a teen, and now wrinkles & sun damage to boot. Yay. Skin is mostly oily w/ slight dryness in winter on cheeks. I find that in a few days, this product smooths the skin, starts dissolving blackheads, and seems to calm redness & irritation. I use a toner first, then put a few drops in my hand & smooth on w/ fingertips. Even fingers are smoother!

  9. JENNIFER T.
    Reviewed on Friday, February 14, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Holy grail product
    • I have been using Paula's Choice products for more than 10 years and would not hesitate to recommend this. It has kept my skin free from acne and makes my skin look and feel amazing! It's a holy grail, never be without product!!!

  10. Marina D
    Reviewed on Thursday, February 13, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    I don't know how I lived without it
    • This product for acne is like a turbocharger for a car engine. I didn't see any results in the beginning, but over time I saw significant decrease in the amount and duration of break outs. It also helps in decreasing redness/ irritation caused by break outs and benzyl peroxide use. I use the 10% benzoyl peroxide on my T-zone 2x/day (no joke) and the flaking is minimal (really!!!). As an added bonus, it gives skin that healthy "glow." It's definitely a staple in my skin care regimen.

  11. keegan w.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, February 11, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Did nothing for me.
    • The pros about this are that its gentle on your skin, does not contain alcohol, and is easy enough to apply as it's a liquid. The cons are that I've used it faithfully for nearly 3 mos and have not seen ANY improvement in my acne, blackheads, pores, wrinkles, fine lines, etc. Maybe it's just me / my skin, I don't know. But I am disappointed for sure.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, February 17, 2014

    Hello! We're sorry to hear of your experiences with the 2% BHA Liquid, and that your results didn't match those of other users.  There may be a few reasons why you didn't get the results you had hoped for, and we would encourage you to contact our Customer Care Department for assistance with refund or exchange. 
     

    —Admin
  12. Britton B.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, February 11, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Buy this.
    • If there's one thing I couldn't live without, it's this product. It's helped me immensely with the condition and clarity of my skin. Blackheads are rare for me now and when the rare bout of hormonal acne pops up it heals much faster when using this product. I just put a little in my hands and smooth it over my face. Magic.

  13. Victoria
    Reviewed on Monday, February 10, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Brighter, smoother skin
    • This is the only BHA exfoliant I've tried to treat acne that has had a dramatic affect on my skin, as it is now noticeably smoother and brighter. My blackheads are gone and I have not had any cystic breakouts in over a month. Unfortunately I have still been getting regular acne pimples occasionally but the scars clear up faster than before. It does dry out my skin a bit so I have only been using it once a day, but overall am happy with the results and will continue to use it.

  14. Katie V.
    Reviewed on Thursday, February 06, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    LOVE LOVE LOVE
    • This is the closest thing to a magic eraser you will ever find!

  15. Katie N.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, February 04, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    I love this stuff!!!
    • This stuff is awesome!! Now, I only use it at night because twice a day was too intense for my skin, but wow it is great! I really helps control breakouts and doesn't dry my skin out. I love it!

  16. Christin
    Reviewed on Tuesday, February 04, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Repeat Customer
    • I have been using the 2% BHA liquid for about a year now, and I have noticed SUCH a difference in my skin since! It keeps my sensitive and break-out prone skin clear and smooth, and I have truly noticed that the redness and irritation has diminished. The biggest proof of how well this product has worked for my skin is when I run out of it. I just re-ordered, but have been without it for about 2 weeks and my skin is not as clear and smooth as it was. I'm hooked!

  17. Alicia M.
    Reviewed on Saturday, February 01, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    A+
    • Although I tend to have normal to dry skin, I use BHA products by day and AHA products in my night routine. I find the BHAs help keep black heads at bay and negate my hormonal related breakouts. That said, I ordered samples of Paula's various BHAs formulas and this one is by far my favorite. Non irritating and fast absorbing, it's an A+. I will definitely be buying the full size!

  18. Kayla
    Reviewed on Saturday, February 01, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love this product!
    • I have been using Paula's Choice products for about 10 years now (since my early 20's), and when I first started buying them, there were very few items. This is one product I have been using consistently all that time. I constantly get compliments on how smooth my skin looks. I get red marks very easily after the smallest pimple, and this helps smooth those away more quickly. I also think it helps keep the fine wrinkles away longer because mine have not progressed yet!

  19. Carrie
    Reviewed on Saturday, February 01, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Believe the hype!
    • I've struggled with hormonal acne since my teens; I'm now in my 30s. Nothing's been able to really clear up my skin, and I still get breakouts along my jawline every month. I was skeptical of this product, but I've used it for a month now, and it has unclogged pores that have been clogged since I was 12 years old! Along with the 2.5% BP, it's keeping my skin clear. New acne is smaller and less frequent, and vanishes/heals quickly. Basically, I'm in shock--the good, repurchasing kind.

  20. Lynn F.
    Reviewed on Friday, January 31, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Not good for my acne
    • This product feels good on my face, I don't use it regularly because I THINK its not helping my breakouts at all, I am 50 and I have had skin issues since I was 10. So to find a product that actually works on me is like getting hit by lightening. But this product does not burn in anyway, And it for sure helps with pours and makes your skin softer.

  21. Lette S
    Reviewed on Friday, January 31, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Nice Texture
    • I haven't used a toner since I was a teenager and stopped using seabreeze; this is a world away. Amazingly, it feels like it leaves my skin just moisturized enough rather than stripped bare. Really enjoying it. (I can't give it five stars yet because it hasn't totally resolved the acne spots on my chin, but the rest of my face looks very good)

  22. D
    Reviewed on Monday, January 27, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Good
    • I purchased this for both me and my two sons. I have persistent clogged pores on my nose, and they have tiny white bumps. Although it has not eliminated the problems, it has reduced them. I have also seen my redness on my cheek diminish - I've been using Finacea for Rosacea on one cheek and this on the other cheek. It seems this works better.

  23. Jessica
    Reviewed on Friday, January 24, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Seems to be balancing my skin's oil production!
    • I'm been using this product nightly for about two weeks under one of Paula's serums at night. Before my purchase, my skin was horribly unbalanced - breakouts and oiliness I haven't had in 6 years. I was trying to use up a bunch of old products (BAD IDEA - just throw old stuff away!!!) This product seems to be balancing my skin's oil production without aggravating it at all. I'm really impressed & will keep it as my BHA treatment. Used under a serum I don't notice any film or residue.

  24. INGRID B.
    Reviewed on Thursday, January 23, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    This is great!!!
    • I had the most stubborn blackhead exactly in the center of my forehead; 4 visits to my esthetician did not remove the little bugger. After some research I decided to try this product and I am happy to report that a couple of weeks after beginning use, the third eye I had in the middle of my forehead is gone….GONE!!. As an added bonus, my skin has not felt this soft and looked this radiant in many years. This is an awesome product, do not hesitate to give it a try!!

  25. TC
    Reviewed on Sunday, January 19, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    very good for acne
    • Works very well at clearing up acne on face and body. Leaves skin looking smooth. My only complaint is that it leaves a sticky film.

« Prev 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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