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Resist BHA 9

Blackheads and bumps, be gone. This concentrated, leave-on acne spot treatment clears up stubborn blemishes and unclogs and shrinks pores.
Item #: 773
  • Acne Breakouts, Anti-Aging, Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Keratosis Pilaris
  • For All Skin Types
  • Calms redness and fades marks from past breakouts

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

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Customer Ratings:

77 out of 100
(Based on 688 Reviews)
Page of 28 Next »
  1. Robert D.
    Reviewed on Monday, June 29, 2015
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Good Product
    • Great product, works great to boost your exfoliation. Just wish there was a 9% option that was bigger and more affordable. The 4% foam doesnt really do anything for me either.

  2. JENNIFER P.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, June 24, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    MIRACLE IN A BOTTLE
    • This is my miracle in a bottle!! My favorite PC product. Every time I use this, the next morning my skin is smooth and clear. My pores shrink. The first time I used it the skin colored bumps that I had for years went away. I don't use it every night, it is in rotation with other PC products but it's the only one that I can see a dramatic difference the next morning. I don't spot treat, I use this all over my face and it never irritates. Whenever my skin is acting funky I put this on & Voila! :)

  3. Jessica S.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, June 24, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    AMAZING product and customer service!!!
    • My main problem is clogged pores and everything I've found targets acne or blackheads and everything I have tried has made my skin worse. I purchased this as well as the BHA 2% liquid. These products said they help unclog pores and they do! I use the BHA9 for more stubborn spots and it works great! Also, I ordered a sample of the BHA9 and they sent me the wrong sample, I called customer service and they were amazing! They immediately corrected the mishap and shipped me my product right away!

  4. Kristi K.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, June 16, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Got rid of skin growths!
    • I bought this product to get rid of some keratosis pilaris on my forehead. It has significantly reduced their size, but they haven't disappeared completely. However, a weird skin growth stared growing on my shoulder. It looked like a cross between a mole and a wart and it really bugged me. I started putting Resist BHA 9 on it and it started reducing in size and then it completely went away. I recently had another one on my side and used it again and that one completely went away! So happy!

  5. Ilana W.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, June 10, 2015
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Good stuff
    • This is really really good for spot treating cystic acne, and although it won't be gone the next day (no cystic acne ever truly can leave in one day) it is significantly shrunk and less red. It doesn't work at all for me on black heads, but that's okay because the benzoyl peroxide treatments from Paula's choice are good for that on me. This is really sticky so I only use it at night, and the pump is a little funky but I like that it's a small sleek bottle. I might repurchase this.

  6. Brooke N.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, June 10, 2015
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Saved my skin!!
    • I can not say enough good things about this product! I have been looking for a good BHA serum for a very long time and I have finally found one! I love using this every night on my problem areas, and I can see and feel a difference. It address my concerns without over drying, which is incredible! I will definitely try more from PC. Also, as a skin therapist, I really appreciate how they set up the website!

  7. Casey H.
    Reviewed on Monday, June 08, 2015
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Good for pimples, so-so for blackheads!
    • This product is wonderful for healing acne! I get occasional painful red pimples in my chin area and as soon as I see one forming, I dab on some BHA9 and I always see results the next morning. My blemishes used to last about 2 weeks (especially the cystic pimples), but now that's down to about 3-4 days!! I can't go without this stuff now. My only criticism is that it doesn't do much to help with my blackheads at all.

  8. Yvette C.
    Reviewed on Saturday, June 06, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Amazing!!!!
    • I had extremely clogged pores on my nose and a few on my forehead, but the real issue were the ones on my nose. At first I had tried the 2% BHA liquid but did not notice a huge improvement, but remembered what was said in a Paula's Choice video about how if you struggled with clogged pores for a long time you made need more than just the everyday BHA treatment to begin with. So I tried the Resist BHA 9 and this did the trick! Now I just need the 2% BHA for maintenance. Love this!!!!

  9. Dawn R
    Reviewed on Saturday, June 06, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Wow -
    • Being an over 50 gal, I've developed severely clogged pores my chin, nose and forehead over the past 8 years. I have tried numerous over the counter products as well as laser and derma pen treatments. After only 3 days and no pain, my pore size is greatly diminished and this product has not dried out my skin. I'm seriously blown away and don't mind the silky feel of the product, just massage it in and no oily feel afterwards. Thank you Paula !

  10. Bonnie R
    Reviewed on Thursday, June 04, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    It works!
    • I've had issues with cystic acne off and on since my 20's and this is the first product that has both faded the red spots, shrunk the bumps, and even got rid of the fine lines I was seeing around my nose and mouth. I received a sample from Birchbox and ended up buying the full size product. I am amazed at how well this works, when nothing else has. It may not work for everyone, but on my fair, acne-prone, oily mid-40's skin it's worked wonders.

  11. Sarah W
    Reviewed on Friday, May 29, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Want to Love this.. but it doesn't work
    • I have been a loyal PC user but this product just does not work for me. I have Rosacea and also breakout along my chin and side of nose. I have used this and it did not help the redness and the blocked white head and black head. Also the dispenser is hard to use, you pump out a lot of product by squeezing from the top or part of it is leak back into the edge. Hard to manage if you just want a little less if you only have a small spot.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Friday, May 29, 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
  12. Kelsey M.
    Reviewed on Monday, May 25, 2015
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Should Have Bought Trial Size
    • I don't actually have any complaints about what this product does--I just hate the way it feels on my skin. It's kind of thick and feels sticky to me, and I prefer my products to be fairly sheer once applied. You should definitely consider buying the trial size of anything for which that size is offered because you never know how you will or won't like it. I'm still using it to get my money's worth, but I just won't be buying it again.

  13. Meghan M
    Reviewed on Thursday, May 21, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Works Well
    • This product works very well keeping my occasional cystic acne from getting too big, improves healing time/appearance of red marks and stops other smaller blemishes in their tracks. Very satisfied with my sample and excited to receive my full size bottle.

  14. Claire D.
    Reviewed on Sunday, May 17, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    No results
    • I was very patient with this product and used a fair amount of the bottle, but it hasn't made any improvements on my skin. I'm disappointed as I usually love PC products! Learn from my mistake and buy the trial size first, so you won't waste more money if it doesn't work for you.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, May 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 for information on a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  15. Brittany
    Reviewed on Friday, May 15, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    INSTANT Redness Relief
    • Acne, you have met your match! This is my miracle worker for big red bumps I get from my acne...they're painful nodules that are hard to get rid of. Whatever is in this instantly takes the redness down and helps prevent a red mark being left behind. Try a sample first if you're not sure whether to buy it! :)

  16. Emily F.
    Reviewed on Thursday, May 14, 2015
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Good, solid product
    • Im almost finished with my first tube of this and I'm pleased with it. I suffer from cystic acne on my cheeks. While this doesn't help my cystic acne heal much faster, I believe it does help with redness and healing in general. Ive noticed a big difference in my hyper-pigmentation marks, and will continue using this with confidence. One note: I HATE the dispenser. I strongly urge Paula's choice to fix this. I waste so much bc you cant control the dispenser - for the price, it's aggravating.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Thursday, May 14, 2015

    Hello, and thank you so much for contacting us! We're always looking at ways to improve our products, so we will pass along your comments about the dispenser to our Product Development team.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  17. Stephanie J.
    Reviewed on Saturday, May 09, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
    • I have recently moved to a much drier climate, not to mention the stress of a 2500 mile move. My skin was freaking out! I had cysts, blackheads, whiteheads, you name it! A hot mess!!! I am 26 and never experienced acne so horrible in all my teen years. I use it all over my face at night. It dries up any active volcanoes and completely gets rid those unsightly bumps and irritations. THANK YOU PAULA'S CHOICE!

  18. Jane K.
    Reviewed on Thursday, May 07, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    no difference
    • It doesn't do anything for the stubborn blackheads on my nose. I've been using this for about 2 months daily and had high hopes based on other reviews, but I did not notice any difference.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, May 11, 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
  19. Leah E.
    Reviewed on Thursday, May 07, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Dried my skin out terribly, made skin worse, flaky :(
    • I got this product because it was said to help with problem areas that were flaky and prone to be overly dry. This product made my skin worse and in fact I'm having problems finding anything to hydrate these areas to fix the problem. Unless I REALLY misunderstood what this product is for. Very disappointing

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Thursday, May 07, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us! Resist BHA 9 is designed to spot treat stubborn skin imperfections such as blackheads, acne, and sebaceous hyperplasia. Please contact our Customer Care team, who can assist you with finding a product better designed to treat flaky, dry areas.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  20. Danyella
    Reviewed on Friday, May 01, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love
    • this is by far the best exfoliant. It is so powerful and effective yet so gentle on the skin. I love the small packaging as it is so travel friendly. I also don't mind the pump as I have found that pumping several small quick pumps dispenses just enough to product to do one section at a time and not waste. I use this all over my face every morning and could not live without. It is an essential in my fight with acne and keeping my skin smooth and exfoliated. Absolute HOLY GRAIL!!!

  21. Jawahir
    Reviewed on Thursday, April 30, 2015
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Almost the best
    • I love this product. It works. It's gentle on my skin. I have what you might call experienced acne skin so it tolerates medication very well. I basically use the entire Resist line with the prescription Atralin and I am very happy. My only gripe, as others have mentioned and I had hoped Paula's Choice would have changed, is the pump. It dispenses entirely too much. Please please resolve this issue. For the price, it is not cost effective for me to use this as an all over treatment.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Thursday, April 30, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us! We're always looking for ways to improve our products and packaging, so we'll pass along your comments to our Product Development team!

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  22. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Saturday, April 25, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    so good
    • I'm 21, I get clogged pores and occasional cysts, and I have very sensitive, reactive, dry skin (benzoyl peroxide is out of the question). I've tried all of the PC BHA formulas, and though this is the strongest....it also feels the gentlest on my skin? The Clear exfoliants just burn, the 1% bha's tingle unpleasantly, but the BHA 9 clears everything up without irritation. I appreciate the oily texture - it seems to smooth out my dry, flaky patches. Honestly the best product I've tried, ever.

  23. Elyce
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 22, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Unbelievable! Best product ever
    • I bought the sample size to see how this product would work for me. I've only used it for a few nights and I can already tell a HUGE difference. I have acne prone skin and I've struggled with milia on my jaw line for years. Nothing helps. I've had it removed, but it comes back. This product is like a miracle. My milia has already decreased and my skin feels even and smooth. I've noticed my face has not been as oily and my pores look smaller. Absolutely satisfied!!! Purchasing the full size today

  24. Ann B.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, April 21, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    A miracle!
    • I am 58 years old, have Roseacea and along with the Roseacea come whiteheads, mila, blackheads and sometimes large pimplea. BHA9 is the most amazing product I have ever used. When I feel a pimple coming on a dab of this product and its gone by the next day. Also I had hundreds of tiny whiteheads on my chin and they are now gone. I do agree the pump does squirt out too much even if you are trying for a small amount. Fix this problem and its will be the greatest product on earth!! I LOVE IT!!

  25. LAURA P.
    Reviewed on Friday, April 17, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    A MIRACLE PRODUCT!!!
    • After using BH9 &BP on my entire face several nights in a row, I could literally see my pores purging out all of the blackheads & whiteheads. I got over-zealous & ended up over-exfoliating my skin, so I need to find the right balance of usage for myself . However, I have never seen a product work so well in such a short amount of time. My pores have shrunk considerably &, for the first time in my life, my skin is actually smoothing out in both tone and texture.

Page of 28 Next »

What makes this product unique?
Resist BHA 9 is a first-of-its-kind spot treatment specially formulated to address your most stubborn skin imperfections. The technology behind BHA 9 is indeed unique, allowing for a controlled, sustained release of salicylic acid without diminishing any of its effectiveness. In fact, you will have enhanced results without dryness or irritation! BHA 9 for Stubborn Imperfections has a pH range of 3.2-3.8.

BHA 9 can do all of the following:
  1. Unclog pores with the first use
  2. Diminish white bumps
  3. Minimize enlarged pores
  4. Refine and smooth skin's texture
  5. Minimize sebaceous hyperplasia
  6. Smooth and soften dry, rough patches
  7. Help balance oily skin
  8. Fade red marks from breakouts
  9. Reduce breakouts

Who is this product for?
Resist BHA 9 is designed for anyone who has struggled with stubborn skin imperfections who wants enhanced results over and above the treatments they've been using.

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

Sources to support the claims made for Resist BHA 9

The New Ideal in Skin Health: Separating Fact From Fiction, Allured Books, 2010, page 110; Cosmetic Dermatology, Second Edition, McGraw Hill, Baumann, Leslie, MD, 2009, pages 150–151; Dermatologic Surgery, April 2009, pages 638–644; Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, March-April 2005, pages 87–90; Pharmazie, March 2005, pages 215–220; Journal of Cosmetic Science, November 2004, pages 519–531; and Drugs Under Experimental and Clinical Research, Volume 3, 2003, pages 101–105.

Key Ingredients: Boerhavia diffusa root extract, Avena sativa, glycerin, arginine, sea whip extract, salicylic acid

Product Ingredients:

Propylene Glycol (solvent/penetration enhancer), PEG-75, PEG-8 (thickeners), Water, Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/time-released exfoliant, 9%), 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 (soothing plant extract), Arginine (amino acid/skin-conditioning agent), Polysorbate 20 (stabilizer), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent).

DIRECTIONS: At night, apply as a leave-on spot treatment for stubborn imperfections. Dispense a very small amount of Resist BHA 9 onto a clean fingertip, and massage a thin layer over affected areas. Suitable for use around the eyes, but avoid contact with eyelids and do not apply along the lower lashline. For best results, use after cleansing and toning, but it can also be used as the last step in your skincare routine. Experiment to see which method works best for your skin concerns. May be applied on its own or over a Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting exfoliant. May be applied over larger areas if needed. Reduce frequency of usage if irritation or flaking occurs.

PRECAUTIONS:

This product contains 9% salicylic acid. Please note:

  • Do not use if you are allergic to aspirin
  • If you experience irritation, rinse from skin and discontinue use
  • Avoid direct contact with eyes
  • Protect skin with sunscreen daily
  • Ask your doctor before using on children
  • Keep out of reach of children
  • If pregnant or breastfeeding, ask your doctor before use

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 is the strength of BHA 9?

BHA 9 contains 9% salicylic acid in a unique formula, time-released to prevent irritation without sacrificing the result of its 9% strength. This allows even those with sensitive skin (perhaps even those who cannot tolerate our 2% BHA formulas) to reap the incredible results possible with BHA 9.

Is BHA 9 just a spot treatment or can I use it all over my face?

A thin layer of BHA 9 may be applied all over your face if needed, but you would want to use it first over smaller areas where stubborn imperfections (for example, blackheads that have not responded to a BHA exfoliant with 2% salicylic acid) are an issue to see how your skin responds.

How often can I use BHA 9?

We recommend applying BHA 9 once a day preferably in the evening, after cleansing and toning. Many will find that their imperfections respond favorably with less frequent usage, such as 2-3 times per week. For best results, experiment to determine the frequency of application that works best for you.

Is it OK to use BHA 9 if I am also using a skin lightening product that contains hydroquinone?

Yes. Apply the BHA 9 to affected areas first and follow with the skin lightening product where needed. Finish with your Paula's Choice serum and moisturizer. During the day, follow with a product rated SPF 25 or greater.

Can BHA 9 be applied at the same time as my retinol or prescription tretinoin product?

Yes, but for use with prescription retinoids, check with your doctor first. If you decide to try the BHA 9 use it as part of your evening skincare routine. Apply a thin layer of BHA 9 first, as either a spot treatment or all over your face and then follow with your retinol or prescription retinoid product, and finish with serum and/or moisturizer. Pay close attention to how your skin responds.

Can I use the BHA 9 at the same time as one of Paula's Choice BHA or AHA products?

Yes, though for some skin types applying two exfoliants at the same time increases the risk of irritation and that is never the goal. It is also fine to apply any of our BHA or AHA products to areas of your face where you are not applying the BHA 9 exfoliant, or you can alternate by applying your regular exfoliant in the morning and BHA 9 at night. BHA 9 was designed to be a spot treatment though lots of people are having great success using it all over their face and chest.

Is BHA 9 recommended for use around the eyes?

Yes, but only up to the orbital bone area (the bony ridge that stops just before the immediate undereye area). Do not apply BHA 9 to the eyelid or underbrow area.

Can BHA 9 be used on the body?

Yes. BHA 9 is excellent for treating stubborn imperfections on the body, too, especially white bumps, breakouts, and stubborn blackheads or patches of persistent keratosis pilaris. It is slippery so you would want to be careful what you wore to go to bed.

Will BHA 9 help fade acne scars?

Regular use of BHA 9 will help fade pink, red, or brown marks (known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) from acne breakouts, but will not affect deep or pitted scars such as those that can occur from cystic acne.

I have eczema. Can I use BHA 9?

Yes, but to start, apply this treatment to stubborn imperfections only, once daily or a few times per week, morning or evening. If applying over patches of eczema, pay close attention to how your skin responds. If signs of flaking or dryness occur, do not continue applying BHA 9 to these areas or reduce frequency of application. Follow with an emollient moisturizer.

I have rosacea and/or sensitive skin. Can I use BHA 9?

Yes, but to start, apply this treatment to stubborn imperfections only, once daily or a few times per week, in the evening. Pay close attention to how your skin responds. If signs of flaking or dryness occur, do not continue to apply BHA 9 to these areas or reduce frequency of application.

Is BHA 9 better than the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid exfoliant?

Not necessarily better, but it is stronger and designed to be a targeted treatment. BHA 9 is designed for stubborn imperfections (blackheads, white bumps, red marks from acne, sebaceous hyperplasia) that have not responded well (or at all) to one of our Skin Perfecting BHA exfoliants with 2% salicylic acid. BHA 9 is a potent treatment that for most will work best when applied to problem areas. For routine, daily exfoliation, continue to use one of our other BHA exfoliants on other parts of your face, neck, and chest.

How come BHA 9 is not part of the Clear line of anti-acne products?

Paula feels strongly that the benefits of BHA 9 are great enough to extend it beyond keeping acne breakouts under control. It is an excellent spot treatment for many types of skin issues such as sebaceous hyperplasia which primarily affects women over 40 who have oily skin and that wouldn't fall under the category of acne. Without question, BHA 9 can benefit acne-prone skin and can be used as part of a Clear routine if a stronger exfoliant to treat areas with stubborn imperfections, including Resistant blackheads and white bumps (milia) is needed.

What is the pH of BHA 9?

Resist BHA 9 has a pH range of 3.1-3.6, just like most of our other BHA exfoliants.

What's the difference between BHA 9 and your skin-lightening products?

The salicylic acid in BHA9 fades discoloration by increasing skin cell turnover rate, while key ingredients in Resist Pure Radiance Skin Brightening Treatment and our hydroquinone-based skin lighteners work to interrupt the pathways in skin that melanin (skin pigment) needs to form the discolorations. Used together on dark spots, these products will have a complementary, synergistic effect. And don't forget the sunscreen, a must when figting brown spots and uneven skin tone.

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.

I keep depressing the pump, but no product is coming out.

This product is packaged in an airless pump dispenser which utilizes a vacuum system to dispense and keep the contents fresh. Airless packaging helps to keep air and contaminates out of the product, which enhances the formula's stability and effectiveness.

When using your product for the first time, you may need to “prime” the dispenser. To prime, simply pump the dispenser slowly about 10-15 times. If the dispenser stops working at any time, simply repeat the "priming" step. Do not attempt to dismantle the package.

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