, pub-5075614835530024, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Review: Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid - Salicylic Acid Exfoliant | Classically Contemporary

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid - Salicylic Acid Exfoliant

paula's choice BHA

I like to maintain a pretty gentle skincare routine, involving a light cleanser, spray toner, sometimes a treatment, and finally a moisturizer. Aside from using my Clarisonic Mia every night to cleanse, I don't use any abrasive exfoliants. I have sensitive skin and I find that the particles of many exfoliants are far too rough. I don't get many breakouts, but I do battle with large pores, redness and sun spots. After being annoyed with the feeling and sight of unevenness and blackheads, I decided to take action. What are these clogged pores? Why do they happen? How can I get rid of them?

Enter the 2% BHA Salicylic Acid liquid Exfoliant. I came across Paula's Choice on YouTube, after hearing popular faces like Wayne Goss rant and rave about her products. After browsing the site a few months back I decided to place my first order and brave "acids" once again. With free shipping over $50 and easy returns, I couldn't say no to the $20 price tag. To better understand the ins and outs of my skin type, please refer to the post linked here.

Salicylic acid has been an ingredient that I assumed was irritating to my sensitive skin. Lone behold, it's the product base and all the other "filler stuff" in the tube causing irritation, since the acid itself is only 1-2% of the entire quantity.

Salicylic acid, also known as BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid), is an oil-soluble ingredient in almost every "clearing" skincare product. This means that salicylic acid relieves and dissolves the oils which can harden and clog pores, therefore oxidizing and causing blackheads. Pores cannot be shrunken. Blackheads cannot be removed for good. The only way to control, minimize and temporarily eliminate blackheads is by using a BHA product like this. Squeezing and manual extraction of the gunk clogging our pores simply paves the way for new clogs, and even bigger pores since the act of squeezing stretches and damages the skin. Sure, you get the little feeling of victory seeing that gunk get free, but wouldn't it be nicer to just eliminate its accumulation in the first place?

I apply my 2% BHA liquid once per day, at night, after my toner and before my moisturizer. I've applied it to untoned skin, over moisturizer, under makeup, you name it. I've never had adverse reactions and I've noticed a great diminishment in clogged pores and breakouts in general. My skin doesn't feel stripped or tight after applying my BHA, if anything, it feels a touch more moisturized. To save product and cotton I'll simply dampen my finger tips with the dropper bottle and gently massage the liquid onto my entire face- avoiding the eyes and lips. To apply this product onto my back or chest, I'll moisten a cotton pad and apply with that.

I would recommend this product to anyone, unless you have had an allergic reaction to salicylic acid or aspirin in the past. BHA exfoliants are actually used for general anti-aging purposes also, since the gentle chemical "exfoliation" helps to eliminate dead, dull skin cells, providing a more even-toned and brightened skin surface. I love how Paula's Choice products have a very comprehensive ingredients list, which actually identifies the ingredient's function. Here is an example of my beloved BHA liquid's list:
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).

Also, If you write a negative review on the site, their team will promptly reply, apologizing and offering a exchange/refund or an online consultation to determine the right products for your skin type. Hooray for having some good and caring people on the earth!

It's so important to be conscious of where you're getting skincare advice. A sales associate, for example, might be driven by commission. Bloggers could be getting sponsored for their posts. A dermatologist is typically making money off the drugs they sell. Now, I'm not saying the entire system is corrupt and you'll never get a good product, but it's crucial to take a step back, do some research, and think critically about the products and chemicals you're applying to your skin. Read through the "Expert Advice" section on the Paula's Choice website for answers to all your skincare questions:

Keep your skin healthy! And don't forget SPF.


  1. Man, this is one hella helpful post! I have been hearing tons about acids, but honestly the whole reasoning of why they work pretty much flew by my head/I was too lazy to pursue the quest of finding skincare products with acids in them. I used to use one of Clinique's toners which had salicylic acid in it, but it kinda broke me out, so maybe I'm also assuming that salicylic acid isn't good for me.

    Vanessa | Citron and Guavaberry

    1. DID YOU GET LURED INTO THE 3-STEP ACNE LINE TOO?! I got chemical burns around my eyes from the salicylic acid, alcohol, benzoyl peroxide cocktail. It was horrifying. Everyone who's tried BHA never looks back, it's the ideal balance of clearing acid and a somewhat moisturizing toner. I'll stop pimping it out now but I'm just so loyal to the research they do over at PC haha. Take care! x

  2. You've officially sold me. I definitely have the same skin issues as you do, so this sound like it could do great things for me. I actually just started using an AHA, so I'm going to see how that works and then pick this up when I work through it. I love the fact that the price tag is a little less steep on the Paula's Choice than a lot of other products of this type, and has such a great reputation.

  3. Wow, perfect. Fortunately, I found your website!
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