Paulas Choice–SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant–Facial Exfoliant for Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Wrinkles & Fine Lines, 4 oz Bottle
What are paulas choice–skin perfecting 2% bha liquid salicylic acid exfoliant–facial exfoliant for blackheads features?
- Gentle non-abrasive leave-on exfoliator: with 2% bha (beta hydroxy acid) to unclog & diminish enlarged pores, exfoliate dead skin cells, smooth wrinkles & brighten & even out skin tone. Combats redness, wrinkles, aging, enlarged pores, & blackheads. Packaging may vary.
- Dramatically improves skin’s texture for radiant youthful even-toned skin. Beta hydroxy acid (bha also known as salicylic acid) mimics the natural exfoliation process of younger skin by helping it shed extra layers while unclogging and clearing pores.
- Hydrate, brighten & smooth fine lines: our unique, non-abrasive, leave-on exfoliant is gentle enough for daily use on all skin types. Exfoliates dead skin cells while clearing pores for a more even tone, plus it visibly reduces fine lines & wrinkles.
- Paula’s choice facial exfoliants are gentler on delicate skin of the face & neck than an abrasive face scrub, which can cause micro-tears. A bha leave-on exfoliator delivers hydration & can exfoliate directly inside the pore & improve how the pore works.
- Paula’s choice skincare makes products that work. No fragrance, no parabens, no fluff. Just effective, science-backed formulas that target any concern from wrinkles to breakouts.
Paulas choice–skin perfecting 2% bha liquid salicylic acid exfoliant–facial exfoliant for blackheads details:
Is discontinued by manufacturer :
Product dimensions :
1.57 x 1.57 x 5.51 inches; 3.99 ounces
Item model number :
Country of origin :
Product guides and documents
Paulas Choice–SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant–Facial Exfoliant for Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Wrinkles & Fine Lines, 4 oz Bottle AMAZON
Looking for specific info?
Question: when this product arrived from the seller, did it have a plastic seal or was it wrapped in anything? Mine wasn’t, i’m suspicious…
Is this a cleanser or should i cleanse + exfoliate first and then apply this as a toner? Or before toner?
How long did you use them before noticing a difference in improved skin tone, or diminish closed comedones?
Can it be used under makeup ?
What is the best or good enough product from this brand to remove small bumps (any bumps) and acne from forehead?
Can i use this exfoliant while on accutane?
Why is it liquid in the title and lotion in the picture? Do you ship to vietnam.
Can this aid in removing meli?
Hi, i just got my paula’s choice exfoliant. It came in a plastic bag and there is no expiry date. How can i know the expiry date?
Can i use other products—serums and moisturizer—in my morning skincare routine after using this?
Should this sting slightly after application?
Anyone has tips on how to use it? The instructions say not to wash but it’s it’s an exfoliant.
How long can i use this product? There is no expiration date on the bottle.
What is the difference between this one and the resist? I see that both have 2% bha. I have oily skin, but it stays pretty clear.
How many uses is the trial size?
Is the product real?
Does this work for whitening dark knees?
To maximize the effectiveness of this exfoliant, should i apply it with my hands or cotton pads?
Do it really work? Have anyone had a bad reaction to this product
Can i use an adapalene retinoid gel with this product? Also, can i use this on bikini areas to reduce ingrowns?
Paulas Choice–SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant–Facial Exfoliant for Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Wrinkles & Fine Lines, 4 oz Bottle AMAZON
What are our customers saying?
My skin type:
– very dry, easily dehydrated
– oily nose
– prone to stubborn acne and closed comedones
– redness on chin and cheeks (not rosacea)
i already use a nightly tretinoin cream (.04% concentration) to help with my acne and premature signs of aging but decided with my derm that incorporating a bha would be a good idea to help with my seriously stubborn closed comedones and some irritating textural issues. It was between this and the cerave sa lotion and i ultimately decided on this due to the higher concentration of salicylic acid.
It’s moisturizing, and feels sticky for the first 5-10 minutes after application but seems to sinks in to something of a satin finish on me and i can no longer feel it on my skin. You just have to be a little patient. My skin feels well hydrated and plump after it settles and looks really smooth and my pores aren’t as obvious. It sits just fine under makeup for me but i’m not a new user to chemical exfoliants so i don’t have lots of dead skin pilling up or sloughing off when i use it, my skin is, for the most part, already very smooth outside the acne and ccs. Occasionally i’ll apply it further down my neck/decolletage than usual and wow do i old skin just ball up and peel right away – it’s so gross but also satisfying. So those that don’t exfoliate often or are new to bha/ahas will likely have issues with foundation until their skin adjusts (but it will adjust). My advice in those cases is to either use this at night for the first few weeks or just accept going barefaced for a little while if you can.
I’d strongly suggest not applying this product over anything that you feel does not dry down fully, the times i’ve attempted to use it after serums or heavier products it takes forever to sink in and sometimes never fully does. I save all my serums and essences for after this has absorbed and it’s far easier to work with it as a result. My steps go like this most days: acwell licorice toner — pc 2% bha — 10% niacinamide serum — to matryxil serum — secret key black snail cream or syn-ake cream w/ 3 drops stratia fortify oil — sunscreen.
It works fairly quickly imo, on my neck where i typically don’t apply my tret at night i noticed the peeling and balling of dead skin on day one and on my face where i have a patch of really awful ccs i noticed them getting smaller and smoother by around day 3-4. I’m going on about 8 days now and they’re barely visible unless i’m right up in the mirror and feel as if they’re almost gone when i touch my fingers to that area. I do have some slight peeling of the skin around my mouth and nose but it’s not terrible (likely because i already exfoliate the heck out of my skin with the tret).
Some tips and things keep in mind:
do not rinse it off. I don’t understand some of the top reviews advising people to do that, it says on the bottle not to rinse and nearly all chemical exfoliators are meant to be left on until the next cleansing specifically so they can do their job. If you rinse it off you’re either going to prevent it from properly exfoliating or end up irritating the hell out of your skin. If you have oily skin and feel this might be heavy on you than you can probably just use this on bare skin and then sunscreen if you use in the am or a lightweight lotion/cream and be done with it, but you need to leave it on your skin.
you have got to use sunscreen while you’re using this product! Any bha or aha exfoliant causes increased sun sensitivity and you have to address that in your routine. You should already use sunscreen daily but it becomes a must when you incorporate a chemical exfoliator or you risk sun damage.
less is more! Don’t slop this on your face or soak a cotton pad in it, a little goes a long way and you’ll be kicking yourself if you apply way too much and have to wait 20+ minutes for it to sink in. Use a shake or two and add more if needed but go easy.
expect some irritation initially. Chemical exfoliants can be harsh and rough even on sturdy skin and you have to give yourself time to adjust. Over-exfoliation is a possibility but sometimes just introducing a bha or aha into your routine can cause some sensitivity. Don’t panic and just be gentle to your skin. Use ceramides (like cerave skin renewing cream) or fatty oils to soothe your face if needed and try to stay away from any harsh products or acids like vitamin c right after applying this to avoid really burning your face.
I will continue to buy this product until the day i die. I’ll be buried with this product. And no, this is not a paid ad.
I spent a year and half trying to find the source of my adult acne. I stopped drinking milk. Figured it was the dairy. Gave up soy. Gave up almond milk. Gave up cashew milk. Gave up gluten. Stopped taking birth control. I even made excuses for nearly 6 months, telling myself ‘oh the body just has to get used to these changes. The hormones have to work their way out’.
I finally realized nothing was making a difference.
So i bought this on a whim. I really don’t do ‘skincare’. I wash my face, apply my cerave pm lotion like the rest of the world does, and that’s about it. I don’t like the hassle of having a routine and a hundred products.
So i bought this because i liked the idea of not having to remember to use it *every single day*. I apply it maybe twice a week after i shower but before bed. I’m not religious about it, i just do it when i remember it. And it’s works wonders.
It’s been about a month. My breakouts are gone. I still have some redness, but i expect that’ll get better now that the active breakouts are gone.
A word of caution though, it makes you very sensitive to the sun. I made the mistake of applying it one morning instead of evening, and it was a beautiful saturday. I didn’t even spend much time outside, mostly just walking back and forth from the house to the car, or car to the garage, and i got a decent little sun burn on my face. So definitely use it at night, or apply a sunscreen over top.
Also, even though i apply face lotion about an hour after putting it on, my face was decently dry the first time i used it. The second time it was fine, but the first time it was dry and a little flaky. I was still able to wear makeup the next day, it wasn’t bad enough for others to notice the dryness, but i noticed it. But again, that only seemed to happen the very first time i used it.
Tl;dr: it works, ive stopped breaking out. Don’t go in the sun, makes you very sun sensitive. May be a little drying for the first use
Photo of all products i use plus – full am & pm skincare routine at bottom
this review is based on my experience as a 34-yr old woman diagnosed with pcos. I’ve been struggling with acne, cystic acne, and rosacea for almost 11 years. I used to take super powerful medicine…don’t do it. It screws up your hormones even more in the long run. Acne is a huge part of pcos, and can get out of control very quickly. Keep in mind that i have also been implanting new diet changes (df, gf, sugar free, no eggs, no grain, low carb) and supplements as directed by my naturopath.
I was desperate to finally change my skin. I had to be in my brother’s wedding in 6 weeks, and i so badly wanted to feel confident in my skin. It was risky . There was no guarantee that my skin would be done purging by the time 6 weeks rolled around, but i took the risk. Surprisingly, the first week, my skin cleared up nicely. But then…into week 2 began the purge. Mind you, my purge wasn’t crazy. It was small pimples, but a lot of them; with new ones every single day. Cystic acne under jawline was constant, but manageable. I already had a pretty strict skincare routine before trying this, so i feel like my skin wasn’t as bad a say someone who’s skincare routine is less strict.
As you can see from the photos, i had a couple purging periods. The first was at it’s worst around 30 days of daily (once a day) use of paula’s choice exfoliate. It seemed to follow my menstrual cycle a bit, but my good days were few and far between for the first two months. By the end of may, i was beginning to think it wasn’t working for me. The week before the wedding rolls around, and i get a large cystic bump on my chin, very red, with little pain, though. This could have just been stress, not sure? Fast forward to mid-june. As i’m writing this, it has been a solid week and a half since i’ve experienced a fresh breakout. My old acne is healing, and my scars are beginning to fade. It’s also important to note that i started using the cerave sa cleanser am and pm a couple weeks before the wedding. And since i’ve been using it, i feel like my skin has really started to take a turn for the better.
I wouldn’t say that this product was 100% the reason for my skin looking the way it does now, but i do know that it has a large part to do with it. I don’t expect my skin to be perfect forever, now. My skin still changes a lot throughout my cycle, so i expect the typical pms breakouts, but this month has been very smooth sailing compared to the first two months, and it makes me really excited!
I love when people share their skincare routines. So if any other ladies out there who are pcos sufferers, this is what my am and pm routines look like.
1. Cleanse with cerave sa cleanser (gently massage into face for 30 seconds) & rinse
2. Apply the ordinary’s naicinamide & zinc serum on damp skin (let sit for 1 minute)
3. Apply esmi skin probiotic skin mylck as my moisturizer (very light moisturizer – let sit 1 min)
4. Apply drmtlgy’s broad spectrum 45spf protect sunscreen (very important, very light, no white cast)
1. Cleanse once with esmi skin minerals uncomplicated cleanser
2. Cleanse again with cerave sa cleanser (gentle massage for 30 seconds)
3. Apply thin layer of paula’s choice exfoliate to damp/almost dry skin (wait 15 minutes)
4. Apply esmi skin minerals’ hyaluronic serum (let sit for 1 minute)
5. Apply esmi skin minerals’ probiotic skin mylck
6. Apply thin layer of terminator benzoyl peroxide 10% to problem areas (massage in on top of moisturizer, i do this because it’s too drying if i put it on underneath moisturizer)
don’t make the mistake of putting the paula’s choice exfoliate on after skin completely dries. This dries me out very badly, and my skin will be tight all day the next day. I used to let it sit on my skin for 30 minutes before finishing my routine, but now i’m down to 15 minutes. I feel like it’s still very effective.
The ordinary’s salicylic acid 2% mask is also very useful to dry up an active breakout or encourage something under the skin to come to the surface. I usually only use this one time. Anymore than that on that same spot, and it’ll turn red and be very dry (in my experience). Let the mask sit for 15 minutes. I only use a dab of it on the active acne spot. I don’t know if i would have the courage to smear this over my entire chin/mouth area where i’m prone to breakouts. It’s very drying stuff.
I know this was long, but i hope that this will help someone else who may be experiencing not just adult hormonal acne, but acne caused by serious hormonal imbalances and insulin resistance due to pcos. I finally feel like i’m on the right track!
I absolutely love this product! At first i was just putting the product on a cotton pad and using it in replace of a toner, definitely not the way to go. I wasn’t seeing any results even after a month so i got back on the reviews and read a few to see if i could figure out a better routine. I use this after washing my face. Occasionally i will wash my face and then use a facial steamer and then apply this. I would recommend not using a cotton pad to apply. I put this in the palm of my hand and evenly distribute it all over my face and neck. You don’t want too thin/thick of a layer. Let it dry before you put any products on top. I usually apply this and find something to do for 5-10 mins to give it time to dry down. Once it’s completely dry i put my serum on, let that soak in and apply moisturizer. If it’s morning i will use one with spf in it, at night i typically use a thicker more heavy moisturizer. This will definitely make your skin purge, so be mindful of that. I would say it took a good 3-4 weeks before my skin looked good. I broke out pretty bad in my chin the first week or so. The following week my skin had a lot of flakiness (which made it near impossible to apply foundation). The last week i had two horrible breakouts, one in the middle of my forehead and the other in the side of my face. So bad to the point where i was wearing pimple patches at work for two days because that made it look better, it was very noticeable. I tried to keep from covering it with makeup just so i could avoid the breakout from getting even worse. However, the following week my skin is glowing, my makeup goes on effortlessly and my skin has never looked better. I think in another week or so i’ll still see more results since my skin is still healing a bit from the bad breakout, i still have some flakiness to my skin. Even now i feel confident enough to not have to wear skin makeup. If i do, i use the mac skin tint, which is very light coverage. I definitely can achieve that glowy summery look i’ve always wanted to, before my skin was too textured and face makeup always look bad even after a few hours since it would just cling to my dry patches. Definitely make sure you use something with spf in it and stick to a routine. Just keep in mind it takes some time to see results but it’s so worth it! For reference i have more of dry/combination skin, i have to be careful of certain products because they’ll dry out my skin, i think if this was any stronger it wouldn’t work for my dry skin, that being said i haven’t had any issues using this.
I’m guilty of and irritated about countless skin products with great reviews that i’ve ordered from amazon. Maybe a couple were satisfactory, at the most.
When prime day ’22 arrived, i chanced upon this item. I’ve noticed as i’m aging, my pores are getting more noticable. I really wanted to believe all the rave reviews of this serum – and i’m glad i did!! Just yesterday, i used my magnified mirror to inspect my face and lo and behold, my pores have shrunk for real!!
This is a product i know is a keeper. I started using this once a day since this july, this is the end of september ’22 now. In 2 and a half months, i’ve experienced a drastic difference. I’m ecstatic! Don’t think about it, order it ann’s start applying it immediately.
By the way, how i apply it is directly to the skin. I don’t use a cotton pad and swirl it on my face. I have dangerously sensitive skin but i gave it a shot. After i cleanse my face with cetaphil, i dry my face, then i dribble a couple of drops 2 or 3 times on my middle finger and gently apply it on my cheeks and nose. Using a cotton pad wasted product and didn’t really feel like a good way to use it. This worked for me! Good luck!
This is a really gentle exfoliant. I like to use this primarily at the start of my day, sometimes as a cleanser replacement in the morning. All i use is a cotton ball to spread a little bit all over. There really is no scent and it’s important to note this is meant to soften your skin, so there’s more cell turnover. I find that it really helps speed up healing for any acne concerns (primarily for white heads). I tend to let my skin breath for about 15-30 minutes after i’ve used this before proceeding with any makeup or other products. I sometimes use it at night before bed after using my normal face wash cleanser too and it’s great for opening my pores after a busy day. I have fair skin and i can’t say enough about how gentle this product is.
I have been thru chemo twice and my skin has taken a hit! My face looked so ruddy and old, just pitiful really. I used this the first time and didn’t think much about it, except it was gritty feeling. It rinsed off easily. When i went to the mirror, i was quite surprised at the results! My face glowed. This exfoliant had removed that dead top layer and i really just glowed! I then moisturized and the look and feel lasted a couple of days. My skin is sensitive now, as i have no hormones due to the brca2 gene, so i am gentle when it comes to soaps and cleansers. This stuff is great!
This is a great active, it’s even good for sensitive skin, like me i use a prescription strength retinol product at night and i’ve begun to incorporate this into my routine in the morning with no issues whatsoever. I trade off better this and a glycolic acid serum/toner from another company. I’m also used to the tretinoin (retina)at this point and i do use a sunscreen daily. I recommend this product, it’s a great price point especially for what you get, it comes in a plastic sealed from top to bottom (wrapped in plastic wrap) i’m glad i finally took the plunge, especially since i turned 44, i do feel and see a difference in my skin, actives like this are fabulous as long as they are used in moderation until you know this is for you, not to be over used, patch test first to be safe. Salicylic acid is awesome for anti-aging i remember thinking i was stuck with blah skin, for life. But actives have changed my skin, it takes time so please be patient. It’s worth it. I totally recommend!
Found this product about a year ago when i was having a major crisis with hormonal acne. My skin looked so bad, and for those who have been though this, you all know how absolutely traumatic and paralyzing it can be. I didn’t want to do anything, see anyone or go anywhere… And stressing out about it only compounded the problem. It was devastating… After 2 months of anguish, i found this exfoliant online and gave it a shot, using it religiously (along with led light therapy mask). My skin started clearing up within a week, and was totally healed 2 weeks later.
I am happy to say that a year later my skin looks better than before and i haven’t had any bouts of acne hormonal or otherwise. I use this religiously and will continue to – “till death do us part.” it’s amazing.
I absolutely love this product. At first i was hesitant because i have very sensitive skin and having the word acid in the title made me kind of nervous but i’m so glad that i decided to make this purchase. I use this in my daily skin care routine and it has cleared up my skin so much. I use it after cleansing and drying my face, i use it with a cotton round. I would warn that wearing this for more than five minutes feels quite drying so i would recommend a thick moisturizer to help hydrate your skin.
I suffer from support dermatitis which affects my scalp and different parts of my body. I have a small dry patch on my face that i have been trying to get rid of for many months, but my prescribed medicine for my face had not been working. I began to use this as an alternative to try and do a chemical exfoliate rather than trying to physically exfoliate my face as it would irritate my condition. When i began to use this spot on my face felt very rough and coarse, but the appearance of it was less. After about a week of using this product i realize the skin on that spot started flaking off of my face, i was worried that it was making it worse. After i waited out the skin flaking, the skin underneath is very soft and smooth and it has now become a lot easier to manage because of this product.
Mascne is no joke; i swear, i’m about to become a republican. I started using, all in the same few days: paula’s choice liquid exfoliant (this), cos de baja vit c serum, skin smart antimicrobial face cleanser. I was already using my own homemade witch hazel & rose toner, a tea tree bodywash as facewash, hanhoo watermelon overnight illuminator, and christine moss moisturizer. My skin was just not cooperating and needed to get whipped into shape.
So, this stuff i use at night with the hanhoo overnight illuminator, and i use the vit c serum & christine moss moisturizer during the morning. I use the toner and face wash at both times.
The thing i like about this is 1) it works. If there’s a blemish & i’m using this, that blemish is going to straight up disappear within 2 days. It also doesn’t smell like anything, unlike the vitamin c serum, which is always a little vomit-like given the acid/citrus, and not exactly evocative of the dewy-skinned delicate fae queen vibes i’m trying to throw off with this glassy complexion, you feel? Always a bit like waking up on a dirty couch after a night of beer pong with some lowlifes, wondering how coyote things have gotten in the past however many comatose hours. So it’s nice to use this at night, in order to not have to reek like that when i wake up smushed against a pillow, smelling myself.
The thing i don’t like is, if your hand is wet, you can barely tell this from water – it is so thin. It just runs everywhere. It doesn’t really adhere at all, and so it’s hard to tell (if your face is even slightly damp) if you’ve got enough or got it in the right place.
But overall, that’s no complaint. I’m very happy with the results. Have had no weird peeling, no new breakouts, nothing awful. Will update if that changes, but going on a week here & it’s working as well as i’d hoped, based on prior reviews. In other words, it seems to really get the job done, better than just chanting to sprinkling holy water on it – which is basically how i feel with about everything else.
I took before and after shots, but then realized i don’t want to post my mug all over the interwebs. But to narrate what is in the pics – my face isn’t really hotter but it is less distractingly unpleasant. Hahaha which may be the best one can hope for with these genes. I still need makeup, it’s not quite a christmas miracle. I’ll keep using this stuff, barring catastrophe, and will update you if it gets me to a point where i am so acne & splotch free i can go makeupless. That would be a true peace-prize-winning accomplishment for this potion.
Very solid product. I’ve been using the exfoliant for about a year now and it most definitely leaves my pores unclogged and my skin looking vibrant. When i stoped using it for a month i saw that my skin looked gross and clogged. I recommend using it every night but no more then that. At least for me i noticed that if i used it to much my skin would get way to dry. Make sure to follow up with a super hydrating moisturizer so your skin does not dry up.
This is a great product, but if you’re using it everyday you will damage your skin. Use it once or twice a week for the best results. Putting bha on your face every night will irritate your skin barrier and cause you to have breakouts. Also before using a new skin care product simplify your routine and only use one new item at once. I use this when i do skin cycling— this is a method by a dermatologist. First night use a chemical exfoliate (paula’s bha), second night retinol, third and fourth night focus on hydration and repairing skin barrier and repeat. So please give this product a fair shot. At the end of the day everyone’s skin is different and what may work for others may not work for you.
If you wanna use this for daytime… No you dont! While honestly you can use it whenever, if you are putting more skincare on top of it, then it kinda defeats the purpose of what it can do. Let the product dry before applying other products! Overall pretty good!
I usually love this product but when i bought it from this seller it smells so so bad. It still seems as productive but i have never bought this and had it smell so awful. I probably will not purchase from here again.
I love paula’s philosophy so i’ve tried several of their products. This, like others in the line, didn’t do much for me but also certainly didn’t hurt. After i wash my face with a washcloth to get my foundation off, i use this on a cotton disc and even more make up comes off so it’s great for getting it all off. I also like this product for when i’m camping and can’t really do my normal face cleaning routine. This is not abrasive and leaves my face feeling clean not tingly. But i won’t buy it again because i’m not seeing a difference in my fine lines and wrinkles—i can get a much more inexpensive product for cleaning my face.
I’ve used this for almost a month now and my rosacea is gone. This worked better for my rosacea than anything i’ve gotten from the dermatologist.
I’ve heard great reviews about this product so i finally brought one to try for myself. I’ve only used it four times over the past few weeks but i can definitely see an effect already. The instructions said to eventually work your way up to using it twice a day, morning and night. I doubt i would get there. This is a liquid leave-on exfoliant so it honestly does not feel like you’re exfoliating. But trust me it is. I overslept with this on last time and it has low-key dried out my skin for a while. I actually had skin flaking off in some small areas. Nothing too serious, but i think i’ll have to stay off this product for a bit.
Will return in a couple months for full review
We carefully formulate our products without artificial dyes or fragrances to minimize the risk of sensitivity. To ensure this is the right product for you, please always patch test & note skin’s response over the next 48 hours prior to use. If you have a salicylate allergy, check with your physician before using any products that contain salicylic acid. This product ships to you fully shrink wrapped to prevent leaking & scuffing. Its expiration date label is formatted MM/DD/YYYY, located externally on its shrink wrap. The product’s shelf life is 3 years unopened or 12 months after opening.
Water (Aqua), Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol, Salicylic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA
Apply once or twice daily after cleansing and/or toning. Lightly soak a cotton pad and apply over the entire face, including the eye area (avoid lash line and eyelids). Do not rinse. For daytime, follow with a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater.