Review: Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2 BHA Liquid Exfoliant

During the summer I was dealing with a bunch of closed comedones that were stubborn and wouldn’t budge. I was trying a bunch of acne treatments but none of them worked. So, I remembered a product that I used to use in the past that helped with this type of acne. It was Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid. I haven’t used this product in years. It’s because I rarely get blackheads or closed comedones. Also, salicylic acid isn’t as effective as benzoyl peroxide on my skin. I tried benzoyl peroxide this summer, but it didn’t work. After that, I was desperate for something that would help get rid of these acne bumps. I thought I would give Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid another try again. It looked like the type of product that would get the job done. I really needed something that would work. I wanted these darn closed comedones to go away. They were ruining my complexion but also my life. The texture of my skin looked very bumpy and unattractive. It was really gross. I couldn’t look at my skin any longer. So the purpose of this product is to unclog pores with salicylic acid. It clears and minimizes enlarged pores. Helps to remove dead skin cells. Smooths out wrinkles. Brightens and evens out the skin tone. That sounds perfect for the type of acne that I have. I have pimples underneath the surface that needs to be exfoliated. So did it work? Did it help clear my acne? Keep on reading to find out! Here’s my experience with Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid! 🙂

This product is a liquid (as the name of the product states). It feels like a toner. You can use your hands or a cotton pad to apply the product to your skin. I chose the cotton pad method. That’s what I did in the past, and it worked wonderfully. I remember it leaving my skin feeling and looking clean using this method. Just pour some liquid onto a cotton pad and swipe the facial skin with it. After swiping the facial skin, the cotton pad will have noticeable sebum, dirt, and debris on it. That reassures the skin is clean, free from gunk and now you can continue on to the next step in your skin care routine. Using the BHA Liquid is like using a toner. It treats and preps the skin for the next step. So the liquid feels a bit oily, but it dries down to a clean finish. It can be very drying too if you have dry skin. I have oily skin, but I noticed my skin drying out after a couple of uses, so I didn’t use it every day. I tried to, but it was just too drying for daily use. As for results, my skin purged within the first couple of days. The pimples popped up in my breakout-prone areas out of nowhere. My skin felt more sensitive than usual. It took some time for my skin to adjust to the acne treatment but once it did, I was able to use it in the morning and night without my skin feeling irritated or drying out.

But, unfortunately, I didn’t see improvements in closed comedones after months of using it. The breakouts would come and go. There was always a breakout. Also, tons of blackheads popping up out of the blue. From my past experience with this product, it shouldn’t take this long for salicylic acid to work. That’s when I decided to ditch the cotton pad and try something else. I stopped using the BHA Liquid with a cotton pad and used my hands. Maybe it’ll work better. The product would be more concentrated on my skin. After applying the BHA Liquid to my facial skin with my hands, the product felt different on my skin compared to using it with a cotton pad. It absorbed into my skin but left a bit of residue behind. It didn’t feel heavy on my skin. Just a little oily. I was able to follow this method for a couple of days, twice a day without drying out my skin. But I had to stop using the product immediately. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It broke me out so badly! Much worse compared to using the product with a cotton pad. My skin erupted in awful cystic acne. What the flip was going on? I knew right away that my skin wasn’t going through a purging phase, since I’ve been using BHA for months! Purging should be over by now. Once I stopped using the BHA Liquid and applied benzoyl peroxide to the swollen pimples, my skin looked better. The acne went away. Using my hands to apply the BHA Liquid was terrible idea. Never again, lol.

Now let’s take a look at the ingredient list! The ingredient list is pretty straight forward. Along with salicylic acid, it also contains green tea extract in it. Plus other ingredients. But I noticed a particular ingredient that stands out, which is Methylpropanediol. Hmmm, interesting. The Ordinary skin care products contain Propanediol. This ingredient aggravated my skin due to it drying out my skin and leaving a thin film on my skin. Also, at the same time, it felt oily on my skin. It was also high up on the list in The Ordinary skin care products (the ones that contain this ingredient) as well. Methylpropanediol really does look suspicious and could be the culprit for the sudden breakouts. This is odd because I’ve never had this issue before when I was using the BHA Liquid in the past. But I did notice that Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid did leave a film behind on my skin just like The Ordinary skin care products that contain Propanediol. The feeling is the exact same. It dries the skin out, feels oily on the skin, and leaves a weird film, oily residue behind on my skin after application. Once I stopped using the product, all of the blackheads, closed comedones, and cystic acne just vanished. Well, if that’s the case, it looks like Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid isn’t compatible with my skin any longer. And this stuff is not affordable like it used to be. The price increased over the years.

✅ Pros

❌ Cons

My experience with Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid was not good as it was before. Perhaps my skin changed. Or my skin just hates the formula. It could be anything. Honestly, I really wanted it to work. It would’ve been wonderful. This product has so many good reviews, and my past experience with it was awesome. But, I didn’t get to experience that awesomeness this time, so I decided to drop this product from my skin care routine. It hasn’t done much except for unclogging a few pimples here and there. My skin doesn’t look that much better with it. The residue that it leaves behind on my skin is annoying. It makes my skin feel greasy and oily. I didn’t get good results from it. I feel like I’m wasting my money and time. Here goes to another product that is overhyped and didn’t do much for my acne. This could work for others, but it didn’t work for me. On to something new…

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