What Paula’s Choice BHA Exfoliant Did To My Skin

Before I discovered I had cystic acne I struggled with clogged pores for a few months. Knowing what I know now this was the first telltale sign that my skin was changing. In late 2019 I noticed my skin becoming rough to the touch and my regular exfoliating routine wasn’t working. Though my situation was quite mild-looking back I can’t help but think having a product like Paula’s Choice Bha Exfoliant would have helped my skin greatly then.

Of course, hindsight is 2020 and I can’t change the past, so what did this famed exfoliant do to my skin in these past few months.

What is Paula’s Choice 2%BHA Liquid Exfoliant?

This is probably one of the most popular exfoliants right now. I had my pick of well-documented reviews to choose from to make an informed decision. 

Paula’s Choice’s product creators describe this product as their “#1 product worldwide + cult favourite,  gentle leave-on exfoliant with salicylic acid” which promises to  “quickly unclogs pores, smooths wrinkles, brightens and evens out skin tone.”

Related: What Azelaic Acid Did To My Skin

Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
What’s in it?

So what really sets this product apart from other chemical exfoliants, the ingredients list of course. 

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Methylpropanediol (hydration), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Polysorbate 20 (stabilizer), Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract (green tea/skin calming/antioxidant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancer), Tetrasodium EDTA (stabilizer).

The two main ingredients you should make a difference according to Paula’s Choice is salicylic acid and green tea. The salicylic acid is meant to exfoliate deep into your skin layers, clearing and minimizing your pores and therefore reducing wrinkles or fine lines. While green tea acts as a calming agent to soothe irritation, improve sun damage and provide anti-aging benefits.

Where can I buy it?

It’s sold in two sizes, a travel size 1oz bottle and the standard 4oz bottle. I opted for the smaller bottle to test it out and it lasted me over two months and counting.

It’s sold in a few online stores in Jamaica but you can also find it all across the web.

The 10z bottle costs $10 USD while the 4oz will run you about $29USD.

Cleanse, tone and exfoliate.

How to use Paula’s Choice BHA  liquid exfoliant

The packaging says you can use it both day and night but like with all other BHAs you should be careful when using it in the daytime, always use SPF. Dispense an adequate amount onto a cotton pad and apply it to your face in a  wiping motion after you’ve cleansed and toned your skin.

At first, I was applying it to my skin with just my hands but I get better results when I use a cotton pad.

Related: Krave Beauty Matcha Hemp Cleanser Review

The exfoliant of the hour
How often did I use it?

The directions say it can be used twice daily at most but I wouldn’t recommend that. At least not to start. I recommend starting with it once a week.

Initially, I tried using it once a week to allow my skin time to adjust. I didn’t have an adverse reaction so I bumped it up to twice a week. I even tried it out every day for a week. Here’s what happened:

Once a week

  • Skin felt softer
  • Whiteheads came to the fore

Twice a week

  • Much of the same benefits as using it once a week

One whole week

  • There were no added benefits 
  • I actually had more breakouts this week but I’d give it a try again

Paula’s Choice BHA before and after

I’m still using this product so it’s not a complete before and after so I guess it’s more of a then and now. Nevertheless, you can see my progress thus far.

Final thoughts
  • It’s great for mild acne (whiteheads and blackheads).
  • Gentle enough for sensitive skin. I had no stripping or flaking. Best of all it doesn’t sting!

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