Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Exfoliant Review

Blackheads (and their sinister cousin, whiteheads) have plagued me for years; they merely can not let me go. Throughout my T-zone, I’ve fairly massive pores occurring that can’t resist getting full of gunk. After years of pores and skin torture within the type of Biore pore strips and extremely sturdy peel-off masks, I used to be left with blackheads and a load of irritation. I’ve tried something and every thing in my quest to ship blackheads to that place that Gandalf fell, together with a memorable incident with a pore vacuum, which I can heartily say I don’t suggest. Whereas it seems anticipating prompt outcomes was getting me nowhere (who knew?), I’ve stumbled upon a cult favourite product I might fortunately douse my face in for the remainder of my life. 

I routinely spend time google researching blackhead treatments whereas binging The Nice British Baking Present (don’t you?), and unfailingly, the Paula’s Alternative BHA exfoliant would seem in feedback and on message boards surrounded by phrases like magic, life-changing, and plain. It’s a chemical exfoliator, which suggests it doesn’t require these skin-shredding granules I used to slather over my face in center faculty.  

“I like to recommend ‘chemical’ exfoliation over bodily, which means utilizing an acid or enzyme to exfoliate as a substitute of bodily particles as in a scrub,” mentioned Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, dermatologist and proprietor of Dr. Loretta Skincare. “With bodily exfoliation, you’re eradicating solely floor lifeless cells. With a chemical exfoliant like AHA/glycolic, BHA/salicylic, or an enzyme, you’re eradicating cells each in pores in addition to on pores and skin’s floor.”



I caved and acquired the two% BHA Exfoliant so I may check the magic for myself about eight months in the past. The system takes a second to get used to—initially, I used to be actually skeptical because it feels fairly oily on the pores and skin. I used to be anticipating extra of a lightweight zingy feeling, and as a substitute, it has extra of an oil-based slick high quality. I apply it with a cotton spherical and focus it on the areas the place my blackheads wish to congregate—primarily my nostril, higher lip (attractive!), and chin. 

Regardless of my doubts, I’ve truly gotten used to how the system feels, and after round eight months of use, it’s made my hallowed record of auto-buy repurchases. My favourite half is how mild it feels with no burning, itching, or stinging like different exfoliators—each chemical and bodily—that I’ve tried. All Paula’s Alternative merchandise are fragrance-free as nicely, which is a welcome respite from current overly-scented launches (Fenty Pores and skin, I’m taking a look at you). 

I’ve labored as much as utilizing it each evening, and I’ve discovered that of all my lotions and potions, BHA (aka salicylic acid) works greatest for my pores and skin by way of refining texture and lowering pore blockage (my nemesis). I’m going to be actual: I nonetheless have some blackheads. I feel they could have determined to be with me endlessly, and who may blame them? However general, the pores on my nostril are much less noticeable and enlarged and the pores and skin on my cheeks and brow feels buttery easy, which wasn’t my intention in utilizing this product however is a pleasant facet impact. Right here’s a photograph I might use to announce the Exfoliant and I are engaged: 


On the whole once I’m having pores and skin woes, I am going again to the drafting board with my tried-and-true merchandise I do know work and don’t irritate my pores and skin. The two% BHA Exfoliant all the time makes the record, together with a delicate cleanser and hyaluronic acid serum. And naturally, sunscreen. 


Closing ideas


  • In case you’re coping with blackheads, do that. Positively strive it earlier than reaching for a quick-fix resolution like a pore vacuum (your pores and skin and I’m begging you).
  • Be ready to make use of this for a number of months at the very least. Decide to it! I’m infamous for rotating my skincare too quick and pondering that nothing is working when actually I wanted to provide it extra time. 
  • At all times use sunscreen if you’re utilizing this product. what, simply all the time use sunscreen full cease. 
  • On my pores and skin, that is fairly mild, however I nonetheless suggest doing a patch check and dealing as much as utilizing each evening, particularly in case your pores and skin is delicate. 
  • In response to Paula’s Alternative, exfoliants are step three after your cleanser and toner and earlier than your serum and moisturizer. I often skip toner, however in any other case, comply with that order. 



Extra Paula’s Alternative faves from the workforce

Paula’s Alternative

2% BHA Physique Lotion

This lotion has been a life-saver for the keratosis pilaris on my higher arms.

Paula’s Alternative

10% Niacinamide Booster

I often use this serum booster post-BHA exfoliant to fade outdated zits scars.

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