I’ve been using Paula’s Choice BHA 2% on and off for a few months now.

What is it?
‘Wrinkles and breakouts at the same time? Not anymore. This lightweight leave-on exfoliant removes old cells on the skin’s surface and inside the pores, while repairing signs of aging.’

Who is it for?
It says combination to oily skin, but it’s gentle enough for any skin type – I would even say sensitive. Zero tingle factor, very gentle. Be ye not afraid.

What’s in it?
Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol (slip agents and penetration enhancers), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid exfoliating agent), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier) Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (cell-communicating ingredients), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (anti-irritant), Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid (antioxidant), Oleanolic Acid (anti-irritant), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-repairing ingredient), Allantoin (anti-irritant),Trehalose (skin-repairing ingredient), Panthenol (skin-conditioning agent), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), PEG-60 Almond Glycerides (emulsifier), Caprylyl Glycol (skin-conditioning agent), PEG/PPG-18/4 Copolymer (solvent), Methyl Gluceth-20, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane (skin-conditioning agents),Glycereth-26 (emollient thickener), Sodium Metabisulfite (stabilizer), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Carbomer (gel-based thickener), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent).

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
Not really, it has glycols and pegs that some people don’t like – but I don’t concern myself about them – and clearly neither does PC.

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
Man made. Vegan.

Tested on animals/sold in China?
No./No. Paula loves a bunny.

What’s not in it?

How do you use it?
You apply this as you would an acid toner, on to cotton pads and then all over the face avoiding eyes. Follow with serum/treatments etc

What’s good about it?
This, to my mind, is an essence rather than a ‘treatment’. That’s why it’s more expensive and in a smaller bottle size. The highlighted ingredients above are far more than you would normally find in an acid toner product. This is called a ‘treatment’ and for good reason. Salicylic acid means it is great for unclogging stubborn pores and the peptides help with the signs of aging, making it a good starter/introduction product to the Resist line for those of you (us) with either adult acne or hormonal breakouts on the other side of your 20’s.

What’s not so good about it?
Although I understand that it contains more than the usual acids – this is £25.00 for 88ml. The same size in the US is $28.00. I don’t know about you but I’ve been seeing US brands translate dollars into pounds almost on a like for like basis for over 20 years and I’m bored of it now. In today’s exchange rate this should cost you £18.00. £7.00 extra because we happen to live in the UK. Even allowing for taxes, import duties and shipping etc it’s a hard pill to swallow. Even more so because Paula’s Choice is only available on their own website, cutting out any margin for a third party retailer. You also have to pay for shipping. Something that most of the large online retailers now offer free as standard. You have no choices here. It’s the only stockist.

I know it works both ways, UK brands are frequently pound for dollar, and none of us have it as bad as the poor Australians. Sorry chaps, you have it much worse than anyone else. And so to prove fairness to PC, I’m adding another heading to my reviews to include prices in the brand’s home country. Because you know: CASH.
But that is my only (albeit long-winded) gripe. The product itself is great. Sorry Paula.

Where to use in your routine?
I use this at the acid toner stage but I don’t follow it with a spritz. I usually go straight in with her Retinol 1%.

Similar products?
Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion (no peptide action though)
Clarins Gentle Exfoliator
Some essences, but it’s a fairly unique product.

Paula’s Choice BHA 2% is £25.00 and available from www.paulaschoice.co.uk or .com in the US.

I’ve liked the PC products I’ve used. I’m going to start working my way through the brand. Taking one for the team. 😉