Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
I just finished a full-sized bottle of the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant by Paula's Choice ($28) and wanted to give it it's own review instead of lumping it together with my usual "Empties!" post. I've got mixed emotions regarding the product but in trying to educate myself about BHA exfoliants, I learned quite a few things that I was probably doing wrong when using a BHA, and maybe writing about it will help others avoid the mistakes I made.  Or maybe I'll confuse us all even more, who knows?

So what was I doing wrong?  I'm not sure I was waiting the proper amount of time after applying the BHA liquid before continuing with the other products I use at night.  Why is this even important, you may ask?  Apparently skin has to be in the proper pH range for the BHA to work, and applying serums/lotions/moisturizers right afterwards can alter that pH range.  Or at least that's my understanding, feel free to chime in if I'm wrong.

So, after cleansing I would apply the BHA lotion directly to my face with my hands and then promptly apply my night moisturizer of choice.  The change in my skin was minimal, at best.  I'd been reading reading about BHA's and the reported "skin purging" phenomena that many people experience, but I wasn't. Considering how oily and congested my skin is, you would think there would be some difference, right?

Reading more online, I realized I needed to let the BHA liquid stay on alone for a while (20 minutes or so) before applying the next product of choice.  My skin did then start reacting with the dreaded purge stage, which is when the gunk deeper inside the pores is brought to the surface. For me, that meant more than the normal number of whiteheads.  I typically see a few of those every morning, but I was seeing lots more than a few.  My pores also looked larger and more pitted, which wasn't the effect I was hoping for.  However, after about 7-10 days of this, my skin started looking more smooth and the eruptions calmed down.   Tada.
August empties
So the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant was effective, but I still won't be repurchasing.  I don't like the oily residue feeling I have after using it, which pretty much means I can only use it at night.  Finding good BHA's with the proper pH range in Western brands isn't the easiest, although you do see some options in Asian skincare lines.  I'm going to investigate those a bit more (I'm using a COSRX BHA toner right now), and they have the added attraction of being more reasonably priced.
Ingredients:  Water, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol (slip agents/penetration enhancers), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (anti-irritant/antioxidant), Polysorbate-20 (solubolizing agent), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancer), Tetrasodium EDTA (chelating agent).

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