Hair & Beauty

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. My take on it.

April 21, 2022

What can I say about Paula’s Choice liquid exfoliant that hasn’t been said already? It’s a cult favourite for a reason.

It’s a fast-absorbing liquid that has been formulated to remove built-up dead skin cells and fight blackheads and breakouts. It’s perfect for combination and oily skin types.

The key ingredients listed on the bottle are:

SALICYLIC ACID/BHA: it’s primarily an exfoliant that helps to shed dead skin on the surface and inside the pore, and is therefore effective for reducing breakouts and blackheads. It also has soothing properties.

GREEN TEA EXTRACT: Possesses potent antioxidant and skin-soothing properties and has impressive research in terms of its many benefits for skin, including anti-ageing properties.

METHYLPROPANEDIOL: Can enhance the absorption of ingredients such as salicylic acid. It also has hydrating properties that can leave a smooth, dewy finish on the skin.

My experience with this must-have exfoliant is this. The night before I used it for the first time I had 2 stubborn acne bumps that I wanted to get rid of. After my usual wash and cleanse routine I applied the exfoliant as directed to my face and neck and went to bed. It had a consistency similar to a toner, a nice texture and slip and was easily absorbed into my skin. It gave my face a tingling sensation for a few seconds.

The next day I woke up and without exaggeration, the bumps had dried up overnight. That was when I realised the online hype was real. I’m not one to go with what everyone is hyping till I’ve tried it out myself and I can tell you, Paula’s Choice 2% BHA is totally worth the hype. My skin has never been clearer or smoother. The best part was how it helped eliminate my hormonal breakouts. I don’t have anything bad to say about this product, to be honest. Every last drop of the liquid is worth the price with 30ml retailing for £11 and 118ml retailing for £31.

The only downside is the drying effect of the liquid which is expected. The most effective acne clearing products I have come across usually have drying qualities to help control the production of excess oils. I counter this by following up with my usual Vit C serum and then afterwards a moisturiser to replenish and bring moisture back into my skin. I won’t advise using this liquid on its own. Follow up with at least a moisturiser.


– Wash and cleanse your face before use to remove build-up from other products.

– Apply it with clean hands rather than cotton wool to minimize wastage. Wash your hands afterwards with soap and use hand cream as this liquid can be drying.

– It’s a leave-on exfoliant so please don’t wash it off.

– Wait for 30mins to let the product sink into your skin before layering it with your choice of serum and moisturiser as per your own personal skincare routine.

– If you use retinol before bed you may want to use it on alternate days when using Paula’s choice as using both could lead to dry skin.

– It’s still okay to use a physical exfoliant. I use one with micro-crystals that are formulated to slough away dead skin without causing skin irritation or micro-tears.

– Always wear SPF moisturiser during the day and a normal moisturiser at night.

– Try using it once a day rather than twice a day to see if that works for you.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Xtopher April 21, 2022 at 2:47 pm

    Is it good for black skin?

    • Avatar
      Reply Mary Ojile April 21, 2022 at 2:55 pm

      Absolutely. I’m black and I use it daily. It works wonders for me 🙂

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