Ahhhh salicylic acid. Synonymous with acne medication, but can serve so many more purposes. Let me go on a little rant/love-letter here: salicylic acid is almost a 'perfect' ingredient. It's derived from willow bark which, surprise surprise, so is aspirin. As a result, it's extremely anti-inflammatory - think reduction of the big red bumps on your skin. It's the only acid that can go in and lift debris from inside the pore - think removal of dead skin cells, excess oil, makeup residue, and overall grime. This means that pores appear smaller and are effectively unclogged.

Not only that, but it gets rid of dead skin cells on the surface - think smoother skin It builds collagen - think firmer skin. It evens out hyperpigmentation - think less dark spots.

Essentially, salicylic acid can treat nearly every skin concern on the planet that can be fixed with an over-the-counter product. As a result, I think that everyone should have a good BHA product in their bathroom cabinet or vanity. That is, if you aren't allergic or you skin doesn't agree with it. This is something to keep in mind - if you're allergic to aspirin, you can't use salicylic.

On that note, I think everyone should have this salicylic acid product in their arsenal. Sure Paula's Choice makes other great BHA products, and there are a few from other brands that are worth considering. But the fact that this product is 2% - the strongest amount you would want to use for everyday all-over usage - and that the ingredients are suspended in a liquid form means that this is a hyper-powerful product with a texture that's suitable for most skin types. And it does all of that without the use of alcohol, fragrance, or menthol-derived ingredients - which nearly 99% of all other salicylic acid products on the market seem to do. It's highly unique in that it's salicylic acid the way all salicylic products should be... but have yet to achieve.

Sure fragrance, alcohol, and menthol won't kill you, but they can often further irritate skin that's already inflamed and broken out. After all, salicylic acid seems to mainly be marketed to people with acne... and it's an excellent ingredient for treating acne. However, it does so much more than that. I don't have acne, but I would never give up my salicylic.

You'll find that this improves your skin in multiple ways, which is all you can really ask for.

In my experience, I use this to prevent ingrown hairs and razor bumps. I also add it into my routine when my pores look big, my skin is on the verge of breaking out, or it lacks smoothness overall. In fact, there will never be a time that I shave my face and don't use this afterwards. Of course it serves way more purposes than my after-shave, but not getting ingrown hairs or red bumps is kind of a big thing to me!

The one thing to be careful of is how much of this product you're using. Because it uses glycols as a penetration agent, if you put too much on at a time, you'll be able to tell. Sort of like if you spritz certain face mists one too many times on your face, you'll look shiny but not quite oily - more of a slippery film forms over the skin. I think the size of your thumbnail is more than enough on a cotton pad, or you can simply pour a bit into the palms and press it into the skin like an essence. I enjoy both ways!

Another thing that I enjoy about this product is that it contains an acidic pH. This means the salicylic acid can actually work properly, which is kind of important. You wouldn't want a Rolls Royce without an engine.

Ingredients: Water, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol, Salicylic Acid, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Polysorbate-20, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA.

This is the salicylic acid product to end all salicylic acid products. It just works. And it does so without using alcohol, fragrance, or menthol. It's truly a holy grail product that I will never not have in my skincare stash.

PS: One bottle - with nearly daily use - lasts me about a year. I'm on my third bottle and I won't ever stop using this. Ahhhh!

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid $29 for 4 fl oz Available from Paula's Choice, Nordstrom, and Dermstore


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