The Essential | Paula’s Choice BHA 9

As someone who doesn’t deal with pimples overly often, rarely has single blackhead and has skin that tends to be quite dry, I wouldn’t have expected that I needed such a potent beta hydroxy acid treatment in my life. Boy was I wrong. The Paula’s Choice RESIST BHA 9 Treatment ($43 US/0.3 ounces) is the perfect product for me to use in my routine alongside my repertoire of alpha hydroxy acid exfoliants for a pore clearing and anti-congestion boost. The consistency is very much a gel serum, which I appreciate because it does not dry out any sort of problem areas that I have any further. Unlike most other spot treatments on the market, this one does not actually irritate the spots further that I am trying to treat.

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Ingredients: Propylene Glycol (hydration), PEG-75 (texture-enhancing), PEG-8 (texture-enhancing), Water, Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Avena Sativa Kernel Extract (oat extract/skin-soothing), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (antioxidant), Sea Whip Extract (skin-soothing), Arginine (hydration/skin replenishing), Polysorbate 20 (texture-enhancing), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer).

This is also much more than your typical spot treatment. It’s a concentrated sustained-release formula that contains a whopping 9% salicylic acid and manages to not be irritating because of the buffered formula, containing anti-irritants and nothing known to be irritating on the skin. The pump container does have a tendency to dispense way too much product but the results that it provides makes it worth the hassle for me. It helps to unclog pores and deal with congestion the most effectively and quickly of any product I’ve ever tried and speed up the healing time of blemishes. On the rare occasion where I get blackheads, I often find that they take weeks to go and using this has reduced that time to a day or two. This also seems to prevent underneath the skin blemishes from forming to an extent and reducing the severity of the ones that form. It also helps underneath the skin bumps heal more quickly. It also really helps with the recovery time of hormonal blemishes. Not only does the 9% salicylic acid help to clear the pores rapidly, it also has anti-inflammatory activity that really helps with dealing with the post-acne marks that hang around on my skin for ages. The most significant part for me is that it does this without pissing my temperamental skin off.

I shouldn’t advertise this but this is an excellent product to use if you’ve slept in your makeup, majorly slacked on your skincare routine and eaten terribly, as it takes down congestion and inflammation like a champ. Also, it is the only product I’ve ever used that has gotten rid of a blackhead in six hours. It’s expensive (especially when converted into Canadian dollars) but I have to say that the hype was well founded.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

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