Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Paula's Choice RESIST BHA 9

As you may remember from my skincare routine post a while back, I am a HUGE fan of Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid. In fact, I plan to order at least 5 more bottles of it for my annual stock-up this month, as Paula's Choice is currently running a 15% off everything promotion on their website (no code needed). As such, when Paula came out with a new BHA product claiming to be even better than the 2% BHA - RESIST BHA 9 - I think I was probably among the first hundred people to buy it. I HAD to try it. HAD TO! Paula has turned me into a chemical exfoliant junkie!

It arrived about a week later and, despite reading the product information on their website and seeing that a full size was 0.3 oz, I was still surprised when I received it by how tiny the bottle was. I've gotten 100-point Beauty Insider skincare samples from Sephora (in other words, tiny gifts with purchase) that were larger than this. The entire bottle, packaging and all, is about the size of one of my fingers. My first impression was a disappointed, "I paid $37 for this?" ... Nevertheless, I decided to give it a good solid try.

I tested BHA 9 as a spot treatment first, and upon finding it didn't sting or irritate my skin at all, later tried it as a nightly all-over face treatment as well. The good news is that upon waking up in the morning, I found my skin smooth and glowy every time, and the occasional pimple I did get would come to a head and clear up much quicker with consistent use of the BHA 9. Using this has a bit of a learning curve, because it feels rather sticky to apply but also starts to sink into the skin rapidly, and it's completely clear. As such, you have to rub/blend it into your face quickly if you intend to use it all over, or it will all just get sucked into the first part of your face you apply it to. I also like how as you use it up, the "shelf" at the bottom of the package that moves upward as you pump product out is clearly visible through a window in the tube, so you can see at any given time how much product you have left.

What I didn't like was, despite how little I use each time, how fast I use it up. I've probably used this for full-face application, using the smallest amount possible to cover that area, 15 times and based on the position of that "shelf" I mentioned, I would estimate my tube is 40% used up now. Based on my calculations, then, if you used this every night it would last you just over one month. Alternatively, you could look at it in terms of price and say it costs about $1 per use; I think that makes it about equivalent to what you get for your money when you buy high-end serums from Dior, Chanel, Guerlain, etc. Not quite the philosophy Paula's always espoused - that good skincare shouldn't cost an arm and a leg - is it?

The thing is, I have bought $170 serums from Dior and Guerlain before. I will of course go for more economic options if they make sense and/or seem just as good, but I AM willing to pay $1/use for something I deem to be worth my money because of what it does for my skin, how I feel when I use it, etc. If I had never tried Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid, I might think BHA 9 is a miracle product and buy 5 tubes during this sale. However, I honestly find that the BHA 9 is exactly as effective as the 2% BHA Liquid - no more, no less - and I find the 2% BHA Liquid the more pleasant of the two to apply due to the syrupy consistency of the BHA 9. The BHA 9 claims to treat "stubborn imperfections," but it didn't do anything for my pores, my few milia spots, or my light acne scarring that the 2% BHA hasn't. And it doesn't hurt that the 2% BHA Liquid costs less... yep, $118.18 less per ounce of product.

So... I'm not going to say that I don't recommend RESIST BHA 9, because I do think it's a good product. I just think, if you want to order a chemical exfoliant from Paula's Choice, that you're better off buying one of her 2% BHA products. If you are interested in ordering either of these products, you can find all of her AHA and BHA exfoliants for sale here.

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