It's no secret that salicylic acid does wonders for treating everything from breakouts and clogged pores to rough and red skin patches. It's an effective ingredient that improves skin texture and appearance overnight and long term, as long as one is not sensitive/allergic to it. Normally salicylic acid solution come in a 1%-2% concentrations as a liquid or a lotion for use on large areas and even the entire face. But sometimes you need more. A lot more.
In the past I've dealt with various skin freakouts by using extremely high concentrations of salicylic acid in a liquid solution. It's like bomb diffusing when that bomb is red and throbbing in the middle of your face. But it has consequences, and on more than one occasion I managed to give myself an unsightly chemical burn that in turn had to be treated (La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 and my little miracle worker, the propolis cream). But that's not something I'd ever recommend doing, especially since it takes time until the skin is restores to a happy, healthy, and supple state. There had to be a better way, right?
As a matter of fact, until late last year there wasn't. But then Paula Begoun launched her Paula's Choice Resist BHA 9 serum. and that, my friends, was a game changer. The concentration of salicylic acid in this product is a whopping 9%. That's a lot, yet not high enough to cause burns. The serum has a gel texture and it's wonderfully kind and soothing on irritated skin. It looks and feels so innocent that it's hard to believe how effective Resist BHA 9 actually is at treating breakouts, redness, clogged pores, dry patches, and discolorations. Some of the effect is visible after one overnight use: pimples and spots shrink immediately and the skin around them looks less inflamed. The same goes for small dry patches. In my experience, discoloration is reduced within 5-7 days (and goes away with continuous use- 6 to 8 weeks), and the overall skin appearance is visibly improved almost immediately. It happens almost right in front of you.
Now, my skin issues over the last 6 months were the result of various sensitivities and reaction to stuff from Biotin to coconut oil, so I can't talk about actual acne or oily skin (mine is on the dry side). This is just how Resist BHA 9 worked on topical inflammations and random spots, but it does work and the quick results are almost miraculous. The serum is meant to be used twice a day on cleansed skin (but you can use a moisturizer first if you feel the need). It's a spot treatment and only requires a minute amount, but those in need can apply it on larger areas. I haven't tried, but from my experience Resist BHA 9 is non-drying and doesn't leave parched skin behind.
Bottom Line: I could kiss Paula.
Ingredients: Propylene Glycol (solvent/penetration enhancer), PEG-75, PEG-8 (thickeners), Water, Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/time-released exfoliant, 9%), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract (anti-irritant), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (antioxidant plant extract), Sea Whip Extract (soothing plant extract), Arginine (amino acid/skin-conditioning agent), Polysorbate 20 (stabilizer), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent).
Paula's Choice- Resist BHA 9 ($40, 0.3oz) is available from paulaschoice.com.