Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant Review

By Liis Hainla. Updated: May 2023.
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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.8/5

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant is listed as our favorite vegan exfoliator. Here’s why we like this product and what are the pros and cons of using this exfoliant.

I myself have dry combination skin and I battle with blackheads on my nose, enlargened pores, uneven texture, and some occasional pimples on my chin.

This vegan exfoliator has helped me get rid of my skin congestion. So if you also struggle with pores, blemishes, blackheads, or bumpy texture – try this exfoliator asap.

Shop the exfoliator: Amazon, Sephora, Official Site

Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant Specs

Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant Specifications

Here are the main specifications of the Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant.

  • Type: chemical exfoliator
  • Exfoliating ingredients: 2% salicylic acid
  • Other ingredients: green tea, methylpropanediol
  • Promises: unclogs pores, smooths wrinkles, brightens the skin, evens skin tone
  • Features: vegan, cruelty-free, fragrance-free
  • Skin type: normal, oily, dry, combination, acne-prone

From the get-go, it’s clear that salicylic acid does all the heavy lifting in this exfoliator. While 2% is an normal over-the-counter concentration of salicylic acid, it works well. It’s probably not high enough to alone handle heavy acne but it can still make visible improvements to your skin.

I also liked that this vegan exfoliator uses methylpropanediol – an ingredient that helps salicylic acid absorb and work better. On top of it, the exfoliator includes green tea which is a fantastic antioxidant to balance and protect the skin. Green tea has also anti-aging benefits.

Is Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant Good?

To sum up, yes. 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant is a great skincare product and worth all the hype. It gets rid of blackheads, acne, and congested skin while being gentle on your skin.

This liquid exfoliant is easy to use and it fits well into any skincare routine. I use it a few times a week before my moisturizer and my skin is a lot smoother and clearer than before.

Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant Pros

Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant Pros

Here is what we like most about the 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant.

  • It (really) removes blackheads: This is the biggest benefit of this exfoliator. The blackheads on my nose are gone thanks to using this exfoliant regularly.
  • Pores look smaller: By getting rid of blackheads, my pores look almost invisible. As a result, my skin looks much smoother.
  • It reduces acne: I haven’t seen any blemishes since using this exfoliant. While I do not think it can alone handle heavy cystic or hormonal acne, it can work together with other acne treatments to treat and prevent breakouts.
  • It balances the skin: My combo skin is a lot more balanced. No excess oil in the T-zone.
  • It’s non-abrasive: As a chemical exfoliator, it does not break your skin. It just melts away dead skin cells.
  • It’s very lightweight: You don’t really feel this light liquid on your skin. It does not cause redness or irritate the skin. It goes well together with other skincare products.
  • It uses clean ingredients: We like that this exfoliant has quite a short ingredient list. It includes no needless additives or perfume.
  • It lasts a long time: You will be surprised how long this product lasts. It also has a good dispenser that gives out just enough liquid.

Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant Cons

Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant Cons

Here is what we do not like about the 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant.

  • It can dry out very dry skin: While this exfoliant is safe for dry skin, if you have very dry skin, do not use it daily. You can also consider applying it only to oily or congested areas such as the T-zone, nose, or chin.
  • No difference in wrinkles: While my skin texture looks smoother, I do not see any difference in my wrinkles or fine lines. This is a promise this product has failed to keep.
  • No difference in skin tone: While there’s a nice glow on my skin after using this product, it hasn’t evened out my skin tone much. My dark spots remain unchanged.
  • It’s not a quick fix: This is not your powerful one-time treatment that reveals instant baby skin. The liquid exfoliant works gradually, you need to be consistent with it.

FAQ About Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Is Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant vegan?

Yes, Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant is vegan and cruelty-free.

How to use Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant?

Apply it to your clean face with fingers or a cotton pad. Do not rinse. If you use it in the morning, make sure to follow it with SPF.

Is Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant worth it?

Yes, it’s so worth it. This is the first product that has helped me get rid of my blackheads and blemishes. My skin looks more even.

Is 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant good for acne?

It’s good for acne as it helps you get rid of blemishes and prevent future breakouts by keeping your pores clean.

Why Trust Us

Exfoliating is an essential part of a skincare routine. We have taken extra time to find vegan exfoliators that improve and renew the skin instead of harming it.

Our review of Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant has not been incentivized. Several of our team members tried this product and our review combines all our separate experiences.

Read more about how we review products and brands.


All in all, Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant does what exfoliators do best. And it does it effortlessly. It helps to keep your pores clean and your skin looking clear and fresh. It’s the only product that has made my blackheads disappear.

We would only criticize this exfoliator for making too many promises. It does not have much effect on wrinkles and it does not have a big impact on skin tone. That being said, it does more than any other exfoliator I’ve tried before and thus, receives a top score from us.

Shop the exfoliator: Amazon, Sephora, Official Site

My name is Liis. I have been a vegan for a long time and I advocate for the vegan lifestyle. Through Vegan Avenue, I aim to provide quality information about vegan products and bring attention to amazing vegan companies.