We’ve all suffered at the hands of clogged pores at some point in our lives. Choosing to strike at the most inconvenient time, spots can really affect our self-esteem. Although acne outbreaks are usually part and parcel of being a teenager, spots can strike at any age and although it’s tempting to blame poor diet or lack of sleep for your blemishes, it can often be down to fluctuating hormone levels or even genetic factors.

The Claims

Paula’s choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid is a leave on exfoliant that claims to ‘unclog and shrink enlarged pores and reduce redness to create radiant and even-toned skin’. Containing 2% salicylic acid, could this little potion be the thing to make our blemishes a distant memory? Here’s hoping…

To start with, what is acne?

Acne is caused when our pores become blocked. This is often due to an excess production of our skins natural oil, known as sebum, by the sebaceous glands in our skin, either as a result of hormonal fluctuations or dehydration. Excess sebum can combine with any dead skin cells or dirt that may be sitting on our skin and can block our pores, providing the perfect breeding ground for bacteria (gross, we know!). This blocked pore is what we know to be a spot.

The Science behind the Bottle

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid, is something exfoliant-enthusiasts among you will be very familiar with. It is commonly found in acne treatments for its keratolytic property, meaning it can loosen the connections between adjacent skin cells, to make it easier for the top layer of skin cells to be shed. Shedding those dead and unwanted skin cells helps to unclog pores and prevent future breakouts too! Salicylic acid’s benefits don’t stop there either. It is also an analgesic, reducing the pain of any particularly angry spots (we know the type!) and can act as an anti-inflammatory too, by suppressing the expression of key proteins in the inflammatory response. There is even evidence that salicylic acid is less irritating and better tolerated by our skin than benzoyl peroxide too. It gets a thumbs up from us.

Green Tea Leaf Extract

Green tea is more than just a healthy drink; it can be good for our skin too. When applied to the skin it can neutralise damaging free radicals that have been connected to premature skin ageing. Research has also linked green tea to improving the hydration of our skin, leaving it feeling smoother and more moisturised following use of salicylic acid.

Butylene Glycol

Butylene Glycol acts to form a protective layer over the skin to prevent excess water loss and stop the skin from drying out, as well as attracting water up from lower layers of the skin to leave the top layer looking and feeling hydrated.

Our Verdict

It’s such a refreshing change to see an acne treatment aimed at preventing the formation of spots as well as reducing the appearance of existing blemishes, rather than the acne products available that are high in alcohol with the sole aim of drying the spot out! With some solid anti-acne science and many good reviews, we’re happy to give Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid our support. Our one piece of advice we would give is to start small and build up your tolerance to salicylic acid, as it can be irritating to those of you with very sensitive skin!

Click here to find Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid.

Loved this article? We think you’ll like these ones too!

Adult Acne

Acne – The Science Behind the Problem

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanse

Aqua, Methylpropanediol (slip agent/water-binding agent), Butylene Glycol (water-binding agent/humectant/slip agent), Salicylic Acid (Beta Hydroxy Acid, exfoliant), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (anti-irritant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Tetrasodium EDTA (stabilizing agent)