Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid: worth it?
Today I want to compare two exfoliating toners: The Ordinary’s 7% glycolic acid toner, and Paula’s Choice 2% BHA liquid. I’ve used both of these toners in the past. The Ordinary - Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution This was my first ever acid toner, and one of my first acids. As with most of The Ordinary’s products, I think you get a lot of bang for your buck—7% of glycolic acid is a solid percentage, and at $8.70 for 8oz, it can’t get much cheaper. I’ve used this off and on for years, and I know I can always turn to it if I need some no-nonsense exfoliation. I haven’t been using it as much lately because I use tretinoin, so I’m trying to lay off the heavier-duty exfoliants, but I’ve even used it on the bumpy areas of my arms and it’s helped to smooth them. This toner does sting a little bit (not in a burning way—it just feels spicy on my skin), but it’s never been so uncomfortable for me that I’ve wanted to stop using it. I think it helps other products penetrate and absorb better because it removes any dead skin cells that are in the way. Long story short, if you’re new to acids, this is a great place to start: the formula is simple, the percentage is solid, and the price is unbeatable. PAULA'S CHOICE - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA (Salicylic Acid) Liquid Exfoliator This toner contains 2% salicylic acid as the main ingredient, and green tea extract to soothe. I’ll be honest: I don’t love the way this toner feels when I apply it. It feels... oily? Greasy? I definitely was not expecting that consistently when I first applied it, and I’ve never quite gotten used to it. However, I love the way my skin reacts to this: while it’s never stung or prickled the way that The Ordinary’s toner has, I get smooth and glowy skin every time I use this. I think The Ordinary’s toner might be better for hardcore fading of dark spots, and this one is better for getting rid of texture and closed comedones. In the end, these are both good products. I think the Paula’s Choice is worth $29.50 for 4oz because it does what it claims to do, but The Ordinary’s formula is also very effective (and at a great price point). I would start with The Ordinary’s if you’re new to acids (make sure to wear sunscreen!) and while the Paula’s Choice has a different active ingredient, it’s also very effective and still at a reasonable price point.
The Ordinary-Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution