Why we recommend

This brilliant chemical exfoliant is outstandingly useful if you have oily skin or pores that get easily congested. It clears blocked pores and is anti-inflammatory while also hydrating the skin.


Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Brilliant chemical exfoliant

(19 customer reviews)


This award-winning chemical exfoliant uses 2% salicylic acid that deep dives into pores to prevent breakouts 


  • Exfoliates deep in your pores to prevent breakouts 
  • Anti-inflammatory to calm and minimise redness


Acid Toners, Beta Hydroxy Acid, and Exfoliators


Combination Skin and Oily Skin


    Based on 19 reviews
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    1-5 of 19 reviews
    1. S

      I’m on my third purchase of this toner. Recommend from Alice through her site for acne. Combined with her other recommendations all I can say is it works exactly how she said

    2. L

      Great for applying on spots after a breakout. It clears them away without being too drying.

    3. JB

      Lovely product. I’ve used it a bit and already noticed a slight difference. It’s really easy to apply and doesn’t take long. I will definitely buy this again.

    4. MS

      I bought the 30ml to see how it would work on my skin before purchasing the larger bottle. So far, so good. My skin feels smoother, it has a nice glow to it. With any skincare it takes a little while to see results so I’ll have to wait a few weeks. I’m excited to see the results!

    5. J

      I apply this to my face at night and can see results in the morning when I wash my face – my skin is smoother, and the pores look smaller. I have normal to oily skin and tend to have blackheads around the T-zone so I’m always looking for something to help with this. After reading into AHA, I decided to give this a go and I’m pleased I did. I haven’t had any issues with rashes or inflammation, but my skin is not sensitive so I respond well to cosmetics generally. Would recommend this for someone looking to get into acid exfoliators which seem more effective than scrub exfoliators in my opinion.

    This liquid exfoliant uses salicylic acid – a chemical exfoliant to quickly exfoliate dead skin cells both on the suface of your skin and deep inside your pores. This means it can make your skin appear more radiant while also fighting breakouts by removing built-up dead skin cells. Salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory properties so the formula shouldnt leave you red or sore. 


    Use after cleansing on a clean, dry, face. Put some on a cotton wool pad and sweep it gently around your face. I like to use it 2 or 3 times a week in the evenings, but you can use it morning and night.

    Aqua, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol, Salicylic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA,, Phenoxyethanol.

    What is the difference between BHAs and salicylic acid?

    There isnt one. Salicylic acid is the only beta hydroxy acid (BHA) used in skincare – so the two terms can be used interchangeably. 

    What is the difference between BHAs and AHAs?

    While both AHAs and BHAs work as chemical exfoliants, BHAs are oil-soluble (while AHAs are not). This means they can weasel their way into clogged, oily pores and clean them out while also exfoliating the skin’s surface. That makes BHAs especially good for those with congested and breakout-prone skin. 

    How often should you use a BHA exfoliant?

    Many brands say you can use acid toners every day, but we’d suggest starting with twice a week to check how your skin gets on. As with AHA acid toners, it is always best to be careful not to over-use them.

    Is Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant suitable for sensitive skin?

    Compared to BHAs (beta hydroxy acids), AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), of which salicylic acid is one, tend to be better suited to sensitive skin, as it also contains soothing, anti-inflammatory properties. That being said, use Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant with caution if you have sensitive skin – patch test a small amount and watch your skin for any reaction. If OK, use it just once a day on alternate days.

    Is Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

    The Paula’s Choice website states: ‘Salicylic acid (BHA) is a superior exfoliant for skin, and the small percentages used in skincare (2% or lower) are OK to use while pregnant.’ Speak to your doctor or midwife before using this product while breastfeeding.