Blackheads (and their sinister cousin, whiteheads) have plagued me for years; they simply cannot let me go. Across my T-zone, I have sầu pretty large pores going on that cannot resist getting filled with gunk. After years of skin torture in the form of Biore pore strips and ultra strong peel-off masks, I was left with blackheads and a load of irritation. I have tried anything and everything in my quest lớn skết thúc blackheads lớn that place that Gandalf fell, including a memorable incident with a pore vacuum, which I can heartily say I vì not recommend. While it turns out expecting instant results was getting me nowhere (who knew?), I have stumbled upon a cult favorite sản phẩm I would happily douse my face in for the rest of my life.

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Paula"s Choice

2% BHA Exfoliant

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I routinely spkết thúc time google researching blackhead remedies while binging The Great British Baking Show (don’t you?), và unfailingly, the Paula’s Choice BHA exfoliant would appear in comments và on message boards surrounded by words lượt thích magic, life-changing, và undeniable. It’s a chemical exfoliator, which means it doesn’t require those skin-shredding granules I used lớn slather over my face in middle school.

“I recommover ‘chemical’ exfoliation over physical, meaning using an acid or enzyme lớn exfoliate instead of physical particles as in a scrub,” said Dr. Loretta Ciralvì, dermatologist and owner of Dr. Loretta Skincare. “With physical exfoliation, you’re removing only surface dead cells. With a chemical exfoliant like AHA/glycolic, BHA/salicylic, or an enzyme, you’re removing cells both in pores as well as on skin’s surface.”


I caved & bought the 2% BHA Exfoliant so I could demo the magic for myself about eight months ago. The formula takes a moment khổng lồ get used to—initially, I was really skeptical since it feels quite oily on the skin. I was expecting more of a light zingy feeling, and instead, it has more of an oil-based sliông xã chất lượng. I apply it with a cotton round and concentrate it on the areas where my blackheads like khổng lồ congregate—mainly my nose, upper lip (sexy!), và chin.

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Despite my doubts, I’ve actually gotten used to how the formula feels, and after around eight months of use, it’s made my hallowed menu of auto-buy repurchases. My favorite part is how gentle it feels with no burning, itching, or stinging lượt thích other exfoliators—both chemical and physical—that I’ve sầu tried. All Paula’s Choice products are fragrance-không lấy phí as well, which is a welcome respite from recent overly-scented launches (Fenty Skin, I’m looking at you).

I’ve sầu worked up to lớn using it every night, and I’ve found that of all my lotions và potions, BHA (aka salicylic acid) works best for my skin in terms of refining texture & reducing pore blockage (my nemesis). I’m going to lớn be real: I still have sầu some blackheads. I think they may have sầu decided khổng lồ be with me forever, and who could blame them? But overall, the pores on my nose are less noticeable & enlarged & the skin on my cheeks and forehead feels buttery smooth, which wasn’t my intention in using this hàng hóa but is a delightful side effect. Here’s a photo I would use lớn announce the Exfoliant & I are engaged:


In general when I’m having skin woes, I go baông chồng to the drawing board with my tried-and-true products I know work and don’t irritate my skin. The 2% BHA Exfoliant always makes the danh sách, along with a gentle cleanser and hyaluronic acid serum. And of course, sunscreen.

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Final thoughts

If you’re dealing with blackheads, try this. Definitely try it before reaching for a quick-fix solution like a pore vacuum (your skin và I am begging you).Be prepared to lớn use this for a few months at least. Commit lớn it! I’m notorious for rotating my skincare too fast & thinking that nothing is working when really I needed to give it more time.Always use sunscreen when you’re using this sản phẩm. You know what, just always use sunscreen full stop.On my skin, this is pretty gentle, but I still recommover doing a patch test and working up lớn using every night, especially if your skin is sensitive.According lớn Paula’s Choice, exfoliants are step three after your cleanser và toner và before your serum and moisturizer. I usually skip toner, but otherwise, follow that order.