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We love things that you can count on to go above and beyond the call of duty—a delicious leave-in conditioner, an ultrahydrating sleeping facial, and now, this leave-on exfoliant. No beads or scrubs here though. Powerful ingredients like AHA (short for alpha hydroxy acid) and glycolic acid rejuvenate skin cells for a more luminous complexion. Layer this gel under your other serum and moisturizer and go, no rinsing necessary.
So I read the most negative reviews, and with a lot of them it seems to be a matter of misunderstanding.
1. When you begin to use an AHA or BHA exfoliant, it is normal for your skin to "purge" - that is, you may have increased breakouts because the exfoliation is drawing out the gunk from your pores. These are breakouts that would have happened eventually anyway. These breakouts should last no more than a few weeks.
2. Yes, it burns. Especially at first. This is also normal, and the burning should subside after a minute or two.
3. Yes, you're supposed to leave this on your skin - after cleansing (and toner if you use one) and before anything else.
4. The smell of this and other PC products is simply the smell of the ingredients, because PC doesn't use fragrances in their products. THIS IS A GOOD THING. Smelling weird for a few minutes (those smells fade) is far better than irritating the skin with fragrances.
5. Please don't put this or anything else on your face without doing your homework. Not only to avoid bad products, but also to understand what to expect from good products.
All that said, I don't find this to be my favorite AHA, or even my favorite PC AHA.
For PC I recommend the 5% Resist product.
For a non-PC AHA, I recommend Olay's Night Resurfacing Elixir.
I've been using this for a month now. It stings when I put it on. But the benefits definitely outweigh the problems. My skin feels nice and smooth. And my skin, which started "purging" at first, is clearing up what little acne I had. And you only need to pump out product to roughly the size of a dime, which means it's gonna last for quite a while. When I finish the bottle, I'm definitely gonna re-buy it. Well worth a little stinging for results like these.5
I was at first a little worried about how I would feel about it being a gel, but found that the consistency is light and easy (though fast drying) to apply. I do notice a difference in using this product regularly on my face - I think I found my new favorite chemical exfoliant!5
I started using this to combat the daily battle with closed comedones on my face. every day I had clogged pores and something to pick at on my face. I use this every morning and the BHA at night and I rarely break out any more, I look more youthful, but most of all I dont have tiny clogged pores all over my face EVERY day!5
I wasn't quite sure about the application/use/results of this product until I began using it. In after only one week my skin feels so much better. It feels smoother, clearer and more even toned and textured. It is SUPER lightweight and a little goes a long way. It has not irritated my skin at all and leaves it with a fresh and clean glow. I will definitely purchase a full size product in the future.5
It helps blend some of the scarring I have and is a great exfoliant. I don't use it every day but still like the way it works.5
I love love love this product! I bought the full size as soon as my sample ran out! I apply it morning and night on a clean face and then apply my usual eye cream and moisturizer. It has improved the texture and look of my skin so much! Smooths and exfoliates, no more blemishes, reduces the appearance of my forehead lines. I'll never go without it! Just make sure to wear sunscreen if you will be in the sun...this gel will up your chances of burning!5
This stuff is fantastic. 8% glycolic acid, which is a low concentration of one of the strongest alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). AHAs are great for dry acneic skin in need of exfoliation. This product is helping me get rid of a lot of closed comedones by bringing them to a head, improving my skin tone and reducing left over darkness from acne scars. It may sting a little bit if you apply soon after cleansing your face (it penetrates the skin more easily at this point).
My only complaint is that this stuff smells pretty gross! But I will gladly suffer through that for better skin.
Paula's Choice also has FANTASTIC customer service!
I added this gel to my routine and was very happy with the results. It cleared up the dullness in my skin. I use it three times a week under my nightly moisturizer, I add a few extra days when my skin is looking extremely dull (post travel, etc).
One last night, it's a great investment -- a little goes a long way and shows great results
This product is really good for skin with a tendency to break out. I started with a product with a lower AHA percentage, and then moved to this one every other night, and now I use this every night. It isn't irritating since I transitioned into, and it really helps!5