Editor's Tip Editor's Tip

Start off with the cleanest of slates with Paula’s Choice Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant

3.3 oz

Availability: In stock


Birchbox Breakdown

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.

How to Use

Apply a small amount once or twice a day after cleansing and toning. Remember: No rinsing! Follow with the rest of your daily skincare and makeup routine.

Water, Glycolic Acid (alpha hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (chamomile/soothing agent), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (water-binding agent), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (antioxidant), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-identical ingredient), Panthenol (water-binding agent), Sodium PCA (skin-identical ingredient), Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol (slip agents/penetration enhancers), Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyquaternium-10 (thickeners), Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben (preservatives).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Good product for those who do their research first

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.

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Paula's Choice

I love all of Paula's Choice products. They are reasonably priced and work well. This exfoliant never irritates and helps in my oily areas. It's a part of my regular skin routine.

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Great exfoliator

I use this product twice a day and it has really helped make my skin look good. It is not harsh like some defoliators tend to be.

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didn't notice any real change

it took my skin some time to adjust to the product. It burned a little the first few times i used it so i only put it on the morning and did it every other day for about 1.5 weeks then i switched to morning and night. A little goes a long way and it spreads easily.
I just didn't see ANY noticeable changed in my texture, tone or color

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smoother, brighter skin makes me smile!

I received a sample of this product several months back but didn't use right away. I finally dug it out of "things to try" box and have been using it for the past month. I absolutely love the look of my skin - it feels softer and smoother, and I have noticed over time that sun damage is markedly diminished. A little product goes a long way, and the sample size was great to be able to see the effects over a period of time. I'm ordering the full size today!

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