Paula’s Choice Resist BHA9 | Review & Results

In Paula's Choice, Skin Care Products by Angie Canning

I am so excited to bring an in-depth review to you today of Paula’s Choice Resist BHA9.  I began using Paula’s Choice RESIST BHA9 spot-treatment product for problem spots on my skin beginning mid-September, but wanted to use it for several weeks in order to bring to you an in-depth review, showing before and after photos to see how (and if!) this product would work for me.

What is Resist BHA9?
BHA9 is a spot treatment to be used for stubborn imperfections such as bumps, spots, redness and wrinkles.  It can also be used all over the face if needed.

According to Paula’s Choice, BHA 9 can do all of the following: 

  1. Unclog pores with the first use
  2. Diminish white bumps
  3. Minimize enlarged pores
  4. Smooth wrinkles
  5. Minimize sebaceous hyperplasia
  6. Smooth and soften dry, rough patches
  7. Help balance oily skin
  8. Fade red marks from breakouts
  9. Reduce breakouts

Sounds almost to good to be true, right!?  I was skeptical (heck, I am always skeptical!) so read on to see what happened when I used it:

Paula’s Choice Resist BHA9
BHA9 packaging showing the product amount window
BHA9 has a pump top
The product itself is clear (please excuse the sunlight reflection)
Resist BHA9 Packaging
Product Packaging

My Main Skin Concern:  Hard white bumps.  To further define, these look like large (or small) whiteheads that will not extract, no matter how hard you try.  I had developed these white bumps on both of my eyelids as well as around my mouth area (please see before/after photos).

Photo on the left: Initial problem area , three hard bumps that won’t go away
Photo on the right: While two of the white bumps have disappeared, I am still working on the last one, but it is much smaller that it used to be, so I will keep using BHA9 on it.

My BHA9 Experience:  I used BHA9 as a spot treatment around my mouth area, and initially applied it every day.  At first I did see signs of peeling after a few days use, but my white spots had not started to budge after a week of application.  At that time I had come across someone commenting that using it every second or third day can yield better results, and for some reason once I switched to using the product every other night before bed, that is when I started to see results.  Initially the results were back and forth – if I may be so bold in my descriptions here, the white bumps felt like they were beginning to “loosen”, would begin to feel a bit sore, and then nothing.  I continued to apply every other day and then at the beginning of October my largest bump became very irritated.  A few days later, I was able to easily extract it (I will of course give a cautionary comment here of how if/when you extract, you should always proceed with caution so you do not cause any permanent damage, and see a professional if necessary).

After a few weeks of using BHA9 on my face, I decided to try it out on my eyelids.  I want to caution you however, that using it on the eyelids is not condoned by Paula’s Choice, and I have since contacted Paula’s Choice and while they have others reporting this working on their ‘eye area’, I will note their website states to keep it away from the lashline and eyelids.  I personally was willing to take this “risk” because I applied it directly to the spots (shown in the photo below) and made sure not to over apply the product so it would not get into my eyes.  Yes, I realize the skin on the eyelid is thin, but I was willing to give it a try on myself to see what happened.  So while of course I do not advise you to be rubbing this all over your eyes, I experienced no irritation or ill effects using it as a spot treatment directly on the white bumps on my eyelids.  Again, use caution because retaining your eyesight is a higher priority than getting rid of bumps.  Here are some before and after results on my eyelids.

In the top photo you can see a large bump on the right and a smaller one on the left.  After about 3 weeks of use, it came off! The one on the left shrunk considerably and eventually disappeared on its own as well.

How I Use It, Application Tips & Interim Results.  Currently I am using BHA9 on the remaining spots on my face, and also use it all over my face once weekly.  You can experiment with what works best for you when you use it in your routine.  I find I like to apply it at night the best.  I also wanted to note that I found results faster and the product more effective when I really massage the product onto my problem area.  I continuously see better results when doing it this way vs. just dabbing it on the area.  Also, in the interim, before seeing results I wanted to note the area around my mouth where I had the three spots did get rather dry and peeled a bit as it was renewing the skin in that area.  To combat this I would just apply an extra amount of moisturizer on the area a few minutes before makeup application to hydrate the area.

Notes on Product Packaging.  I wanted to note my observations on the product packaging, which is very sleek looking and simply beautiful!  However, the pump tends to feel a little “stuck” and so I have to be extra careful when pumping out product, especially if I am only needing a small amount because when I give it a regular pump, more product dispenses than I need.  I have seen others suggest if you use your thumb and/or push the pump with the product upside down, it will dispense a smaller, more controlled amount.  That, in combination with squeezing the pump very slowly I can get out enough without wasting any product.

Overall I am extremely pleased with this product and I will continue to use it as a spot treatment as well as an overall facial treatment a few times a week.  I found the results for to me to be very positive and I feel it has given my overall complexion a smoother look and feeling.

Price & Availability.  Paula’s Choice products and Resist BHA9 can be purchased at  Resist BHA9 is $36.95 for .3fl oz. of product.  This price does seem high for the amount of product you get, but the results for me are worth it, and because I am mainly using this as a spot treatment it will last a long time.  Also keep in mind that Paula’s Choice has a 60 day money back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.  I would suggest if you do try it out to be sure to use it consistently and give it enough time to work.  Because my results were not as immediate as I thought they should be, I almost gave up, but I am glad I did not!


Where’s the RougeRating?  You may notice that I rate beauty products on this site, a.k.a., RougeRating, but I have chosen to not include skincare items in this rating system.  For more information, please visit my Product Integrity | RougeRating page.

Disclosure: I was sent this product by the company.  For more details, please visit VR’s Terms&Conditions page.

*Does this post look familiar?  I recently moved some of my recent and favorite posts to my new blog here at  My old blog was, so this post was originally published there.  Welcome & I look forward interacting with you on my new site! 🙂


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