'Better than Botox': Instagram users (and over 16,000 shoppers) love Amazon's No. 1 best-selling $10 exfoliator

Devon Kelley
·5 min read

Yahoo Life is committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. We may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

(Photo: Paula's Choice)
(Photo: Paula's Choice)

If you care about having skin that glows (and who doesn’t?), exfoliating is a must. Once you add an exfoliator to your routine and those dead skin cells slough off, you’ll be hooked—and you’ll likely find that products absorb better, makeup goes on smoother, and your skin looks younger and healthier.

But not all methods of exfoliating are created equal, and dermatologists are increasingly recommending that their patients use chemical exfoliants over physical ones. And while the word “chemical” may sound a little daunting, especially for those prone to redness, many derms (including social media favorite dermatologist Dr. Andrea Suarez, better known as Dr. Dray, below) prefer it because it’s gentler than physical exfoliants.

Yup, that means it’s time to toss that microbead scrub (it can cause tiny tears in your skin, weakening its protective barrier and causing irritation), facial cleansing brush (it may harbor bacteria and tug at your skin, which can enhance signs of aging and increased laxity), or washcloth (another unnecessarily harsh method).

While there are plenty of expensive liquid chemical exfoliants out there, one inexpensive solution has caught the eye of dermatologists and skinfluencers (you know, Instagram influencers who focus on skin). Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, just $10 at Amazon, uses beta hydroxy acids to eradicate dead skin cells, leaving your skin radiant and smooth.

Shop it: Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, $10, amazon.com

This acid is oil-soluble, meaning it can get deep into those pores to eliminate buildup that causes acne, rough skin, rosacea, redness, and even dryness. It also calms down inflammation and treats hyperpigmentation, acne, blackheads and whiteheads, dark spots, uneven skin tone, large pores, fine lines and wrinkles. It’s fragrance-free, so it’s suitable for sensitive skin types, too. One Instagram user even lists it among the products that helped her reverse sun damage in a viral video.

Shop it: Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, $10, amazon.com

As with all exfoliants, you want to be careful not to overdo it. The product is technically suitable for everyday use, but most dermatologists recommend sticking to two or three times a week to avoid irritation, especially when you’re just getting started. If you use a retinol or retinoid product, or any other product that promotes skin turnover, you should avoid using it at the same time as your exfoliant to avoid irritation. Be sure to also wear sunscreen when you use this product, as it can increase your sensitivity.

(Photo: Paula's Choice)
(Photo: Paula's Choice)

Instagram users aren’t the only ones who love Paula’s Choice BHA. The product has racked up a perfect 5-star rating from over 16,000 Amazon shoppers.

One rave reviewer who called the product a “miracle in a bottle” says: “I have every skin issue you can think of. Rosacea, acne (hormonal, cystic, whiteheads, blackheads), dehydration, excessive oiliness, redness, all of it,” says the shopper, sharing before and after photos. “I’ve spent probably thousands on a multitude of different products, trying to find one that would at least make a dent. I’ve had many procedures, many trips to the dermatologist. Nothing I’ve ever used, nothing I’ve ever done, has made such a profound difference in the appearance of my skin. Having rosacea, my face often felt hot, bumpy, and burned. While my complexion is naturally fair and pink, this has seriously covered all my bases in a gentle and effective way. I’ve been trying to turn my skin around for YEARS!! this was the product that did it. If I could give it 100 stars I would. It has seriously changed my life!!!”

(Photo: Paula's Choice via Instagram)
(Photo: Paula's Choice via Instagram)

As for how it tackles fine lines and wrinkles, one reviewer calls it “BETTER THAN BOTOX,” writing, “It has taken five years worth of stress and wrinkles off my face in three days. I could not be more pleased or impressed. It literally cleared up my pores, tightened and smoothed them, erased mild wrinkled and even significantly smoothed out my terrible scowl line and forehead wrinkles completely. My skin has not felt this great and healthy nor has it looked this good in several years...It works better than expensive Botox I tried that wore off in a few weeks rather than the supposed few months it was supposed to last.”

Others agree, “This product is the most amazing thing I have ever used on my face to date,” writes a five-star reviewer. “I had uneven skin tone and dark spots on my face close to my jawline for years. I also had a really annoying wrinkle right next to my eye brow so deep it would be even more prominent with makeup on. I did think I had pretty smooth skin though. UNTIL I USED THIS PRODUCT! My skin is the smoothest it has ever been. The wrinkle by my eyebrow is practically gone! And I have even skin tone and no dark spots anymore! The gag is that it’s only been a month since I started using it. I don't even need foundation makeup anymore because my skin looks so good. I cannot forget to mention that I have very sensitive skin and this did not irritate my skin at all!”

Shop it: Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, $10, amazon.com

Read More from Yahoo Life:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle's newsletter.