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Updated on July 18, 2023

Overview

What they are

These products are both cruelty-free and reef safe . They have a total of 3 ingredients in common

Cool Features

They both contain BHA

Suited For

They're both likely to be good for fighting acne, brightening skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores and scar healing

Free From

They both do not contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

We independently verify ingredients, and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Spot a product that needs an update? Let us know.

Paula's Choice BHA 9 Treatment
Paula's Choice BHA 9 Treatment
Exfoliator
American Brand United States

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and see relevant ingredients

At a glance

Click on any of the items below to learn more

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients Side-by-side

found in both products
BHA 9 Treatment
Propylene Glycol Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
0 / 0 May worsen Eczema Icon
May worsen EczemaMay worsen Eczema Icon

Propylene Glycol is an odorless, colorless liquid. As a humectant, it helps skin retain moisture. It also aids in delivering active ingredients.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Peg-75 Humectant, Solvent

We don't have a description for Peg-75.

Unknown Full details ->
Peg-8 Humectant, Solvent

PEG-8 is a synthetic polymer used as a humectant and solvent.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Salicylic Acid Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
BHABHA Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 5 Benefits 4 Concerns

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Avena Sativa Kernel Extract Abrasive, Antioxidant, Emollient
Exfoliant IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
ExfoliantExfoliant Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon

Avena Sativa Kernel Extract is is derived from colloidal oatmeal. Besides being a healthy breakfast, oats have many benefits in skincare too.

Butylene Glycol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract Skin Protecting
Helps reduce irritation Icon
Helps reduce irritationHelps reduce irritation Icon

Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract comes from the Boerhavia Diffusa tree, or more commonly known as punarnava, red spiderling, spreading hogweed, or tarvine.

Unknown Full details ->
Sea Whip Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Sea Whip Extract.

Arginine Masking, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Arginine is an amino acid that is important for human development. Your body uses is it to produce hair keratin and skin collagen.

Polysorbate 20 Emulsifying
0 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Polysorbate 20 is made by combining ethoxylation of sorbitan, ethylene oxide, and lauric acid. It is a mild cleansing agent, surfactant, and emulsifier.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Disodium EDTA

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

Disliked Full details ->
Strawberry Smooth BHA + AHA Salicylic Acid Serum
Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Methylpropanediol Solvent

Methylpropanediol is a synthetic solvent and humectant.

C9-12 Alkane Solvent

C9-12 Alkane is synethically created using alkanes, or paraffins. It is added to products as a solvent. This means its main purpose is to help dissolve ingredients and create even texture.

Unknown Full details ->
Fragaria Vesca Fruit Extract Astringent, Skin Conditioning

Fragaria Vesca Fruit Extract comes from the wild or European strawberry.

Unknown Full details ->
Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate

Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate is a modified starch used to help thicken a product.

Unknown Full details ->
Salicylic Acid Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
BHABHA Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 5 Benefits 4 Concerns

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Pentylene Glycol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Pentylene glycol is typically used within a product to thicken it. It also adds a smooth, soft, and moisturizing feel to the product. It is naturally found in plants such as sugar beets.

Mandelic Acid Antimicrobial
AHA IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 2 Benefits 2 Concerns

Mandelic Acid helps exfoliate skin. It also contains antioxidant properties.

Succinic Acid Buffering, Masking

Succinic acid is an odorless white powder. It is naturally found in our bodies but can also be derived from living organisms.

Fragaria Vesca Leaf Extract Astringent, Skin Conditioning

Fragaria Vesca Leaf Extract comes from the leaves of the wild strawberry plant.

Unknown Full details ->
Azelaic Acid Buffering, Masking
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne Icon
5 Benefits

Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid derived from grains. This ingredient is effective in treating acne, rosacea, and other skin conditions.

Allantoin Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
0 / 0 Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
3 Benefits

Allantoin plays a role in soothing and moisturizing the skin. Because of this, it is often added to products with strong active ingredients.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Sodium Hyaluronate Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Hyaluronic Acid Icon
Hyaluronic AcidHyaluronic Acid Icon

Sodium Hyaluronate is hyaluronic acid's salt form. It is commonly derived from the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Bisabolol Masking, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Helps reduce irritation Icon
Helps reduce irritationHelps reduce irritation Icon

Bisabolol is pimarily used to add fragrance to a product. However, it is also famous for helping soothe skin.

Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Niacinamide Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
NiacinamideNiacinamide Icon 6 Benefits

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

Glucosamine

We don't have a description for Glucosamine.

Zingiber Officinale Root Extract Masking, Skin Conditioning, Tonic

Zingiber Officinale is more commonly known as ginger.

Saccharomyces Ferment Skin Conditioning

Saccharomyces Ferment is created from fermenting and filtering saccharomyces, a group of fungus that includes yeasts. It is a humectant and helps hydrate the skin.

Dextrin Absorbent

Dextrin is used to thicken a product and helps bind ingredients together. It is created from starch and glycogen.

Polydextrose Humectant

We don't have a description for Polydextrose.

Unknown Full details ->
1,2-Hexanediol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

1,2-Hexanediol is a multi-tasker ingredient. It acts as a preservative to increase shelf-life and can aid other preservatives in preventing microbe growth. 1,2-Hexanediol also helps the skin retain moisture as a humectant.

Caprylyl Glycol Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

Caprylyl Glycol is a humectant and emollient, meaning it attracts and preserves moisture.

Coco-Caprylate/Caprate Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Coco-Caprylate/Caprate is created from fatty coconut alcohol, caprylic acid, and capric acid.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Hydroxyacetophenone Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Hydroxyacetophenone is antioxidant and helps with skin conditioning.

Amylopectin

We don't have a description for Amylopectin.

Unknown Full details ->
Butylene Glycol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Succinoglycan Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Succinoglycan.

Unknown Full details ->
Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate Antimicrobial

Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate is a natural preservative. It comes from fermenting radish roots with a bacteria called leuconostoc. Leuconostoc comes from lactic acid. This bacteria is used to make the traditional Korean side-dish, kimchi. It is also used to make sourdough bread (both incredibly yummy foods).

Lauroyl Lysine Skin Conditioning

This ingredient comes from a fatty acid (lauric acid) and amino acid (lysine). It is used to add a silky feel to cosmetics.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Phytate

Sodium Phytate is the synthetic salt form of phytic acid. Phytic acid is an antioxidant and can be found in plant seeds.

Lecithin Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning

Lecithin is a term for a group of substances found in plants, animals, and humans. They are made up of mixture of fatty acids. These fatty acids usually are a mixture of phosphoric acid's choline ester connected to stearic, oleic, and palmitic acids. Most lecithins are created from plant ingredients scuh as sunflower.

Disliked Full details ->
Aminomethyl Propanol Buffering

Aminomethyl Propanol is used to adjust the pH of products. It is also used as a base to create other organic compounds. Having a balanced pH is important for protecting your skin.

Xanthan Gum Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

Disliked Full details ->
Citric Acid Buffering, Masking
AHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 4 Benefits 2 Concerns

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

Disliked Full details ->
Parfum Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon 2 Concerns

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, can be a blend of hundreds of chemicals or plant oils. This means every product with "fragrance" or "Parfum" in the ingredients list is a different mixture.

Very Disliked Full details ->

Ingredients Explained

These ingredients are found in both products.

Ingredients higher up in an ingredient list are typically present in a larger amount.

Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

This multitasking property makes it a great ingredient for cleaning out pores, controlling oil production, and reducing inflammation.

Unlike AHAs which are water soluble, Salicylic Acid is oil soluble. This means that it's able to exfoliate the inside of pores and reduce blackheads.

Concentrations of 0.5-2% are recognized by the U.S. FDA as an over-the-counter topical acne product.

It can cause irritation and/or dryness if one's skin already has a compromised moisture barrier, so it's best to focus on repairing that before introducing a Salicylic Acid into your routine.

In general, Salicylic Acid is a great ingredient for oily acne-prone skin.

While salicylic acid does not increase sun-sensitivity, we still recommend wearing SPF.

If you are looking for the ingredient called BHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole, click here.

Learn more about Salicylic Acid
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

Ingredient Ratings

Here's what our community thinks of the ingredients in these two products.

BHA 9 Treatment
5
2
4
2
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated
Strawberry Smooth BHA + AHA Salicylic Acid Serum
16
6
6
8
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

When to use

41 Routines
15% use in am
85% use in pm
54% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->
159 Routines
38% use in am
62% use in pm
79% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->

Reviews

Here's what our community thinks

Paula's Choice BHA 9 Treatment 13 ingredients

5.0 /5
from 1 rating
LaurenCavarra_200's avatar

LaurenCavarra_200

8 months ago Β· Combination Skin
Review

I feel it keeps my pimples and oiliness at bay.

Glow Recipe Strawberry Smooth BHA + AHA Salicylic Acid Serum 36 ingredients

3.2 /5
from 5 ratings
Expensive (1) Light Scent (1) Works Well (1)
sayumi's avatar

sayumi

12 months ago Β· Dry Skin
Review

not worth it
feels sticky and fragrance is super strong ur better off getting a different exfoliant and its super expensive for what it is