Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant – DIY Dupe Recipe

This is a leave-on chemical exfoliant that I’ve been using for a while. It makes my skin sooooo smooth.

It costs $29.50 per 4.0oz bottle regularly. You can make a whole Sephora’s worth of the stuff for about $42.

It has 8 ingredients, including water.

The Active Ingredient

The active ingredient is BAH (Salicylic acid). It was a little tricky to find the correct ingredients because the chemical in question is not actually BAH, that is apparently a marketing misnomer. It’s still a type of AHA.

Another ingredient “Methylpropanediol” is sold as “Propanediol 1,3” if you wish to purchase it as a separate ingredient.

Ingredient List

Anyways, here’s the ingredients list from their website:

Water (Aqua), Methylpropanediol (hydration), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Polysorbate 20 (stabilizer), Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract (green tea/skin calming/antioxidant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancer), Tetrasodium EDTA (stabilizer).

Here is the ingredients list in English:

Water, Solvent [Methylpropanediol, also called Propanediol 1,3], Alcohol-Preservative/Emulsifier/Solvent [Butylene Glycol], Salicylic Acid (alpha hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Moisturizing Emulsifier [Polysorbate 20], Green Tea Extract, Salt [Sodium Hydroxide], Preservative/Antioxident/Makes skin more permeable to product [Tetrasodium EDTA]

Value Vs. Cost of Going DIY

The total cost of all of these ingredients purchased IN BULK sized bottles from the cosmetic ingredient wholesaler Making Cosmetics https://www.makingcosmetics.com/ (I verified that they are legit) costs $42.

Each ingredient comes in 4.2oz as the smallest size you can purchase. The product in question is 4.0oz. I don’t even need to do the math to know that it’s an excellent value to just mix it myself.

Measuring Ingredients

1/2 tsp Salicylic Acid

What to Buy

But if any of you would like to get your own ingredients, here’s your shopping list:

  • Distilled Water
  • Propanediol 1,3 (4.2oz) $9.80
  • Butylene Glycol (4.2oz) $8.25
  • Salicylic Acid (4.4oz) $11.90
  • Polysorbate 20 (4.2oz) $6.10
  • Green Tea Extract (2.0oz) $9.20
  • EDTA (4.4oz) $5.90

The bottles I used came in a 6 pack for 7.59 on amazon.

You can purchase these from reputible cosmetic wholesalers, the one I used is Making Cosmetics.