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Paula's Choice BHA, Green Cream, or something else?

I recently came off of Accutane, and probably in part because literally all I've been doing is washing twice a day I'm starting to get some mild acne again. I'm meeting with my derm in a week to get advice. I had absolutely HORRIBLE results with Retin-A pre-Accutane, but I have heard good things about Tazorac as an alternative. Still, I'd rather not use a heavy-duty product if I don't have to, particularly after coming off of tane. Especially considering my acne is so mild at the moment, I really don't want to irritate my skin a bunch and make it turn to shit again.

I've heard products like Paula's Choice 2% BHA and Green Cream Level 6 are generally well accepted and do not irritate the skin. Is that true? I'm really just looking for something to keep whiteheads away, help purge blackheads on my nose, reduce oil in my T-zone, and even out my skin tone. There are SO many products out there, but I've heard a lot of good things about these two in particular and I'd love to get some feedback on their effectiveness. Should I expect a major purging process with either of them? What about side-effects like redness, flaking, etc? Most importantly, do they REMAIN consistently effective if used on a daily basis, or do they weaken over time?

While I'm here, if anyone could recommend a good non-comedogenic moisturizer, that would be awesome as well. I've been using Cetaphil's, but I think it's doing more harm than good.


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Between Green Cream and BHA, I recommend the 1% BHA Gel. Green Cream is a bit more potent due to its high level of retinol, and is more likely to cause irritation/flare-ups in the beginning. I never went through purging with BHA but I did experience some irritation and breakouts when starting green cream.

I also recommend going for 1% BHA instead of 2%, just because you mention that you want to avoid irritation. I personally have never experienced that with the 2%, but it's better to be safe than sorry I guess. I suggest getting samples and see how your skin reacts. You can start off with 1% and then later move on to the 2%. There's a wide margin of safety built into the BHA products- they do not contain potent irritants and they will not harm your skin in any way. As long as you apply it as directed you should be fine.

You should see consistent results with the BHA gel- there is no reason for it to weaken over time. In fact, the effects should appear more noticeable as time goes on. You should see full-fledged results in about 2 months- some people give up after using it a few weeks claiming that they didn't notice a difference. With skin care products like these it does take time, and i'm sure you know that since you've been on Accutane. As for moisturizer, I use Dan's moisturizer and it works perfectly for me. Some other popular ones on here are Cerave and Complex 15.

I suggest visiting this page for more info on the BHA products.

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I haven't tried green cream, but Paula's Choice 2% BHA works really good for me. I have tried everything, and the only thing that has kept my acne under control is that product. I get a breakout every once in a while, but it's because of my diet choices (I have been eating fast food and a lot of sweets lately). If you want to, you can order a sample at her website to try if the gel, liquid or lotion works best for you.

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