Paula's Choice Skincare CALM 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant

Paula's Choice Skincare

CALM 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant

3.30 fl. oz. for $ 29.50
Expert Rating

Expert Reviews

Community Reviews



Brand Overview

Paula's Choice Skincare is no stranger to formulating beta hydroxy acid (BHA) exfoliants—offering numerous choices within their line—so adding one more may seem like overkill! Instead, CALM 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant is a sensible addition to the line. Containing 1% salicylic acid (that's the BHA ingredient) in a lightweight lotion base suitable for most skin types, even for those with skin prone to rosacea, the formula nicely distinguishes itself from the brand's other BHA exfoliants with its comprehensive mix of proven soothing agents.

Housed in an opaque, pump bottle packaging that will keep these delicate plant extracts stable, this salicylic acid exfoliant is formulated at a pH of 3.5—the sweet spot needed to work its magic. (OK, it's not really magic but many who use a well formulated BHA exfoliant feel the results come pretty close).

Getting back to those soothing agents—all are in the form of plant extracts with research supporting their ability to calm skin.

Green tea leaf brings its soothing powers to your skin, and it's joined by licorice root, willow herb, and beta-glucan, among a few others. In short, this product is capable of exfoliating and smoothing skin texture as it works to improve signs of sensitivity. Now that's a multi-tasker we can get behind!

CALM 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant is fragrance free—an especially important benefit for those with extra-sensitive skin, as fragrance is a common source of sensitivity. It does have a slight, almost undetectable scent that is inherent of salicylic acid itself, but it does not linger—another improvement over the brands' previous Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Lotion.

The lightweight, non-greasy lotion formula is easy to apply, works well under other products, and, best of all, contains several plant-based ingredients with solid research attesting to their ability to soothe persistently sensitive skin.

  • Exfoliates and smooths skin as it soothes.
  • Improves the look and feel of skin.
  • Lightweight formula is compatible with most skin types.
  • Contains an impressive mix of soothing plant extracts.
  • Packaged to ensure ongoing stability of its most beneficial ingredients.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • None.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

CALM 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant is a leave-on, sheer lightweight lotion with a texture that works to soothe redness and smooth away dry skin with skin-plumping hydration. It also diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and lessens the size of pores.

Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Salicylic Acid, Avena Sativa (Oat) Bran Extract, Allantoin, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Lauric Acid, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Stearate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, PEG-40 Stearate, Xanthan Gum, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol

Paula's Choice Skincare At-A-Glance


Paula's Choice Skincare was established in 1995 when best-selling beauty author and consumer advocate Paula Begoun (known as The Cosmetics Cop) decided to develop her own products.

As a natural evolution of Paula's personal mission to help consumers find the best products for their skin, the line has grown into an extensive range of skincare and makeup products that are formulated to meet the needs of almost every skin type and skin concern imaginable, from acne to wrinkles.

Paulas Choice Skincare relies on published research where available to discover the best ingredients for skin. Stable packaging is another feature of the brand, using innovative, opaque, and air-tight or air-restrictive components that keep antioxidants and other light- and air-sensitive ingredients from breaking down. The line is also 100% fragrance-free.

Disclosure: Paula Begoun is the creator of Beautypedia and founder of Paula's Choice Skincare products. Reviewing thousands of skincare and makeup products over the past 30 years, both on this site and in her best-selling books, Paula's mission has always been to help consumers find the best products possible for their skin. The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains this commitment. In addition, The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same rating standards and criteria, whether it is a Paula's Choice product or another brand.

Why are Paula's Choice Skincare products rated highly? The Paula's Choice Skincare Team would not launch a product unless it was worthy of a high rating from The Beautypedia Team. Paula and The Beautypedia Team were researching and reviewing products long before Paula's Choice Skincare ever existed and consumers were constantly requesting a skincare brand that met all of Beautypedias criteria. As a result, The Paula's Choice Skincare Team was created and uses the same research and criteria to formulate Paula's Choice products as The Beautypedia Team uses to review products.

For more information about Paula's Choice, call (800) 831-4088 or visit

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our terms of use here.