First Aid Beauty FAB Pharma BHA Acne Spot Treatment Gel 2% Salicylic Acid

First Aid Beauty

FAB Pharma BHA Acne Spot Treatment Gel 2% Salicylic Acid

0.75 fl. oz. for $ 26.00
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Brand Overview

First Aid Beauty’s FAB Pharma BHA Acne Spot Treatment Gel 2% Salicylic Acid has the potential to be a great anti-acne treatment… but it comes with just  one foible holding it back.

Packaged in an opaque squeeze tube that protects its ingredients from light and air, this lightweight gel sinks into skin quickly with no stickiness. It works well both over and under other skin care products and is fragrance free.

The star of the show here is salicylic acid, featured here in a concentration of 2% that’s widely considered the gold standard to help reduce enlarged pores and clear acne breakouts. Unfortunately it’s at a pH a bit above what’s considered optimal for BHA to exfoliate (that would be between 3-4), so you’re not getting quite as potent a treatment as you would from a BHA exfoliant at a slightly lower pH. Still, you’ll get some mild exfoliation benefits, as well as hydrating and soothing properties.

Acting as backing ingredients are urea and skin soothers willow bark extract, bisabolol, oatmeal, aloe, green tea, and licorice extract. These are all especially valuable for acne breakouts, since acne is an inflammatory condition, and anything you can do to soothe skin helps.

All told, this is a product with potential – but with just one tweak, it could have been a real standout!

  • 2% salicylic acid has soothing and hydrating properties for acne-prone skin.
  • Contains several proven skin-calming ingredients.
  • Likely to reduce acne-triggered redness.
  • Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
  • Fragrance free.
  • pH is above what’s considered optimal for salicylic acid to exfoliate skin most effectively.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

A rapid-action treatment with 2% Salicylic Acid to banish breakouts. 100% of users said it visibly improved their blemish-prone skin after 24 hours. Clear up acne blemishes, whiteheads and blackheads on the spot with this maximum strength Salicylic Acid formula. Packed with exfoliating and resurfacing acids and fruit enzymes, it helps fight the formation of acne marks. Soothing Aloe, Bisabalol & Oatmeal help minimize redness & calm irritation.

Active: Salicylic Acid 2%. Inactive: Water/Aqua/Eau, Butlyene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Glycolic Acid, Urea, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Bisabolol, Colloidal Oatmeal, Maltodextrin, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Disodium Phosphate, Polysorbate 60, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Phosphate, Citric Acid.

First Aid Beauty At-A-Glance

Strengths: Several fragrance-free products; relatively reasonable pricing; sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection; wonderful fragrance-free body wash.

Weaknesses: AHA pads contain a low amount of glycolic and lactic acids; some products contain fragrant plant extracts; every product contains feverfew extract, which has benefits, but also can be an irritant; jar packaging; for a line meant for sensitive skin, their use of common irritants is disappointing.

With a name like First Aid Beauty (FAB for short), it's obvious this line is meant to rescue your skin from distress, and, indeed, these products are targeted toward those who have sensitive, easily irritated skin, but who still want an elegant, department-store flair. Ironically, FAB falls short on both ends of the spectrum.

Despite the company's claims of providing "therapeutic action" for "tough skin conditions," some of the products contain irritating ingredients that are extremely problematic for any skin type, especially for those with sensitive or compromised skin. It was disappointing to see known irritants like sulfur, balsam resin, and witch hazel in products claiming to calm your skin and reduce redness. "What were they thinking?" was a question that came up more than once while reviewing this line!

On the bright side, First Aid Beauty does have a very good fragrance-free body wash. There are also a few products that omit the fragrance, which is a definite must for sensitive skin, although, in fact, all skin types do best with fragrance-free products. Unfortunately, the fragrance-free formulas in this line come up short on important ingredients, like antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.

It is best to avoid their Ultra Repair Cream, the SPF 30 sunscreen, Detox Eye Roller, Blemish Eraser, and the Anti-Redness Serum because they all contain enough irritating ingredients to make conditions like acne, redness, and sensitivity worse.

For more information about First Aid Beauty, visit your local Sephora or Ulta or call (800) 322-3619 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.

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