Peter Thomas Roth Beta Hydroxy 2% Acne Wash - review


I received this sample cleanser from Beautybay ages ago and it's been open around eight months now, although it's only been in the last two months that I've started using it every day.

Reason being, as predicted I started breaking out 12-weeks after giving birth (this happens due to hormone changes, as does the hair loss) and I needed something to target the issue, so because this is designed for breakouts, I brought it out again and used it more often.

Has it helped? Not really, at least as far as I can tell. But I don't think it's a bad product and it does meet some of its claims so it's got that going for it at least.

Peter Thomas Roth claims/product details:
  • This gentle yet effective oil-free acne wash deep-cleanses without over-drying
  • Helps eliminate the breakout cycle and removes excess oil, makeup and bacteria
  • Soothes and conditions the skin, leaving it squeaky clean and residue free
  • For the treatment and control of acne
  • Penetrates pores to eliminate, clear up and help prevent the development of new whiteheads, blackheads and acne blemishes while allowing skin to heal
  • RRP $44 AUD for 250ml, but do shop around


I don't mind this product but I also don't think it's the most effective of its kind that I've used. As a comparison, I've got Mario Badescu's Glycolic Acid Cleanser (reviewed here) open at the moment too and I've occasionally been using that instead of this one, just to compare them. 

I find the Badescu version does more for my skin and makes it feel cleaner, although this one's not as astringent so if you have sensitive skin or find the Badescu version strips the skin too much, this one is a good alternative because it's gentler while still doing a similar thing.

This is a gel cleanser that smells a little of its ingredients (so it does smell acidic to me) but the scent isn't strong so I wouldn't discount this if you're sensitive to fragrance.

It does lather up a little when you add water and massage it in, but I wouldn't call it a foaming cleanser so again, don't discount this if you don't like foaming cleansers because this isn't in the same league: it lathers, it doesn't foam.

After use, my skin definitely feels squeaky clean so I do think that claim is true, and I do think it cleanses without over-drying the skin.

I also agree that it helps remove excess oil, makeup and bacteria, plus it leaves the skin residue-free so those claims are true as well.

What I don't believe it does, however, is effectively manage my breakouts: I've still been getting them and they've hung around the whole time I've been using this product.

So while we could possibly say that this cleanser has stopped me from getting more breakouts (perhaps I'd have had more, if I hadn't been using this), what I can definitely say is that this hasn't done anything for the ones I do have. They're still there, the same ones, and short of taking my fingernails to them (gross ; )), I don't know what will remove them - but I do know this product won't.

Perhaps this cleanser is better for acne of the big and red variety (which I don't get as much), and isn't so good for heads of the black and white variety (which I do get). But it says in the claims that it should work for all acne so I'd have expected to see more of a result from using this every day for two months.

So in sum, while I don't think this is a bad product, I also don't think it's that effective - at least for me - and I find that Mario Badescu's version does more for me overall. I'm comparing them because they do similar things, it's just that the Badescu version does them better.

Nevertheless it's worth reading lots of reviews on this product because I've seen plenty of good ones, so it may just be that this isn't the product for me.


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