DTalksAll

Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Do you agree with her views on skincare products? 

I'm on a hunt for my Summer night serum & moisturizer. I think I'm going to purchase the Perricone Blue Plasma even though it stinks so bad of fish & I hate fish. I've been researching products a lot and one of the sites I was on was Paula's Choice. She is not a fan of the serum... Actually the more I read through her "beautypedia" reviews, it seems like she's not a fan of a lot of products. I also got a feeling she was mainly trying to push her own products and Olay. 

Examples: 

- She's against treatment cleansers since it's just "washed down the drain". I have to disagree with this. When I use a treatment cleanser, although they can be drying, I do see improvement in my breakouts. 

- Witch Hazel is bad. I find witch hazel to be an important ingredient when choosing a toner. She think it's just as bad as alcohol if not worse. 

 

Products she gave a "poor" rating to: 

- Anthony Logistic's Glycolic cleanser got a poor rating because it doesn't contain any glycolic acid. 

- doctor dennis gross's A/B pads since we can just skip step 2 by simply splashing water on our face to deactivate step 1. 

- Dior Capture Totale One Essential Serum because it's not a "miracle serum" since it's primarily just "water, slip agents, and alcohol"

- ExfoliKate

- Just about every Ole Henriksen product I love :smileysad: 

- Origins Checks & Balances, Charcoal Mask & every other decent product from them

- Most Murad products

 

I do agree with a few points she makes, like companies need to stop putting active ingredients in clear vials so the sun doesn't break down the properties of the treatment. Also jar packaging is a big no-no for her. I understand that some creams are too thick to be put in a pump, but what about those airless jars that Bosica & Dermadoctor are using? I hate sticking my fingers in jars & the air does break down the active ingredients over time... 

Overall though, I don't think I'll be going to her site when I'm researching a new product I want to try. 

HarlemJPN

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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I don't think she's all bad, and I don't think she's all good. Before she launched her line, I loved practically everything she said. Then she became more of a brand, more of a salesperson, and she launched her line of products. Since then, I find her more often than not to be biased, myopic, and pedantic. 

I agree with beauty4ashes below.  I like that she explains each ingredient in a product. in a sense, she "shows her math" in reaching her conclusions, something that my junior high math teachers would've given me partial credit for even if I didn't end up with the right answer. I also agree with PC and many of the posters below, like frickfrost, that her stance on removing added fragrance from products is something many companies should mimic. For reasons like these, I feel like I need to give PC "partial credit". Though I no longer believe all she says or writes, the basis of her reasoning is often sound, if self-aggrandizing. 

also --  some of her acne products are quite good.

 

frickfrost

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I think a lot of skincare companies out there could take some very important lessons from her. Like ridding all fragrance from skin care products. Especially facial products. I mean fragrance whether its synthetic of "natural" which is a misnomer, as there is really no such thing in the cosmetics industry. Less irritating ingredients like witch hazel and especially Alcohol or denatured alcohol. It frustrates me that companies are still putting alcohol denat in skin care products targeted for acne prone or aging skin. And everyone's skin is aging. I don't think she's the end all be all but compared to a lot of other junk out there I think she's on the ball. 

andyhtrieu

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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Thank goodness I'm not the only one that hates alcohol. I mentioned a few times that I don't like alcohol, SD alcohol, or denatured alcohol in my products and then someone yelled at me. LOL. 

andyhtrieu

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

On foundations that have good SPF, she says "This foundation’s rating is due to its overall performance rather than its SPF rating." But any foundation that DOESN'T have good SPF, she does NOT out that note at the end and gives that foundation a low rating. I don't understand why she does this. 

 

I only like her reviews because they're short and she's only site that actually looks at the ingredients. A lot of bloggers/vloggers don't even care about the ingredients and believe every claim that the product makes. 

nightknight

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I don't like her. She is incredibly biased and "reviews" products based on their ingredients and not actually how they function. She easily dismisses away products that she doesn't like for one motive or another. I feel like she does all this to make her products seem that much more superior than other brands. She considers herself the end all know all about everything skincare wise. I refuse to support such a person.

beauty4ashes

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I like how she explains why she gives ratings based on ingredients in the products.

cdani

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

[ Edited ]

It seems she only gives best reviews for products with ether green tea or chamomile (what she calls antioxidants and soothing agents) in them, both of which cause me to have eczema on my cheeks. Her products are also mostly full of these two ingredients; however, I have found her sight useful for checking product ingredients. That is about all I can say for it. Of course, she pushes her products first, which ,to me, means she isn't trustworthy for reviews on other companies products.

emmaclaire

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I have used Paula's Choice before, but I generally only use it for a starting spot or a last resort.  In other words, if I'm interested in trying a clarifying mask but know nothing about that type of product, I may look at Paula's Choice to see which ones she's reviewed, why she loved or hated them, and then gone on to other sites to get more information about those products.  Similarly, if I've narrowed my options down to two or three seemingly great products, I may check Paula's Choice (after looking at Makeupalley, my favorite beauty blogs, here, and sometimes Ulta) to see if she made any persuasive points in her reviews.

srplpwdr

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

As far as her reviews on skincare, I take them into consideration, but they aren't a make or break thing for me. I think that the review on the performance of makeup products are typically quite a bit off though. The king that I like the most about the site is that it enables me to find brands and products that I hadn't known about before and it always gives a complete ingredient list, so I can make my own call on a product.

inmm

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Know how she's always criticizing companies for not disclosing how much of an ingredient is in the product? I emailed her company asking for the percent of retinol in her retinol products (I need to know because high percentages are too much for my sensitive skin), and the amounts of some of the antioxidants in her antioxidant serums.

 

The company emailed back saying that it was "proprietary information" that they could not reveal. The hypocrisy!!

 

She's quite open about the percent of BHA and AHA in her products since they contain a notable amount, but the fact that she won't reveal the amount of retinol or antioxidants makes me really wonder.

inmm

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I think her website is generally very helpful, but she's overzealous on a few points. For instance, she insists that alcohol is skincare causes free radical damage, but the studies she cites weren't done on any skin, let alone human skin. In fact, her own dermatologist, Dr. Brandith Irwin, disagrees with her on that. 

 

She's also too quick to rate products as "Poor" simply because they have some fragrance or potential irritants. Those are things that people with sensitive skin should avoid, but if you don't have sensitive skin, then it doesn't matter, according to dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann.

 

Finally, I don't like how she rates all her products as "Best".

 

Bottom line: Overall her site is very helpful, and she's done remarkable things as a consumer advocate in making skin care companies accountable for their claims. But READ HER FULL REVIEWS INSTEAD OF LOOKING AT THE RATING.

chibimorph

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I've never used Paula's Choice products (because the conflict-of-interest/marketing me strategy makes me feel meh), but I like their reviews for products from other brands. I'm glad they list potential irritants and that they view certain "gimmick" ingredients skeptically (especially to very expensive products). Seeing them cite scientific articles to back their claim is always a nice touch, too (even though they tend to only cite 1). A lot of the skepticism they bring are beliefs that I've already held (for example, citrus product phototoxicity) and it just irks me when people think putting acidic products on your face is actually balancing the pH of your skin. I was shopping for skincare products for my mom, and I kept seeing the Boots No 7 Protect and Perfect serum being highly recommended. So I looked at the ingredients list and observed nothing special - heck, I didn't even see an anti-aging active ingredient. I went to Paula's Choice to look at the review, and was happy to see that they observed this, too.

 

That said, I think they overemphasize the need for antioxidants in a product (especially when there are other effective ingredients). Another issue I have is that some products with effective ingredients and without irritants are still given "average" ratings for reasons I don't fully comprehend. For example, my mom regularly uses the Neutrogena Ageless Intensive Deep Wrinkle Moisturizer (night), which contains retinol (they also point out sodium hyaluronate on the packaging, which I don't believe has anti-aging properties but might be a good moisturizer), does not have fragrance or irritants (unless if you're sensitive to hyaluronate, in which case the sodium hyaluronate (SA) listed on the packaging should deter you), and is packaged in an aluminum tube. I don't understand why this product isn't rated at least "Good." It bothers me because this product is in the same price range as Paula's Choice products and a lot of people like Neutrogena (and Olay), and this particular product seems pretty popular so I wonder if it's a marketing scheme (they don't even mention that this has retinol in it in their review).

 

Regarding their own product line, I like that the prices are very reasonable, there are effective ingredients (scientifically proven ones and not stuff that people randomly think works), they avoid irritants, and the stuff probably does at least an okay job. Even giving their own products a rating is just meh... and I don't trust the scientific articles they cite on their product info pages (because I suspect they partially funded those papers).

vchotia

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I'm so glad that this thread was bumped up! It's good hear that other people agree with me that she seems to have an agenda. I was having this discussion on another board recently, and I felt like, maybe it is just me. Glad that her products work for so many people, but I'm a little skeptical of someone that rates all of their products as the best.

arielaaaaaaaa

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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Well she created her line to be non-irritating, and include good ingredients at the right ph levels and all that, so of course they are rated best. 

vchotia

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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She actually has some ingredients that in her line that are known irritants, especially for people with rosacea. propylene glycol being one of them, so that it why I'm a bit skeptical. Some of her products are loaded with silicones, which can aggravate rosacea too (though it depends on the person), and others have parabens which I is something I avoid and would not consider a good ingredient (but that's a personal opinion).

chibimorph

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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Do you have a source for propylene glycol being an irritant for people with rosacea? (I can only find sites with "overviews" of rosacea irritants). Is it an allergy thing, a rosacea thing, or an individual-response?

The reason I ask is because I think Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser has been recommended for patients with Rosacea (and there's one article listed in PubMed that says this product is beneficial), which has propylene glycol listed as the third ingredient.

vchotia

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/705315/PROPYLENE_GLYCOL/

 

It's an alcohol that's listed as a skin irritant, and I have found this ingredient come up a lot on rosacea support groups. If this product works for you, that's great. Cetaphil products have never worked for me :smileysad:

chibimorph

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

[ Edited ]
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That sucks! I always feel bad for people with rosacea because it must be so annoying. I used to have mild seborrheic dermatitis (on my face) when I was in high school/college and it was very confusing to deal with (I ended up growing out of it mostly, but yeah, I never figured out how to take care of it and just gave up).

 

The sources the EWG Skin Deep page on propylene glycol cited (which a mod might take down if they see it because outside links aren't allowed) aren't well referenced and actually none of them mention rosacea, so I don't where they got that claim. The only sources listed (and the sources are listed pretty unprofessionally, I'm surprised) that apply to skin contact was the Cosmetic Ingredient Review on Propylene Glycol (EWG references the 2006 version) - I took a look at the report (most recent modification is 2010, I think) and they don't mention rosacea. They only indicate some irritation in some people when applied to the underarm as a deodorant. I'm very confused as to where the rosacea stuff came from. But they did mention that scientists want to give propylene glycol 4 different potential skin irritant classifications (dermatitis, allergy, sensory irritation, and urticaria) - but I don't feel the data support propylene glycol as a problematic ingredient in general (different people will be sensitive different things, it's kind of like allergies too - just because some people are allergic to peanuts doesn't make peanuts bad).

 

I hope you find an ingredient mix/product that works for you! :smileyhappy:

karma3p80

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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I have used a lot of her skincare. The thing that I found about her products is that it will help maintain your skin and prevent breakouts but it doesn't improve it. I was able to prevent further breakouts, which is nice, but I needed to improve my skin and I didn't see any improvement at all, while I have with other products.

melrieksts

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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Love all of Paula's Choice Skincare. I literally have tried almost every product she offers. I use the Clear Cleanser, the Clear Regular Strength BHA Exfoliant, the 2.5% Acne Treatment and the Hydralight Moisturizer in the morning. At night I use the same cleanser and exfoliant, but use the retinol serum and the Resist Clear Anti Aging Hydrator.

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