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. 


- 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. 


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I'm going to say yes to the Perricone.... when it's warmer out I'll stick with blue plasma and cold plasma at night... but if my skin is a little more on the dry side then I'll add some of the photo plasma on top of it all. 


And I'm on the side of treatment cleansers just being too much of a gimmick.  :smileyhappy:


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Okay i've been seeing this thread keep popping up, And now i'm gonna participate! 

I just made my first order last week! And it arrived yesterday!

So i'm going to start using the products today! I got the Clear Cleanser, 2% BHA liquid, Resist barrier repair moisturizer, C15 Serum ( i think it's called that???) And the 4% weekly BHA treatment! 

So i'm excited to try these! Although it will take some time to incorporate each and make sure i don't have any reactions! But for a few weeks i really was doing my homework about new skin care product, and i looked at multiple sites in regards to ingredients and stuff and i just decided to try Paula's Choice, I got nothing to loose hopefully, I can always return the products so I will see how they go! 

I don't agree 100% with some of what she says, Like about BHA/AHA's cleansers being pointless, But i am not gonna stop using them! I'm just looking for one without offending ingredients!


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I am so pleased to have found this thread!  I found the Cosmetics Cop website this summer after investing a small fortune in Perricone products which smelled worse than rotting fish and did nothing but make the skin conditions they promised to cure worse. (Really, Dr. Perricone, the smell?  Really?  I felt like I was in a Vagisil ad. People were staring at me.  Men did not ask me out.)  After reading Paula's scathing reviews of most of the Perricone products I came to understand why they had such an adverse effect on my sensitive, rosacea skin which is also prone to thunderous blackheads and sebaceous hyperplasia. I started following her product recommendations and I found myself to be almost annoyed yet also delighted that my skin kept improving. I broke down and ordered some of her Paula's Choice products and again to my mixed feelings of annoyance and joy I began to win some of my lifelong battles with some skin conditions.  Her Resist BHA 9 has been the only product that has ever had any effect whatsoever on my sebaceous hyperplasia, which, for reference, my bold faced name Manhattan dermatologist assured me could only ever be treated by cauterization (yikes!)  I have been using her Resist Retinol serum and Super antioxidant concentrate serum. Her toners are the first ones that have not irritated my skin. I've used the Skin Balancing Pore Reducing as well as the Clinical Instant Calm. I'm not completely sold on the Resist 10%AHA Weekly Resurfacing Treatment. I still think the Peter Thomas Roth 10% Glycolic moisturizer is the best. I am trying her sunblocks, currently the Hydralight Shine Free. I have a really hard time with sunblocks which is an issue as I am a beyond pale blue eyed redhead (MAC NC 15 for reference.)  I ordered some samples of her foundations but they were all too dark and the SPF lipstick samples were like my mother's makeup from the sixties so that was a no go however I have just ordered her new Resist powder as she makes it in porcelain so I will see how that works. I have also just ordered several of her body products. All in all, I think she makes high quality fairly priced skincare with a wealth of state of the art formulas, cutting edge antioxidants, ph correct so they actually work. I will continue to rely on Sephora for the most part to feed my colour cosmetic addiction, though. I hope my specific product comments are helpful.  


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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I believe AHA is a no no for people with rosacea. 


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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I think Lizzie is right. I learned this recently in reading a book called "Skin Type Solution." I have combo skin w/rosacea. What the author says is that to minimize redness, to avoid AHA (including glycolic acid), alpha lipoic acid, vitamin c (and citrus oils/fragrances) and, for some people, benzoyl peroxide. I took her advice and quit using my OH Truth Serum (which had been giving me major breakouts and redness--didn't find out until I quit using it). I bought the Paula's Choice 2% BHA liquid, which I absolutely love.


I do use PC 10% AHA body lotion on my neck because it's drier there (AHA is good for dry skin) and has no rosacea and super sensitivity issues.


It seems that maybe the PTR 10% glycolic moisturizer wouldn't be good on rosacea but I've learned that sometimes things work that aren't supposed to. That said, if it were me, based on this book written by a dermatologist, I'd swap the 10% AHA with a BHA liquid and find a moisturizer w/o glycolic acid...


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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I don't really go for her site for reviews.  I ended up purchasing many of the items that Wayne Goss recommends and have never had such a change in my skin in such a short amount of time.  I've been fighting dark spots lefts from acne for over a year, and within less than a month, they have faded significantly.  

They may not work for everyone, but they are doin' it for me :smileyhappy:


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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Tayvm, what did you get? Love to hear the Wayne Goss recommendation!


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

First order ...

Resist Skin Resurfacing & Smoothing System (comes with the Daily Smoothing Treatment and the Weekly Resurfacing Treatment) ... Wayne recommended the weekly treatment but I thought I'd try the duo.

Resist BHA 9 ... I'm still on the fence as to whether this is doing anything.

Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser ... not mentioned by Wayne but I needed a new cleanser.  Love it ... not at all drying but my skin feels cleaner than it ever has.

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid ... I feel like this has made a huge difference in the texture of my skin.

I also received a sample of the Resist C15 Super Booster ... not sure if this does much, but I just started using the Clarins Lotis oil and love it.


Second order ...

Weekly Retexturizing Foaming Treatment 4% BHA .. out of stock when I ordered the first time.  I've only used it once, so can't say for sure how I like it.

Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense ... SPF 30, lightly tinted ... LOVE this!  I'm very oily and sensitive, so I haven't had much luck with sunscreens.  This is perfect for my skin.

Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner ... I quite like this as well.

Clear Two-Week Trial Kit, Regular Strength ... I used this only once and found it a little too much.  Too drying maybe?  


Overall, I'm careful about not using too many products at once.  I alternate the treatment products so that I use one per night and I use the Dr. Dennis Gross alpha beta peels (original formula, each cut in half) on the mornings I wear makeup (3 or 4 times a week).  I also use the Dr. Dennis Gross ferulic treatment products (Triple Protection Eye Serum at night under eye cream and the Brightening Solution about twice a week). The Clarins Lotis Oil is my night moisturizer.  I feel like I've finally got the right combination of products in rotation. Marks are disappearing, the texture of my skin is so soft and smooth, my pores aren't nearly as visible, the oil has been controlled without being too dry.

Now the weather will change and I'll have to change everything :smileywink:



Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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Thanks, very informative!:smileyhappy:


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I like her stuff quite a bit. My skins already sensitive and I use prescriptions on top of it. Just about everything burns, dries, or breaks my skin out. I ordered a lot of samples from different companies during the fall. Most of them were just alright for the price or I had negative reactions to. Her line was the only one I used that I saw a noticeable difference with. I've bought a ton of her products since because so far they have worked for me. The price point is also perfect for me with all her discount and offers. Despite all the stuff I've tried and ordered I think I've spent less than $100. 


Here's a list of what I've bought and tried so far:


-Clear Extra Strength Kit

-Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment (sample)

-Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask (sample)

-Skin Balancing Oil Absorbing Mask

-Clinical Instant Calm Advanced Redness Relief 

-Resist Weightless Body Treatment

-Resit C15 Super Booster

-Resist Pure Raidance Skin Brightening Treatment (sample)

-Resist BHA 9 (sample)

-Hydralight Sample Kit

-Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator (sample)

-Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel 

-Sheer Cream Lipstick Sherbet (sample) 

-Sheer Cream Lipstick See Through Mauve (sample)

-Best Face Forward Foundation (sample)

-Mega Length Mascara 


I've gotten quite a few samples for other people also that I didn't list on here because I personally didn't try them. 


I'll probably keep buying for a few reasons. It works well for me, the shipping is incredibly reasonable, I can sample as much as I want, and the discounts make it so I'm paying about drug store price anyway. Considering that my skin has been so much better since I added her products to my prescription ones I've been using makes me really trust her advice regarding sensitive skin. 


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I currently use the 1% and/or 2% BHA lotion, Resist C15 Super Booster with the Skin Balancing Serum, Hydralight moisturizer or the Resist Super Light moisturizer, and I love her Skin Recovery toner, even though it's for dry skin and I'm oily. I just tried the Resist Advanced Replenishing toner and I like that one too. I use the BHA 9 occasionally. But the one product that I can't live without is the Resist Dark Spot Eraser 2% BHA. I notice a big difference when I use it. And somewhat of a difference with the C15 Super Booster, but I haven't used it consistently enough to say whether it's that good or not. For anyone who's oily, the Resist Super Light moisturizer is great. It has SPF but it doesn't leave you greasy and I notice it controls oil throughout the day for me. I have some samples of her masks but I haven't tried them yet. I've been using straight up red clay for my masks and let me tell you.... that stuff really sucks all of the junk out of your pores. I've never felt a mask get that tight on my face before and I've used tons of them. This is the one: http://www.swansonvitamins.com/now-foods-moroccan-red-clay-powder-6-oz-pwdr


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Wow, old thread revival. That means people are using the search bar YAY! 

I don't think my opinion of her site has changed much in the past year. I still buy products in jars & droppers, they still work for me. I still use products she doesn't like, they still work for me. 

I do go to her site to look for ingredients from brands that are shady & don't like to post them *cough* clinique *cough* But she's slow to update them when formulas change

A while back I requested some samples of her retinol serum, toners, cleansers... I was not a fan of any of them. None of them stood out, or did what they were supposed to. 


And I think she shares a lot of false information. Have you ever tried using your moisturizer or serum on your eyes? Yeah, I did, with her products & my eyes were sooooo dry! Serums not meant for the eyes can be too drying & moisturizers too heavy. Hello dry creases & new milia :smileysurprised: 



Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I love hearing everyone's thoughts on Paula's Choice!  I definitely agree that her reviews sometimes contain snarky and cutting remarks that are somewhat unprofessional.  And it's gotten to the point where I just roll my eyes when she does her Jar Packaging Rant.  I hate how dismissive the reviews are of products that have really good ingredients but get an automatic FAIL just because of the jar.  Let us decide on our own, sheesh.


That said I do rely on her cosmetic ingredients dictionary a lot.  When a new skincare product comes out the first place I check is beautypedia for the full ingredients list and any ingredient-related remarks she has to make.  I trust those since they're based on pretty extensive reading.  And over the years I have tried several of her products and for the most part find they work well, although you should definitely get samples first because her formulations aren't always as elegant as high-end skincare brands (i.e. sticky or tacky feeling, pilling under makeup, etc).


What I inevitably tune out is most of her makeup reviews (unless she specifically points out certain ingredients that I try to avoid like menthol in lip products) because they're way too subjective and remind me of someone's crabby old grandma.


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

"remind me of someone's crabby old grandma."


Yes. This. Perfect description for her!


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I used to skim her site occasionally until I found this gem, and now I'm just done. I don't even want to give her ad revenue from site traffic. This is about her review of Pur Minerals Fulvic Acid Mist. I love this mist, it's lightly fragranced, hydrating, and refreshing midway through my day. Her explanation of fulvic acid:


"Fulvic acid is a natural organic polymer extracted from the portion of soil known as humus. Humus is composed of decomposed plant and animal substances, which Pürminerals doesn’t explain, probably because who would want to put rotting plants and random animal substances on their face? Fulvic acid also can be extracted from water or sediment environments, but certainly isn’t what anyone could legitimately call a pure ingredient."


Alright people, how much more natural can we get than an acid extracted from dirt?? It's not like you're smearing your face with dead, rotting animal juices, no more than we are filling are cars with hunks of dead dinosaurs. 


It's not just that she's so blatantly biased to her own products, it's the smear campaign against other companies that I can't stomach. 


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

She does get snarky too. Still, when I want a no-nonsense product for my sensitive skin, hers seems to work better for me. But I don't use her complete line (I like a good eye cream and different moisturizers) and I wasn't impressed by her nude eyeshadow palette either.


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I'm sure some of her stuff is great for sensitive skin. Its just ridiculous how many ingredients she considers 'a possible/potential irritant' and then calls the product horrible for including those. Blech. 


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

truly, anything on the planet is a "possible/potential irritant"  I love all these posts! so true--I think she does the cosmetic community a disservice, because everything is so overly critical, and incredibly biased. When I first came across the site, I felt like I was the one misinformed , and thought that I  must be wrong to have used something that she said was awful and that I thought had worked and had liked. Jeez, I am pretty well-educated in skin, its care and cosmetics...but it had made me doubt my own opinions and experiences. I am glad I came across threads like this, to make me realize that you just have to keep these things in perspective. 


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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I think skincare is so personal. Even dermatologists don't get it right the first time when treating your skin. If something is working for you, continue using it! 


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Again, I know this is an old post, but I wanted to chime in too.  


I go to Paula's reviews often.  I like to see the reviews for products I am interested in.  I take it as just an opinion, sometimes with some factual knowledge about ingredients.  Sometimes products I like don't get rated well, sometimes they do.  


A lot of people say she has an agenda, but sometimes I do get really helpful information from her reviews.  I have pretty sensitive skin, and she really does break down what *may* irritate.  The other point I will make is that she does give other brands "BEST" reviews, so she isn't completely pushing her products.  


Lastly, while some products don't get the top ratings based on packaging or simple ingredients like fragrance or such, I am capable of reading through that review to see that while she has issue with certain features they are not an issue for me and that products is actually pretty good despite the rating she gave.  


While a lot of people seem to hate the site, I find it helpful for my sensitive skin.  And for the record, I don't use a single Paula's Choice product.  

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