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 think this thread is an interesting study in the emotional attachment we develop toward these pretty, delicious smelling products that we like to smear on our faces!


I started using Paula's Choice four or five years ago and the products changed my life.  After years of struggling with adult acne I FINALLY found relief.  The funny thing is, I still felt the need to wander and try the more expensive products in the prettier packaging.  To this day I know that PC's clear system is the best thing for my skin, but I still want to keep trying other things.


I guess what I'm saying is that I see both sides of the argument.  I'm a logical person.  My brain tells me to use what works and to be skeptical of the next cutting-edge, trendy ingredient.  But my emotional side wants a vanity full of pretty bottles that just might give me the perfect skin I've always dreamed of!


That said, I say don't knock Paula's Choice unless you've tried it and given it a fair shot. If you don't want to try her products, just consider her website one amongst many sources available and take it with a grain of salt if need be.:smileyhappy: 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I don't think we should have to compromise between formulas that feel luxurious and formulas that have stellar research-driven ingredients. I'm waiting for that skincare line. So many companies brush the surface of this, and it's frustrating! 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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I agree!


With regard to PC, I feel they have made some improvement since I started buying a few years ago.  Though they're still anything but luxurious, I think the packaging has come a long way.  The packaging for the Resist line is fairly sleek.  


I also think they've improved greatly in the SPF department, which is where I felt they were seriously lacking in the past.  I'm currently wearing a sample of the Balancing SPF and I'm happy to report that it left my skin feeling silky, not at all oily, and it didn't sting like her old SPF products used to.  I was planning on buying SPF form Sephora next month during the sale, but I think I'm going to buy this instead. 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I have to chime in again and say that the PC website adds so much confusion.  I was trying to find out ingredients that are in a serum I was thinking of trying out ( and have heard rave reviews for!) and I ended up on the Paula's Choice site. Even when I have used products that have worked, after reading the reviews it makes me think that everything I have done or purchased has been a colossal mistake! I read many companies' basic information as well as for specific products  and mostly it is just negative. It has me rethinking recent purchases of items that I know are OK... 

In my opinion, PC is ultimately just trying to make their own items seem like the ONLY things on the planet that one should be putting on their face, and that everything else is secretly going to ruin your skin and empty your wallet.  It makes me feel confused paranoid to buy anything or like any products or companies, due to the conflicting information between this website and the companies.  I really have to stay away from it from now on! :/

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I don't think you should give up on researching what you put on your skin, and even though I agree there's a conflict of interest for Paula Begoun's team to critique other companies' products while simultaneously touting their own line, Beautypedia can be an excellent resource when used with a critical eye.


For instance, one of the team's major issues with any product is fragrance. But if you'll notice, their reviews are inconsistent about it. Just an example: Beautypedia rates many of Estee Lauder's serums as some of the best, but their recent reviews on the skincare from MDSolarSciences show their lowest rating; both contain fragrance components, and in low quantities (listed last or close to last on the ingredients list). What I would suggest in these cases is reading the text of the review to figure out exactly what they take issue with-- if it is just the fragrance content and everything else in the formula is excellent (as was the case for MDSolarSciences), yet the fragrance is low on the ingredients list, go ahead and disregard the rating. But if the review cites multiple issues, take that as a reason to continue your research.


Bottom line, use Beautypedia as a starting point and not the be-all-end-all. If you've had great results with a product, don't let Beautypedia discourage you.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Glad I found this thread...

I can't help but be skeptical of a beauty review website that is also trying to sell their own products.  They do rate some products very highly, suggesting that they are not biased, but I can't help but wonder.  They also have certain "rules" that I'm not sure are good to follow - such as "no alcohol."  (I'm currently loving the results of Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads, completely cleared up my acne, but noted the horrible review on her site because of the alcohol).  Some things make sense (keeping a product at a certain pH for their ingredients to work), but other points / rules I'm not too sure of.  I will continue to go to this website for their reviews, but won't hold everything they say as gospel...


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

your question makes no sense, you realize this right?   You're like "she's saying products i love and brands i love trying are actually not that good based on her research and opinion, but i love them so i'm not going to listen to her information."   You can't dismiss something because it's not the answer you want. Most skin care stuff and weight loss stuff is a TOTAL scam...that's just a fact.  If you want to buy products because you think they are pretty, and their packaging draws you to them and you just simply get bored with products (probably because none of them are really doing that much), and because you feel like you are treating yourself somehow since you spent a lot of money on them, is totally fine, as long as you're willing to simply say "yeah i just want to do this because it makes me feel good somehow" that's different.  But clearly using reasons such as: just because the scientific review of products/brands you've always thought were so great are actually not that great,is absolutely illogical.   Think about the fact that these products can make all kinds of claims and it doesn't matter. There's no rules to what kinds of claims you can make about a lot of skin care.  So of course it's easy to set out to scam people! Law of large numbers. Just hoping most of the people will buy into the clever marketing gimmicks and rely on placebo effects to spread the word! 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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I don't know man I trust her products :smileyvery-happy: It made my horrible skin into something decent. I wish I knew about her products before my horrible breakout which left some deep scarring. 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

As a chemist and a skincare expert I just wanted to mention that when it comes to specific ingredients you may not see inflamation and damage on the surface of your skin but trust me, it's there.  That's the problem with certain ingredients. You may think that they're not bothering you but in the reality they are and you may not see it for years later. They cause aging beneath the skin.   I have read Paulas choice and I have to be honest the research that's behind her beliefs holds true. You want to avoid certain ingredients in skincare and all costs even if you don't see the reaction on the surface. Trust me your skin will thank you in the future!

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

What exactly is a "skincare expert"?

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

[ Edited ]

As someone with a strong chemistry and research background, just because someone references a study in their claims does not mean that they are applying the results accurately to their situation.


For example, Paula hates on ALL alcohol in skincare, as shown in the article from her page, below:


"We must include the facts on how alcohol affects skin cells, because it's a free-radical bonanza. Small amounts of alcohol applied to skin cells in lab settings (about 3% alcohol, but keep in mind skin-care products contain amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or more) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals; so, not only does alcohol crash your healthy-complexion party—it trashes the furniture, too! Worst skin-care guest ever.


The damage to cells continues, and it's not pretty: Exposure to alcohol causes skin cells to literally self-destruct. Seriously—they just give up and go boom, and the longer the exposure to alcohol continues, the worse it gets for your skin cells. The same study found that only two days of exposure was dramatically more harmful than one day of exposure, and that was using an alcohol concentration of less than 10%, which is much lower than what's in many alcohol-based skin-care products.


This research clearly demonstrates the connection between free-radical damage to skin cells and alcohol exposure. Interestingly, this is exceptionally similar to the free-radical damage that results from excessive consumption of alcohol in the short and long term. Cheers to that? We think not!"


I bolded that last statement as a highlight of her overconfidence and over-application of the results of this study. The study was done in a lab setting, in vitro (aka a petri dish), which is drastically different than a topical test. She also uses these studies to put a blanket ban on all alcohols, even though many only use ethanol. 


TL: DR Just because you reference a study doesn't mean your conclusions are facts. 


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Actually, she isn't against ALL alcohols.


From the Beautypedia website: "There's a class of ingredients known as fatty alcohols, which are not the least bit harmful for skin. Often confused with the bad alcohols, such as denatured alcohol, the fatty alcohols include, among others, cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. Typically, fatty alcohols are used as emollients and thickeners in skin-care products. Fatty alcohols are not irritating and, in fact, can be beneficial for dry skin. As far as your skin is concerned, fatty alcohols are about as related to skin-damaging alcohol/ethanol as a martini is to a cup of olive oil."

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

[ Edited ]

I strongly agree with your last statement. I've seen references misused several times. Just a couple of examples of misuse:

(1) quoting one sentence from the overview or conclusion to backup a claim without taking the methodology or results of the entire study into context

(2) not citing the original study and instead citing an opinion or review of that original study as reference (then when you read the original study it was obviously misinterpreted).


It's like that children's game of pass-the-message where the message is lost in the end. I understand weeding out fact from opinion can be time-consuming and we all like to get quick answers. However, if the issue is really important, I suggest that before looking at the article at all, to check for the author's potential conflicts of interest first and review the quality of references cited. Maybe this way, we can make better informed decisions about products.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Lol, reminds me a lot of this



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This looks like the recent Ebola scare in the US, except my boss was the one with the tin foil hat on.

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My entire workplace was like that..... :/


they were convinced it was a government conspiracy to infect all Obama opposers so we could become the new communist state. I so wish I was joking. 

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Wut?  O_o

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Wow Redwagon. That's insane! 

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Lol, I've just learned to not argue with crazy and stick to work subjects for conversation. 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

This is priceless! 

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