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?

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?

(0) Hearts

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.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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. 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Wut?  O_o

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Wow Redwagon. That's insane! 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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! 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

[ Edited ]

I've said this before in the past, but I think many people posting here would be interested in reading Skin Type Solution by Leslie Baumann, the 2006 edition. This is a real game-changer. She has a lengthy questionnaire in the front of the book that you take to get your skin type determined based on four characteristics. Then you go through the part of the book that discusses your specific type. This is a better book to check out of the library (if you can find it) because only 3-4 chapters at most will apply to you. But this book gets into specific ingredients to seek out and ones to avoid, and names some specific products. The downside of the book is it's older so some products listed are no longer made but because you are given the tools to look for, you can seek out and avoid products as needed for best results for your specific skin condition.


As an aside, this dermatologist/author created a website, and while it appears to have some of the book features, it also appears to be very incomplete. I'm not sure if the products shown on her site are ones she's affiliated with so gets commissions, or what. The 2006 book is much more thorough and was written when she had no motive other than to write a book.


After reading this book, I learned so much about my very sensitive, combo skin. For example, avoid AHA products and citrus acids-- no wonder my OH Truth Serum was messing up my face. How Paula's Choice relates to all of this is that in looking for products containing ingredients to seek and avoid, so many were eliminated for me that I ended up going with Paula's Choice for some of them. Her products have been outstanding in this regard. Those who don't like her because of her snarky reviews, or being "unimpressed" with her products, maybe you were using ones that didn't suit your skin type/condition.

Everyone has an opinion and that opinion should be respected, but it helps to be fully informed of one's own skin condition from all angles.


ETA: as far as I've been able to ascertain, Leslie Baumann has no connection to Paula's Choice, Some products listed in some categories for certain skin types are Paula's Choice ones, but Paula's Choice doesn't turn up in this book any more often than any other brand (in fact, likely much less often).

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Thank you so much for posting this! I'm ordering her book now :smileyhappy:

I've started using tretinoin for fine lines and dark spots and feel like I've been on a hamster wheel ever since with the dryness.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Just requested this from my library!  I'm on a regimen and coincidentally it's Paula's Choice, and I also just started taking oral acne medication and prescription clindamycin (a topical cream.)  Maybe reading this book will help me sort out what works best topically for me so that in a few months, I can get off the oral medication, which is the only thing that has been able to keep me cystic acne free in the 10 years I've had adult acne.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Wow DiVWA, that's really cool....I will need to check this out...I'm all about learning what will suit me, etc...i'm actually questioning if I truly have sensitive shin.......The last book of that sort I read was a BB one and it was just to broad. 



Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Of Geesh..sensitive skin, not sensitive SHIN.  But I'm a runner and have shin splints, so, ya know...:smileywink:~KAM

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