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 Smiley Sad 

- 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?

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I too noticed that Beautypedia review are very biased towards Paula's Choice products. Before she developed her own product line, I believe her reviews (in several editions of the book Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me) were more helpful & less biased.  I've been a long-time customer & began purchasing products as soon as she marketed them.  Love her Moisture Boost cleanser!  Unfortunately, it's been discontinued. The repackaged/renamed cleanser (which has almost exactly the same ingredients) now costs 62% more than Moisture Boost! I used to consider Paula Begoun to be a consumer advocate.  With this recent change, I realize Paula is offering more & more of what she criticizes other companies of:  exaggerated claims about benefits and overpriced products. She changed the colors for my fave foundation.  Also replaced SPF15 lip colors with the sticky SPF lip gloss she now sells. I might purchase a few of the smaller size Moisture Boost cleanser (value size I've always bought is no longer available).  After that, I'll probably never ever purchase a Paula's Choice product again. Except possibly from Nordstrom's (since they always have free shipping, free return shipping, & a no-hassle return policy).     

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I'm an esthetician so I work with others like me. My friend and coworker who is very Vegan and against animal cruelty had written an email because she noticed an error on the website and those people sent a NASTY response back. My friend wasn't even trying to be critical, just point something out. The people who run that website are absolutely terrible people and I don't have respect for that kind of unprofessional behavior.

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A Paula's Choice product mislabeled about animal testing or another brand Beautypedia mislabeled? I am a part of the Paula's Choice Testing Panel (Google for details, but they promise no animal testing). 

 

I just had an item I am testing (not allowed to divulge what it was) burn my face this evening. My first thought was thank goodness they did not put this on a poor defenseless animal who could not say "wash this crap off, because it is burning my face." 

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Nope. Just about ingredients.

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Hopefully, they fix it. I know ingredients are the main reason most people look at the site.

 

I love looking at their reviews, but I never consider them the end all, be all. Their review on Egyptian Magic (which is an incredible product) killed the jar thing. How on earth could you put that in anything other than a jar! The jar does not damage the product. It works as well after about a year as it does on day one.

 

My guess is they have one team member review each item, so it is about the same as a regular review. Even if it is a group review, I highly doubt they have more than 30 people review one item, excluding it from having statistical significance. It is possible they have more knowledge than most reviewers, but these days many consumers are extremely informed.

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I used to be suspicious of her beautypedia page as well the fact her own products would always have such high ratings. As I go through more skin care articles / reviews from the page and finding it out that there's a separate team that's doing these reviews, not Paula herself; I actually think they're not being unfair at all; no matter when it comes to skin care or hair care, they use the same motto as Paula does: Expensive isn't necessarily better. You will find high ratings for drugstore brands like Neutrogena, Cerave,... and low ratings for Olay, Clinique... if you're willing to do the search. I do still keep in mind that a review is just a review, and certain products will work differently on people, so I never forget to check the Community's reviews as well as reviews on other sites for a more thorough take on the products.

 

Also, I know a lot of you don't believe in her products for the fact that you think she "promotes" and blatantly gives them high ratings; but the thing is, as a person who's spent years learning about cosmetics & skin care, as well as having a good background to be able to give such professional lessons / reviews on skin care, she should be able to make top notch products and be proud of them! In other words, IF PAULA DOESN'T BELIEVE IN HER OWN PRODUCTS, NO ONE SHOULD BELIEVE IN HER WORDS ON ANY OTHER PRODUCT AT ALL!

 

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Your post is making me shake my head. Paula's Choice products were developed after years of extensive research from peer-reviewed professional journals. In her books she provides thorough documentation and lists ingredients found to be most beneficial to specific skin concerns.

 

Now if you had all of that knowledge and were genuinely concerned with showcasing simple, yet effective skin care wouldn't you share that information? That is what Beautypedia is for. If people are willing to spend money based on marketing campaigns the beauty industry giants come up with, so be it. Beautypedia is not for them nor is it for those who refuse to believe these beauty giants care more for profit than producing truly effective products.

 

Believe it or not, basic skincare is based on gentleness. Gentle cleansers, toners (without alcohol), mild exfoliation, treatment/moisturizer and sun protection. 

 

You mention above you didn't like her low rating of Anthony Logistics Glycolic cleanser because it was dinged for not containing Glycolic acid. Well, I'm thinking that misleading consumers is not a good idea, I would have automatically assumed something labelled a Glycolic cleanser would indeed contain Glycolic acid!

 

She might give Olay products a high rating ( she is also a fan of some Clinique products) but is that a bad thing? 

 

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I used her site years before she started selling her own products to get info on what would work. She recommended a $5.00 drugstore brand of lotion that would actually do something for blackheads and pores because the PH level in it was on point, and according to Paula, that the reason many products wont work or do what they are supposed to is because of this.

 

Anyway, I used what she recommended, and she was right. For the first time, I found something that kept my pores clear, my skin from breaking out and overall, resulted in my having clear, good skin. And for $5.00, not $50 a bottle. Sadly the brand stopped making that particular product a couple of years later, so I went back to her site to see what else she could recommend. By this time, she had started selling a few products, but I still felt she rated most other brands pretty fairly, based on ingredients and packaging. She actually does recommend or highly rate many other products other than her own. I tried her version of the pore reducing lotion (BHA 2% Lotion) and I love it. It works for me, so I have bought several of her other things over the years and have been really pleased overall. Her stuff works for me, and at 42, I do really like the way my skin looks and feels.

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I also used to use her site for product reviews before she started selling her own line....once she started selling her own line I felt it was too hard to rule out bias when she is reviewing other products.  I know with so many lines out there it would be too tempting to be incredibly harsh on others in order to look better no matter how brilliant her line is. But if she is brilliant then I am sure I will like her products whenever I do get around to trying them. 

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I have mixed feelings about Paula's Choice. Generally, I'll use the Beautypedia to look up products I'm interested in to see any info about the ingredients. Currently I am using a couple things (by Peter Thomas Roth and Algenist) which she rated extremely highly for their packaging and ingredients.

 

I completely ignore her own line of products because I do not, for a second, believe she'll be completely honest about how good or bad they are. I have noticed that her products are constantly featured in the Beautypedia as being 5/5. But there are tonnes of products (by various brands) with a 5/5 rating in the same category, so I opt for those. At the end of the day thought, everyone's skin is different. I used a toner by Algenist that she rated very highly, and it broke me out horribly. Just because the ingredients are great, doesn't mean your skin will love them. 

 

I do think that ingredients and research are important, and that only time can truly show the damage or benefits or skincare, so I'll be cautious when it comes to what ingredients I have in my skincare products. For information  like that, I find the Beautypedia a helpful tool. But that's all it is, a tool. It isn't a Bible by any means.

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You do know Paula started reviewing products and wrote a book long before she ever made her own products. The reviews came first because she looked at ingredients. And there are some reviews of her own products where they say it doesn't do all it claims. And she  also has every month her fave products mostly always different brands. This is why you are bashing someone and you do not even know the whole facts...just like you buy something because of how it looks or its expensive. She even says some people aren't sensitive to the fragrances. But alcohol and other things do break down your skin so why would you buy something expensive that has a lot in it. She has given good reviews to things that have very little alcohol or fragrance. So when you say anything with either of those is out, no that is not true. 

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I get what you're saying and completely agree that it can look shady af. Just to clarify a couple of things: According to their site, their skincare reviews are based primarily on research (published research - not their own). They may do some testing of skin care and they do test out makeup products, but mainly they look up the ingredients in the available research and see what the research shows. If research doesn't support the claims made by the product with the ingredients included, it doesn't get a good rating. If the product contains ingredients that have been shown by research to be irritating (such as witch hazel), it doesn't get a good rating. They also take into account the value - if the price is way too high to be justified given the expected results, it doesn't get a good rating. 

 

I get that it seems shady that all her products get the highest ratings, but here's the thing: they did all this research before designing the products, so they are specifically designed to conform to their standards of quality and adherence to research-based products. It's sort of like "teaching to the test" - they adjust their products to meet the standards of the review system, not the other way around. I realize that requires a significant amount of trust to believe though. 

 

I also get that it's a bummer to find out that some of your favorite products didn't get good ratings ("but they work for me and don't cause visible problems! Why?!"). Well, it's kind of like people finding out that smoking was bad for them back in the day. At first people said that it made them feel good, they had no ill health effects, etc., but we know now that it just takes time for the effects to show. Skin irritation is the same way. Just because alcohol or some other irritating ingredient "appears" to give you good results, doesn't mean there isn't irritation, damage, and accelerated aging happening at a cellular level. You just won't see the effects for years (if ever, since you'll never know what your skin would look like if you had't used those products). 

 

So, yeah, I get it. It's hard to get behind a review site that also sells and reviews their own products, especially when those products all score well while your favorite products don't, but I can tell you that I have found their reviews to be accurate and I'm comforted by the fact that they are based on other people's research. Also, I have been using several PC products over the last couple years and my skin has never been better. I'm repairing past damage and my skin looks better than it did when I was in high school.

 

Anyways, you do you. If you still dislike them, that's totally cool, but I did want to just clarify and add my personal experience. 

 

Cheers!

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I've recently had two patients this week mention this brand I had never heard of. The only reason I'm not compelled to fully blast this sight is because she does mostly recommend seeing your Physician before self diagnosing. Although some points are informative it is no better than researching specific symptoms on the web. The same or similar symptoms can be cause by a multitude of different things and could be one of many different skin conditions. I haven't seen anything on her sight or in her bio regarding her education and background that convinced me that this woman was a true skin care specialist. I have not seen any third party clinical studies that demonstrate the efficacy and  actual stability of the products in which she endorses. Maybe I over looked that part but in my opinion it could be just as risky and a waste of money to purchase these products as other cheaply produced concoctions and potions over the counter and online. Everyone's individual skin characteristics are different. The general information provided is just that. General. Which is why people order products online and ending up reacting to, hating it, or not needing the product at all.  Also ask yourself how does she form her opinion of each product? Through a CREDIBLE third party conducting studies to prove or disprove the claims? That would cost millions and millions of dollars. I assure you this is most likely not the situation. I'd agree that about 80 to 90 percent are garbage but after viewing reviews of products that I carry in my own office which are backed and supported by clinical independent blind studies it is apparent that she may be simply giving her opinion based on just that ... Her opinion and not Cold hard facts.  It's great to educate yourself but beware of getting hooked in before consulting with your Dermatologist or someone who Has credible training. I can't tell you how many patients make treatable conditions ten times worse for ten times longer Bc of misinformation that leads to self diagnosing and using products and creams that were a waste of time and money all along. 

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 I totally agree with @jenmol and @anneMCC. Paulas choice reviews are sooooooooooo fake. She is promoting her own stuff and trashing others. My best friend bought 2 products via the webshop and 1 product (the mask) broke her out badly. Just like jenmol said, you can buy way better products her at sephora with excellent customer care service. By the way @jenmol, thank you for sharing the paula's choice skin hydrator review, I was shocked.  Looks like an honest anti-aging blog. They also reviewed the oil absorbing mask of paulas choice, YOU MUST READ THIS BEFORE BUYING ANYTHING FROM HER! Here is the link, got 1 star out of 5! http://bestanti-aging.com/best-anti-aging-products/paulas-choice-oil-absorbing-facial-mask-review/

 

LOVE AMANDAPaula’s Choice Oil Absorbing Facial Mask Review.png

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I disagree with the fake reviews... I found PC products about a year ago when I randomly got a horrible break out at 28. I used a bunch of stuff and finally after using a few of her items and sticking with it my skin is finally under control. Everything I bought I paid full price for and left my review. The skin mask you showed just now for oil absorbing is actually one I bought about 2 months ago and LOVE it. I use it all the time and have not had any adverse reactions to it yet. Everyone's skin is different though.

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I like using the beautypedia to get more info about various brands and products. I love that ingredients are listed. I sometimes like to know the % of (retinol) ingredient, etc.  I use it as a guide because sometimes her criteria isn't mine. She doesn't give good ratings to jar products because she says open air will break down the product. I like how she talks about an ingredient and links to published articles that shows that certain ingredient has worked. Let's face it many cosmetic brands make claims that are just false. 

 

With that being said I don't think she is always right about products. I have also used her line for several years along with a ton of others (skin care junkie, here) I have used her retinol products, AHA exfoliant and just started BHA exfoliant. I have gotten good results from them. I'm not as Impressed with her facial cleansers. They to me are basic, but she says that treatment cleansers are a waste as they just wash down the drain. But I still use them anyway (treatment cleanser)because I have gotten good results. I really like her skin recovery moisturizer with SPF. I think it's about finding out which products and ingredients work for you. 

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I have used some of her products over the last few years.  I feel like they are a good value at reasonable prices.  They have a great return/exchange policy, so if a product doesn't work for me, back it goes.  I personally like the Skin Balancing line, the 1% BHA and the weekly AHA treatment.

 

That being said, you do have to take her reviews, like all reviews, with a grain of salt.  There are some products that I love, but she gives a very low score to.  For her products, I look at the customer reviews, they don't just post the 5 star reviews, the negative ones are there too.

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 I think it's a good place to find a general overview of products but it's biased towards people with sensitive skin (which might or might not be a good thing). Just like all reviews you have to take it with a grain of salt. Everyones skin is different and you have to find what works for you, having said that it's more about researching ingredients than randomly plastering products on your face and following a hype train. I've seen a number of people just randomly trying products, not researching ingredients, not patch testing (lol I've been guilty of this before but now I know better), and still complaining that blank product broke them out. Figure out what ingredient broke you out and go from there. Learn some scientific skincare basics at least. Dont go on a wasteful blind journey of slathering your skin with whatever youtube or instagram personality tells you to. 

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Good general information.

 

But the general difference between everyone is what people prefer to use on their skin, some use "natural", some love oils, some say stay away from it - list goes on and on... her reviews are her own look on skincare.

 

What people don't realize is there is a bigger picture in every single ingredient used in products - not all glycerin is made the same - heck, not all water is the same pH...

 

Different people have different sensitivities

 

& most importantly at least I think, is the placebo effect.

 

But anyways, it's always good to know the super basics of ingredients, but know there's always a bigger picture behind everything.

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So true.  Know ingredients, learn what works for your skin and realize that what works for one doesn't work for all (there are no "best" products but there are better products).

The SR Luna craze had me confused.  Numerous people with oiler skin were trying it and getting bad results.  Avocado oil tends to be a heavier oil, is in Luna and typically is used for drier skin.  Not bad, and it does work for some with oiler skin...but it can also be slow to absorb.  I can't use the retinol in it.  Not a bad product; in fact, SR uses very high quality ingredients which many brands don't.  Just not for all.

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