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Post in Skincare Aware

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 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?

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?

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

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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?

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'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.  Smiley Happy

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Can I get an update on those ladies who recently purchased Paula's Choice skincare?

And those ladies who have been long time users?


I'm starting to rethink my Perricone to Lancer to Erno Laszlo choices Smiley Happy



Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I like Paula's Choice a lot.  I've been using her Clear line for about three years and it has changed my life.  Her moisturizers are  good for the price (somewhere between drugstore and high end).  I wasn't happy with her SPF products (a lot of stinging when combined with the acne products.) but it's been a few years since I tried them.  I think she's reformulated since then.


I feel like her products are made for performance and nothing else.  The products aren't trendy and the packaging is nothing special.  They just do what they're meant to do. 


I am definitely guilty of using products she disapproves of. I like to use a moisturizer that is a little more indulgent than what she makes.  I love masks and multi-step peels that she considers too harsh.  Paula doesn't believe in eye creams - I do.  But I think the research she provides is still helpful. 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I'm like you. I like her stuff but I don't use her SPF moisturizers. I also believe in eye creams and masks. But she has good basic products like cleansers, BHA/AHA stuff, etc.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

YES!   Performance!   I don't want fancy packaging.  

Just products that do what you want them to do.

Thank you!

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I really like her products. Background: over 50, mild rosacea (used to be worse), combo skin, sensitive skin, slightly wrinkled (not much for my age).


Cleanser: I use her cleanser called Skin Balancing Oil Reducing Cleanser--this stuff is really nice. It has helped balance my skin so that the oilier parts are drier and the drier parts are more normal.


BHA: I follow cleanser with her "exfoliator" that has BHA in it--she calls the AHA/BHA stuff "exfoliators" but to me, their lacking of the scrubbing particles makes it seem more like a toner to me, and that's how I use mine. BHA is better for rosacea and sensitive skin, so that's what I use on my face. (I use AHA lotion for my neck because that is drier and less sensitive and no rosacea there.) The BHA I use on my face is Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid--it comes in a lotion too, but I want something that dries quickly and doesn't leave a layer. (It also comes in a 4% foam, which I think could be used by those less sensitive and more oilier.) I use this BHA liquid after every cleansing I do.


Serum: I use her Resist Ultra-Light Antioxident Serum. I like this a lot. Many serums I've used seem to be too greasy or shiny or sticky. This suffers from none of these flaws. It's basic, no nonsense stuff with goodies in there that have been proven to work for skin, such as niacinamide and resveratrol. I replaced my La Mer serum (which cost 10x the Paula's Choice serum) with this one.


Retinol: I love her retinol--it's the first retinol that I can use all over my face, even on my nose (which usually gets oily and irritated with others I've tried) and my rosacea/red areas of cheeks. This is Resist Retinol Serum. The bottle design is nice--completely closed to the elements, with the pump part coming out when you turn the cap on top.


Moisturizer: I have my own favorites from other lines, including those with SPF. I haven't tried any of hers except the Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator. It's lightweight and leaves a bit of a shiny residue, so I use it at night, sometimes before other heavier creams when I'm in the mood. I'm not sure if I'll get a second bottle but I do like having a lightweight moisturizer w/o SPF for days when I'm just indoors.


Spot Treatment: I have her Resist BHA 9 Treatment. I use this where I have some acne or persistent red spots or issues like that. Sometimes I wish I could pump a little less out than what comes out with one pump. This works well with under-skin zits I feel coming up or where I have weird things going on. I haven't fully decided if I like this enough to buy a second one of this yet, but likely will. I use prescription Differen for similar purposes and this PC spot treatment is a lot less expensive. So I'll likely get a replacement bottle.


If I had to choose which to replace for sure, it would be the cleanser, BHA liquid and Retinol. But as it is, I'm impressed enough that I'll likely get second bottles of all of them. All reasonably priced to me too, some almost like a steal.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

WOW your description of your face is EXACTLY me!


Thank you for taking the time to describe the products and what you like and don't like about them.   We have every similar taste,... I agree with all of what you said especially the moisturizer (no SPF on indoor days, light weight but sometimes heavier if in the mood Smiley Very Happy)


I will definitely be try her products!!


PS, don't work for her, you?   O.O

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Thanks! No, I don't work for her. But like sharing what works so maybe other people won't go through as much trial and error as I have.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

You might like the BHA in the Clear line- its liquidy, like a toner, so it dries very quickly. Also, the once a week BHA dries very quickly. I've actually started using it daily (thanks to stupid ritalin-induced acne) and its cleared all my blemishes. 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I wasn't like this before, but now I obsessively check her reviews and buy her products. Lately, my skin has been very sensitive and easily irritated, so even though her reviews might be greatly overrated for people with normal skin, I personally would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to my skin. I have keratosis pilaris on my body that can become rashy and red in a minute and frequent eczema flare-ups on my face and body, so her fragrance-free, soothing products are wonderful. I love that she is obsessive about the packaging, ingredients, and effectiveness, because you really do have to be like that when your skin reacts to just about anything. 


Right now, I love the Paula's Choice Barrier Repair and Retinol Skin Smoothing Body Treatment. My skin is a lot smoother and even, and my horrible KP is finally under control. That being said, I think that some of her products are overpriced, like her cleansers. There are nice drugstore cleansers made for sensitive skin that you can get for less. However, her retinol, BHA, and eczema-geared products are the best I've tried. 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Thanks for the info!   I love the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser for normal to oily.   So, I stick with that. But now, I will try her other products!

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?



PC's anti-redness exfoliating solution is the only thing I'll ever use for the rest of my life. I know this sounds dramatic, but seriously... it's the only exfoliator (chemical or physical) that I can use that wont make me red-faced. I'm whatever about her cleansers, her lotions are alright (they're lightweight which I like, but the one I had smelled very odd to me and I just couldn't get over it), but her anti-redness BHA exfoliating solution is phenomenal (I've tried her regular BHA exfoliating solution and it was too harsh for my skin unfortunately, but I'm very sensitive).

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

That's it! I'm placing an order this week! Smiley Happy Heart

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I've been using her products for right about a month now! And I'm super impressed!! I've got some stuff i will repurchase for sure!! And stuff that's okay...

Here is what i bought and what i think!


Clear Cleanser- I use it every night with my clarisonic. It's nice, Does the job, Leaves me skin nice and soft, which for a dry skin girl, Is pretty good! And only $11... Yeah i'll stick with it!


Clear Extra strength 2% BHA exfoliator And her regular(not Clear) 2%BHA liquid- They are basically the same thing so i just use which ever at night. I don't use this twice a day, It gets a little drying, So at night is perfect! My face is soooooo soft, and i don't break put very much, unless i slacked off that night and just used a cleansing cloth... But i love this and will absolutely repurchase either!


5% AHA Exfoliator- I use this during the day, about 5 times a week, sometimes i forget, But it does help keep my face soft, and has a liquid-y creamy texture which i like better than a liquid. So i might repurchase, or just stick to BHA at night.


4% BHA Weekly Treatment- I use this once a week, i have used it twice a week, and didn't have any problems, My breakouts have decreased, which could be from this or either the 2%, But either way, I like this and will repurchase!


Skin Recovery Moisturizer- I bought a sample packet, and got right around 4-5 uses, And i LOVE it! My skin is super dry, and this is so moisturizing, but not too heavy. So i will probably buy the SPF one for Daytime, and the regular for night, Because it's light and thick and creamy all at the same time, Which i love for night time.


Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer With Retinol- It's nice and super light, But not hydrating for me whatsoever! So i use this before my night moisturizer, and then right before bed, i put on my actual moisturizer. I do what something with retinol, so i'll keep it and use it, but i won't repurchase. I'll try the Retinol Serum she has. 


C15 Antioxidant Serum- This is super liquid-y, I use it during the day on it's own or i mix it with another Serum, Paula's Choice says this is meant to be mixed with another product like your exfoliant, Moisturizer or whatever. I like this because when i do get a pimple, i do feel like all the Antioxidants help it heal faster. I will probably repurchase. 


I have also purchased the 10% AHA Weekly treatment, I haven't used it yet, But i will be incorporating it in my skincare routine once a week, So i do the 4% BHA on Sunday and probably do this on Wednesdays!

And I also bought the trial Clear regular strength trio. I've never used a product with Benzoyl Peroxide, and the treatment in the trio has 2.5% So i still need to use that too. 


I also have a bunch of samples of things to try. So when i do i will update! I think it have some Toners, the Resist SPF, Pure radiance treatment, and her other skin lighteners.


Overall, I really like the products so far. My skin is far less Dry and Flakey, Less breakouts, Baby soft skin... I think i'm keeping this regimen!

I've tried soooooo many skincare brands from Sephora, And have always been let down a little, Nothing has really helped my dry skin and acne problems! 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Good to hear you are happy with PC.

May I ask, since I haven't researched AHA vs BHA, why are you using three items, different days of the week, rather than just one everyday?  I need simple Smiley Wink

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

You can certainly pick one exfoliator for everyday use. BHA's are most beneficial for those with Acne prone skin. They are a good chemical exfoliant to get off the dead skin, and help get into pores, which is why they are recommended over AHA's is you have acne prone skin. AHA's help exfoliate the Surface of skin, but don't get into your pores. I like using both, It's preference of mine after trying so many AHA/BHA products and figuring out what works best. The weekly treatments are meant to be used in place of your regular exfoliant, so i won't use my 2% if i'm using the 4%, It's amps it up once a week to help keep skin clear. Just the to 10% AHA treatment, It's stronger and more effective, and to be used in place of your exfoliant. 

I'm a skincare junkie so naturally i couldn't just get the basics, I needed everything Smiley Tongue

But just pick either BHA or AHA depending on your needs, and you'll be good to go! 


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

OMG. Does that come a spreadsheet???  LOL. 

Kk,.. I'm thinking AHA everyday for me with a once a week 'peel' and mask? 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Yupp that would be a good solid routine! 


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I just bought a toner plus some samples, waiting for theit arrival! 


I do like to read her reviews, just with a grain of salt. My skin is super sensitive so I find it helpful with her pointing out potential irritating ingredients. I found two of my favorite moisturizers through her reviews (both "good" not "best") She does give many negative reviews to thing many people love, but I just take it as she didn't like it (if you think about it, highly raved products still have some 1 lippy ratings on makeupalley). Not all her recommendations (with high ratings) perform well though I find, so I use her reviews in conjunction with makeupalley and other blogger reviews. Although I do wish she would incorporate paraben into consideration. I find it hard to accept anything with paraben to be considered "best."


She doesnt believe in rose water, and that is my favorite toner! So obviously I don't follow her word for word, but she is helpful nonetheless. Smiley Happy

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I have very sensitive skin and eczema, and I've found her review hit or miss, but still more attuned to potential irritants. Some products she has been right about, and others have warned me about products that have been fine. I just use her reviews as one factor in my decision making, not the main one.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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.