Your Basket is Empty
Sign in to see items you may have added previously.
See samples, rewards and promotions in .

Item Added to Basket

Free Shipping!

You're only $50.00 away from Free Shipping.

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 think a lot of Paula Begoun's ratings are geared towards people with skin conditions like rosacea and eczema.  If you read up on her, she grew up with eczema herself and since I've struggled with it my entire life I know how difficult it is to find products that are formulated well enough that they will not irritate my skin.


A lot of the products she rates poorly contain ingredients that would most likely be too irritating and damaging for someone who does have eczema or rosacea, but most likely are fine for people with normal skin.


I think if your skin problems are more around acne, then Paula's advice isn't really the greatest.


If you're looking for anti-aging, then I find her to be an invaluable resource when researching ingredients since she's read all the scientific research and distills it for us.  I've seen her give poor ratings to products with really great anti-aging ingredients; she tends to do this if they contain ANYTHING that would be bad for someone with sensitive (i.e. eczema or rosacea) skin including fragrance.  Most high-end skin products do contain fragrance.


I think her ratings make a lot of sense if you understand her perspective.  She is definitely overcautious and just because she rates something poorly because it contains fragrance, doesn't mean you shouldn't use it for yourself.  There ARE many people out there with serious skin conditions who really shouldn't use anything containing fragrance, and I think she skews her reviews towards those people due to her own personal experience.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Ok, that makes more sense now. 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

While it's true that many peoples skin can tolerate fragranced products the underlying damage may take years to show. A beauty you tube guru (won't name names) recently has started to look quite haggard. And it's my guess that years of buying all the "in" fragranced and irritant prone products of the moment is starting to show. Now me personally I like some makeup she's rated as meh. And not liked some products she's given a best too. As long as they don't contain fragrance or irritants I realize makeup is a little more personal preference. But when it comes to skin care I stand by what she preaches. And at 34 my skin is wrinkle free while other women my age look like they are way older and have noticeable wrinkles. Also her new mascara is amazing! Holy cow so easy to work with. Love love love it. The Nude Palette wasn't super pigmented but buildable and I liked it. Especially the pink sugar shade. 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I find it hard to be completely unbiased about any product when you sell your own.  I personally LOVE Caroline Hirons' blog.  She is straight-forward and seems very honest.  Brilliant understanding of product ingredients!

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I like her blog too

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I think the review Paula's Choice did of Anthony Logistics Glycolic Facial Wash was an old formula -- the current one lists glycolic acid as the third ingredient.  That's probably my biggest gripe with the Beautypedia; I think some of the information is quite useful, but if the reviews aren't kept up to date to reflect changes in formula then it make me want to turn to other sources.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I was going to say -- I swear by that cleanser and I really thought it contained 5% (3%?) glycolic acid!

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I have no idea who this person is but my holy grail toner is Thayers and it contains witch hazel! Its all natural, purifies my skin without drying it out or irritating it, and it leaves my skin balanced, and not stripped. I've gone to bed with just this on my face and I always wake up with soft, smooth, clear skin. And its around 10 bucks for a reallllly big bottle.


I like allows me to use up 100% of the product. Tubes and Pump bottles really do cheat you out of a lot of product. I always wash my hands before I dip into a jar of face cream, and a lot of creams actually come with a little plastic spatula/spoon so you can take out cream with that instead of fingers. I have normal to dry skin and when its dry its DRY and it hurts and my face is tight, and uncomfortable and red so I need a good, thick, rich cream that can get down deep and hydrate and repair.


Masks, Scrubs, Cleansers....they all get washed down the drain, but I see a visible difference/improvement in my skin when I do use them. I've used face creams that never ever absorb into the skin, they stay on top, and when I wash my face in the morning, they also get washed down the drain. So its not just treatment washes.


Origins is one of 2 natural brands sold at Sephora that I LOVE. SO pfftttt. lol.


Everyones skin is different, we all react differently to different ingredinets/products, and what might be HG for me might be someone elses junk item. That's why I don't like reading skincare reviews, because that persons experience might be soooo different from mine, and vise versa.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

@sephoramusthave I agree with all except for the origins LOL! It's one of the few natural lines that I actually don't like & their moisturizers never absorb into my skin. 

I like to read reviews for textures, smell, and interactions with other products. My mom & I have similar skin, she always swore by clinique, but it doesn't do anything for my skin. Everyone's skin is different... 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I love Thayers! Such an amazing toner and makes the skin feel so soft. I also think it works better than some of the more expensive products as well.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I find her view on things tend to be pretty narrow. I do agree with her on the points that you agree with also, but some products need to be considered from more factors. It's true that some products are mostly water and glycerin, but some active ingredients are so potent that they would probably harm your face instead if it's within top 5 in the list and thus they need a lot of "cushions" as I call them.


It's a nice resource, but limited in some aspects and not my cup of tea.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I pretty much just use her site for the Cosmetic Cop.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Paula has been around for a long time and I do look at her reviews but I don't use it as my only source.  I love Dr. Dennis Gross AB Extra Strength  Peel and she thinks it's awful because it contains witch hazel and she thinks the second step could be replaced by water.  Nonsense!  This is a gentle and effective product and the second step contains quite a few antiaging ingredients.  She thinks that philosophy Purity Made Simple is an awful cleanser and many people swear by it.  She thinks UD 24/7 eyeliner pencils are terrible.  I think they are among the best I have every used. 

I do agree with her when it comes to packaging.  Active ingredients in products will break down more quickly  when exposed to light and air.  Some people are sensitive and need to know if a product contains known irritants like fragrance.  She does give good scientific advice like when she reviews products that contain active ingredients such as  glycolic acid.  If the pH in the product isn't good for the ingredient or is the percentage of the acid isn't high enough (or is too high) the product will not be effective. These are the things I tend to look for in her reviews. 

Paula is marketing her own line and has her own agenda.  Even so, don't throw the baby out with the bath water.  Use her as one of your rescources when investigating the value of a new product. 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Yeah I never understood that either....why the review complains about step 2 of Dr Dennis Gross A/B pads.  If you look at the ingredients list it's chock full of practically every anti-aging powerhouse that exists!  I'd buy just the step 2 pads alone on the strength of that list!

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?


I'm not throwing her reviews out, just taking it all with a grain of salt. 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I totally agree with garnett. I like reading what she says because some of it makes sense, like in regards to certain ingredients, pH, etc. I am even using some of her products because I have very sensitive skin and knew I needed certain ingredients (like BHA) that I could get in her products w/o irritating and unnecessary ingredients being added. But when it comes to some products made by other than her, I disagree with some of what she says. For example, I also like UD 24/7 pencil liners. I like La Mer eye cream. I like Burberry sheer eye shadows.

But, as garnett has pointed out, when her reviews focus on important things like the pH, type of acid, etc. I find her to be very helpful. If anything, she helps narrow down choices or points me in the direction of further research somewhere else. And, if she can influence some cosmetic companies to improve their packaging, that would be a very good thing.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I know this is an old thread, but I wanted people to know...... I submitted a bad review weeks ago on her site for her new matte eyeshadow palette (unblendable, overpriced, etc.) and they never posted it. Every single review with the exception of one (which isn't even all that bad of a review) is a great review. I wrote several great reviews for other products and those were up the next day. Mysteriously, my bad review seems to have entered a black hole when I hit the submit button. I Googled this and found that other people had the same issue. So to me, it's really shady how PC can give a bad review to products all the time, yet she can't take it if someone gives her products a bad review. Seems untrustworthy to me and it's a shame that I can't trust the reviews on her products anymore, considering I love most of the skincare stuff I've purchased. I will say though, I had no problem getting a refund and I do like that you can buy samples. I do go on Beautypedia frequently, but now, considering one shady practice, I'm questioning what other shady practices are going on over there. :/

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Thanks for sharing this! That is incredibly shady. 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Sephora does the same thing, There have been countless people here who say Sephora doesn't post their bad reviews. Either way, i look at ingredients, not reviews.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Really? Grrrr..... that's so irritating! I didn't know it was happening on Sephora too. Thanks for sharing.

2 Replies