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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?

Interesting! I actually didn't buy/try the Eve Lom cleanser because her review of it was so hard. (Plus, the cost.) Most of my other skincare stuff is in an airless pump, save for my face cleanser. Although, it would be nice to know what the time frame is for products in a jar to become useless.. because if they're talking about it breaking down after 5-6 months then it really wouldn't matter, save for bacteria getting in there, since I usually use up face products within 3-4 months!

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

ooooooh this is interesting! There is a study "Stability of fat-soluble vitamins A (retinol palmitate), E (tocopherol acetate), and K1 (phylloquinone) in total parenteral nutrition at home." that found "With exposure to sunlight, vitamin losses were 100% at 3 hours for vitamin A and 50% for vitamin K1; vitamin E concentrations were unchanged after 12 hours of experiment".


I wonder if retinol palmitate is this macro-encapsulated Retinol? THe molecule doesn't seems to be encapsulated but it seems to be more stabilized than plain old retinol….

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

well as of no I have no idea what this macro-encapsulation is (or how it affects the penetration of active ingredients to the skin) but for retenol  I was able to find the following info

"RE is expected to be stable for about one year if unopened in the sealed amber glass vial (packaged under argon atmosphere), stored at -20°C" however it is "readily" oxidized. 


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I would have to agree with you. She is a bit excessive on the anti-frangence war path but I think her explanations if a product and physically work or not based on the science around the ingredients (like for that REN product)  is rather good 

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?

I hate when people can't handle criticism.  So annoying.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

That sucks. I was hesitant to try anything from her line for the exact reason that I wasn't sure how much I could trust what they write about her own products (of course they all earn a 'best' rating) but I've had good results with the one moisturizer I've tried so far.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I have several of her BHA products and retinol serums and I love them. They are holy grail skin care products for me and I hope they are available forever. You can at least get samples first and try them out. I thought I would give her makeup a try. The palette was getting such good reviews that I seriously thought it was going to be awesome. Total fail. The people giving it great reviews are either not real customers or don't know how a good matte shadow is supposed to perform. I had better results from two dollar Coastal Scents matte shadows, and NYX shadows. For forty bucks, I expected more and I said so in my review. I know makeup and how to apply it and I just couldn't get those shadows to blend at all. So now I picture tons of people reading all the great reviews for that palette and getting duped out of their money. I was refunded at least, but what a waste of my time.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I forget which moisturizer I have but it's from her Resist line and I love it. I ordered a few other things from Birchbox with points dollars I'd been saving up, so I'm excited to try those out (one of which is the BHA!).


Still though, for someone who is so balls-to-the-wall about products being high quality and honest in their claims you'd think they would allow negative reviews to give customers enough unbiased feedback to help them make decisions. I've read plenty of negative reviews on Sephora for products that I still wound up buying and loved, and some with nothing but amazing reviews that I ended up disliking. I hate it when companies think they have to get all secretive about things. Smiley Sad

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I totally agree. She completely bashes Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser and I still buy it because it removes all of my makeup and doesn't leave my skin tight. She needs to understand that negative reviews are going to happen no matter what because you can never please everyone. Certain products work for some and not for others. If it doesn't work for someone, I want to know why and what happened. Whatever happened to them doesn't mean it's going to happen to me. I feel like an idiot because I really rely on reviews and didn't think these companies had the balls to remove posts out of fear of being called out on it, especially in the age of social media.

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.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Thanks for sharing this! That is incredibly shady. 

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?

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

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 pretty much just use her site for the Cosmetic Cop.

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 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!