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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?

Hi, I've found her products to be terrific. I know this is going to sound bad, but even though I'm 63 I have really good skin. I had little to do with it, other than staying out of the sun from my 20s. My parents both had wonderful skin. 


Anyway, my point is that other than moisturizing, there are few products I've found that actually improve my skin. Paula's Choice is one of them. I use her dry/normal line plus the BHA 2% (more for the rest of me). they really do make a difference. (errr, I DO have some wrinkles, mostly around my mouth.) the only thing comparable I've found is a vitamin C cream, Cera Ve night cream is amazing, and I really liked the samples of Dr. Perricone's 2 creams that I received. there's also a night time moisturizer that Dr Oz and his former partner recommended in their book/CD from several years ago that was excellent (cant remember the name), but I found that the Cera Ve night cream was a little better. I use their day cream for my hands at work, and that's great. (my grocery store also has a store-brand knock-off that's good. 


I've tried Oleg Henrickson's eye creams but they didn't work for me; I think I stopped using them because they made my eyes sting. However, that's my unique situation; I have to use night eye ointment and that messes a lot of things up. 


Honestly, most of all, other than having inherited good skin from my parents, I've always made sleep a priority. I always get 8 hours, and 8-1/2 to 9 if I can swing it. 


Also, I switched to a plant-based diet 5 years ago, and this winter refined it by going on Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Nutritarian diet. I think that has slowed down the aging process considerably. Particularly Dr. Fuhrman. He's a genius and so dedicated. I eat at least a cup of berries every day and tons of greens, a wide assortment of fruits and vegetables, minimal grains, and no oil. 


So there are my recommendations. I'd recommend plenty of sleep, plant-based diet, and staying out of the sun first, but yeah, I'd swear by Paula's Choice. As to her opinion on ingredients -- can't tell you, but they generally sound good to me. 


Also, I used Kiehls products decades before they became famous. they were always my go-to, for at least 20 years. i still like them, but for complexion would choose PC or Cera Ve. 


Finally -- DON"T SMOKE!!!! Don't ever start, and quit right now if you do, and stay out of the sun. My sister is 5 years older than me, and she smoked 2 packs a day until she was in her 30s. She's also very active (fly fishes, for one thing). She has deep, deep, deep wrinkles and brown spots. It's the smoking. 

And girls, give up the tatoos. They may look great now, but as your skin ages they're going to look terrible. No matter what kind of skin you have, when it's young, it's beautiful, and tatoos destroy your inherent beauty. JMHO. 


Errrrrr, maybe one more thing. Think nice thoughts. Whatever you have to do, develop a kind attitude toward the world, animals, and other people. Don't be a gossip. If you're generally an angry or bitter person, find out why and then let it go. My parents never said a bad word about anyone. They found the good in everyone. My dad worked in the sun all day, but when he died at 89 he basically had no wrinkles on his face. Both my mother and my father looked way younger than they really were, and I honestly think it's because they were not gossips. They weren't fools, they were excellent judges of character -- but I never heard them say a bad word about anyone. 


Sure, you can get tons of wrinkles if you're a kind person. But they're wonderful, wonderful wrinkles, and the faces of these people glow with an inner light. So be kind and think good thoughts. If you have the choice to be kind or do what you'd really like to do, discipline yourself to be kind, humble, and put the other person first. It will show up on your face 40 years from now. 

Enough preaching. Sorry. Smiley Happy

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I bought her books, then used her websites, and now buy Paula's Choice.  I think she is a great starting point.  I'd say more, but most of it was already said!

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

A third party now does all the reviews for beautypedia.  She is not the CEO of 'her' company anymore.  I do agree that she gives her make-up the highest rating which is very biases.  She should just have the customers reviews.    

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

My main issue with her is that she often references bad/outdated science.  The link below is one such example that cites the actual studies:

RE: Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I read The article that you provided. The author of the article name is Robert Tisserand who owns a brand Call Tisserand, which is a Essential oil business brand. His article also has his personal bias.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Sounds like you are just upset because she says what you don't want to hear. 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Sounds to me she knows what she's talking about, you just don't  like it.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I really like the points she makes about certain ingredients in skincare products; they provide a decent guideline to follow for skincare. Her reviews are very informative and helps me think rationally instead of getting sucked into seemingly miraculous product claims. 


However.. I've noticed that her reviews are generalized per ingredient(s). For example, the It Cosmetics CC cream received a terrible rating due to the presence of phototoxic oils, yet in reality, (according to It Cosmetics) the concentration of those oils have been diluted so heavily that they do not pose a risk. 


As for her products, I think they're reliable and pretty fool-proof. My mom loves her retinol serum.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

I have used their products for two years, and I can honesty say that my skin has improved dramatically. I often refer to their site Beautypedia, for adivce, it has yet to steer me in the wrong direction when it comes to my skincare. I like their products, generally speaking, but I would suggest trying samples of their products before ordering full size products. 


That being said I've just ordered most of the Drunk Elephant line, and I'm really looking forward to seeing if it's even better for my skin.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?


I don't always agree on her views on skin care products, mainly because -- as much as she may know what she's talking about from years of analyzing ingredients and publishing books, ultimately --- I'm a big believer in having to try it out myself to see if it works with my skin, specifically.


I also introduce one product at a time and use it continuously for at least one month - unless i get severe irritation - so that I can track and easily see if the product is working. 


So prior to purchasing any new products, I google to review products on makeupalley, on Sephora, on beautypedia (if available), and any blogs out there (affiliated or not), but I take it all with a grain of salt. My skin may react badly to something everyone is raving about, but I definitely won't purchase anything that has horrible reviews everywhere either.


I hope you find a night serum/moisturizer that works well on your skin Smiley Very Happy


PS - I do agree with you that treatment cleansers do make an impact. Perhaps she meant it relative to toners and exfoliators that are sitting in the skin and not washed away.


PPS - It's a shame that Sephora doesn't offer any Paula's Choice products. I did tell Paula's Choice after purchasing directly off of their website that they should consider being part of Sephora.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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).     

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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." 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

Nope. Just about ingredients.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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!


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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? 


Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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.

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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. 

Re: Thoughts on Paula's Choice?

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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