Paula's Choice Skincare Review
I've been using these Paula's Choice products for the past two months and will be sharing my thoughts and experience with you all. Paula's Choice is a new brand for me, so to begin I had a consultation over the phone with a Paula's Choice skincare consultant. This was very nice since they carry a lot of products and she was able to help me pick what products would work best for me. The lady I spoke with asked about my skin concerns and what my skin was like and then put together a routine for me. I have combination skin (oily t-zone with normal cheeks and dry patches by nose and eyes) that is also sensitive (I avoid sodium lauryl sulfate and chemical sunblocks) and my concerns are brightening, evening tone and anti-aging. I liked that the consultant suggested products from different categories to fit my unique skin type instead of simply recommending one of their kits that would only address some of my issues. Their products include a little booklet with all the information on when to use what, as well as stickers so you can stick on a "step 2 day" sticker on a product and always know when to use it if you're not a skincare junkie. Now, let's go over the products I've been using and how they're working for me.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, I was paid to review these products, I was not paid for my opinion and all opionions are my own.
Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser
Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser is for daily use, day and night, and recommended for Normal/Combination/Oily skin. It removes makeup and excess oil and is appropriate for sensitive skin--and no sodium lauryl sulfates! The cleanser has a nice creamy texture and has a light lather. It does a good job at keeping my skin from getting too oily during the day. I started out using this cleanser twice a day, but since I also have areas of dry skin the twice a day routine was a bit too much for my skin. Once I started using it only at night and just rinsing my face in the morning, this product worked great. I use the cleanser with a washcloth and it takes off my face makeup well with a double cleanse. It comes in a plastic bottle with a pop-top, which I prefer since I don't like having to grab a bottle with wet hands when I double cleanse, but this feature isn't a make or break it for me. I like that the directions and ingredients are printed on the bottle, too. I received the 8oz size which cost $17 and by using it to do a double cleanse (I wear makeup daily) once a day I've used about a third of the bottle over a two month period. Since a little goes a long way, I think this is a good price for the quality of the product and how long it lasts. I've found that I have to touch-up less on my forehead and chin during the day so I am please with the results so far and I can see myself reaching for this often to help control oil, especially during the summer! This would be a good choice for any of you with combo and especially oily skin.
Moisture Boost Essential Hydrating Toner
Moisture Boost Essential Hydrating Toner is for daily use, both day and night, and recommended for Normal/Dry skin. I can see you asking, "Now you want a moisture boost product?" Well, yes, since I have extreme combo skin they wanted me to use something that would add moisture back into my dry areas, since I am using a cleanser for Normal to Oily skin. This toner has a slick texture and feels very nice when it's applied. I use it both day and night after cleansing. I personally like toners because they clean off any makeup I may have missed and they prep my skin for a moisturizer. The Moisture Boost Essential Hydrating Toner is 6.4 oz. for $20 and with twice daily use I've used about a quarter of the bottle, so it's a fair price if you'd like to add a toner to your routine. The packaging is a bottle with a screw off top with the directions and ingredients printed on the bottle. I like the screw off top since it didn't spill when I took it on a weekend trip. This toner makes my skin feel nice after using the cleanser and I do like that it has antioxidants. What I especially like is that it is fragrance and alcohol free so it softens, but doesn't irritate my skin.
Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel
Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel exfoliant is for day or night use, once or twice a day and recommended for all skin types. This gel is a chemical exfoliant with 2% salicylic acid (if you are allergic to aspirin, avoid this) and it has a gel-like texture. I like the gel texture since it's easier to apply than a liquid. I started using this once a day and after a week switched to once every other day since it was too drying for my skin. The Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel is 3.3 oz. for $26 which I feel is a good price, since it will take you a while to go through and a chemical exfoliate is a good addition for any skincare routine. The Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel comes in a bottle with a pump top that also has a lid, which I really like since it's not messy. Personally, this specific product isn't a great fit for my skin type, but they also have a 1% BHA gel which I am interested in trying instead. This exfoliant did help keep my skin bump free and looking clear, however, it was a bit on the drying side for my skin type so I will be using it as a spot treatment since my current spot treatment with salicylic acid contains alcohol, which I am trying to remove from my skincare. This will be a good pick for those who are acne prone or with oily skin with texture issues.
Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is for once daily, day or night use and is designed for Normal/Oily/Combination skin types. I started out using this in the day, but after a week I started using it nightly on nights that I don't use the BHA gel. The Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is 1 oz. for $30. It has a nice silky texture from the silicones in the product. From the texture and how it sits on the skin I can see why some people would use this as a primer and why it works well for those with the oily/combo skin. It comes in a tube with a screw on top which I like this since it is sanitary and it's easy to get a small amount out. I like that this doesn't irritate my skin but still has many anti-aging ingredients that I can even use around my eyes. I use a small amount (about a pea size) and start applying at my problem areas (forehead and around my lips) and then blending into my skin. This product contains .03% retinol which is a nice start for my skin since I want to start using more products with Vitamin A/retinol now that I'm in my mid-twenties. I will be continuing to use this as an aging preventative measure (with both the retinol and antioxidants) and am hoping with continued long-term use to minimize the fine lines by my mouth.
RESIST Barrier Repair Moisturizer
RESIST Barrier Repair Moisturizer is typically used once daily at night in the Resist routine. Since my routine was customized for my skin type by the Paula's Choice representative this was both my morning and nighttime moisturizer. This is a creamy moisturizer that doesn't feel oily or heavy on the skin. I like the texture for daytime wear since it feels nice under makeup. I'll definitely continue using this in the day time and get a slightly heavier moisturizer for nighttime since it sits so well with my skin. The bottle is 1.7 oz. for $24.65 which is a good price for an anti-aging moisturizer. The sleek bottle is very nice with a pump and a lid. This has .01% retinol for anti-aging benefits, licorice extract (which I love in skincare since it evens tone), plus peptides, ceramides, and antioxidants.
Hydralight Shine-Free Daily Daily Mineral Complex SPF 30
Hydralight Shine-Free Daily Daily Mineral Complex SPF 30 is recommended for daytime use for Normal/Oily/Combination skin. I am a huge fan of this product. My skin is very fair and I want to prevent signs of aging the best that I can and since wearing a sunblock is very important in preventing signs of aging, I was thrilled that this product worked so well for me. It is a physical sunblock which is the only type of sunblock I can use that doesn't irritate my skin. This product is 2 oz. for $18.20 and I would buy it again and again since it sits nicely under my makeup. Hydralight Shine-Free Daily Daily Mineral Complex SPF 30 comes in a tube with a flip top. With this product I can't really tell you the results as this is for preventive measures, but it does dry to a demi-matte finish so it sits nicely under my makeup. I did find it's best to let your moisturizer soak in before applying this product.
RESIST BHA 9
RESIST BHA 9 spot treatment is recommended for nighttime use and for anyone with stubborn imperfections. I use this as needed on any blemishes that have popped up over these past two months, as well as on any hyper- pigmentation. The texture feels almost oily and is very runny and soaks in after a few minutes. The packaging looks very nice and it has a pump with a lid, however, the pump is hard to control. I would like to use about a half a pump, but there's no middle ground with this packaging, it's all or nothing and dispenses about a pea sized amount. I just run the excess around the line lines on my lips since I've been using this to combat hyper-pigmentation & blemishes. This spot treatment is 0.3 oz. for $34 which is pretty pricey when you think about how much product you're getting, but my skin seemed to like it since it has lightened my hyper pigmentation very well. I think this would be a good price if the packaging was improved and a decent price as is. Because Resist BHA 9 has 9% salicylic acid it is very potent and I saw some dryness when I used it, but with spots being gone so quickly I didn't mind. This is a good product for any one with post-acne marks, those who is dealing with acne and those with hyper-pigmentation.
RESIST C15 Super Booster
RESIST C15 Super Booster is recommended for daily use either just day or night or twice a day and is suitable for all skin types. This serum is lovely and pretty much what I've been looking for in my search for a high concentrate of vitamin C that works for my skin! If you've ever spoke with me about skincare you'll know I love vitamin C but usually stick with lower concentration or just passion fruit seed oil . RESIST C15 Super Booster has a blend of sources for the vitamin C and I am loving that at 15% it hasn't irritated my skin. Vitamin C brightens the skin, which I like since my skin is so fair it can start to look ashy, and it also has anti-aging benefits to tighten and boost collagen production. I've been mixing two drops into the moisturizer in the day time. It's a water-like texture with a fresh smell. This product is 0.67oz. for $40.80 which I think this is a great price. I've tried quite a few Vitamin C serums over the past few years and they are all around this price point or more expensive. The high price of vitamin C serums comes from the issues of l-ascorbic acid/vitamin C 's rapid oxidation that will make it lose its effectiveness if it isn't stabilized. The packaging is great for the product. It comes in a tinted glass bottle with a lid and a separate dropper so you insert the dropper when you're ready to start using it. There also is a piece to reduce airflow. These aspects to the packaging will keep the vitamin c from losing it's potency (they do say use it within three months for maximum potency). I am very pleased with the results so far as it hasn't irritated my skin and doesn't have a strong tint like another one I've tried which made me look orange (not pretty) so I couldn't use it during the day. This product is perfect for those who want to boost collagen synthesis, want the anti-aging benefits, even tone and brighten the skin.
Best Face Forward Foundation
I tried out two of Paula's Choice makeup items so I'll give you my overall thoughts on them really quick. The Best Face Forward Foundation is a nice sheer to light coverage foundation with a skin-like finish. It wears alright without a primer but I had better wear time with a primer underneath. This is a good foundation for those who want their freckles to show through and for those who just want to even the skin tone slightly. There's a close up on my skin below wearing the foundation.
The Nude Mattes Eyeshadow Palette
This is a twelve pan eyeshadow palette made up of eleven mattes and one satin. A nice range from dark to light as well as a variety of warm and cool colors. The shadows are bendable but apply best over a primer. I did a simple smokey eyeshadow tutorial with this palette here if you're interested. This is a good pick for those that love everyday natural makeup.
Overall, I am pretty impressed. I am a skincare junkie and switch up my routine often but I can see a lot of these products becoming a staple, especially the RESIST C15 Super Booster & Hydralight Shine-Free Daily Daily Mineral Complex SPF 30. I appreciate that these products are free of animal testing, free of color additives, fragrance free and all the ingredients are printed on the bottle of most products as well as the directions. I also like that there are lots of options and information so you can get a pre-organized kit or just grab what works best for your skin. I hope you liked this Paula's Choice Skincare Review. Let me know if you'll be trying out any of these in the comments!
Disclosure: This review is sponsored by Paula's Choice and the products were sent to me, no links are affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.