Paula’s Choice Review
About twelve months ago, I started exclusively using ‘natural’ skincare and makeup products.
Within 6 months my once clear and healthy skin was covered in cystic acne, blackheads and whiteheads. My skin texture was severely damaged, blemishes would not heal and my skin was showing signs of premature ageing. Not only that, but my skin type changed from normal to extremely oily.
In this time I tried several different natural skincare brands. I was so convinced that naturally derived ingredients were better for my skin that I was completely blind to the fact that they had literally destroyed it.
Something I noticed with most of the natural cleansers and moisturisers was the cool or fresh feeling they gave my face. As I later found out – this feeling meant irritation.
If your having any skin issues, please check out my post on skin irritating ingredients to avoid to make sure you’re not using any ingredients that have been clinically proven to irritate the skin.
Desperate to fix my skin, I found the book ‘The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here’ By Paula Begoun.
I ditched all the natural products and started exclusively using Paula’s Choice Skincare. This is what happened.
My skin stopped forming new spots straight away.
I had 50+ tiny bumps over my cheeks that were very deep and didn’t seem to ever come to a head. They were deep enough that I couldn’t squeeze them out. It took about 6 weeks for these to completely disappear but I did notice they were getting smaller after about 1 week.
From day one, I didn’t get any new acne. Having consistently had about 20 massive red spots over my cheeks and chin for 6 months, this was enough to convince me that Paulas Choice is legit.
I had pretty bad post inflammatory hyperpigmention which took around twelve months to clear. Even today, my skin is not perfect but it’s pretty close thanks to my Paula’s Choice Skincare routine. The skin damage is still there but improving slowly.
Paula’s Choice are unique in that they formulate their products to fit what is proven to be great for the skin.
No pseudo-science or marketing gimmicks. Once you learn about the science behind skincare, just by looking at the back of a bottle you will lose faith in brands you thought were trustworthy. You can see the crappy ingredients some use just because they market well or how they make pretty packaging a priority over the shelf life of the product.
There is a discount link for $15 off your first order at the end of this post. I get $15 store credit if you use it too which helps me out a lot. I have been lucky enough to have had lots of women hear my story, try some of the products and come back to me and rave about them. It makes me so happy to help other women find Paulas Choice!
Anyway, here is a review of the Paulas Choice products I have tried.
I originally bought this in the travel size pack so I could test it out before investing in the full size. I wasn’t a huge fan at first. It just seemed ‘meh’ but by the time I finished the sample it had grown on me and I purchased the full size.
This silky formula removes makeup quite well and refreshes my skin without leaving it dry or oily. It contains an antibacterial ingredient that fights bacteria and also contains soothing ingredients which reduced the redness around my blemishes.
My skin is not acne prone or oily since I stopped using natural products so after my first bottle (which lasted 4-5 months) I tried using Cetaphil because it’s a bit cheaper. Big mistake. It didn’t clean my skin as well as the Paula’s Choice cleanser and I started to notice some minor breakouts so I quickly repurchased another bottle.
I am nearing the end of my second bottle now with no plans to try anything new.
If it works – why change it?
I never noticed a benefit from toners before trying Paulas Choice. I actually found them drying and irritating. With that being said – this toner blew.me.away.
Immediately after applying for the first time my skin looked incredible. It shrinks my pores (makes them appear small, since I dont think its actually possible to reduce pore size), gives me an even skin tone and reduces the redness around my nose.
After a while I stopped noticing a difference when I used this so when it ran out I didn’t repurchase. Another big mistake.
Within a week my skin became lacklustre and my skin tone was not as clear. I ended up buying another bottle and my skin improved again. I will not be without it again!
What I think happened was that I grew accustomed to how my skin looks when I use this, so I stopped noticing its effects.
I finished up a full bottle of the Clear Extra Strength 2% salicylic acid (a very similar formula) before purchasing. I cannot live without it. I have skin that needs constant exfoliating as I am very prone to clogged pores and blackheads.
Using this twice a day has helped to prevent my pores from getting clogged. Like I mentioned before, I had 50+ tiny deep pimples over my cheeks which I think were clogged pores and I believe that this is what cleared them up.
According to Paulas Choice Salicylic acid can exfoliate excess skin cells both outside (so they don’t build up in the pore) and inside (to improve its shape) the pore and this is something I can attest to. My pores are no longer an issue, in fact – I dont even really notice them anymore. Before using this BHA, I would literally spend an hour every night with a bobby pin extracting my blackheads.
The 2% BHA keeps my skin smooth and healthy, it diminished the redness from my acne scars and helps keep acne and blackheads away. If you try any Paulas Choice product – let it be this one.
Hint: If you try this, you need to be liberal with the amount applied to see the full benefits. When I have tried to just use a little bit, it was not very effective.
I have used benzoyl peroxide in the past and always got dry, irritated skin. This stuff is amazing. Occasionally I will get slightly dry skin from daily use but I can generally use it daily with irritation.
It is only 2.5% but it prevents breakouts. I originally used a sample of this but purchased the full size when I got low. I will re-evaluate my skin when I finish the tube and see if its something I will still require. You only need the tiniest amount on acne prone areas so this tube should last at least a year.
*Update: I seldom use this now because my skin is no longer breaking out. I get a pimple here and there but they go away quick enough that I dont even think to use this. I still highly recommend it if you are breaking out.
I tried a sample of this and ended up purchasing the full size.
This moisturiser has a siliconey texture but its not heavy or suffocating. I havn’t noticed any redness relief from this – it’s just a basic moisturiser.
It worked well when my skin was oily but now that is normal I prefer something slightly more moisturising so I didn’t repurchase this one.
Although it wasn’t a stand out product for me, a friend with oily skin really enjoys it so if you are oily, pick up a sample and see if it works for you.
I originally purchased this to use as an eye cream. It was too heavy for my oily, acne prone skin at first but over time my skin type changed and became normal/dry so I started using it as my night time moisturiser. My skin still breaks out to heavy, emollient moisturisers so I need to be careful.
The Moisture Boost Hydrating Treatment is light weight but quite moisturising at the same time. I ended up I repurchasing another tube and at the end of my second tube I switched to a new product (which I will review soon).
Although I really like this, I wanted to try a more affordable option, knowing that I can always repurchase if it doesn’t work out.
I got this to help deal with my post-inflammatory hyperpigmention. If I use this on its own, I do see a small visible improvement overnight. It’s not a miracle but enough to make me keep repurchasing it.
Acne hyperpigmentation can take up to a year to heal so anything to speed that up is amazing. I find I get the best results with lightening my acne scars when I combine this with the Toner and 2% BHA. I honestly feel it has sped up the healing process but I dont know how fast things would be healing without it. It seemed to be taking forever before I started my new skincare routine.
I ended up buying another small sample tube because I have seen enough improvement to buy again. This is pricey but compared to procedures such as laser for acne hyperpigmentation, there is less risk and less cost involved.
*Update: I finished my second sample tube and it will be my last. Mainly because my scarring is much better. This is a great product and I saw visible results. If it was more affordable, I would buy another tube.
I considered getting chemical peels done at a dermatologist but decided on this product instead. It is a light peel that gives noticeable results and it costs less than one peel from the dermatologist.
There is no down time. The day after using this I sometimes have some peeling and sometimes I have smooth glowing skin.
It helps my acne scarring to do this once a week as well as preventing acne. My skin tone is looking more even and my damaged skin texture is improving.
I am moving on to a stronger peel as soon as I have finished this. Once my skin is at a good place (as in my scarring has healed), I would consider returning to this as a maintenance product.
*Update: After trying a few different peels, I feel confident saying this was the best. It was quick, painless and gentle whilst still giving me noticeable results.
While the Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment is not as strong as a prescription retinol, it contains lots of other beneficial ingredients that compliment retinol. At first this felt quite warm on my skin and led to some flakiness but within a few weeks I could use it a few times a week without any issues.
Retinol has a lot of evidence behind it and its an ingredient I think we should all be using.
I have about 4 sample tubes of this and thus far, I am really liking it.
I see a difference in my skin tone and hyperpigmentation it with all the other products it’s hard to pinpoint which exact products are working the best. As I don’t use this as often, I can’t be sure it’s the one helping my skin. At the moment, I am mainly using this around my eye area.
I have just started this on the 3/3/17 so I cant speak for its results but this is a lovely formula for acne prone skin. It’s super light and not greasy at all. I will update this post as soon as I have more news on this!Radiance Renewal Mask
I have had this for about three months and rarely use it. I think it breaks me out.
This is an overnight mask that is supposed to brighten the skin.
I find it heavy on my skin and I always seem to get a few new spots the day after use. I also don’t notice my skin looking any brighter the next morning.
I am not saying it doesn’t work – it just doesn’t work for my skin. This is one I wish I would have purchased a sample for first.
I love Paulas Choice and will continue to repurchase from them. Their advice and products have saved my skin and I am so grateful I found them!
Before Paulas Choice. This was about a month after I stopped using irritating natural products. This was not the worst my skin looked.
Three months into my Paulas Choice Skincare Routine.
CLICK HERE to get $15 off your first order!
Thanks for reading my Paulas Choice Review. Leave me a comment below if you have tried any PC products. What do you think of them?