For years I’ve lacked any kind of consistency in my skincare. I only bothered with a basic 3-step routine and would switch to a different product every time one ran out. I never had any confidence in a particular brand. I didn’t trust that the cheap ones would make a difference and I felt like I was largely funding the advertising budgets of the premium beauty companies.
I had never heard of American online brand Paula’s Choice before Birgit blogged about it on Olfactoria’s Travels. I must admit, from that point until last year, I had a couple of false starts with the website. I just couldn’t get to grips with the many products and the long, similar sounding names. There wasn’t the usual “day cream, night cream, eye cream” categories and I no idea what BHAs or AHAs were. I just couldn’t find a way in.
Then when B came to London last year and had brunch with Vanessa and me, I asked her thoughts and she recommended a couple of products. That was the pointer I needed.
I was away and I’ve never looked back since.
If Paula’s Choice is new to you, basically you pick a range that suits your skin concern (Resist for me as it’s anti-aging) then pick products that suit your skin type (combination to oily or normal to dry). I suggest choosing a serum to treat the skin and a moisturiser with SPF for day. If you want, you can choose a moisturiser without SPF for night and add a liquid exfoliant once you have that basic routine sorted. You can use the moisturisers around the eye area though Paula’s Choice have now brought out an eye cream.
They do trial sizes too which are great for holidays as well as testing out new products. Other definite pluses are that they are fragrance free and not tested on animals.
What I think has made the most difference to my skin is not relying on a moisturiser to do all the work. They are often sold as miracle creams but their actual primary job is to hydrate the skin (the clue is in the name). The key is actually a good liquid exfoliant and the serum you use to treat the skin beforehand. As Sali Hughes says, the moisturiser is just a blanket to lay over the skin after treating it, in order to provide comfort.
I have combination skin and my daily regime (excluding cleansing) looks like this :
Resist Anti-Aging Ultra Light Super Antioxidant Concetrate Serum
Resist Anti-Aging Hyaluronic Acid Booster
Resist Anti-Aging Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense Moisturizer SPF 30 in spring/summer/autumn
Resist Anti-Aging Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 25 in the winter
Resist Daily Pore-Refining 2% BHA Treatment (liquid exfoliant)
Resist Anti-Aging Retinol Serum (on the eye area)
Resist 1% Retinol Booster
Resist Anti-Aging Barrier Repair Moisturizer
I finally have a skincare routine I’m happy with, containing products I use consistently and I can tell are working for me. My sister is also a total convert and has even invested in the men’s range for her husband. You can see why they don’t need to advertise.
In case there is any doubt, I’m not affiliated with the Paula’s Choice in any way; just a fan girl with happy skin.
Is there a beauty brand you’re loyal to? Are you a fan of Paula’s Choice? If so, what are your hero products from the line?
22 responses to “Skincare Sorted – Paula’s Choice”
I’m not loyal to a brand, but a few products will always be replaced, money permitting 🙂
Pixie toner, Chanel Hydra Serum, Clarins Blue Orchid oil, Eucerin Hyaluron filler, La Roche Posay Redermic retinol.
I usually have two or three different cleansers on the go, 2 tonics, 3 serums (hydrating, retinol and general anti ageing) and a few moisturisers, with SPF and without. But I like to find new things, because it’s nice…and I’m a complete sucker for travel sizes and discovery kits. (Last year’s M&S beauty xmas calendar was a great hit!)
Paula’s choice surely is a good brand, but for some reason I don’t love the products. I find them a bit… Boring, may be? You could argue that skin care doesn’t have to be particulary sexy, but a skin care regime should not just be effective, but fun.
Thanks for sharing the products you re-purchase, Sabine. I love to know what other people swear by.
Actually I think I do find a fun element in PC in that it’s like being part of a club. They also release new products pretty regularly.
I guess finally having confidence in what I’m using makes up for losing the excitement of constantly trying something new. Although I do try different cleansers so maybe I’m getting my kicks that way 🙂
I fully agree, Sabine !
I am also grateful to Birgit for my introduction to Paula’s Choice, and am a happy user of several products, two of which I have run out of, but will rebuy at some point. The one still remaining – which you also use – is the slightly tinted day moisturiser with SPF30 (third from the left in your shot?). It is great, though I always store it the other way up because it does tend to be a bit runny if you are not careful, especially in summer.
I do have all sorts of serums and exfoliants by other makes, so it would be a long time before I could time things to go over to PC altogether, plus the products are often about £30 a pop, so I may continue to intersperse them with cheaper options. Also, I know what Sabine means about their packaging not being terribly exciting, and that is weirdly a bit of an issue for me too. I think I do also quite like the variety of my skincare collection from a visual point of view.
Moreover, Paula sportingly reviews other brands, so I try to pick rival products she thinks are ‘good’ or ‘best’. Well, some of the time I do! She doesn’t cover all the stuff you get in the UK, to be fair.
But I am a big fan girl overall, and am also going to get the BHA exfoliant one day as it is highly rated on the blogs.
V, I have the same issue with that moisturiser so I will take on board your tip and store it upside down. As B said, it’s also a great make-up primer.
The BHA exfoliant is amazing. The texture of my skin has improved massively and it will be especially good for your skin type.
I must be an odd-ball because I like the packaging.
PS Thanks for the blog linkage – that was a fun day…!
It really was and you got reunited with your French Toast!
Hi Tara. I love reading about your skin care regime. I have such sensitive skin that I stick to what has been working. I use several La Mer products and have never had any issue with my skin. Thankfully this past fall they launched a new facial renewal oil which is fabulous. It saved me this past winter. Sandra xo
Sandra, I think it’s absolutely right to stick with what works for you if you have sensitive skin. Anything to avoid those horrible flare-ups. I’m pleased you’ve found a line that keeps your skin calm and a product that protected you during the cold winter in Vienna.
I continually repurchase Clarins Skin Quench moisturiser or whatever it’s called. It is marvellous. I have recently got some EL night serum stuff because Hannah got given it through her job. Otherwise I use the same mosturiser day and night. Nothing else at the moment except the odd hit of a 2€ scrub that Hannah swears by. I inherited quite good skin so I am lucky. The name “Paula’s Choice” does not blow my skirt so I have investigated no further. Yet. ❤️
You inherited excellent skin, Val and I think that makes all the difference at the end of the day. Since I started using liquid exfoliants the thought of a scrub is a real turn-off but if Hannah swears by it, fair enough!
I know what you mean about the name 🙂
I have to admit that neither Paula, nor her skincare is my cup of tea. I have to feel well with my skincare, and unfortunately her products just didn’t do that for me. While I’m not loyal to a sole brand I found the combination of products they fit the best to my skin & age and kept using them for 2 years now (and some of them even longer). If it’s a cleanser then Omorovicza, if eyecream then Revive, the rest (serum, moisturizer, etc) is Biologique Recherche. Few years ago I still had two cupboards full of skincare from everywhere – nowadays I’m very happy and proud that I managed to de-clutter it significantly 😀
Isn’t it a relief to find a combination of products that work for your skin? I also like the way it’s slim-lined my skincare stockpile 🙂
I’m very interested in Omorovicza and must explore their cleanser now you’ve mentioned it.
My dry skin likes the Hydra Melting Cleanser the best 😀
I’m with a few people here, that PC just didn’t do it for me, although I wanted it to, it would have been so convienient 🙂 I don’t mind the brand name and packaging (as some here), but her products just didn’t work on my skin and didn’t do what they were meant to. I stick to the French farmacy brands; embryolisse, bioderma, avene and La roche-posay. And Aqua Cure for the non-acid peel. Amazing stuff that.
If they don’t do what they’re supposed to for you skin, it’s just not right for you. I’m a PC convert but their stuff isn’t going to work for everyone.
I love Bioderma and La Roche Posay so now I must check out that Aqua Cure brand, which is a new one on me.
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Aqua Cure is japanese, but I think you can get it on Ebay. It’s awesome and definitely worth it for any skin type.
Thanks for the tip!
I’m with others on not being won over by PC. After reading B.’s post, I ordered some trial products. I used them up but never thought of re-purchasing. Glad, though, these work for you: it’s very important to like what you’re using.
The brand I use the most these days is Shiseido. Since I’m a non-believer in changing anything with any specific creams/lotions/etc., I religiously use just cleansers, moisturizers and sunscreens, from time to time adding some serum or other “miracle potion” but I do it mostly as a ritual than really expecting anything from them. I keep buying Shiseido Benefiance Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam, Shiseido IBUKI Purifying Cleanser and Shiseido IBUKI Softening Concentrate.
I do swoon over the Shiseido products because I like the aesthetic but it’s good to know they work for you too. Thanks for sharing the ones your re-purchase. I do swap around my cleansers for maybe I should treat myself.
I totally get what you mean about the ritual. I know toners don’t do much but I like the ritual of them and am thinking of making my own again, the way I used to.
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