Paula's Choice

Paula's Choice Skincare was founded by Paula Begoun in 1995. Begoun is an author, businesswoman, and talk radio host who is also known as the "Cosmetics Cop." The formulas are created based on published, peer-reviewed studies, which is central to the company philosophy that skincare ingredients need to be thoroughly researched before being made into products. All products are manufactured in the US.

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367 products

12,061 reviews

66% would repurchase

Not tested on animals

Recent Paula's Choice Reviews

Cleansers -Paula's Choice -Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

on 12/15/2018 5:21:00 PM


I think this is the first time I’m reviewing something that is not actually for my skin type, and thus is bad for me, but probably good for someone with the skin type it’s actually intended for.

Let me explain! For the longest time, I thought I had combination skin. Dry forehead and cheeks, enlarged pores on the nose and surrounding area, and very often extreme dryness and flaking on the same areas where I got most shiny/oily throughout the day. Sounds combo, right? So when discovering Paula’s Choice (years ago, when they were a very different company compared to today), I went for the Skin Balancing line.

Turns out, severely dehydrated and sensitive skin can display very much the same ”symptoms” that combo skin does. I didn’t have combination skin, my skin was just over-producing sebum and oils in an attempt to compensate for how dry and dehydrated it was. Dehydration is a skin condition, not a type. My skin type is dry, but I had issues with oil and clogging pores because of the dehydrated condition.

So the Skin Balancing stuff was terrible for me. This cleanser stung my eyes, stung every area of my skin that was thinner or extra sensitive - it was just too harsh and stripping for me. It made my ”combo” (actually dry-dehydrated) condition worse. (Same went for pretty much every Skin Balancing product I tried. Toner was too harsh, moisturizer didn’t moisturize enough, and so on, but this is about the cleanser.)

For my oily-skinned friend on the other hand, this worked great! She felt like she got a proper cleanse, no stinging, no tightness, no nasty side effects whatsoever. Therefore, I’m giving it a good rating based on the experience of someone for whom a product like this IS suitable, not based on my experience, because it was just wrong for my skin to begin with.

In conclusion: if you have dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin, this is not for you. If your skin is over-producing sebum due to dehydration (not due to actually having oily skin type), I wouldn’t be surprised if this makes it worse in the long run, or breaks you out. This suits oily to oily/combo, not particularly sensitive skin.

If you think you’re a combo girl/guy, but this irritates or hurts your skin, it is possible that your skin is in fact dehydrated and sensitised, not combination type, and requires the most moisturizing, hydrating, healing, repairing, emollient-packed stuff you can get your hands on. If the issue is dehydration, then once that is solved, the oil production will reduce. (The products I now use are intended for dry to very dry skin, and it’s made a world of difference.)

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Treatments (Face) -Paula's Choice -Resist 10% Niacinamide Booster

on 12/12/2018 8:50:00 PM


I'm 65 and still struggle with sensitive oily skin, mild acne, and bad reactions to many products . These reactions can take the form of either the breakout, or the rosacea flare, variety. Paula's 2% BHA liquid was the first product that really helped my clogged pores -- a huge game changer. So I've tried a lot of her products over the years, but I can't use many of them. (I think I started having big problems when silicones came on the scene.) Okay, this one is a winner! I can use it without breaking out, and it does seem to be beneficial in terms of improving skin texture and fading spots. It's watery, feels like nothing on, and for that reason alone I prefer it to The Ordinary's Niacinamide and Zinc. I may be back with a more glowing review after using it a bit longer!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Treatments (Face) -Paula's Choice -RESIST Weekly Resurfacing Treatment 10% AHA

on 12/9/2018 8:11:00 PM

This product is really great - it's one of those few rare products, where you genuinely can see and feel a difference after the first use. This for me was not at all irritating (although I wouldn't recommend applying this to broken or irritated skin, it'll make things worse!), didn't dry me out or cause any negative reactions. It made my skin a lot smoother to the touch and brighter (however it did not prevent or help with my blackheads/whiteheads). It also helped to fade my discolourations faster. I would highly recommend this product, however because this is an American brand/political reasons I don't see myself repurchasing anymore.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Treatments (Face) -Paula's Choice -RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum

on 12/8/2018 8:04:00 AM


My skin is too sensitive for this serum. It left me to feel like my skin was burning.

Sunscreen -Paula's Choice -CALM Redness Relief SPF30 Mineral Moisturizer N/O

on 12/8/2018 8:00:00 AM


This broke me out, but it did feel comfortable on. I had no issue with a white cast, but I do have fair skin. I will not repurchase.

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