Paula's Choice


126 reviews

58% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.1

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.1

Price: $$

Not tested on animals


on 8/3/2015 10:00:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Red, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I have flipflopped on Paula Begoun at first I loved her, highlighted her books, then I started to dislike her because of the conflict of interest when she started to sell her own products. Despite this I was still using a combination of beautipedia and makeup alley to advise me on products. I recently fell back in love, when I found her youtube videos of Q&A livechats.

Between her and her research team it feels like they give more spontaneous answers then their website. Nathan revias and bryan are my favorite. I feel more informed then when I read her articles or even her tip videos because they are live and you can tell they are very excited about the research and knowledge they have accumulated. I will say that one of their correspondents Desiree reminds me of some of the controversy about the company because she seems less knowledgeable about the research and more excited about products.

Every three years I adjust my skincare routine, and I started adjusting mine based on their recommendations. I was using mostly mauc/Makeup artists choice, alpha hydrox products before including peels, AHA, BHA, and reitinol. I started adding more antioxidants, vitamin c, nicamidcide to my regime and got rid of something I had used forever the diy aspirin mask. Its made a pretty big difference over three months. After having pretty severe acne growing up I started using Paula Begoun to fix many of those problems 10 years ago. I always get compliments on my skin but now it's just a whole new level.

I have used her products and trust them. Do I think they are miraculously better than other companies, no, but I can tell you that she is one of the few out there that accurately describe what you are getting and I appreciate that. I balance her products by price point. For example, she recommends products in the alpha hydrox line, and they are cheaper. So after experimenting with Paula's products I went back to them for my AHA.

I keep in mind a couple of things.

- Although they review quite a bit of products I would like them to review more competitive products. Products they consider equal or better than their own.
-I have oily skin, she has a great line for this, but their general spot treatments are very silicone or emollient based and are just difficult for me to use. An example is her 9-bha product which works but feels like I just slathered oil on a pimple.
-Futurederm has an interesting discussion on alcohol based products and paula begoun's point of view that they are damaging. I still haven't decided where I fall on this.
-Mandelic acid is one of my favorite products. When I use it I get compliments every time but beautypedia rates it average. I've listened to the reasoning but its hard for me to dispute my own observations with this product.
-Because Paula likes to have research to back up her products, rightfully so, sometimes I feel like I want to experiment with other brands for the innovation. The "next bit thing" can be a pit fall but it can also lead to some truly unique products. I also feel like she doesn't take risks with products which is her strength but is consistently the reason why I start to wander.
-sometimes she is so research driven she underestimates the luxury factor. Man what I wouldn't do for an awesome fragrance
-I'm really interested in her opinion of olaplex.

You have to give Paula Begoun credit she raised the bar in the industry and her products are solid. I think that in the age of youtubers who get free products and suddenly find every product life changing, and amazon reviews with suspicious ratings, she is much needed. I see the average ratings here but think she deserves a second look.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 7/7/2015 12:51:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I remember way back when she didn't sell her own line of skincare. I referenced her site and Skin Deep a lot. While her information might be helpful, it's a giant conflict of interest. She is no longer an unbiased consultant, she is a salesperson.
Folks who are fully vested in her reviews need to remember that she wants to make money. In the end, it's all down to dollars.
Yeah, I've read that she keeps Beautypedia and her skincare line separate, employs different groups of people, etc. Which is great. But I no longer believe her purity of intention.

I like her articles that teach about ingredients and skincare protocols. Don't get me wrong.
But I scoff at her reviews of competitor products. And any company that isn't Paula's Choice is now her competitor.

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 6/28/2015 12:37:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

This is surely a joke! HOW has she been able to discredit so many other great skincare lines like this? She is a crook! Her products are not anything great. Clearly she knows this, which is why she has to stoop to demeaning other lines in order to try to boost hers!

on 6/26/2015 2:14:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

The majority of the reviews on this website are mediocre to negative, even for products and brands that are massively popular and hailed by respected beauty journalists and make-up artists throughout the industry. Liz Earle for example, who ethically focus on plant formulations, get a bad rap even though her products have literally transformed my skin!

I can only assume that the purpose of this site is to discredit other products so that people buy Paul's own line of cosmetics, the tab for which is right next to the Beautypedia one! Don't be fooled by it! Paula is not a scientist and the majority of the information is conjecture. Paula's conflicting business model is seriously flawed, she should focus on one or the other.

The site is slightly useful for ingredients lists but even they aren't always there. If you want real honest product reviews, stick to MakeupAlley!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 6/21/2015 4:20:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I was excited when I found the Beautypedia website. I needed some things and thought I would pull it up on my iPhone while shopping at Ulta, to use as a resource. I knew I didn't want any drugstore things that day. I ended up wasting over 2 hours in the store and getting beyond frustrated. Every single last thing I was interested in only got 1 star. I tried to find something that she approved of that wasn't a drugstore brand and it was almost impossible. That was when I figured out something wasn't right. So much time wasted. I felt tricked. I felt I couldn't be the only one who felt fooled this way. So I researched and found a lot of complaints about her. So frustrating!!! Couldn't believe it.

I did try her a Resist line last year because a friend said she'd been a fan of hers for years. So, on a whim I shelled out for her entire Resist line. I used the entire, totally boring Resist line for 6 months. It just dried out my skin even more and made it look dull. I kept waiting for results, which never happened.

The items I used were: Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser, Resist Cellular Day Moisturizer with spf 25, Resist Non-Greasy Moisturizer, Resist Wrinkle Repair Retinol serum (super greasy/never absorbed), Skin Perfecting 2% BHA, Resist c15 super booster (smells awful), Resist Toner, Resist Foundation(terrible), Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA, Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment 10% AHA. With all of this, I not only saw no results, my skin looked worse. I like to enjoy my skincare. That is huge for me. These products bored me. I ended up throwing what wasn't used up in the garbage.

5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

on 6/19/2015 2:55:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Blue

i only use it for ingredient list these days.
they give good review to things with irritants and destroy thing that work just because of a brand that they don.t like made it, or it.s to expensive. i just don.t trust her opinion given that just about everything that she sells gives me acne or just doesn.t do anything. i.ll give her one thing she makes the best spf for winter maybe one day she will put out a water resistant mineral spf 50 and she will be the best for summer.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

Oh, Beautypedia. What would I do without you? I admit it, I’m curious enough to check out the reviews of new products whenever new ones show up. Sure, there’s lots of good info (it's most helpful taken as a guide for what ingredients to *look for*), but there’s also a lot of stuff that doesn’t make sense.

Complaint du jour (of the day):

They have a beef with certain types of alcohols. Some are fine, apparently (the fatty, moisturizing ones and yes, good that they make the distinction — because they are very different ingredients), but heaven forfend a product contain the other sorts (rubbing alcohol is a good catch all proxy so think of that when you think of the kind that they ding).

The thing is, alcohol as an ingredient is actually pretty useful in skincare/beauty products. It can, for example, thin out a formula enough to make the good stuff penetrate through the skin barrier more effectively but also evaporates quickly as soon as it has a chance to do so.

Within a strictly black and white POV, yes, rubbing alcohol is dehydrating (if applied in pure-ish form directly to skin, it’ll dissolve skin oils and such). But, when it allows for other ingredients that are moisturizing or otherwise beneficial to penetrate your skin barrier by temporarily thinning out the formula just long enough for them to go deep/penetrate, on the balance, you will end up more hydrated/treated than not. Depends on the formula of course, but you get the idea. I hope! If I see alcohol in the ingredients and the product works well, GREAT. It probably helped achieve the intended effect.

The studies that are cited by Beautypedia re: alcohol mostly seem to be in vitro (“petri dish”) studies, not in vivo ones (living skin cells with all of the inherent associated complexities). Cells in petri dishes on their own are fragile things and pretty much flop over dead unless bathed in luxurious nutrient baths; anything else and they will crap out and whatever they were doused in gets unfairly dinged as “cytotoxic”. Living cells are very much hardier and have “systems” in place that protect them.

You could dump a bunch of cells in a dish of water and they’d probably die. Is water cytotoxic? Not usually, no. Not in real life. I mean, of course, if you drink a shit ton of the stuff, yes, it’s possible you could die (it’s a thing and people have). Anything is toxic in the right amounts and circumstances.

But, seriously, think about the nature of rubbing alcohol (proxy for so-called “bad” alcohols). How does it usually behave? It evaporates pretty damn quickly, right? RIGHT!!! Especially once exposed to air or otherwise given a chance to evaporate.

Is it really going to be on/in your skin long enough to cause the kind of damage that Beautypedia scaremongers about? Highly unlikely. Chances are, it’ll glance upon your skin for a little bit and then flutter away into the ether. No harm, no foul. Very much different from the studies where cells are bathed in the stuff (even in low concentrations) for far longer than they would be in practical application and covered so as not to allow evaporation.

Blargh :/.

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

on 6/8/2015 2:37:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

This is such a disappointment. I've tried following her "top rated" products and they are either in a weird consistency or they break me out. But what's most upsetting is the way her reviews trashes other companies. I mean, even if the product is bad would you really go out in public and call them "useless" and other rude comments followed by a sarcastic tone?

I know Paula's not doing the reviews anymore but whoever she hired needs to stop having such an arrogant and rude tone. Maybe learn your manners before rating and reviewing yourself as the "top rated" brand

6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

on 5/29/2015 4:11:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Why do all of her products get "BEST CHOICE" but everything else is too expensive or improperly formulated? Some products I love and she gives them bad reviews, but her products contain so many ridiculous ingredients. She has sold out in my view, as her name used to mean something - Quality. She needs to stick to a few good products, instead of making 500 products with all the same basic components. The less you put on your face, the better.

Also, she has completely gone insane with some of her prices. $24 for a lipgloss and $60 for a vitamin C cream that's the size of a travel toothpaste. Then she bashes other companies for having high prices. Doesn't make sense.

12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

on 5/27/2015 8:13:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I used to have breakouts and flaky skin, but I started following Beautypedia's advice and using only "best" rated products, and now my skin looks amazing... Even without makeup or moisturizer. And no, the highest rated products on the site are absolutely not only the house brand - they recommend everything from drugstore brands to high end products, so I'm genuinely confused as to how some people on here can say that the site bashes anything expensive. I will say that there is more high end makeup than skincare with great reviews, but that's mainly due to the fancy moisturizers, cleansers, and serums having tons of fragrance just so you feel like they're more luxurious.

I also think it's funny that people give the site bad reviews because Beautypedia gives poor ratings to stuff they like. I mean, I like chocolate cake, but that doesn't mean it's as good for me as a handful of blueberries... and iceberg lettuce may be natural, but it certainly doesn't have as many vitamins as, well, a vitamin. Why get huffy at someone who points stuff like that out? A foundation may look beautiful, but contain so much alcohol that it's bad for your skin in the long term. And you can go totally natural and put only pure vitamin C powder dissolved in deionized water on your face, but you might not get the benefits because you used them in the wrong proportions and had no way to stabilize the vitamin C. I can go on and on.

The other thing I take issue with in the reviews here is people getting upset that the site gives poor reviews to daytime moisturizers without SPF. This is a proven way to prevent aging - I do agree that it's a personal choice, and if you want to look like a strip of beef jerky someday that's your own business, but why stop other people from being properly informed?

I'll add that I have tried one of her BHA serums and her vitamin C/E serum, and both were great. The BHA cleared up a weird rash on my thigh that had been going on for over a year - not even prescription creams had worked on it.

I don't even think of buying stuff not recommended by this site, and I tell all of my friends to use it too. It's truly the best tool for navigating the misleading claims of the beauty industry.

7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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