Paula's Choice RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum


52 reviews

63% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$$

Not tested on animals


Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol (silicone slip agents/suspending agents), Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate (skin-conditioning agent), Dicaprylyl Carbonate (emollient), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (skin-repairing ingredient), Phenyl Trimethicone (silicone slip agent), Squalane (emollient), Bisabolol (anti-irritant), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (stabilized vitamin C/antioxidant), Retinol 0,1 (cell-communicating ingredient/antioxidant), Tocotrienols (vitamin E-based antioxidant), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Lecithin (cell-communicating ingredient), Laminaria Ochroleuca (Kelp) Extract (anti-irritant), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil (anti-irritant), Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil (skin-repairing ingredient), Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate (licorice-derived anti-irritant), Hexylene Glycol (slip agent), Caprylyl Glycol (emollient), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin-conditioning agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

on 9/20/2015 8:45:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Blue

This product is not for all skin types, it should be for dry skin. It could break a lot of people out, as it has Cyclopentasiloxane, silicones and a palm oil (that part worried me but it's low in the ingredient list). That said, if you are dry or have mature skin and tolerate those ingredients. For me this is really gentle and amazing. It feels luxurious, like a thick oil or thick siliconey serum. Similar texture to EL's night serum. It does not irritate my skin which is a miracle as I don't tolerate retinol or any actives well. It has some really calming ingredients and some nice anti oxidants that are anyti-aging on theirown. . I could not use the Skin Recovery Antioxidant serum which felt lovely too, but broke me out and irritated my skin.. I started with the Resist Barrier Repair Moisture (same as the PC4 Men's Night) and that is very gentle and didn't break me out. Eventually started adding this a few nights a week. It's August and I have been using this every night for a month adn it's really making a difference. I use it after my toner and wait 30 minutes for it work. My skin does not feel dry while waiting for this to absorb. .I feel it works a lot better since I started using it nightly. There are strong products, I doubt I'd tolerate them and not sure I need them. I don't have major probems, but some my skin has lost some bounce and this brough it back.

It coms in pump canister that looks nice but feels flimsy. However, if you are careful it works well. It does keep it fresh a long time, so that is key.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 9/18/2015 1:14:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

+ makes skin smoother
+ controls breakouts
+ reduces wrinkles
+ improves skin tone

+ absords slowly, makes you feels super oily
+ not see-through packaging ( hard to know when it's about to be completely empty )

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 9/10/2015 1:32:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Green

I initially bought this to use at night, alternating it with the clinical 1% retinol. Since I now use that every night I didn't have a need for this, however I am now using it on a morning. It has been a lightbulb moment for sure. My skin is more plumped and the high silicone content definitely makes my pores and old acne scars (rolling scars) appear smoother. In all honesty I have a love hate relationship with silicones, I like the smoothing effect but they often feel greasy. This serum does have an oily feel but it sinks in beautifully. I use half a pump mixed with the vitamin C serum which makes it less sticky, I them apply my non-silicone moisturiser. My skin is not oily, but does have a nice glow. I'm actually surprised by the results. It hasn't broken me out so far that I can tell - but I will update if it does. I haven't had any issues with the packaging, the pump works fine and keeps the ingredients stable. As this contains retinol it won't work for everybody. Some skins just cannot tolerate retinol, but it's worth a try for the anti-aging benefits. Lines between my eyebrows have improved, but I use a lot of actives including 1% retinol.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Medium Brown, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I like how it feels once applied to my face. It doesn't break my acne prone skin out. Can't comment on the winkle aspect of the serum since I'm using it as prevention rather than for reduction. I would repurchase it. After cleansing my face at night, I apply my acne cream, then this product over it. Sometimes I apply a moisturizer on top if needed, but I'm oily in the summer so I usually don't moisturize at night during the summer.

on 6/29/2015 11:38:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

This Retinol serum from Paula's Choice contains 0.1% retinol and a few other good-for-your-skin ingredients in a clear water free silicone base. The texture is similar to her Resist Super Antioxidant Serum if you are familiar with it (if not, I'd describe it close to a thicker silicone hair serum). The cosmetic properties are agreeable: it takes a couple minutes to sink in, but once it absorbs it feels silky smooth on skin. Mixing in a couple drops of the Paula's Choice C15 Vitamin C booster makes the texture even more agreeable, shortens absorption time and supercharges skin care effects. There is no fragrance and hardly any smell. It comes in an airless pump bottle which works great (used up 5 or 6 full sized bottles and several GWP minis, never had an issue).

What does it do? After my very first application I saw clearer, better skin the next few days. My skin was glowing. I had only used a sample packet. Seeing the results I immediately ordered the full size and started using it every night - which proved too much for my skin. After experiencing some redness and dryness I started to apply it every other night, and I have also removed the weekly 10% AHA resurfacing treatment (Paula's Choice) from my routine. IN a few weeks time I started to use it daily again and by that time my skin was fine.

With continued use, I no longer experience that first time wow. But my skin is in better condition overall: smooth, more even skin tone, glowing. Of course, it is not all due to this retinol serum. I also use a BHA exfoliant, Vitamin C products, facial oils, moisturizers as needed (all Paula's Choice) and sunscreen. But when I discontinue using this serum I see the lack of it in a few weeks time. So it is definitely contributing positively to the state of my skin.

Bottom line: Must have.

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 6/18/2015 1:53:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Unfortunately, this product didn't do anything for me. I used only Paula's Choice Resist line for 6 months. It just dried out my skin even more and made it look so dull. The items I used were: Resist Wrinkle Repair Retinol serum, Skin Perfecting 2% BHA, Resist Cellular Day Moisturizer with spf 25, Resist c15 super booster, Resist Toner, Resist Cleanser, Resist Foundation, 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 after giving it a good 6 months. In summary, they were so boring and ineffective. Fortunately, I am using new products now that have made a huge difference. I am enjoying my skincare routine again!

on 6/18/2015 12:09:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

This is a good starter retinol product with 0.1% retinol content, but especially if you're above 30, you'll probably need something stronger to get visible results. As far as I know there is scientific proof that retinol diminishes wrinkles, but only above 0.4%. Paula herself has a 1% retinol serum in her Clinical line, which is her strongest, and this is her second strongest one. The dark blue Resist moisturizer and the Skin Recovery serum contain only 0.01%, so obviously this one is a better choice if you want retinol in your routine.
If you choose the 1% Clinical, you are not advised to use it every day in the beginning, because the skin needs to get used to retinol, and this is when this serum can be a good choice. You can use it on those days when you skip the 1% serum, or you can start with this, and move on to the stronger product later.
When using this serum I haven't experienced the reduction of wrinkles (I didn't expect to, so that's not a problem) or long-term effects, but this 0.1% retinol with the antioxidants managed to make my skin temporarily smoother, firmer and healthier-looking.
The consistency is honey-like, and it's really very oily. The oiliness balances the drying effect of the retinol, and lessens the possible irritation. My skin is normal (summer)-dry (winter), but rarely need to use a separate moisturizer with it.

So far this sounds good, but there is one very big problem: the packaging. The pump mechanism stopped working when my bottle was half full. I couldn't unscrew the top, but my husband managed to, and I was really surprised when I saw the amount of the product that was almost wasted. The pump reached only till the middle of the bottle, so I can't even imagine how it's possible to pump out everything.
Especially if I think about Paula's criticism of companies using jar packaging, this is really irritating. I can only use the second half of the serum if I open the bottle every time or decant it in another container. You can find numerous complaints about packaging from other customers on her website.
And now let's do some maths. On the European website the small sample (1 ml) costs 0.70 Euros. The big sample (7 ml) costs 13 Euros. (This is what I used actually.)The full-size product (30 ml) costs 44.32. The small sample comes in a typical sample sachet, nothing special, the big sample and the full-size product comes in the pump packaging. If you compare the prices, you can see how much money goes into the product itself, and how much into this trashy packaging.

Bottom line: this is a good starter retinol, or a good product for those days when you can't use the 1% retinol. But the packaging is so trashy, that you have a big chance that a lot of product will be wasted.

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 4/28/2015 2:44:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I been trying this Cyclopentasiloxane (silicones) base serum on and off since Paula first release the product. Although she raised her price from 30$ to 40$ in less then 2 years. For a non-luxurious, online brand, I find this very unreasonable. (Especially for residents outside USA country).

Aside from the price, this retinol serum is so emollient, maybe TOO emollient for normal to oily skin. (Just by reading the ingredient list, the first 7 ingredients are all rich emollient ingredients) If you have oily skin, you probably won't like it at all. For dryer skin, its not a slam dunk either.... because it feel greasy but not hydrating enough. Retinol tend to dry up your skin surface (think of the Retinol A for acne!) I guess that's why higher % (although still less then 1%) require such richness to balance up.

I didn't see a miracle result from this serum. If anything, I'm starting to noticed dryer and rougher skin layers. Maybe my skin is renewing? But I'm not positively sure. Either way its not the best experiment. I'm mainly using it as age-prevention but I might just switch over to skin recovery serum during winter time. (A mild version for real dry skin, work much gentler for me.)

Retinol in higher % is not for everyone, think twice before you buy it. I may not repurchase anymore unless it work for my neck area.

Note: One more thing worthy to mentioned. Don't overly layer this product around your eye area, this serum tend to travel inside your eye if you do that.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 3/29/2015 11:13:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Green

I like this retinol serum, but I partially wonder if that's merely because I have never tried anything better. I agree that the packaging has gotten worse over time -- the top of the pump, namely. I feel like the weight of this product is good for nighttime, when I use it, because it basically feels like a nighttime moisturizer in terms of it's slip/heaviness, but again, I wonder if I could do better.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 2/5/2015 3:57:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I had a bad allergic reaction to this product. When I put it on, my face started to feel hot. I ignored it for a while, thinking it was the active ingredients beginning to work, but I had to wash it off in the end. After a couple of days, with nothing else having changed in my routine, my eyes started to feel itchy and dry and the next day, I woke up with swollen eyes, red, dry patches and deep lines around my eyes that hadn't been there before. My skin is still trying to recover from this. The only thing it will tolerate at the moment is vaseline. Please be very careful with retinol. My skin isn't normally sensitive. Patch test it first for at least 3 days before you put it on your face.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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