FYI: I am a 43-year-old Latina with very fair, olive skin (slighty oily/combination, moderately sensitive, mature -- slight redness and facial lines). I'm a non-smoker and teetotaler and have used sunscreen pretty regularly most of my adult life, so my skin is pretty "well-preserved" for my age.
USAGE: I have been using PC RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator, but I've switched to the slightly more emollient Hydralight for winter use. I purchased this product at paulaschoice.com and have been applying it nightly (following cleanser, BHA liquid, antioxidant serum and retinol product) for approximately 1 week. I stroke lightly all over my face, patting it around my eye area and lips.
REVIEW: My overall impressions are very favorable. This is a light, fluid lotion with good "slip." It comforts my sensitive skin, calms redness, and absorbs quickly without any tacky, greasy residue or heavy afterfeel. It's very comforting, lightweight, non-drying, and makes a nice "final touch" product to my evening skin care routine.
PC promotes the Hydralight line as suitable for Combination/Oily and sensitive skin types. I've had mixed results with this product line, but I definitely like this moisturizer for evening use and the Shine-Free SPF 30 Daily Mineral Complex for daytime wear. My skin is only slightly oily (and even less oily in winter) and I think this might be too rich for super oily skin types.
This moisturizer is fragrance free. It does have a faint, cucumber fragrance, crisp and clean, not rancid or rotten. I'm pretty sensitive to odors and I didn't find this unbearable. The fragrance dissipates quickly following product's absorption.
In the morning, I've noticed my red patches appear noticeably lighter than they did prior to using this product. It definitely gives me a better "canvas" to work with.
Although it might be a little too fluid for tube packaging, I had no problems controlling the amount squeezed out.
I removed one star from my overall rating because I'm frustrated with recent price hikes of PC products. I'm buying less PC and waiting for sales whenever possible. Also and seeking alternatives when possible.
This is definitely my least favourite Paula's Choice product, and I've tried many. I really love her Moisture Boost lotion, Skin Recovery line, her BHA's , serums and more but this was just a no-go for me. I may not agree with everything she says but she does make some excellent products. Just not this one. . .
First problem - it stinks. It smells strongly of something sour, like vinegar, rotting cucumbers, fried onions and garlic. Not good. It's really pungent too. It does dissipate somewhat quickly but it's still very unpleasant. None of the other PC products I use smell, so I thought it was odd this one did.
I literally can't even use this before work because even though the scent seems to fade rather quickly from the face it clings to drier areas like my hands. I know other reviewers have mentioned this. I noticed as I was typing at work, the putrid stench started to waft up from my hands. I could feel a headache coming on. I'm sure my co-workers loved me that day. I tried to use it at night only, but then my husband would complain about the smell.
I called PC's and asked if this was normal, maybe this was a bad batch. They said it was the "natural scent of the ingredients". I'm used to unscented products but sorry, this is too much. It really doesn't feel good at all to be applying lotion that smells so bad. PC sent me another tube in the mail. The day I opened it - same thing. The stench filled my bathroom and I knew I was done with this. The results were not worth it. It left my combo skin dry and was too matte for my liking. It also felt sticky and tacky. I can't speak of any long-term benefits because I never made it past 2ish weeks. I think this formula could use a few improvements.
I don't know if every batch smells this awful, and have heard mostly conflicting opinions (smells worse as you use up product, others say smells less bad as time goes on). Maybe I'm too sensitive to the smell - and like I mentioned above - my skin loves so many of her products. I know a lot of people really like this lotion and it's also possible this just wasn't right for my skin. I feel bad this one didn't work out. Luckily their customer service is amazing and they sent me a tube of Moisture Boost, so all is well.
I would definitely NOT repurchase this unless maybe they reformulated. It's a BIG maybe though.
I found it!!!!
Finally!!!!!!! After searching high and low, I have found a lightweight oil free moisturizer that doesn't make break me out!
I have struggled for around 5 years now with crazy peri menopausal skin issues. It has been an ordeal for me, and the only positive thing that I can say has come out of it would be that I basically have an honorary PHD in skincare.... And!! good skin too:)
I follow Paula's advice religiously ---and also that of my acne guru (dan kern of acne.org)
I have read and read and read about skin care products and ingredients..... and after some consideration and prayer:) I decided to try one of her her moisturizers. I actually was on the fence about which one to try so I called her 800 number and asked for advice and was advised to try this for sensitive oily combo skin...(now keep in mind that I feel I'm pretty dry on my chin area, but I also can break out at the drop of a hat) With that info, the awesome customer service rep told me to try this one, but sent me samples of the other two I was on the fence about...free!!
I have used this now for over a month and have had no breakouts whatsoever from it. What I have seen is dramatically improved skin ...its amazing stuff, very light and calms redness.
If you are acne prone and struggling to find a lightweight moisturizer, I urge you to give this one a shot.
Paula's choice has excellent customer service, so if you are not happy, they will take it back.
***Most important note!!
If you read the reviews, there are several complaints about the smell.
I will attest to the fact that indeed there is a smell of cucumber to this. My samples smelled really bad actually, but the results were so astounding and immediate that I decided it was worth it...
Im so glad I did because my regular size product really doesn't smell as pungent....
I have had two regular sized bottles now(I've applied it quite heavily at night and to my neck and chest, it should last some people longer per bottle:) and they both just smell cucumbery and fresh..
I really wish I had tried a sample of this before I bought an entire bottle because, wow, this stuff is totally not for skin that is the least bit dry. It's not even for skin that's normal. I would say it's for oily skin that need hydration. I tried it because I have normal to dry skin and need something light at night, but I also have to wear Elidel cream on my face for seb derm and eczema. This dries to a matte finish, so oily-skinned folks will love that. It's just too drying for me; my skin actually felt drier with this on than if I'd not used a moisturizer.
First of, this product stinks. I though I received an expired one, but then read the reviews here and realized it's not just me. I really don't mind the scent of other Paula's Choice products and quite like the fact that there is no perfume in them, but I just can't get over this one. It's kind of a mixture between fresh and slightly sour, but it lingers on and stays on my hands really long.
If this doesn't bother you, then this is a fine moisturizer for oily/combinations skin. It gives a matte effect, but still puts some moisture in. It didn't cause any problems whatsoever (spots, redness, any kind of irritaion). It's very light and there is no feeling of heaviness or greasiness. Very nice for summer months as well.
However, if your skin suffers from any dehydration, skip this. I get flaky around my nose and chin and this simply isn't enough to combat the dryness. I still gave it 4 stars because it's not meant to be overly hydrating.
I will not repurchase it because it doesn't perfectly suit my skin's needs.
My experience with Paula's choice has been a mixed one, although largely positive. I cannot be without her clear normalising cleanser, and I LOVE her 8% AHA Gel exfoliant. Where I had less luck was with her moisturisers, until I tried this one. I decided to order about 6 samples of this stuff before committing to buying the full product. This is incredibly light, and leaves my oily/combination skin feeling comfortably moisturised, whilst leaving a matte finish on my oily t-zone. I have a very, very oily t-zone and then as a result of trying to keep that under control my cheeks are dehydrated, as anything moisturising enough for my cheeks tends to leave me one oily mess!!
The only thing is that this product is very light, so if you skin is on the drier/flakey end of the spectrum I don't think it would be suitable. I have a couple of flakey patches on my chin at the moment as a result of being a bit aggressive with my BP and retinol to get rid of some really stubborn cystic acne (present before I started using this stuff) and I didn't find it was moisturising enough for that, so I just used something a bit more heavy duty on those patches.. normally I wouldn't bother with putting something heavier on my skin for fear of breaking out, but I have a few Weddings at the moment, so don't want to look all flakey!!
Otherwise this product is shaping up to be the HG moisturiser I have been searching for, for a very long time! Thank you PC
I have weird skin. It's dry, and I know this for a fact, but recently whenever I use something with lots of glycerin in it, my skin becomes SO shiny and heavy feeling, it's like nothing absorbs. This doesn't happen as much if I'm in a properly air conditioned place 24/7, but that's not often. I'm usually somewhere with high humidity, and glycerin just attracts way too much moisture, let alone in a formula already made to moisturize dry skin. This is where this Hydralight moisturizer comes in - it contains a lot less glycerin than most moisturizers I've see, and I wanted to see if that really is the culprit. Even though it's recommended for normal, combination, and oily skin, it's summer, so I might be able to get away using something lighter, and something lighter might help with sweating or applying sunscreen on top of it (you know they all claim to be invisible but that's not always the case). Hydralight claims to a "Light-as-water texture", "Soft matte finish won't make skin look or feel greasy" "silky matte finish", "excellent under makeup". The formula also looks like it has a lot of "texture enhancers", things that may not be really anti-aging and antioxidant, like a large amount of silicones and thickeners.
PROS: Wow... this definitely does what it says. It is matte in look and feel. Honestly, I'm shocked because I'm not used to anything like this. It's not a good finish for my dry skin, but for the summer and fact that I use sunscreen regularly, it does its job. It really absorbs/dries quickly, like less than 10 minutes and ready for the next layer. It's also not unlike other moisturizers that feel ok on my skin at first, but then turn into oil central (CeraVe PM + lotion). It has a texture that is light and easily spreadable, identical to Paula's Earth Sourced Moisturizer - it's not thin, and it's not thick, but spreading it on the skin, it just has a lack of "drag" and way it thins itself out. I feel like I don't need to use a lot. It also doesn't cause breakouts, in fact my skin has been looking a bit nicer and smooth since I started using this.
CONS: Can't really think of any.
OTHER: Not sure if it's moisturizing enough for my skin or not, but my skin doesn't feel tight. It just has a very dry finish feeling. What I mean is the neopentyl glycol diheptanoate (ingredient 2), the dimethicone (5)... it feels like it is meant to provide a "dry" sensation, not just being so light in moisturizers that it naturally feels drier. If you don't like a heavy, "unnatural", "dry silicone" feeling, you should avoid this. I also don't mind the scent of the product, which is weird because a lot of people complained about it - just search here or the official website for the words scent or smell, it comes up again and again. It smells like... I don't know. I don't eat cucumbers, so I can't compare it to that, but I don't think it lingers or smells bad at all! It smells a like the PC 1% BHA lotion, which also received complaints. Really, I don't understand what everybody is having a problem with.
OVERALL: I'll use it up, but I won't purchase it again. It's just too matte for my skin. I will probably try the other ones even though they have more glycerin - fingers crossed they don't cause problems. If you have really oily skin, it may work though. It really prevents and reduces shine!
UPDATE: I have been using it for weeks and am now giving it an extra star. It is a really good product. It does what it claims, has a great texture, dries quickly, is never shiny, has a extra lightweight feel to no feel at all, and does not extremely punish me if I use a little too much. It's too matte but some of that can be offset by using another product below it, like serum/toner/etc.
I always apply this after Paula's BHA 2 liquid. My face always experience some sort of burning/stinging for a while afterwards and I always thought it was because the BHA liquid was a little too strong for my skin. No, it is because of this moisturizer. I grabbed something else today as my moisturizer (La Roche-Posay's toleriane fluide to be specific) and my face was fine. Clearly something in the ingredients does not make my skin very happy...Bad new is that I got two tubes of this, one as a free gift that came with my ordering...I'm almost done with the first tube. Maybe I'm going to use the second tube on my neck area or somewhere else where my skin isn't that sensitive...
I have sensitive, acne-prone oily skin, so it's a challenge to find good, affordable moisturizers that won't break me out. This lotion does a great job at keeping my skin moisturized in the winter without causing extra oiliness. In fact, I think my skin's gotten less oily from using this. I can't say much about anti-aging effects, since I'm not old enough to get wrinkles, but my acne scars have significantly lightened after two months of using this and the 1% BHA lotion. It absorbs quickly, and leaves a smooth, slightly matte finish. The smell isn't bad (somewhat fresh and herbal), but I can see it being a slight problem for sensitive noses.
The only issue is that Paula's Choice lotions are a little expensive if you're on a budget: $20 (plus shipping) for 2 fl.oz. It'll last me about 2.5 months, but I also don't use it everyday at night. Otherwise, if price isn't an issue for you, I'd highly recommend this product if you have oily skin.
The smell of this is absolutely awful. I can't get over it, I had to wash it off.