It's kind of funny that so many people are attacking Paula's credentials simply because she is not a doctor or chemist. First off, you don't need to be either of those to be able to do some research on ingredients. But the matter of concern is WHETHER you or other companies will do it. And quite frankly, very few of them do, and not to mention, they slap on a "dermatologist recommended" label onto it without a dermatologist actually recommending it. Secondly, being a dermatologist of chemist doesn't mean anything if you aren't committed and passionate about your work. I've met many dermatologists and heard of even more horror stories about how a lot of them are just there for the money and prescribe whatever they're paid to prescribe. You have to show your dedication and I can't think of anyone else in the skincare world, other than Paula, who has been able to do this so effectively and transparently.
Essential oils are bad. Get over it. The only purpose of essential oils is to make your skincare smell good. If you're over the age of 20 and you still need your skincare to smell "pretty" you really need to grow up. Skincare is meant to heal injuries, to prevent imperfections, and to enhance the beauty of your skin, NOT to make it smell good. You can use perfume for that. Take up any natural medicine textbook off any shelf of any library and it will tell you that nearly all essential oils are bad for the skin. Sure, you can say skincare dilutes it to a miniscule amount but why would I want a little poison when I can make sure I have none of it. There is no other benefit of essential oils, in most cases, other than to make your nostrils happy.
Skin is vast and it is different. Paula and her authors know this and have made the disclaimer countless times: use Beautypedia as a guide, not as a rule. Everyone's skin type is different, so how can any one source account for every individual in this world. That is apparent with the variety of reviews on the same product found on MUA. I don't know why people are hounding on Paula about not covering each and every single skin type on this planet. Even a person's diet is personalized to their body's needs, and skincare is no different.
Overall, Beautypedia is one of a kind. It is not perfect, nor do I expect it to be, nor do I expect all of Paula's Choice products to be perfect. It is your skin, so you know what is best for it. Read Beautypedia for some suggestions, supplement it with the reviews on MUA, then consider the needs of your skin and decide FOR YOURSELF, if a product is worth your money or not.
I am nearly 58 years old and have used skin care and makeup since I was 14. So I can easily say I tried the gamut from least to most expensive. That said, I rely on Beautypedia on a constant basis. I do take everything with a grain of salt but have found most reviews to be right on target. I did start to use some of her products as the pricing was what I considered very reasonable and they stand behind it. Recently I started experiencing a lot of skin problems (having deviated from her skin care and added to seasonal changes.) I emailed the "
team" for advice and gave extensive descriptions of what was going on and exactly what products I was using. They came back with their recommendations, and I have to say, it's worked! My skin is clearing up, the flakes have stopped. I was always told that I had beautiful skin, and now it's back. I use many sources for my actual makeup. Mac, Tarte, Peter Thomas Roth, Bobbi Brown (not in like so much now) and a few others. If you need skin care, email one of the reps and see what they come up with for you. I highly recommend them!
Paula's reviews are somewhat bias. Her own products are not that great. At times outdated and rigid opinion about makeup products.
This site is still quite useful, and I've got to give her credit for being the first, if not the only, voice to try to cut through the marketing haze that is the makeup industry. Sure, she has a glaring and obvious conflict of interest--she used the popularity of her consumer reports-styled books (Beauty Bible) to launch her own product line. Understandable. However, she has been pushing it ever since, and when Beautypedia was a separate site from her product line and she called herself the "cosmetics cop", she would have completely unqualified rave reviews of her products alongside the "objective" reviews of products from other lines. That always seemed a little deceptive to me, and irritating. Now she has merged Beautypedia into her Paula's Choice product website. In her reviews of other brands, she will even provide links to purchase her own products when she finds an equivalent product she really likes (and has probably copied). That is certainly more honest and transparent, and is a big improvement. However, when you search "best products", for example, you pretty much get a list of her products. Better to search the site in your own way on the "advanced" function. And in fact, the search function and the website in general have been really been improved--it's much easier to navigate. My issue is with the unreliability of the makeup reviews. Makeup is more a matter of taste than skincare, I know, and she seems to prefer a pretty heavy touch, like some of the department store counter reps, judging by her photos over the years, and is rather militantly anti-shimmer. Even taking that into account, I've found the makeup reviews to be very inconsistent and sometimes confounding. She will flag some items for their prices, fragrances and concentrations of ingredients, while others with the same issues will get a pass and a high rating. You've got to do a lot of your own work to sort it through because of this. And I just flat out have disagreed with her descriptions of the merits of many of her recommended makeup products, to the point of rechecking I got the right one, and ended up with lots of returns and wasted money seeking them out. Ironically, in the area where she should have the most conflict of interest, reviews of skincare products, she is much more helpful, perhaps because she is always trying to keep up with an ever-changing and broadening market. I do have some trust in her research on ingredients and her judgment of their efficacy for that reason. Take it with a grain of salt, as reviewers here have said, and shake on some more with the makeup reviews (MUA is far more reliable for those) but it is not a bad place to go to start a skincare search.
Paulas choice has a range of excellent products on her skin care line each formulated for different concerns, she had very good aha and bha products which are ph balanced and have great ingredients as well as free of harsh ingredients and chemicals which can trigger irritation, her products are quite pricey but they isn't much products out on the market which are effective and work well, Paula's choice offers a money back guarantee so you can be test assured if you don't like the products you scan easily return them.
There is also a beautypedia section on paulas choice website where there are skin care and makeup reviews from brands A to Z , it also offers product recommendations from other brands.
I think paulas choice products are worth a try in my opinion and you won't be too disappointed because of the money back guarantee.
I find her makeup reviews more of a personal opinion rather than based on ingredients. Although she does mention some foundations with alcohol such as Lancome Teint Idole and Dior Nude foundation as an irritant for the skin. For that reason, I have put off buying these foundations, I don't want to take the risk if it is true, there's too many products out there for me to take that chance on my skin.
When it comes to skincare I have stopped using a few things because of her recommendations that I actually loved such as Dove beauty bar, Philosophy Purity cleanser, Aveda toner and Lancome Genifique. She mentions how most of them have skin irritants in them that cause collagen breakdown. All I know is i'm not taking the risk. Most reviews I have read mention that a lot of the skin care she gives a poor rating, that they love the product and it doesn't cause any irritation on their skin. She also mentions that you don't always feel the irritant. For example, going into the sun, initially you don't see the damage, you actually like the result, a beautiful tan..........but in the long run, your damaging your skin, years later, the damage shows.
So bottom line, I'm not taking the risk, there's too many other products to choose from. OR, go to your dermatologist for product recommendations.
Totally unimpressed by her reviews. I find her reviews very bias. I have tried so many products that I absolutely love that she did not give positive reviews. I prefer looking at reviews from the larger makeup sites like Sephora, Ulta, etc. that sometimes have hundreds of people weighing in on a product. For me that is more helpful, and usually more accurate, than what Paula says. Plus she sells her own products. Sorry but a review from someone like that I can't take seriously. She seems so outdated to me.
I have dry, somewhat sensitive, rosacea prone skin. When i hit 60 i thought maybe i should do more for my skin that just wash it and occasionally use sunscreen. I bought a lot of expensive products at sephora (that was fun). But i wanted to know what ingredients and products actually worked.
Then i discovered Paula's Beautypedia. I trust her skin care product reviews because, even though she has her own line of products, she does not hesitate to give high ratings to a wide range of other products, from inexpensive drug store brands to higher end (although it's amazing how many insanely expensive products are nuthin' special). And there definitely can be a certain amount of objectivity when it comes to analysing skin care ingredients - some are well known to be irritating or helpful - it isn't just a matter of personal preference. I can now opt for products with larger amounts of beneficial ingredients and avoid products that promise the moon and have few or no remarkable ingredients, or are actually irritating to the skin.
Paula doesn't slam natural ingredients. She just points out which ones have good research to indicate whether they are harmful or helpful to the skin. I was rather surprised to read scientific studies (she has links to them) showing that lavender is skin damaging. Paula also links to studies about the benefits of a number of natural ingredients in skin care products, such as tea and caffeine, just to pick two random examples.
However, i am less enamoured of the cosmetics reviews. I do look over those for foundations, since that item covers a lot of skin. But her personal taste intervenes in the reviews of product colors and finishes, something not based on the effect of their ingredients on the skin. This is especially true in relation to eye and lip makeup, and to a lesser extent cheek products. Paula prefers neutral colors and matte finishes and is highly critical of brightly colored eye makeup and shimmery finishes. Me, even at my age and with my crepey eyes, i look better with shimmery eye shadows - i tried neutral matte eyeshadows and looked like a recently exhumed mummy. And i LOVE bright colors on lips and eyes, when used judiciously, of course. So naturally i still come to makeupalley to check out cosmetics.
I think that makeup colors and finishes are more a matter of personal taste and thus subjective. Skin care ingredients really can be treated objectively, based on whether the ingredients actually do anything beneficial or are irritating. I'm still giving the Beautypedia a 5 rating because of the vast number of well thought out skin care reviews. Just "caveat" when reading the makeup reviews.
I understand everybody has there own opinions, but she's completely biased. Everybody's face is different & half the products she said were "poor" worked really well for some people. Next.
I think Beautypedia can be useful... to an extent. However, I don't trust everything that is said on that site. For example, it talks about how sodium hyaluronate (the salt equivalent of hyaluronic acid) is a good ingredient in skincare, but that hyaluronic acid is better. However, when you look at all the research, it shows that the hyaluronic acid molecule is too big to be absorbed into the skin, whereas sodium hyaluronate is a smaller molecule that can be absorbed. So... what's the point of rating hyaluronic acid as a better ingredient if it cannot be absorbed? This makes me skeptical as to the scientific basis of Beautypedia. I think it's far from infallible.