I use her website to check out possibly irritating ingredients, but otherwise I don't generally listen to her reviews. I absolutely love her products but it's very odd to see her own products all labeled as "BEST" on Beautypedia.
I completely understand why she would give poor ratings to products with fragrance though. My beloved Nivea Creme is rated poorly on her site, but I understand that even though I don't get a reaction from it, it is *potentially* more irritating than a non-fragranced cream.
Overall, it's a good starting point but I would take her reviews with a grain of salt.
My main problem with "beautypedia" is that it is subtly marketed as a dictionary of un-biased product reviews and 'professional" opinions....which it is FAR from.
Firstly the reviews written by i presume paula should not be taken as fact as she only has experience not a degree in skin sciences, its great to look at skincare from an ingredients point of view but that's all that is clever about the idea and even that is just common sense. Paula puts way too much emotion into some of the reviews taking personal jabs at companies and at some points sounding more like an annoyed customer and less like someone who is giving a 'Professional" opinion/review.
I think the site is a great idea it just should never have been set up by some who owns and sells a skincare brand and who rates all her own products as "best".....
I've used both Paula Begoun's books and Beautypedia for years. Despite what people think, she's not completely biased towards her own line. This is proven by the many good reviews she gives other products from various other companies. Beautypedia is just another resource for making decisions before purchasing beauty products, and I'm sure it's saved me money over the years just like MUA has. Does that mean I always take her advice? Of course not! At some point you have to use your own good judgement before making a purchase. Beautypedia is just a tool to help you do that.
This eh hem...woman is not a dermatologist, just a makeup artist turned capitist harpie.
Any recommendations I've taken from her website and books have been a disaster. I think she craps on popular brands at the same price point as her own to market her line of skin care. I'll add Paula's choice stuff is awful.
After finding products based on their website, i realized that Paulas Choice has their own brand of products... how can they rate all the other brands without bias?! They can't. I've tried numerous products from their line and from other that they rated horribly and time after time, i have found that their products are just overpriced drug store quality. They do the job mostly, but it's just not worth what they charge. Nothing stood out and the website is just decieving.
I am glad I am not the only one who has a problem with Paula Begoun's reviews. She clearly poses herself as a prophet and I do find it disturbing. Especially when I bought a certain product named: Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer. Well, this product happens to be full of silicons, this is actually one of the most siliconey products I have ever come across. What about people who are allergic to silicons?
So she and her team spent their time badmouthing products with fragrance (her own skin might react to fragrance because of her own eczema related issues, but not everyone's skin actually does) or alcohol or foundations with too low a SPF (some people prefer applying their sunscreen separately so how is that even a con?), but she promotes her own daily moisturizer full of silicons which gets the highest rating by her own standard! As a matter of fact, I am not a big fan of gaslighting as a marketing technique.
I also think that using silicones is kind of lazy because it allows the product to glide on smoothly, thus giving the illusion of a pricier product .
I am living in the US but I also think her reviews really lack perspective in that regard, for example, she will have a tendency to declare foreign products overpriced, whereas in their own currency and country they are not: I am thinking British skincare or French Pharmacy here.
You can find a lot of French Pharmacy daily basic moisturizer designed for intolerant skin for way under 20 euros in Europe (whereas hers are all above 20 dollars) without silicones and actually designed by people with scientific diplomas as opposed to her.
That she is constantly referencing "peer-reviewed" papers does not make her more of a scientist. Or at least not a better scientist than actual scientists. Since consulting peer-reviewed articles on a daily basis is exactly what a real scientist does. "Peer-reviewed" is not exactly a guarantee of quality, there are bad peer-reviewed papers in low impact factor journals, excellent peer-reviewed papers, and even peer-reviewed papers retracted for fraud in high impact factor journals.
She is actually not a pioneer in fragrance free cosmetics, Roc is, for example, from 1955 on. Fact she and her team forget to mention in her review of the brand.
To sum up, I find her and her teams' reviews so self aggrandizing, self centered and biased that I will neither buy from Paula's Choice again nor take their them into account.
Regardless of whether her website is useful, I really appreciate what she does. Paula's book was my introduction to the whole idea of basing your purchase decision on the ingredients of a product, not what the marketing messages say or how pretty the packaging looks. I find her website useful in two ways. First, she gives a list of potentially irritating ingredients that you should seek to avoid when buying products. Second, she teaches you the basics about taking care of your skin, such as always putting on a sunscreen no matter what the weather or season is.
That said, my attitude towards her reviews has changed--I don't rely on her reviews as much as I used to, because I've found many products that are bashed in her review but are loved by many people on Makeupalley, including myself. There were also many instances where I (and may other people) didn't like the highly rated products on her website, including some products from her own line.
I guess a part of the answer to this paradox lies in the nature of scientific research. Paula's reviews are based on scientific studies, which are probably the most credible sources available to evaluate a skincare ingredient. But one needs to understand that many things could mess up the validity of a study--it is not uncommon in scientific research that you could find a certain result with one sample and not finding it with another. This is especially the case when you are studying something as the skin's reactions to a certain ingredient, which is highly susceptible to the influence of individual differences. I'm not advocating that we shouldn't trust the results of scientific research. I'm simply saying that scientific research has its own drawbacks despite that it's the best available tool for us to systematically find out about how things work.
Next, consider the information that Paula use to evaluate a product, which in most cases is no more than the ingredient label of a product. I'm not a skincare expert, but I think one would need more information to give a comprehensive and unbiased review of a product than what's listed on the label, such as the percentage of the ingredients. That said, her reviews are helpful in the sense that they help you to identify the ingredients that are widely established to be harmful and are absolutely not supposed to be present in your products.
So here's how I make use of the information on Beautypedia: if I'm interested in a product, I'll first check whether there's any deadly hurting ingredients in it from Paula's website. As long as the rating there is not "poor" (she normally give products with harmful ingredients a "poor"), I'll proceed to websites like Makeuplley and see what other users have said about the product, and then make up my mind about whether to purchase it or not.
Having said all of the above, I firmly believe that the ultimate criteria to evaluate a beauty product is your own experience. You know the best whether your skin is happy with a product or not. If it works, it works.These review websites are just supposed to give you information that helps you to narrow down your choices, not to give an absolute verdict of how good or bad a certain product is.
Why are you guys copying the same information over and over again?
I find beautypedia and her cosmetic ingredient dictionary very helpful when making decisions about what products I buy. However, everyone has and will have an opinion based on their own experiences and beliefs. This is when, if you're interested in the issue, need to do your research and look up other sources of information. Preferably those that have a scientific backup. I'm an Environmental Scientist and I can even say that the EWG is even more biased than the beautypedia and overall an unreliable source of information. They just create alarm and confusion, it drives me nuts their use of "toxic" and "chemical".
But this is about the beautypedia. I like how they cover so many brands, from drugstore to high end and include the ingredient list (which some brand's website don't, hello?). Paula believes that alchol and essential oils are bad and irritant, and in some cases, they are. If a product contains a rather high amount of those ingredients, she's likely going to rate them as "poor" but if they're in lower concentrations she might give them an "average". Of course, this is when you need to have your own mind and knowledge because the fact that there's one not so nice ingredient doesn't mean the whole formulation is bad.
She's also against the use of jar packaging, which is somewhat true, but not a whole reason to completely dismiss a product.
One thing though, that I think is a bit absurd is that she includes her own brand. Of couse everthing is going to have the greatest rating, you developed it!
Also, I've read one review here saying that Paula isn't a dermatologist so she can't know her stuff. Seriously? She's been working in the industry for many years, doctors aren't superior creatures from heaven, all knowledgeable. In fact, the average dermatologist will know about the diseases and drugs they have to prescribe, but they don't really know much about cosmetics formulations (of course, there are some who especialize on it or have an interest in the subject, but I'm talking about the average dermatologist).
Overall, a very good website but not as the one and only source. You need to keep reading, contrast the information and make up your own mind.
Love this site. It is extremely helpful in finding products that will work for my skin type. It is THE ONLY site that posts recommendations for other brands in addition to their own which i find refreshingly honest.
I research and review everything I buy. From lip balm to electronic equipment, it takes weeks sometimes to make a decision for me to spend money on a product. Enter Beautypedia. It's a fantastic source, and I have learned volumes. I use it, MUA, Amazon reviews as well as Drugstore.com, Ulta and Sephora to make decisions on cosmetic and skin care purchases. I love to read about other people's experiences with products. I am not a dermatologist, but I am tired of being a sheep in the flock...blindly pirchasing a product based simply based on the company's claims that it can do for you what no other can. Using all of these different sources, I have found a skincare regime which has (at 47) given me the type of skin which regularly gets complimented! Yes, I use a ton of PC products now and here is why. I like Paula herself. Yes, she has a line of products she wants me to buy. BUT, if I don't like a product I send it back and recieve an immediate refund, no questions asked. Shipping is low, there are many, many different products to choose from so I can mix and match, and her products are chock full of ingredients I would pay triple for if created by a different brand. If you watch her videos, you'll see that she, herself uses and praises plenty of products besides her own. I am extremely happy to have found her site and products. My skin looks better now than when I was 25.