Paula's Choice

Paula's Choice


148 reviews

59% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$

Not tested on animals


Start your review

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Grey

get $10 off your Paula's Choice order!!

beautypedia is pretty helpful if you're willing to look past some of the bias and overly-critical comments Paula makes in favor of her own products. while i do happen to really like a lot of paula's choice products, there are plenty of other great products at the department/drug store that perform similarly. Paula seems to be very reluctant to give some products that seem just fine a satisfactory review due to one little ingredient or formulation defect that really doesn't effect its integrity (which i find annoying) she can be pretty helpful though in pointing out really irritating ingredients in certain products

2 of 3 people found this helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Paulas choice uses science to create Their products . I buy the. Acne toner from her line bc it's the only one on the market that does not contain alcohol or witch hazel, birth known to be not god for your skin. I like that fragrance is always mentioned to be a problem. These companies put fragrance in their products to mask chemical odour and to make the products more appealing. Yes hert products are expensive if you live in Canada but that's only bc of the exchange rate. Years ago it would have been the other way around. Arbonne is rated as bad for the most part, well sure those products are jam packed with irritants. As an example the genius pads. Primarily all alcohol and at that price ??? It's bc the company keeps. Giving Mercedes Benz"'s away so they need to charge a big premium for their products . They do have a few products I do like though ffrom their makeup line, calm moisturizer and eye cream . I've tried their protein shakes but again way overpriced.

on 4/15/2016 10:46:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Silver, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Grey

The review by Babs81 just shows that it isn't advisable to trust ANYONE over your own experience. I have extremely picky, sensitive skin. I've used Paula's products for years; some are HG for me (the Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer saved my eyes), some are meh, some my skin won't tolerate...though that's my goofy skin, not necessarily the product. I've been having issues with some seb derm patches the last couple of years, apparently related to menopause (and perhaps overenthusiastic chin plucking). With that, I've had to seek out and use alternative products; when it's irritated and peeling, I must use very bland products; most of Paula's contain too many actives during those periods. Note that despite having great local access, I must order most of these products online (after hours of research and MANY that don't work).

I do get annoyed with some of Paula's hobbyhorses, especially the whole sunscreen thing; I'm violently allergic to all chemical sunscreen, and if I used physical sunscreen daily, I'd be broken out all the time (fortunately, I live in Seattle). But I appreciate her attitude about fragrance in products; I can't even use perfume, so...

So, this is just to say, if your skin isn't doing well, maybe change it up. I know how hard it can be to figure out what's working and what isn't; let's just say, if your eyes swelled shut when you made an error about cosmetics, wouldn't you be cautious?

I learned my lesson early, from allowing people to mess with my face (makeup), and having violent allergic reactions that would then mess up my skin for weeks if not months. I will say, I do love Makeup Alley, spend way too much time here, but it's time well spent! And though it's encouraged my makeup addiction, it's also saved me a lot of money not buying things that sound better than they are.

14 of 14 people found this helpful.

on 4/15/2016 10:20:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Sigh...where do I start? Ive put off reviewing this for a long time because I didn't want my bitterness to cloud my judgement...its still painful-lol. I discovered one of Paulas "Don't go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me" books and also her Beauty Bible a few years ago. Which quickly led to of course Beautypedia. I was OBSESSED and became a skin care fanatic....started following all her rules to the letter...threw out all my products that didn't receive a GOOD or BEST rating from her-which were almost all of them and as a product hoarder that was a lot of loot wasted. I stopped buying creams in jars. I avoided anything with alcohol in it. I avoided anything without sunscreen included-even make up. I stopped using anything with lavender or even lavender scented even though its one of my favourite smells in the world. I stopped using anything with fragrance even bodywash...which didn't even make sense since I was still wearing perfume on my skin which has fragrance and alcohol (perhaps even lavender lol). Yikes. Anyway...
I started making lists of all the things she approved of...which didn't leave me with much to choose from...especially since I live in a very small town with limited places to shop (I pretty much have Shoppers and Walmart). The products she recommended were either her own, expensive or hard to find brands, or maybe a couple Olay products. So I tried Olay...unbeknownst to me at the time-Im allergic to niacinamide which is in all Olay products and most of Paulas. So my skin broke out in a rash which I mistook for pimples. Even more frustrated with my skin care, and out of any other options since she vetoed most products by Neutrogena, Aveeno, Marcelle-my regular brands which actually do work for me-I caved and started ordering her stuff. I spent A LOT of money...especially to have it shipped to Canada and having it converted into US dollars. Her products did not agree with me-at all! Probably due to the niacinamide-I was using her Hydralight face developed hard, painful bumps under the skin, welts you might say, and very hideous redness! May I add this is the summer I got married? With completely ruined skin!
Anyhow so perfectly good products thrown out, money wasted on her products, wrecked skin and redness which lasted about a year...this is what I received for my faithful following...
However. Why give her site a 3 instead of a one? Because I did learn some very useful information from her site. I learned how to read ingredients lists and what most ingredients actually are, I learned to avoid menthol or menthyl lactate like the damn plague because my skin is allergic to that also but I never made the connection until I read about it being an irritant from her advice. That in itself was priceless, so many face washes contain it and I would always break out in a rash and think it was acne up to that point.
So anyway, I check her site from time to time now, mostly out of curiosity...even though I find theyre getting slower and slower adding product reviews-by the time theyre finally reviewed Ive already had the product for months. I went back to using whatever the hell I want, jar packaging, fragrance, lavender, some alcohol...but I always keep her advice in the back of my mind. And now I prefer reading reviews on THIS lovely site!!!

11 of 12 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Let me just start off by saying most of the bad reviews Beautypedia gets are because the reviewers don't really know what they are talking about. Here are the things I keep reading that make me feel that way.
1. "Beautypedia always gives Paulas Choice products the highest ratings"
--Um hello, why would they make any product that wouldn't live up to their 5 star standards?

2. "They always push their own products"
--This is mostly true but what company wouldn't do that. Its just business 101. Just because they suggest one of their products over another that is very similar doesn't mean you have to buy it.

3. "They give products I love / work great for me low ratings so they obviously don't know what they are talking about"
--Just because your skin looks plump and smooth overnight (for example) doesn't mean there aren't harmful ingredients in there that aren't harming your skin in other ways long-term.

4: "They give products I love low ratings because of skin irritants / fragrances when they don't irritate my skin"
--A lot of times when they are saying an ingredient is known to be a skin irritant (such as fragrance, essential oils, etc.) it means it causes oxidation. They make your skin cells decay which you cannot see unless you look under a microscope.

5. "Companies must pay them to give their products high ratings"
--If you actually read the reviews and researched the reasons why they gave it a low score you would quickly see that isn't true.

6. "They knock products down just because of their high price"
--All they are doing is saying hey there are other products that do the exact same thing for less or that there isn't anything in the product that justifies the high price. All they are doing is trying to save you money.

With all of that being said, if you absolutely love a product that they gave a low score its perfectly fine to keep using it. Just don't knock them down because I have a feeling they know what they are talking about more than the majority of us :)

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I no longer look to Paula's Choice for unbiased reviews after several products she rated poorly performed very well for me. If she didn't try to push her own product line within a separate product review, I might be able to trust her more. Her team has been wrong about products being discontinued on several occasions and I have corrected them via Twitter. They were kind enough to thank me, but if a consumer can reach out to s brand via social media for accurate information why can't her team keep with database up to date with their direct.connectuons?! I also feel they do not moderate comments fairly. Sometimes they respond with critical rehtoric and other times they ignore symptoms of active ingredients.

A specific example involves Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair. Her team tears it apart claiming that the amount of retinol is ineffective but after only three days of use my skin is red, tender and flakey - all side effects of retinol! Some one in the comment section claims they experience flaking and the Paula's Choice team commented that this could be a side effect of the retinol and/or the fragrance. Flaking is a side effect of prescription stregth Retin A which is fragrance free. It appears her team refuses to credit a product with effect ingredients and instead points out its additives. Her own retinol products also cause flaking, that what retinol does and that's a sign that it's working!

In order to minimize the negative side effects wait 15 minutes after washing your face before applying a retinoid and apply an additional moisturizer on top afterwards. If you are still sensitive apply an additional layer of moisturizer before applying a retinoid and then apply moisturizer afterwards. These steps are designed to minimize the amount of retinoids absorbed by the skin. Alternate applications or start with only one or two applications a week until you work your way up to every night.

For fair and unbiased reviews on antiaging products check out Angie at Hot and Flashy. Paula can't be trusted.

on 3/30/2016 1:57:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool

Hair: Black, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

Interesting notes on her site, I used to read her religiously. After trying a few of her recommendations, ie. olay, loreal, garnier creams, recently milani eyeshadow that they rave face itched and burned. Once I became more informed on ingredients, I found alot of her recommendations are highly synthetic or biased based on one ingredient. I get the feeling she might get kickbacks from alot of these companies, of course I have no proof, but a girl is allowed her thoughts. I think her 'team experts' aren't really experts, just regular joes working a job.

And the one stuff is great......I tried several of her products as well, and promptly returned them because they caused itching and burning. She poopoos alot of products that have worked wonders for my skin, basing her opinion on one ingredient. ie. Sunday Riley luna oil is bad, I have great alternative retinols, blah blah....granted it's expensive, but it works for me, just not because of the retinols but because of all the other oils in it.

I'm pretty sick of seeing her everywhere, that's why I come here. :) although I don't post often.

10 of 15 people found this helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

I have the same thinking as Dede below which I think that Paula is criticizing too much on other companies products and hers are the best one... Its very obvious!! The most important thing is, not all her reviews are correct and my advice is you should try the product by yourself before just straightaway believe her reviews. For example, her review on Lancome Visioannaire Advanced Skin Corrector is quite poor but based on my own experience of using that for a year, its great, I got lots compliments on how radiant my skin look ...Since that I just read her reviews for fun..

7 of 9 people found this helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Edit -- same day I posted this review -- I forgot to mention why I gave this website 4 stars vs just 1 star. This website has, in fact saved me a lot of money. Now, I will admit, I've been a Paula's Choice, very loyal, skincare user since 2002 and my skin shows it. I love her products, however, some of her stuff is too expensive and I've voiced my opinion. I don't expect prices to go down, and her staff, have politely directed me to Beautipedia, where I've substituted her Moisture Boost Cleanser priced at a whopping $17 for just 8 ounces for the Cerave Hydrating Cleaner, $12 for 12 ounces and her Resist Pure Radiance Treatment, $32 for an ounce for the Olay serum for $20 for 1.7 ounces and so on. Nothing beats her 1% Retinol Treatment or her BHA or her Vitamin C -- nothing on Amazon, Drugstore, Estee Lauder, nothing.

So, I disagree with those that say that this website is unethical. After all, her career as a "famous person" started with reviewing products as splurge or save, using real science as evidence for her reasoning, and now she's no longer involved in this aspect of the website. It's just a partner website with her name on it. ( I know, I'm rolling my eyes as well, but think of L'Oreal and Maybelline. L'Oreal owns Maybelline, but you still think of them as separate companies, right?) With that said, I do visit the website quite often to get ingredient advice only. I do, very often, disagree with their makeup advice. For instance, usually, if they say a mascara sucks, I find the mascara awesome. I only refrain from using it if they say it has a nasty ingredient in it. If they say a foundation has irritating, fragrant, plant ingredients in it, I wont pay $39 for it -- that's for sure. But what I definitely can't stand is when you put in a request for a review and they don't get to the review for years and yet when their own products come out they will review it ASAP and then they have the balls to say that Beautypedia and Paula's Choice are two separate entities. Yeah Right!!! Or, when a foundation, like Covergirl & Olay Simply Ageless Foundation with SPF gets a bad rating NOT due to bad ingredients, but b/c their own staff thought it performed poorly on their own skin. WTF!!!? I don't use you for that. Stick to what is fact, thank you very much. I decided to start listening to a podcast called The Beauty Brains. Their real cosmetic scientists and they bash the industry for mis-information, quite like this website, but they don't try on makeup. They just stick to the science and the facts -- period.

5 of 8 people found this helpful.

on 2/12/2016 10:45:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Other, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I think its blatantly unethical to give all your own products excellent reviews! I will no longer look to Paulas website for unbiased reviews! Give me a break, she gives bad reviews for so many companies and hers are always perfect?? I don't trust her, all she wants to do is push her own products!

Back to Top