Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

4.1

315 reviews

72% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.6

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.6

Price: $$

Not tested on animals

INGREDIENTS

Water, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (gentle cleansing agent), Sodium Lauroamphoacetate (gentle cleansing agent), Stearic Acid (fatty acid thickener), Hexylene Glycol (slip agent), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (non-volatile plant oil), Glycol Stearate (thickener), Sodium Trideceth Sulfate (emulsifier), Acrylates Copolymer (film-forming agent), Cetearyl Alcohol (thickener), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (water-binding agent), Sodium Chloride (stabilizer and Ph-adjusting agent), Potassium Sorbate (stabilizer), Laureth-4 (emulsifier), Citric Acid (pH adjuster), Xanthan Gum (thickener), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin conditioning agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative)

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on

Age: 30-35

Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Grey

I think this is the first time I’m reviewing something that is not actually for my skin type, and thus is bad for me, but probably good for someone with the skin type it’s actually intended for.

Let me explain! For the longest time, I thought I had combination skin. Dry forehead and cheeks, enlarged pores on the nose and surrounding area, and very often extreme dryness and flaking on the same areas where I got most shiny/oily throughout the day. Sounds combo, right? So when discovering Paula’s Choice (years ago, when they were a very different company compared to today), I went for the Skin Balancing line.

Turns out, severely dehydrated and sensitive skin can display very much the same ”symptoms” that combo skin does. I didn’t have combination skin, my skin was just over-producing sebum and oils in an attempt to compensate for how dry and dehydrated it was. Dehydration is a skin condition, not a type. My skin type is dry, but I had issues with oil and clogging pores because of the dehydrated condition.

So the Skin Balancing stuff was terrible for me. This cleanser stung my eyes, stung every area of my skin that was thinner or extra sensitive - it was just too harsh and stripping for me. It made my ”combo” (actually dry-dehydrated) condition worse. (Same went for pretty much every Skin Balancing product I tried. Toner was too harsh, moisturizer didn’t moisturize enough, and so on, but this is about the cleanser.)

For my oily-skinned friend on the other hand, this worked great! She felt like she got a proper cleanse, no stinging, no tightness, no nasty side effects whatsoever. Therefore, I’m giving it a good rating based on the experience of someone for whom a product like this IS suitable, not based on my experience, because it was just wrong for my skin to begin with.

In conclusion: if you have dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin, this is not for you. If your skin is over-producing sebum due to dehydration (not due to actually having oily skin type), I wouldn’t be surprised if this makes it worse in the long run, or breaks you out. This suits oily to oily/combo, not particularly sensitive skin.

If you think you’re a combo girl/guy, but this irritates or hurts your skin, it is possible that your skin is in fact dehydrated and sensitised, not combination type, and requires the most moisturizing, hydrating, healing, repairing, emollient-packed stuff you can get your hands on. If the issue is dehydration, then once that is solved, the oil production will reduce. (The products I now use are intended for dry to very dry skin, and it’s made a world of difference.)

1 of 1 people found this helpful.



on

Age: 30-35

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

My HG cleanser. Does not dry out my skin and washes off my makeup like a dream. Only a small amount is needed, which makes this last and last. Excellent for oily skin as it does not strip the skin, it gently cleanses.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Silver, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I always come back to Paula's Choice because the products do what they claim to do.
I have strayed, tried some other brands, even resurrected an old Laszlo ritual (purely a nostalgic moment of weakness), but I return to Paula, and my skin lets me know why. These are truly the most well conceived products that happen to be a pleasure to use and deliver amazing results.
The skin balancing cleanser, has a light, creamy consistency, softly lathers, and rinses clean without stripping the skin. It leaves combination to oily skins smooth, balanced and prepped for exfoliation and treatment. I am never quite sure why someone would use this for dry or sensitive skin, as some reviewers have written. This is for us oily folks, and for that we are grateful!
If you follow Paula's recommendation you are guaranteed to have excellent results. It's that simple!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I'm reviewing this product based on a weeks use of free samples.
I have very sensitive, reactive skin. In fact, I have stopped using cleansers all together with the exception of micellar water
After a month of no water, no face wash I thought I'd give this a try.
My skin reacted so badly...red welts around my eyes and on my forehead. Very hot and itchy skin.
This is a common thing with PC products for me. I think it's all the active ingredients. I also ordered Hydralight moisturizer and it's also bothering me.
Bottom line: if you have *reactive skin* which is beyond sensitive, I would proceed with caution!


Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Verry good cleanser, gentle and effective. I always purchased the large size ones. Use it for my face and body

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Grey

This could've been the holy grail of cleansers, but unfortunately there were a few flaws that I could not look past. The consistency of the cleanser is rather pleasant, and doesn't dry out your skin whatsoever. It does a good job at removing makeup, and you don't need a whole lot for your entire face. HOWEVER, be wary if you are extremely acne-prone like myself because after a couple weeks of using this, I began to develop new blemishes everywhere. I'm not sure if it is a particular ingredient in this, or that a residue is left behind (I generally don't use a toner) but this definitely broke me out on more that one occasion. If your skin isn't as sensitive, I'd give it a go because it was great on all other fronts. I used to only use Paula's Choice products but lately I have been trying to find less expensive alternatives. That being said, there are a few products i can't live without- namely the resist super light anti wrinkle defense with spf 30!!

If you want $10 off of your order (new customers only I believe), use this link! - https://goo.gl/MtP1Iz


on

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Black

I have sensitive, oily, yet dehydrated, combination skin with some acne that pops up once in a while. Yes, it's quite a challenge finding the right products!

This cleanser actually does exactly as it is named; it balances my difficult skin, actually making it manageable for me to deal with.

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I use this product twice a day, in the morning and at night, and it's been almost two months.

The Balancing Cleanser has a creamy consistency with a rich lather. It's light weight, non-greasy feel is awesome. What's great is that it's extremely gentle so it doesn't aggravate my sensitive skin as some of the Clinique cleansers have done to me in the past. Like the Fresh Soy Cleanser that I used prior to this product, it leaves my skin soft and smooth without over-stripping essential moisture, but it actually cleans up and washes away all the gump that has accumulated. Paula's Choice Balancing cleanser keeps my acne at bay and doesn't leave my skin with any tightness or flakiness - my skin has never felt so great!

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I'm not a big fan of the way the product comes out of the bottle. As someone who travels, I find the top part to be a waste of space in my bag and I don't like the slanted push-down to open the lid and squeeze-the-bottle-to-eject formula, but I've gotten used to it, and it isn't a huge deal breaker for me, especially given all the great things that this product has done to my skin.

So far, I have no reason to quit using this product. It feels great, it does wonders to my skin, and the price point isn't too bad considering the large packaging. Also, as my combination skin has become more balanced, I find myself using less of other products (concealer, foundation, moisturizer etc) so with that taken into account, it's not a bad price at all.

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If you're a combo/oily skin type, this is for you. Have dehydrated skin? Have acne? Have sensitive skin? No worries. This product will have you covered.

I hope you have a great experience with this product as it did with me, and it takes you one step closer to having more manageable, balanced skin :D - https://goo.gl/K1INpb to get $10 off your purchase.

4 of 5 people found this helpful.


on

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Pros: Non-Greasy, Lightweight, Balances Combo Skin, Softens Skin
Cons: None
Best Uses: Daily Use, Enlarged Pores

Sometimes you don't know how good something is until it is gone. That is what happened to me with Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Cleanser. It is truly an unassuming product that has improved my skin over time. I have normal to oily combo skin, and I used to be a complete oil slick by 11 am. Even the most robust mattifying products had severe breakthrough. I was using a pretty harsh cleanser that I believed was reducing my facial oil, but I think it actually dried out my skin too much, making my skin over compensate. SB Cleanser didn't make a huge impression on me at first, probably because of long-time use of the prior too-harsh cleanser. However, within two weeks with daily AM use of SB cleanser, my skin started to be, well, more balanced. After a month of use, it was very well behaved, and continued to be so through the entire bottle. My skin got to a point where I could actually wear sunscreen without getting slimy or breaking out. And mattifiers actually WORK on my skin now, keeping me shine free most of the day. The bummer part...my bottle is gone and I'm sad because the other cleansers I have on hand are simply not the same.

Skin Balancing Cleanser is a white color with creamy consistency and a slight glue-like scent. It has a rich lather when a little bit of water is added. It is cushiony on skin, and allows gentle massaging without excessive pulling. It rinses easily, but I use a microfiber cloth to remove most of it before I rinse. I didn't have any tightness or flaking when in normal Los Angeles weather, but I did notice it was a little too much when the conditions were very dry. Generally, I only used SB Cleanser once per day, and have been using PC Moisture Boost in the evenings. Once I have worked through some of my cleanser stash, I will definitely repurchase Skin Balancing Cleanser!

3 of 4 people found this helpful.


on

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

I bought this in a sample set for N/O skin to try out and its quite disappointing for the hype that was associated with Paula's website. I only found out about how ineffective the products are a few days before they arrived. Decided to see if it works at all!

I have acne-prone sensitive skin that does not suffer much frm dryness or oily-ness during the day. The cream texture of this product was deceptive in appearing that it would not dry out my skin (which it did), or have any other effects on it (also did).

I suspect that they have added anti-ageing components to all of their products, which is really upsetting. The temporary effects that they have in blurring out your skin from fine lines and pores generally become aggregated by their continued use.

Paula's skincare products are unreasonably expensive and overkill, I suggest finding cheaper alternatives that work for you instead of trying these , if it means that you have to use a cleanser and a primer.


on

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Grey

Rich and creamy, non-irritating, and removes all traces of makeup and even my stubborn zinc based sunscreen. This is glorious to use, and makes my sensitive skin feel clean but hydrated. I used a sample for a few days and now am purchasing a full sized bottle.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


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