Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser

Filtered by eye Color : Hazel
Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser
No Title


31 reviews

70% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$

Not tested on animals


2015 formula:Water (Aqua), Hydrogenated Polydecene (emollient thickener), Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate (mild cleansing agent), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil (antioxidant plant oil/emollient), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (emollient), Polysorbate 80 (emulsifier), Laureth-4 (emulsifier), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer (stabilizer), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (mild cleansing agent), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Beta-Glucan (soothing agent), Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate (surfactant/emulsifier), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Hexylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin (preservative).Old formula:Water, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate (very mild cleansing agent), Hydrogenated Polydecene (emollient), Acrylates Copolymer (suspending agent and film former), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil (plant oil/emollient), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (thickener), Polysorbate-80 (emulsifier), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (lather agent), Glycerin (skin-identical ingredient), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (anti-irritant), Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum) (emollient), Beta-Glucan (skin-conditioning agent), PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate (thickener), Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol (slip agents), Tetrasodium EDTA (chelating agent), Laureth-4 (surfactant), Sorbic Acid, Chlorphenesin (all preservatives), Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster).

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on 1/21/2014 5:02:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Other, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I am not this cleanser's intended audience. I have oily-to-combination skin that develops the occasional dry patch when the weather gets cold or if I've used something too harsh for my skin.

That being said, I like this product. There are no bells, whistles, fragrances, or wild claims. It's a gentle cleanser that removes my makeup thoroughly and does not irritate my skin. (**I do not use this to remove eye makeup as I find it can sting the eyes just a tad.**)

Over the years I've tried several different cleansers from various lines, ranging from drugstore to high end and this one out-performs them all. (But I will say that a close second is Purity by Philosophy, which I use to remove eye makeup. It does not sting or burn my eyes in the slightest, despite the inclusion of fragrant plant oils - go figure.)

When I was younger, it seemed I could use just about anything to wash my face without suffering any adverse effects. As I edge towards 40, my skin has become more sensitive and fussy, demanding a gentler approach. Paula's products are very carefully and thoughtfully formulated, so I never have to worry about dubious ingredients that could cause a reaction. I also appreciate her customer service reps and the company's generous return policy and, last but certainly not least, her stance on not participating in animal testing.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

on 10/30/2013 6:44:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I think this is a nice, non-irritating (for most people - there are always exceptions, of course) cleanser. It has a light lotion consistency. You do have to rinse really well or a film will be left on your face. For that reason, I use it in the shower to wash my face. The reason I wouldn't buy it again is 1) I just bought sample packets and ultimately determined that I prefer the RESIST one among PC's cleansers, and 2) there are cheaper options available for similar drugstore cleansers.

2/19/16 update: I read that they updated this cleanser. I'm not sure if the sample I had was the updated cleanser, though. Anyway, I'm updating my review primarily to remind myself that my skin no longer likes this cleanser. Using it in the morning only (using my typical cleanser, PC's Resist cleanser in the evening) for three days caused a seborrheic dermatitis reaction, which is a shame because the cleanser felt so nice and hydrating. Changing rating to three lippies.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I first bought Paula's Choice Skin Recovery for dry to very dry skin line. The cleanser, toner & moisturiser. For the first couple of weeks or so, everything was great. My skin felt soft & it removed my makeup so well!!

The texture was a bit slimy/slightly sticky but I put up with that as it seemed like the only negative point at the time.


I started to notice my skin was redder than normal. Then dry, flaky skin that got worse quickly. Then, peeling and irritation. IKES!

I stop using it and my skin recovered in less than a week. I found one use for it though

It cleans my makeup brushes well!!!!

Oh, and for the record? Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Toner and Moisturiser are the best!

on 8/26/2013 12:07:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

When I use a cleanser I love it when my face feel really clean and fresh, and this is not the case with this cleanser. It is a really creamy, milky product that is really gentle, without any offensive scent or dye, wich is great but I wish I would feel more ''clean'' after using this product. It's quite moisturizing for a cleanser and I love that. I would definitively recommend it for really sensitize skin as it's one of the only cleanser that doesn't leave my face red after using it. It's so soft that I almost feel like it did nothing at all, so I really don't know if I like it or not. It's a good product, I'm just not sure if this is for me. I've finished the bottle so I'll update if I'm missing this product after a while :-)

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 1/31/2013 1:45:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

As other have noted, this is not the texture of a cream cleanser at all; it is somewhat milky, so the name is misleading. However it preforms like a cream cleanser in the sense that it is low lather and does not strip the skin of moisture.
It removes slight make up ok, but if wearing heavy eyemake up (even if not waterproof) or stubborn sunscreen I would recommend a make up remover or oil cleanser prior to this.

on 10/9/2012 8:08:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

Though PC calls this a cream cleanser, it is milky, not what I would consider creamy. The texture is pretty thin, so if you want a true cream cleanser, I recommend getting samples of both this and the RESIST cleanser first for comparison. (Both the RESIST and Skin Balancing cleansers have a creamier texture than this.) Personally, I like milky cleansers. I do find this soothing and mild, and it takes off all my makeup in one to two passes. I occasionally get allergic hives on my chest, and this is a great cleanser for those days. It's also quite economical, especially in the large size.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 5/14/2011 3:12:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Dry, Medium, Warm

Hair: Grey, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

Skin recovery cleanser was my very first Paula's Choice purchase several years ago and now it's the only kind I use. Before that I was strictly a Cetaphil lady, but I find this actually cheaper than Cetaphil (which is similar, gentle and effective) if purchased during a free shipping time. I use the larger (16oz) size and that lasts about 3 months, so if I order a couple at a time, I'm set for quite a while.

This cleanser is perfect for my morning routine. At night I need to remove sunscreen and light makeup, so I use a washcloth very gently and then a second wash using my hands. If I've worn mascara, I use makeup remover.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

Holy grail material. I have been using this cleanser since it was introduced. It removes make-up without drying or leaving a greasy film. I use it year round--in the drying dead of winter and the heat and humidity of summer. The price for the quality can't be beat, imo. When it comes to quality skincare at affordable prices, Paula rules.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Paula has formulated a really lovely cleanser that doesn't strip my skin at all and yet leaves it perfectly cleansed! It is a milky emulsion (a bit hard for the shower as I seem to spill it out of my palm all them time!) that doesn't foam on the skin.

This is not a 'wow' product that will make you want to touch your skin and sit in front of the mirror - for that you will probably need an exfoliating cleanser. However, it is a great staple product that you can use morning and night every day to combat the winter flakies.

There really isn't much to say, other than it does not aggravate my skin and I highly recommend it!

The only flaw is that I seem to be going through this cleanser so quickly! The smaller size bottle has only lasted a month and with Paula's Australian prices, it makes it very expensive for a no-frills cleanser. This time, I have purchased the larger size and am going to be more conservative with my usage (and try not to spill it in the shower too!)

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 7/19/2009 12:20:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

Edit nov 2013: I repurchased this cleanser this month, because the Earth Source was a bit too drying to use in the shower (when not in the shower, I use a cream cleanser with cleansing cloth). I remembered that this cleanser was very mild and less foaming than the Earth Source.
After one use I had to stop using this cleanser, because I got big troubles with my eyes, I think they changed something in the formula since I last bought it (about 7 years ago) and I am allergic to it now. So I returned it to Paula's Choise.

I have used this cleanser a few years ago and it did a good job (nothing special or recovering).

One moment I've started to look at the ingredients lists of products and stopped using this, because there are some problematic ingredients in it and I lost fait in Paula's Choice products.

Aqua, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycine Soya (Soyabean) Oil, Polysorbate-80, Acrylates Copolymer, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Beta-Glucan, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Laureth-4, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid, Chlorphenesin

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