Paula’s Choice is an exciting brand that brings a lot to the table. Even though the company has been around for almost 30 years, it constantly ups its game and manages to keep up with the skincare giants.
Their skincare lines focus on specific skin concerns or types, so knowing what to choose can be a little daunting. Let’s find out what is worth it, the must-have products, and how to introduce them to your skincare routine.
Paula’s Choice (PC) is a skincare company that was formed in 1995 as one of the first exclusive online brands. It was founded by Paula Begoun, author and businesswoman, who wanted to start a science-based skincare line.
The brand was among the first to introduce customers to concepts like knowing your skin and understanding what ingredients can do for it. It has a particular philosophy about what good quality products should be and how to use that to your advantage.
The website also hosts a section called Beautypedia – a vast ingredients dictionary. This holds hundreds of cosmetic ingredients and what they are used for in products; they are also rated from very beneficial to average or bad, and that’s very useful to identify potential irritants.
Paula’s Choice Brand Philosophy
Paula’s Choice has a very particular brand philosophy. They want to educate the consumers about science-based skincare, to know what ingredients are meant to do and their limits (having realistic expectations). They don’t believe in miracle products but rather in a cohesive routine that shows results in time. The brand wants you to get the most out of your skincare products by knowing the science behind them and the truth.
Their philosophy encompasses formulating their products packed with beneficial ingredients and keeping them clean. This brand defines good ingredients as those compounds that have been scientifically proven to bring real benefits to the skin. These ingredients are antioxidants (vitamin C or plant-based extracts – acai, green tea) or active ingredients (retinoids, alpha-hydroxy exfoliating acids).
At the same time, the brand puts a particular spotlight on potentially harmful ingredients. They are committed to keeping their products clean from compounds like alcohol, fragrances, essential oils, formaldehyde, or phthalates. All of the PC skincare lines are cruelty-free and environmentally conscious.
Best Paula’s Choice Products
Paula’s Choice has amazing skincare lines that target problems that acne-prone skin, anti-aging, or uneven skin. There is truly something for everyone, and the basis of clean ingredients with minimal irritation potential means endless possibilities.
But some items stand out. So I have made a list of the best Paula’s Choice products that stand out as true gems. Please keep reading to get inspiration, and be sure to introduce them to your skincare routine for great results.
Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster
The C15 Super Booster is a highly concentrated Vitamin C serum that packs a punch. It includes 15% pure Ascorbic acid, the most potent vitamin C form. This powerful antioxidant fights free radicals produced by UV rays, so it protects the skin from oxidative damage and premature aging.
Vitamin C also brightens, helps even out the skin tone, and helps reduce spots. The formula is stabilized with other antioxidants such as vitamin E and ferulic acid. It also includes soothing and repairing ingredients, such as bisabolol (derived from chamomile) and panthenol (vitamin B5). This C15 Super Booster is best used in the morning under your SPF because it enhances sun protection by fighting free radicals.
Paula’s Choice Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution With 2% Salicylic Acid
The Extra Strength Exfoliating Solution With 2% Salicylic Acid is a lightweight serum from the Clear line (destined for acne-prone skin). Salicylic acid is a BHA (beta-hydroxy acid) that can penetrate oil, so it exfoliates deep into the pores. It is best for combination with oily skin that is prone to blocked pores, blackheads, and acne.
The formula is potent yet gentle, with an added green tea extract as a soothing ingredient. The brand is very much against harsh exfoliating particles or scrubs, so this sort of product is the ideal way to unclog pores.
Paula’s Choice CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment
1% Retinol Treatment is one of Paula’s Choice stellar products. It is a potent formula in a lightweight lotion that packs 1% pure retinol. This ingredient is one of the best ones to have in your routine. It promotes cell turnover, so the skin cells produce faster and healthier. Many clinical studies have shown retinol’s power to slow down aging, reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture, and fight against acne.
The formula is very potent, so start by using it 2 or 3 times a week. Always apply it at night because retinol is an ingredient unstable to light (it breaks down and loses properties during the day). The brand included soothing agents like licorice, oat extract, and willow bark extract to make it more gentle.
Paula’s Choice CLEAR Acne Body Spray
PC CLear Acne Body treatment is a very smart choice if you are fighting stubborn body acne. The product comes in a spray bottle, so the application is very easy – you just point the bottle towards those hard-to-reach areas (like your back), and you are covered!
The body spray contains 2% salicylic acid that unclogs pores and helps clear acne and blackheads. Sometimes your body skin can be more sensitive than your complexion, so this spray is formulated gently and alcohol-free. It includes calming ingredients such as allantoin, licorice, panthenol, and humectants that attract water into the skin (glycerin and hyaluronic acid).
Paula’s Choice RESIST Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50
One of the staples of Paula’s Choice brand philosophy is the importance of using an SPF of 30 or higher every day of the year. So it’s only natural that the brand takes its sunscreen formulations very seriously.
Youth Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50 is a fantastic lightweight formula that provides broad-spectrum protection. It is a great product to use on your complexion daily with a matte formula. The formula includes antioxidants like green tea extract, goji berry, and dill extract that help fight oxidative damage.
Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster
The 10% Azelaic Acid Booster is a light gel-cream formula that helps acne-prone skin. Azelaic acid kills the bacteria that causes acne, and it has anti-inflammatory properties and evens out the skin tone. The formula includes 0.5 salicylic acids to help reduce blackheads and clogged pores.
This azelaic acid booster also contains calming ingredients such as licorice extract, allantoin, and bisabolol. This combination makes the formula mild and more tolerable for sensitive skin. As a bonus, the azelaic acid also has brightening properties and evens the skin tone, combined with licorice that reduces spots.
Paula’s Choice CALM Redness Relief Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin
Every good skincare routine starts with a gentle cleanser that purifies the skin without breaking its protective barrier. Redness Relief Cleanser by Paula’s Choice does just that, and it’s ideal for dry or sensitive skin prone to tightness.
The ingredient list contains only mild cleansing agents that are very gentle on the skin with the bonus of calming aloe vera and chamomile extract. The product is free of fragrance, alcohol, or other common irritants, so it feels soothing on the skin.
Paula’s Choice CLEAR Oil-Free Moisturizer
A great moisturizer formulated specifically for your skin type and packed with useful ingredients is hard to find. But Oil-Free Moisturizer in the Clear line does a stellar job at that. It is a very lightweight lotion created especially for acne-prone skin, generally combination and oily skin.
Heavy moisturizers can very easily trigger this type of skin, so having something light that gives you all the hydration you need is key. The product contains plant extracts, brightening licorice, and niacinamide that minimizes oil production. The Oil-Free Moisturizer is packed with ceramides and amino acids; these replenish the skin and repair its protective barrier.
Paula’s Choice CLINICAL Ceramide-Enriched Firming Eye Cream
Eye creams are usually concentrated moisturizers for your sensitive eye area. But Ceramide-Enriched Firming Eye Cream is a stellar product that stands out in its category. The formula is packed with multiple forms of vitamin C, a ceramide complex, and retinol.
These ingredients work to brighten the eye area, reduce wrinkles, and repair and soothe the skin. The product comes in the form of rich cream with a deeply nourishing feel. You can apply it twice a day underneath your SPF or makeup and prepare for a visibly brighter eye area.
Paula’s Choice RESIST Intensive Repair Cream
Intensive Repair Cream is the perfect moisturizer for dry or mature skin, especially at nighttime. This rich lotion soothes and replenishes the skin, and it helps protect its barrier, and the complexion feels firmer and with more elasticity. It is the perfect last step in your routine because the rich formula seals the other serums or water into the skin.
The Intensive Repair Creams contains a blend of mild retinol for anti-aging purposes, ceramides, peptides, and potent antioxidants. Each of these helps your skin to be healthier, but together they give everything your skin needs.
Paula’s Choice RESIST Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner
Toners are a fantastic way to give your skin beneficial ingredients without adding heavy textures. The liquid consistency can easily fit into your routine, whether in the morning underneath your SPF lotion or at nighttime under nourishing moisturizers.
Paula’s Choice Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner stays true to its name and manages to repair the skin barrier in one simple swipe. The ingredients list is packed with antioxidants (resveratrol, carnosine, or willow bark extract), peptides, or niacinamide (improves texture and luminosity). This toner suits any skin type, especially those fighting dull or mature skin.
Paula’s Choice Skin Revealing Body Lotion 10% AHA
Our body skin deserves just as much attention as that of our complexion, but it’s often forgotten. This is where Paula’s Choice excels in bringing us amazing body products like this body lotion.
Skin Revealing Body Lotion contains 10% glycolic acid (alpha-hydroxy acid) that gently exfoliates the surface of the skin. This will reveal smoother and younger-looking skin, and it will increase cell turnover. The lightweight yet hydrating formula is perfect to use a few nights a week for best results. Be sure to stay out of the sun and put on an SPF 50 on your body, as AHAs give photosensitivity.
Paula’s Choice – A Science-based Brand
A pioneer brand in its own right, Paula’s Choice has a very bold approach to what skincare should be. The company wants its consumers to be informed and, in consequence, to ask for more from skincare brands. Packaging products with beneficial ingredients can be more transparent with their formulation, better ingredients, and more value for money.
You can be sure that you can find many excellent products within Paula’s Choice skincare lines, so check them out. My comprehensive list can be an excellent starting point regardless of your skin type and concerns.