For me, the pandemic brought with it a renewed interest in skincare. Suddenly, I had the time to sift through countless reviews of trending products without immediately being swayed by their popularity alone (or, admittedly, their overall aesthetic). Before gaining a fuller appreciation for the benefits of certain skin-loving ingredients like peptides and retinol on the back of my products, I couldn't understand what differentiated one vitamin C serum from another. So why did I decide to give Paula's Choice a try?
It's simple: Paula's Choice makes it easy for the consumer to understand what it is they're working with. There's no flowery language, hidden messages, or unknown ingredients. According to its website, before the brand's founder, Paula Begoun, began formulating her own products, she too was a consumer who struggled to find trustworthy products with formulas that worked the way her skin needed them to. Today, the brand is recognized for its goal of developing science-backed products and commitment to "the truth" behind the process.
Read on to find out which of the Paula's Choice products make the most difference in my skin.
This is a gentle jojoba bead cleanser that uses a blend of chamomile and green tea to whisk away any impurities on the skin and reveal soft, clean, and radiant skin. I've always been partial to foaming cleansers, but this cleansing scrub is making me question my dedication to them.
I noticed a difference in the appearance of my skin from the moment I wiped the remaining product from my face. My skin felt soothed and was soft to the touch and visibly brighter. I'll be continuing to use this one as my go-to first-cleanse product (especially after I've worn a full face of makeup).
Skincare concerns: Enlarged pores, dullness, and oiliness
I've been waiting for an opportunity to get my hands on this soap-free cleanser (and it did not disappoint). With a powerful blend of hyaluronic acid, aloe, and a triple-ceramide blend, it's formulated to thoroughly remove excess oil, makeup, and other things that don't belong on your skin.
Leave it to Paula's Choice to create another foaming cleanser I can't part with. First, I used this following The UnScrub Gently Cleansing Scrub and then alone after a quick splash of lukewarm water. Both times, it left my skin ultra hydrated, clean, and free of any redness or sensitivity. I'm looking forward to incorporating this one into my skincare routine!
Skincare concerns: Acne, blemishes, and enlarged pores
I was also incredibly excited to try this cult-favorite liquid exfoliant that's claimed a permanent spot on my TikTok's For You page. I'll be honest: I've had a difficult time finding an exfoliator that 1) doesn't cause any irritation to the skin and 2) makes a difference in its appearance over time. The brand's best-selling liquid exfoliator has earned the reputation of both getting rid of any buildup and enhancing the skin's glow.
After using this over the course of a few days, I can't say that I saw any major changes in my skin's appearance when used alone. Alternately, when used after their Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser, I can confidently say that my skin looked and felt a lot better than it has in a while. Would I use this as my daily exfoliator? I'm not sure, but I'll also be adding this one to my everyday routine.
Skincare concerns: Dark spots, fine lines, and dullness
There's clearly a running theme here: I was also beyond excited to give this high-strength vitamin C serum a try. Over the past few years, I've noticed the presence of dark spots on my temples and near my eyes. It's been an uphill battle to find the products worth investing in that will lessen their appearance.
This is another product that I believe would definitely make a different in my skin when used consistently over time. As I only used it for four days, I couldn't see any major improvements in lightening the dark spots in my problem areas, but I did love how much brighter my overall complexion became after using it. I think this one's especially great for the winter months when skin can become dull and dry.
Skincare concerns: Fine lines, wrinkles, dryness, and loss of firmness/elasticity
This renewing moisturizer is noted as being formulated with retinol and powerful antioxidants to visibly improve wrinkles, hydration, and fine lines. Like the aforementioned cleansing scrub, the Barrier Repair Moisturizer uses green tea extracts (in addition to licorice root extracts, ceramide, and retinol) to nourish the skin's moisture barrier and offer lasting hydration.
I'm a fan of this moisturizer because it kept my skin hydrated, bright, and blemish-free for the entire testing period. I especially loved how non-sticky the formula is: It glided right onto my skin and, with a few gentle brushes from the hand, absorbed entirely. It also provided a great base for my everyday makeup.
Skincare concerns: Dark circles, puffiness, and loss of firmness/elasticity
Thanks to many wise women before me, I'm a strong believer that everyone over the age of 20 needs to have a reliable eye cream in their skincare routine. I also suffer from the tricky combo of having dark circles and puffiness to combat. This vitamin C–infused eye cream is supposed to help by using a powerful blend of vitamin C 5%, zerumbone, and peptides to target the root causes of discoloration as well as brighten and smooth the skin.
I only used the eye cream during my morning skincare routine to help bring down my overnight puffiness and even the skin tone without having to rely on my concealer alone. While using this product, I definitely noticed that my eyes appeared a lot less puffy throughout the day (especially when I paired it ice globes). I didn't, however, see a change in my dark circles. Looks like I'll be needing to catch up on some sleep if i want to work on them more!