With my nearing 30 this year (woop woop!), I’ve started looking more closely at my skincare routine. Getting rid of old staples that don’t serve my needs as well as they used to, and introducing new beauty superstars. Such as Paula’s Choice skin MVP’s!
This skincare brand has popped on my radar last year. And in that time, I’ve tested some of their cult products, educated myself on their values, processes and ingredients, and… completely fallen in love!
Which is why today I wanted to share what I’ve learned with you. And maybe learn from your experiences with this company too! If you’re just hearing about them now, I hope to help you tune into a brand that will serve your skin just as well as it is mine.
They’ve been on the market for 25 years
Revolutionary, new and improved beauty brands come on the market every year. And while some of them are truly fab, others are just… gimmicky. Promising loads, and delivering little.
And when I first ran into Paula’s Choice, I was convinced they were part of the skincare newbies group.
Still, their website looked good, products seemed good- plus The Ordinary had just run out of their AHA + BHA peel. So I figured “What the heck! Let’s try the new guys.”
Well, as I learned, they were no skincare newbies- on the contrary!
Paula’s Choice have officially been on the market since 1995- though their creator had been hard at work in the beauty world 10 years before (but more on that in a bit). And since then, they have been formulating products based on science and continuous research.
And they have been transparently sharing product ingredients and functions, and translating scientific beauty terms in a clear manner for us non-experts. Thus creating a heritage in consumer advocacy, and low-key building a cult following!
Paula is an actual person, with actual skin concerns
Coming back to the creator of the brand, Paula Begoun started pulling alarm bells around common skincare ingredients 35 years ago.
As a childhood eczema and acne sufferer, she had many years of trying and testing different available products. But seeing her skin getting worse instead of better, she started researching the ingredients she was putting on her face.
She even learned that the toner she relied on contained acetone (as in nail polish remover!)
And from that point onward, Paula dedicated herself and her career to the study of beauty ingredients. She published Beautypedia and promoted her view of cosmetics made with ingredients based on peer reviewed research in books, on the TV and radio.
She then launched her own skincare line, Paula’s Choice, and presently acts as consultant for dermatologists and cosmetics companies.
Paula’s Choice products are fragrance free, backed by science, and cruelty-free
So, heritage and an inspiring back story are all well and good… but what about the products? In the end, that’s what we are putting on our faces.
Looking at their website for the first time, I have to say my mouth was watering! So many dedicated products for different skin concerns- where to start?
Well, if you’re anything like me, at the product description!
The gateway product for me was Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. Like I mentioned, I knew I wanted this type of exfoliant, as I was in desperate need of help with my congested, clogged pores.
And looking at the product description online, I could see not only that the information was very well structured, but also that it was backed the company’s cruelty-free, non-irritating, money-back-guarantee promise. Win-win… win!
Not only this, but at the bottom of the features & benefits, you can find the research articles that stand at the base of the product. Which only built my confidence to buy! And I have not been disappointed- with this item, or any subsequent purchases.
Their packaging is efficient and recyclable
Now, one of the reasons I feel Paula’s Choice collections live up to their promises is the packaging. Looking at, trying out and comparing different skincare products, I’ve learned to appreciate those that come in protective tubes and tubs.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have caught the latest crop of beauty products I rely on. One of them being C the Success from Holy Land Cosmetics- a serum that’s packed full of vitamin C. Its one downside- the clear packaging it comes in.
And it’s not just vitamin C products that get damaged by sunlight. Basically any skincare Holy Grail that boasts antioxidants, acids, even sunscreen get much less effective due to it. So I double down on brands that understand this, and package accordingly.
In addition, Paula’s Choice packaging is fully recyclable. Plus, they’ve partnered with TerraCycle®, who are able to recycle all types of packages! Because while we’re happy to separate our empties, they still sometimes end up in a landfill, due to their shape, size and material.
Paula’s Choice Ingredient Dictionary is the bomb!
You know how I was talking about that all-important transparency at the forefront of this beauty brand’s philosophy?
One of the best ways that they act upon that manifesto is through their Ingredient Dictionary. This is where they list thousands of ingredients usually found in your creams, serums and beauty potions, with a short explanation on what they do, which category you’ll likely find them in, and their rating.
I think this is an amazing initiative, with a huge value proposition for consumers! And it’s definitely a unique selling point of this company- at least as far as I’ve been able to see along the years.
Because it helps us make an informed decision about what we put on your skin (even if reading something like acetyl hexapeptide-37 on a label normally leaves you hearing crickets).
As far as my personal experience goes with their products, below are the ones I’ve tried and will continue to repurchase!
Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant has helped dramatically decongest my pores, and I could see results after about the third use. I only use it at night, mostly on my T-zone.
Paula’s Choice CALM Trial Kit (bought to soothe my irritated skin, especially on my cheeks):
- Nourishing Cleanser feels very luxurious and indeed hydrating; it never leaves my skin feeling stripped, but cleansed.
- 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant is a leave-on exfoliant in a lotion base, gentle enough to use daily. I do alternate it with the 2% liquid though (not both at once).
- Mineral Moisturizer (Broad Spectrum SPF 30) is pretty much SPF cream goals! I’m extremely pleased with how quickly it absorbs, and with the lack of chalky residue.
- Restoring Moisturizer is very lightweight, yet nourishing- and it doesn’t break me out, even when used daily. Which for my combination skin is quite special!
These are the main strong suits of each item, the ones that to me personally separate them from the herd. But if you are interested in a more in-depth review on these beauty products, please let me know so in the comments!
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