26 August 2015

Product Review: Paula's Choice Skincare Products, Pt. 1

Have you ever noticed times when your skincare products seemed like they just weren't working anymore? Maybe you started having breakouts, your skin just didn't look quite as bright, or you had signs of irritation? It can happen every so often - sometimes it's due to the changing seasons, sometimes a health issue or stress, and sometimes, it's an aging thing. I've recently had to change up my skincare routine. My issues could be any or all of the above, and it doesn't really matter why - but some of my current products just weren't cutting it anymore, so I needed a change.

Have you ever noticed times when your skincare products seemed like they just weren't working anymore? Maybe you started having breakouts, your skin just didn't look quite as bright, or you had signs of irritation? Sometimes it's due to the changing seasons, health issues, stress, or maybe it's due to aging. Whatever the reason, we all may find the need to change our skincare products from time to time. I'm reviewing some of Paula's Choice skincare products here, and talking about how they worked in my updated skincare routine. #skincare #beauty #skincareroutine

Let me start by telling you that I purchased all of these products from Paula's Choice on my own, and this post was not solicited. I'm just really liked these products and wanted to share them with you.

I've used Paula's Choice products in the past, and in general, I think they're good products. I love the fact that they're fragrance-free because my skin is very sensitive to fragrance in products. Actually, my skin is just very sensitive in general. I haven't been able to use any product that was made as a treatment specifically to go under the eyes in years because the skin there is so very sensitive.

Another reason I decided to give Paula's Choice another try is that they offer many of their products as samples for reasonable prices - and you get 3 free samples with every order - even if the order is just samples. If you keep your eyes open (and I did), you can catch a free shipping on all orders weekend, which happens fairly frequently.

So I started out with five new products:
  • Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant
  • Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
  • Clear Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator
  • Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30

I do want to mention that just because I bought five products doesn't mean that I started using them all at once. I have a rule of only starting one new skincare product at a time. That way, if I have issues, I know what caused the problem. I usually give each new product a couple of weeks, but this time I only gave them about a week. Luckily, I didn't have any problems with any of these.

Also, the products that I chose were geared toward my specific skin type and the issues I face. There are many other versions of these products available. My skin tends to be on the oily side (although a little more towards "combination" now that I'm older), it's sensitive, I have some fine lines, and I am still prone to breakouts on my chin if I don't use something to prevent it or if I use the wrong types of products on my face. Because I'm over 50, I also now get to enjoy the look of larger pores and deepened "marionette" lines (the lines that run from the edge of your nose to the corners of your mouth). Lucky me.

Product Review: Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Lotion - find out about this product and if it worked for me!
Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant:
 
What is it? If you're not familiar with BHA, it's beta hydroxy acid or salicylic acid, and it's an exfoliant that works on the surface of the skin. It can penetrate pores and reduce blackheads and whiteheads. It can also improve collagen production, which is great for those of us who are "more mature". This is a 1% (which is very low) in a lotion base, which makes it more moisturizing.
Why did I get it? I haven't used BHA on my skin for years. That sounds terrible, especially since I make BHA at I Feel Pretty! But my skin decided several years ago that it just didn't want to tolerate it, so I stopped completely. Since this is a lower percentage and has a lotion base, I thought I would ease back into using BHA with this product. I'm hoping it will help smooth the surface of my skin and help with collagen production, and once my skin is used to BHA again, I will go back to using the Pretty Amazing 2% BHA Liquid from I Feel Pretty Products.
The results: So far, so good. My skin seems to like it! I haven't had any irritation, dryness, or flaking. My skin seems smoother, and I feel like my pores are a bit less noticeable. I liked it enough that I bought a full-size bottle when it was on sale.
Price: sample $.80, 3.3 oz. $24

Product Review: Paula's Choice Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum - find out about this product and if it worked for me!
Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum

What is it? This is a lightweight serum for oily or combination skin that is packed full of antioxidants that fight free-radical damage, reduce inflammation, help repair sun damage, and promote firmer skin and fewer wrinkles. Can I take a bath in it?? (Just kidding. Sort of.)
Why did I get it?I am a big believer in daily use of antioxidants and sunscreen. I currently use Ole Henriksen's Truth Serum Collagen Booster, and I've used it for awhile now, and I like it. It costs $48 for 1 oz. or $72 for 1.7 oz. - Paula's version is $36 for 1 oz. - and they both use very good, stable types of antioxidants. So I will probably use this instead of the Ole Henriksen (once I run out), since it's a little less expensive and I like the consistency better.
The results: I only used two samples (which are generous and last for at least 2-3 uses each), but I like the way it feels on my skin. It's a bit thinner in consistency than the Ole Henriksen (which I always apply with damp hands because it's a bit thick and sticky), and absorbs quickly and easily.
Price: $1.00, 1 oz. $36

Product Review: Paula's Choice Daily Skin Clearing Treatment 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide - find out about this product and if it worked for me!
Clear Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide:

What is it? Just like the name says, it's a skin clearing treatment. It works to keep the skin clear of acne-causing bacteria, and also reduces redness. Most over-the-counter products that are 2.5% benzoyl peroxide also contain alcohol, menthol, or camphor - all of those things can irritate the skin and make acne worse. This product is a light lotion that is fragrance and color-free and doesn't contain anything that is harsh or irritating.
Why did I get it? You know, if you're dealing with aging skin, you just shouldn't have to deal with breakouts. It's. Not. Fair. But there it is anyway. I usually just have a few minor breakouts on my chin which I spot treat with EpiDuo. Have you ever priced that? It's a presciption containing 1% adapalene and 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. It's very expensive ($300+ without insurance, $140+ with insurance) unless you print out a card from their website, which brings the price down to $15. So I thought, why not try Paula's Choice 2.5% benzoyl peroxide lotion? Same consistency, same strength - just doesn't have adapalene. No messing with printing out cards, no trip to the pharmacy, no co-pay. If it works...
The results: This stuff is da bomb!! Seriously! I've been using it for about 5-6 weeks now, and not only have I not had any breakouts, but between this, the BHA, and the Clear Skin Hydrator, any red spots I had have virtually disappeared. I haven't experienced any dryness or flaking with this either, and that is almost always an issue with benzoyl peroxide. Of course, my skin was also used to using the EpiDuo, too. As soon as the full-size of this went on sale, I bought it!
Price: trial size 0.5 oz. $6, 2.5 oz. $17 (on sale $12.75)

Product Review: Paula's Choice Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator - find out about this product and if it worked for me!
Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator:

What is it? This is an anti-aging moisturizer for oily/combination/blemish-prone skin. It contains antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients that stimulate collagen production, repair sun damage, and fade red marks. It also has an ingredient to help eliminate breakout-causing bacteria and soothe skin. Safe for use around eyes!
Why did I get it? My dermatologist asked me a few years ago if I would like to try Retin-A (tretinoin). If you don't know, it's a topical medication that can be used to treat acne, but it also improves skin texture - decreasing wrinkles and sun spots/damage. It boosts collagen and helps slow the loss of collagen - and collagen is what makes your skin firm and elastic. But I had tried retinol, which is a milder, over-the-counter version, and my sensitive skin nearly all sloughed off my face. It was horrible. And painful. So obviously we didn't do the Retin-A. But now that I'm getting older, I'm thinking more about it. So the Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator contains niacinamide. And I'm thinking that if I use an entire bottle of this, and my skin tolerates it, maybe I can then bump up to a product with a low amount of retinol in it. And if I go slowly, I might just be able to condition my skin to the point where I will be able to eventually use Retin-A - even if it's just on a every 3rd day basis.
The results: This is a gel-like lotion that has been non-irritating to my skin so far - even the skin around my eyes. I have not put it directly under my eyes, but I have put it around the outer corners. I use it all over my face and neck at night as a last step in my skincare routine. Even though it's a lightweight lotion, and it says it has a matte finish, I don't find that true for my skin. It's still too heavy for my skin for daytime use - but I like it for a nighttime treatment. I bought the full-size bottle during a sale.
Price: $1.00, 1.7 oz. $32

Product Review: Paula's Choice Super Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 - find out about this product and if it worked for me!
Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30:

What is it? This is a mineral-based moisturizer with broad-spectrum sunscreen protection. It also contains antioxidants that repair skin and stimulate collagen production. Made for combination/oily/sensitive/breakout-prone skin - leaves a matte finish and has a sheer tint.
Why did I get it? tried Paula's sunscreens many years ago, and I hated them. Even the ones that claimed to be oil-free left my face greasy and shiny. So I've used Neutrogena Dry Touch, Shiseido, or Peter Thomas Roth for years (I also like Anthelios). But I read some good reviews on this sunscreen so I thought I'd give it a shot. I was still searching for my Holy Grail Sunscreen.
The results: I am sooo glad I tried this! This stuff is incredible!! It's lightweight, silky, easy to apply, it absorbs well - I don't get greasy later in the day - and after a few hours in the sun, I don't have any color on my face. It's even lightly tinted! I barely even notice a sunscreen scent to it. Yes, it's a little pricey, but that's why I ordered all of my samples in this until it was on sale. I've found my Holy Grail Sunscreen!!
Price: sample $1.00, 2 oz. $32

So, as you can tell, I'm very pleased with all of my selections, and I think my skin has improved over the past several weeks. As a matter of fact, I'm getting ready to introduce a few new Paula's Choice products (slowly) into the routine, and I will be reviewing those as well.

Right now, on the Paula's Choice website, she is having her Friends & Family 15% off Everything sale. You don't need a code, the discount is applied at checkout. This sale lasts until 8:59pm PT, Sept. 1, 2015. There is also free shipping on $50+, 3 free samples on $5+, same time frame.

Paula also has something called "Refer-A-Friend". You must be a new customer in order to use this discount! If you're a new customer, you can click on this link to save $10 off your first order of $15 or more!

(Disclaimer: All products were purchased by me, and all opinions are mine. The links in this post are "refer-a-friend" links, and not affiliate links.)

Have you ever noticed your skincare products not working as well as they once did?
Have you ever tried Paula's Choice products?

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