There are many, many reasons why I am such a huge fan of the Paula’s Choice line, but really what it comes down to is this: Paula’s Choice is full of no BS, workhorse products that are the foundation of an excellent skin care and color cosmetics arsenal. Is every single product my favorite? No, there are some products (hello foundations and concealer!) that have never worked for me. Is this a perfect line? No, there are too many skin care products with similar functions and the names are way too complicated and confusing. That said, this is the line I recommend for anyone new to beauty products, for anyone looking for effective yet gentle skin care, and especially for any teenagers who want the perfect products to treat their crazy skin care needs.
Love her or hate her, Paula Begoun has had a huge impact on the cosmetics industry. Me? I love her. Way back in the day I bought her books, read them over and over, underlined, highlighted, tabbed…I subscribed to her newsletter and saved every single one, pouring over them and making my wish lists of the best things to purchase. When she started her own cosmetics and skin care line I wondered if she could keep her objectivity. Much to my delight, I think Paula is still the same sort of prickly but totally no-nonsense expert that I can always count on for fantastic advice.
I have way more than five favorites from Paula’s Choice, but here are my top five products that I purchase over and over (and always have several backups waiting the wings just in case!). I have chosen only skin care items so I didn’t even have to wrestle with my favorite color items.
- Gentle Makeup Remover ($16)
- Professional Blemish Extracting Tool ($14)
- Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide ($19)
- Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment ($56)
- 10% Niacinamide Booster($42)
My first favorite is the Gentle Touch Makeup Remover. This is the very best makeup remover I have ever tried and I buy this four bottles at a time whenever there is a sale. I usually wear full coverage foundation and my skin tends to break out especially in my t-zone. So I take cleansing very seriously, and the first step is always makeup remover. This dual-phase liquid makeup remover needs to be shaken first and after squirting some onto a cleansing pad you wipe off makeup prior to cleansing. It removes everything, even waterproof mascara and the most tenacious lipstick. It’s completely safe to use on eyes, and it leaves skin feeling moist and hydrated but not oily or greasy.
My second favorite is the dual-ended Professional Blemish Extracting Tool. Extraction is necessary and correct extraction is essential!! PC has this fantastic stainless steel extractor that safely removes blackheads and whiteheads without tearing the skin and making a bad situation even worse. You’ve got to get those blackheads out – if you don’t, you risk enlarged pores and serious infection. Plus, congestion of the pores is painful to have and painful for other people to look at. This baby puts pressure around the congested pore without digging in like your fingernails do, providing even pressure that gently pushes the blackhead or whitehead out of the pore. It is the BOMB.
My third favorite is the Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide. This is a fantastic spot treatment that works quickly without stressing already stressed skin. It’s not just triage – it also prevents future breakouts and controls very oily areas. I use it around my nose and on my chin every morning and night, and sometimes I use it as an all-over mask in the evening. This 5% benzoyl peroxide acne treatment is fantastic for teens and it works on every skin type. I find that most benzoyl peroxide treatments have other ingredients that irritate and dry out skin, but this light lotion is super gentle and has nothing irritating in it at all.
My fourth favorite is the Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment. This is an exfoliating skin treatment that is applied after cleansing. Here are all the skin ailments it treats:
- Acne Breakouts, Anti-Aging, Brown Spots, Wrinkles
- Firms skin, smoothing deep wrinkles and fine lines
- Reduces dark spots and uneven skin tone, refines pore size
This is a retinol product and I know that some people have problems tolerating retinol. However, even if you have a history of difficulty with retinols, I urge you to give this a try. It has licorice, oat extract and other anti-irritants that make it great for sensitive skin. My skin has always reacted well to retinols, and this product in particular gives me beautiful and immediate results. My skin is much smoother, pores smaller, fine lines less noticeable. Retinol actually stimulates collagen production, so the results over time are fantastic.
My fifth favorite is the 10% Niacinamide Booster, one of Paula’s newest products for reducing pore size. My first bottle was sent as a press sample, but I used that all up and have already bought another. This is great stuff that makes the rest of my skin care even better. Here’s why your pores get larger as you age: skin naturally sheds built up oil and dirt. When we are young, this process happens pretty quickly, so our skin looks almost as if it doesn’t even have pores. As we get older, especially after age 30, this process slows down so dirt and oil stays inside our pores longer. The increased collection of dirt and oil causes pores to stretch out and become enlarged. Exfoliating on a regular basis helps your skin’s shedding process, but even with the most diligent skin care maintenance pores become enlarged. The 10% Naicinamide Booster does four main things: improves uneven skin tone, reduces the appearance of pore size, improves skin texture, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3. It’s a very exciting ingredient that has been scientifically proven to seriously shrink enlarged pores as well as wrinkles. What is really cool about this product is that it’s a super lightweight serum that can be used alone or added to another serum or moisturizer. I put a few drops in my treatment serum every morning and every night and I am truly impressed with my results!
If you are a long time Paula’s Choice fan, I hope that my picks give you incentive to try them. If you haven’t tried this line out, I can’t recommend it highly enough. I know that you will quickly find your five favorites that will become staples of your skin care regimen.
Click on this link for $10 off your first order if you are new to Paula’s Choice This is part of the Refer-a-Friend program and will give me credit towards a future Paula’s Choice order. Paula always has specials going – right now the special is free shipping and a free full size Clinical Body Butter for all orders over $50. – Lisa