PLEASE NOTE: This review/feature was written quite some time ago. Some of the promo codes may no longer be current. I encourage you to check Google or the Paula’s Choice website for any updated promo codes. I am not responsible for promo codes no longer being in effect. I’ve tried to keep the codes current, but due to this age of this post, I am unable to check it every month for updates. Thank you for your understanding.
Like you, I believe that it’s better to invest in great skincare, than to spend a ton of money on cosmetics to cover things up. Over the years though, I’ve learned that you don’t necessarily have to spend a ton of money to have great skin. A few great basics, paired with some active treatment products will do the job, so I turned my skin over to Paula’s Choice for a few weeks and journaled about the changes that took place — here’s what happened!
I’ve known Paula Begoun to be a heralded industry expert for ages, but recently I realized she was the brains behind so many great products some of my friends are raving about. Paula is a cosmetics ingredient expert to the nth degree, and she’s a strong advocate for consumers burned by products in the past (often marketed with outrageous promises of extreme, seemingly overnight results). I’m sure you’ve seen her book, Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. She takes this stuff very seriously, meticulously breaking down products by the efficacy of their ingredients like no one else I’ve ever known. It’s serious business to Paula, so I had to try her products to see what would best treat one of my biggest skincare concerns.
A few days before my product test drive began, I had a brief telephone consultation with one of Paula’s skin experts to help find out which products would be best for me. (I highly recommend doing this! There’s no additional fee, and you can even ask product questions on via live chat on the Paula’s Choice website.) Since I wanted to see quick results for this trial, I narrowed it down to just one specific targeted skincare concern. I told her that my pores easily become congested, and I’d like to whip those blackheads into shape — STAT! I also told her that my skin doesn’t love Vitamin C, and tends to become irritated by it. Taking this into consideration, she came back to me with a regimen that was 100% ready to fight that battle!
Let’s start off with the daily basics…
Earth Sourced Perfectly Natural Cleansing Gel — I used this both am/pm for gentle cleansing. It’s a gel cleanser, that lathers nicely without stripping my skin. Since I went pretty gentle on the cleanser, I was able to really amp up the active ingredients my treatment products without experiencing irritation. (You’ll see those in the second part below!)
Earth Sourced Purely Natural Refreshing Toner — I used this both am/pm. I’m not necessarily a toner person, but this felt very refreshing and soothing. It’s loaded with plant-based antioxidants and humectants — so it did so much more than just help remove any residual impurities. It makes it worth the extra step!
Earth Sourced Antioxidant-Enriched Natural Moisturizer — I used this in the evening for balanced hydration at night on top of my treatment product. I thought it was the perfect texture, neither too light or too heavy. This was a pretty basic, mild product that I think would be great for sensitive skin types that don’t need a lot of hydration or anti-aging benefits.
Hydralight Shine-Free Daily Mineral Complex SPF 30 — I used this in the morning for balanced hydration and UV protection with zero added shine. This is a really nice daytime sunscreen and moisturizer that didn’t make my skin look like an oil slick. I would recommend this to almost anyone. Usually, the higher the SPF, the heavier the product feels. I have SPF 15 moisturizers that feel much heavier than this — and it’s an SPF 30!
My skincare heroes!
Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel — I wore this lightweight gel during the day to de-gunk my pores. I was surprised that I was able to layer this under my makeup without incident! While it’s drying, it felt a little tacky — but since it was so thin and a little is all I needed, and I couldn’t feel it once it was dry. This is also available in a lotion (and in other strengths), but 2% was perfect for me.
Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA — My skin loves glycolic acid for resurfacing benefits, and this delivered! After cleansing and toning, this was my nighttime solution to uneven tone and texture. Since it’s an AHA, it has great exfoliation benefits that helped my daytime application of 2% BHA really penetrate my pores. It was like a 1-2 punch to knock my blackheads out. For being so active, I had no irritation.
Resist BHA 9 Treatment — This product is the BUSINESS! I applied it only on my most troublesome spots at night, so I didn’t even have to use it every night. It’s a sustained-release salicylic acid treatment, and I had no dryness or irritation. I’m lucky not to have too many raised pimples, but sometimes I get one or two hormonal monsters during the month. This knocked the swelling and tenderness I had in half in two very painful cystic pimples overnight (no lie!), and shrunk a few whiteheads to near nonexistence. The key was popping this on when I felt them coming on.
I started my regimen on a Friday, and by the following Tuesday morning — I started to see results. There was a visible reduction in blackheads, my skin was brighter, and felt smooth. By the end of the first week, my skin was doing really well. At the end of three weeks, my skin is exactly where I want it. Completely clear, with about an 85% reduction in visible blackheads, an incredibly smooth texture, and overall brighter appearance.
While I think the entire regimen I used contributed to the overall results, the three hero products are what really treated my primary concerns. Those are three products I will keep in regular rotation, regardless of what skincare products I’m using — because they really worked. The combination of treatment products made sure my skin was repairing itself around the clock. I think the results speak for themselves, I’m not afraid to show you my bare skin!
For the quality and research behind the products, I think Paula’s entire line is extremely well priced. I’ve seen single products that are nowhere near as effective or results-oriented go for $100+, the most expensive product I used was $40. Your skin is not one-size-fits-all, so it’s nice to be able to combine exactly what I need from a few different types of products, but you can also stick with products in a single category if you need to.
Another thing I like is that you can purchase sample sizes of most of her products — and that makes trying them so much easier. Even better, there’s a 60-day 100% money back guarantee. I will definitely try more Paula’s Choice products in the future. Look out for more reviews!
Want to try Paula’s Choice? Enjoy 20% off one item, plus get FREE shipping when you shop through this link! (The dedicated link will activate your discount and free shipping.)
UPDATE: The deals above have since expired. There may be other promo codes out there on the web for you to use! Unfortunately due to the age of this post, I cannot come back and alter the post every time a deal expires and a new one is added. Sorry for any inconvenience.