Paula’s Choice Review: 16 Top Products That Your Skin Will Love

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It’s already hard to keep track of beauty brands, but it’s much harder to keep track of skincare ingredients that are effective and safe to use. 

Our best bet is to use products from reputable brands that use skin-loving ingredients with benefits that are backed by science. That happens to be what put Paula’s Choice on the vast map of the skincare industry.

A variety of Paula's choice skin care products on a window sill.

If you’re looking for top-notch products from this beloved brand, we’re here to help make your skincare shopping experience easier and less time-consuming. 

Our Paula’s Choice review will include all the products we highly recommend for different skincare issues. 

In this post, you’ll be sure to find a Paula’s Choice product to add to your beauty routine, whether for persistent acne issues, dry skin, or premature aging!

Resist Skin Restoring Moisturizer with SPF 50
Editor's Choice
  • Moisturizer and powerful sunscreen in one product
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Super hydrating with a beautiful dewy finish
Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment
Premium Pick
  • Dramatic anti-aging benefits
  • Lightweight lotion texture
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
Skin-Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
Budget Pick
  • Leave-on exfoliant rich in salicylic acid
  • Lightweight formula
  • Effectively unclogs pores
  • Pore minimizing

What You Need To Know About Paula’s Choice

Before we dive deep into our review of Paula’s Choice, let’s take a brief refresher about the brand and what it’s known for. 

The brand is named after its foundress Paula Begoun, who initially gained popularity as the Cosmetics Cop for her investigative reporting on the beauty industry. 

She’s known for publishing books like “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me,” which aimed to help buyers distinguish between skincare products and ingredients that lived up to the hype and those that didn’t.

Begoun’s prominence as the Cosmetics Cop still resonates with the promise of Paula’s Choice to only use ingredients with skincare benefits backed by science.

Today Paula’s Choice is one of the most popular skincare brands known for its excellent range of products. 

The brand also frequently appears in countless lists of the top skincare products, which already says something about the effectiveness of their formulas.

What’s Inside Paula’s Choice Skincare?

The top of Paula’s Choice products include serums, cleansers, moisturizers, and exfoliants that tackle acne issues, dry skin, dull skin, clogged pores, oily skin, redness and irritation, UV protection, and more. 

The brand emphasizes the importance of developing products with ingredients and formulas backed by extensive peer-reviewed research. 

Some of the ingredients they use in their products include the following:

  • Retinol — Clears wrinkles and helps promote a youthful complexion
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) — Offer gentle exfoliation 
  • Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) — Exfoliate the skin effectively 
  • Niacinamide — Nourishes the skin and protects it from dryness and damage
  • Peptides — Make the skin smoother and reduces signs of aging

They also avoid using many known harmful or harsh chemicals, including phthalates, toluene, formaldehyde, synthetic dyes, and synthetic fragrances.

Where To Buy Paula’s Choice Products

We liked browsing Paula’s Choice products on their website. There were tons of search filter options, which made it easier to shop for skincare items according to their main active ingredient or skincare concerns they tackle.

However, if you want to find thousands more reviews for each product, visiting the official Paula’s Choice store on Amazon is also a wonderful option.

Paula’s Choice products are very easy to find online and are available on several platforms besides their official website. You won’t run out of shopping options.

Overall, it’s good to explore various shopping options because you can find huge discounts from time to time on different shopping sites.

Paula’s Choice Skincare Reviews

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when looking for skincare essentials from Paula’s Choice because they have tons to offer under different product lines and series. 

In this Paula’s Choice review, we’ve narrowed the list to nine of the top products we love and know your skin will love too!

Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser

You’re going to love how this cleanser removes dirt and impurities without leaving the skin dry as much as we did. 

Key benefits: Suitable for acne-prone skin; gentle and non-drying formula; gel texture that removes excess oil well


  • Glycerin for its humectant moisturizing properties
  • Panthenol helps prevent moisture loss 
  • Salicylic acid helps with redness and skin inflammation

Finding the right cleanser for acne-prone skin can be difficult, but not anymore with this one!


For this review of Paula’s Choice products, we were committed to finding an all-around facial cleanser that can be used in the morning or at night to cover our entire daily skincare regimen. 

We’re happy to report that we found that in the Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser. 

This cleanser makes the skin feel calm and soft instead of dry and irritated after every use. It also removes sebum and impurities that could block the pores and lead to acne breakouts.

The non-drying effect of this cleanser is also amazing. One of its key ingredients is panthenol, which is known for its moisturizing properties.

Resist Skin Restoring Moisturizer with SPF 50

What’s not to love about a product that’s a moisturizer and a powerful sunscreen simultaneously?

Key benefits: Broad-spectrum UV protection; formulated for dry skin; has antioxidants for long-term skin improvement


  • Shea butter helps lock in moisture
  • Niacinamide strengthens the skin barrier
  • Aloe and oat extracts have soothing and moisturizing properties

The broad-spectrum protection that this SPF 50 product offers can make a huge, positive impact not just on the appearance of your skin but on its overall health.


We were initially skeptical because having sunscreen and moisturizer in one product seemed too good to be true. ]

However, it didn’t take long before we agreed with other Paula’s Choice sunscreen reviews that this is one of the top you can buy from the brand.

As a sunscreen, it does not leave a white cast, so it’s easy to use with or without makeup. It’s also amazing as a moisturizer because of its smooth finish. 

Plus, it’s completely gentle on the skin, making it a great option for dry and sensitive skin types.

Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

Here’s an easy way to introduce retinol into your routine to maximize its effectiveness against wrinkles.

Key benefits: Lightweight and easily absorbed; promotes an even skin tone; reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines; 


  • Retinol helps with skin cell proliferation
  • Licorice extract provides a soothing effect
  • Vitamin C fights toxins and helps fade blemishes

A must-have for any anti-aging skincare regimen.


We love this product’s lotion texture, which makes it easier to apply and takes less time to be absorbed by the skin. 

It wasn’t too harsh to use every night, although first-time users might want to limit their use initially to just three times a week.

The potency of its 1% retinol concentration is evidenced by hundreds of Paula’s Choice retinol reviews, attesting to how the product helped minimize the appearance of wrinkles, reduce dark spots, and improve the skin’s hydration.

Skin-Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

This could be the answer to your acne breakouts, blackheads, enlarged pores, and uneven skin tone problems.

Key benefits: Gentle enough for daily use; minimizes pores; evens skin tone


  • Beta hydroxy acid (BHA) reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Green tea has antibacterial properties
  • Butylene glycol has a moisturizing effect 

There’s a good reason this is one of the most popular Paula’s Choice products!


It’s not an exaggeration that there are thousands of reviews of Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant that swear by its effectiveness, and we can clearly see why! 

After a couple of weeks of continued use, this product provides a noticeable improvement in active breakouts and blemishes. 

It does wonders for cystic acne, and it’s also perfect for exfoliating stubborn whiteheads and blackheads. No wonder this product always comes up in every review of Paula’s Choice products for acne!

C5 Super Boost Moisturizer

With this product, you’ll get moisture-locking ingredients with anti-aging benefits. What’s not to love about it?

Key benefits: Super hydrating; brightens skin and improves firmness; a lightweight formula


  • 5% vitamin C antioxidant
  • Hexapeptide-5 for firmer and hydrated skin
  • Squalane locks in moisture 

This moisturizer was a delight to apply to the face with a formula that makes it feel like a hybrid gel and cream.


If you’re looking for Paula’s Choice moisturizer reviews, we got you covered! Out of the many moisture-enhancing products from the brand, the top we can recommend is the C5 Super Boost Moisturizer.

The gel-cream texture felt lightweight and didn’t leave any greasy feeling, so it’s really suitable for any skin type. It felt smooth and prevented dryness effectively. 

Best of all, this product doesn’t cause irritation, even when it’s used on sensitive skin.

C15 Super Booster

If you’re looking for a solution to those pesky dark spots, this might be it!

Key benefits: Amazing brightening results; firmer and smoother skin; addresses uneven skin tone


  • 15% vitamin C formula
  • Vitamin E has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Ferulic acid evens skin tone
  • Hyaluronic acid improves skin elasticity

You can use it alone as a serum or add it to your favorite non-SPF moisturizer for a much-needed antioxidant boost.


You’ll find one Paula’s Choice vitamin C serum review after another that swears by how the C15 Super Booster became the ultimate solution to their issues of dark spots, acne scarring, and other signs of dull skin.

Its blend of vitamin C helps balance the skin’s pH, which explains why it brightens your skin while making it smoother and firmer. 

It’s a powerful anti-redness agent that works to improve uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation.

Using the C15 Super Booster twice daily is recommended, but you can start by using it once in the morning, followed by sunscreen with over SPF 30. With this Paula’s Choice product, you’ll see great before-and-after results in just a few weeks!

Clear Acne Body Spray

Our search for an excellent solution to back acne — or “bacne” — is over with this game-changing acne spray.

Key benefits: Reduces acne in hard-to-reach areas; works effectively for back acne; calms redness


  • Salicylic acid helps unclog pores
  • Lauric acid is soothing and antibacterial
  • Allantoin helps remove dead skin cells

Want a product that combats the acne on your arms, shoulders, and other areas? This product can get the job done.


You’ll be delighted to know that this Paula’s Choice review also has something to recommend for your acne problems in hard-to-reach areas like your back. 

The best thing we liked about it is that it comes in a spray bottle, making it easier to apply to the back and arms.

It’s also a leave-on formula, so spray it on the target area and let your skin soak it in its anti-acne ingredients. After a week or so, you’ll see how it visibly reduces acne spots and blackheads. 

10% Niacinamide Booster

Searching for a niacinamide boost to achieve a youthful glow? Here’s exactly what you need!

Key benefits: Reduces the size of pores; brightens the skin; can minimize the appearance of fine lines


  • 10% niacinamide for a healthier skin barrier
  • Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant
  • Licorice root soothes the skin

Now, any skincare routine can be an anti-aging regimen with this ultimate serum booster.


We love that this product allows us to use a niacinamide-rich serum or add the sought-after active ingredient to our favorite moisturizer and serum. 

This versatility and its benefits explain why it frequently comes up in many Paula’s Choice skincare reviews. 

The formula is super light. And unlike other face serums, it doesn’t leave an oily or sticky film. After application, the skin feels supple and very smooth.

Clear Regular Strength Kit

You can skip hours of browsing for acne skincare solutions because this bundle has everything you need.

Key benefits: Easy 3-step regimen for mild to moderate acne problems; cleanses pores without drying the skin; gentle even on sensitive skin types


  • Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser
  • Clear Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution
  • Clear Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment

Don’t forget that if you need a more potent acne treatment, there’s Paula’s Choice Clear Extra Strength Kit, too!


If you need an all-around regimen to keep your acne-prone skin from getting bad breakouts, you have to check out the Clear Regular Strength Kit. 

Many Paula’s Choice acne kit reviews attest to how effective this set of products is for cystic acne. 

The main acne solution in this bundle contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, which fights acne-causing bacteria to treat and prevent breakouts. 

The cleanser works amazingly for addressing enlarged pores, and the exfoliant has 2% salicylic acid. Together, they work great for removing excess oil buildup, dirt, and other impurities clogging up the pores. 

Pro-Collagen Multi-Peptide Booster

Despite being one of the newest Paula’s Choice products, the Pro-Collagen Multi-Peptide Booster is already gaining solid fans because of how effective it is in targeting aging-related skin issues!

Key benefits: Gives you hydrated and supple skin; quick smoothing effect; improves skin firmness in weeks


  • Peptides for firmer skin
  • Amino acids improve overall skin health
  • Hyaluronic acid to increase skin hydration

With a formula that seeps well into the skin without leaving a sticky or greasy film, this is one amazing product!


This product works like magic in making fine lines in the forehead less visible in just a couple of weeks or so. Using it is a delight because it doesn’t feel sticky and absorbs easily.  

Gentle enough to be used daily, it doesn’t cause skin irritation. Fine lines around the eyes also get smoother with regular use. 

It’s also super hydrating, so the skin feels plump after each application.

Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30

Target skin aging concerns while giving your skin strong protection against harmful UV rays.

Key benefits: Helps with oil control; reduces skin redness; protects skin from the sun and other environmental stressors


  • 13% zinc oxide for UV protection
  • Bisabolol and willow bark extract for a calming effect
  • A  blend of antioxidants for anti-aging benefits

An excellent sunscreen to apply before putting on makeup.


With broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection, you can use this product and go out on hot summer days without worrying too much about your skin. 

It’s also perfect for when your skin is suffering from redness or irritation from environmental factors, as it provides a calming effect.

We also love that the product has a silky texture and a soft matte finish, which provides an even surface for makeup application.

Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

Here’s a cleanser that’s effective in removing makeup and excess oil!

Key benefits: Non-drying formula; gives you softer skin; delivers deep cleansing


  • Sunflower seed oil calms the skin and has antioxidants
  • Aloe vera for soothing and hydrating effects
  • Stearic acid has emollient properties

Its cream formula transforms into a foam wash for gentle cleansing.


This cleanser does well in removing excess oil and impurities, which makes it great for addressing enlarged pores and suitable for oily, acne-prone skin. After using this cleanser, your skin will feel soft and refreshed. 

We recommend using it for washing away makeup. It contains sunflower seed oil that calms the skin, which is beneficial after a long day of wearing cosmetics.

The UnScrub

We’ve finally found a facial scrub that doesn’t dry out the skin but still washes dirt, oil, and product residue away powerfully.

Key benefits: Gentle on the skin; has dissolvable beads for deep cleansing; has a moisturizing effect


  • Jojoba esters reduce severe dryness
  • Glycerin helps retain moisture
  • Chamomilla recutita flower extract with soothing and antioxidant properties

Not only does it cleanse your skin well, but it’s also easy to rinse off!


We can’t find any downsides to this product because it works amazingly as both a facial wash and facial scrub. 

It easily and gently removes makeup, sunscreen, and other products from the face. It also has small exfoliating natural beads that scrub the skin and dissolve in water, which helps prevent over-exfoliation.

Several of its ingredients, like jojoba esters, work to improve the skin’s moisture level, so it’s great for normal to dry or combination skin types. 

Defense Antioxidant Pore Purifier

This product will give your skin a stronger fighting chance against countless damaging pollutants.

Key benefits: Protects skin against environmental stressors; clears and unclogs pores; super lightweight formula


  • Salicylic acid as potent exfoliating agent
  • Panax ginseng root extract boosts hydration
  • Coffee arabica fruit extract has antioxidants

Not only does it make the skin healthier, but it also delivers a much-needed brightening effect!


With all the pollution around us, our skin needs extra protection from air pollutants and other environmental aggressors. And this serum is made exactly for that purpose.

It removes dirt and debris that can clog the pores and serves as a shield against environmental elements that can damage the skin. 

Also, It also feels super light on the skin, and we’ve noticed that it brightens the skin after a few weeks of use. 

Clear Purifying Clay Mask

Complete your anti-acne regimen with this oil-absorbing clay mask.

Key benefits: Minimizes pores; fast-acting oil absorption; reduces skin redness; helps prevent further acne breakouts


  • Kaolin draws out excess sebum, toxins, and other skin impurities
  • Bentonite helps control oil
  • Willowherb extract provides antioxidants and skin-calming benefits

Works great for drawing out stubborn impurities that clog the pores.


Pore-clogging impurities like excess oil, dirt, and product buildup can lead to enlarged pores and even start acne breakouts. 

So we love that Paula’s Choice offers a clay mask that is effective and can tackle these issues before they cause more problems.

Its blend of natural clay feels good on the skin, and the formula is soothing and easy to apply too! Also, it doesn’t leave any oily residue after application.

Best of all, it quickly reduces redness.

Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol

If you need a much milder retinol product, this is the perfect serum for you.

Key benefits: Works great on dry skin; super mild retinol concentration; brightens the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles


  • Raspberry seed oil improves the skin barrier
  • Adenosine makes wrinkles less visible
  • Tocotrienols from vitamin E with potent antioxidant properties

It’s filled with antioxidant-rich ingredients that fight signs of aging while improving the skin’s overall health.


True to the collection’s “Skin Recovery” name, this serum works wonders for skin that went through so much stress due to environmental factors and other skincare products. 

It helps calm the skin and provides a soothing effect. Because it has a low retinol concentration, it won’t irritate even sensitive skin.

Based on our experience, using this at night will help you wake up with skin that feels very moisturized and plump. Regular use will also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. 

Paula’s Choice Product Reviews: Is It Worth the Hype?

It was easy to understand why many of Paula’s Choice products have made the rounds online for their effectiveness. 

The company’s declaration of commitment to use research-backed ingredients and formulas gives us peace of mind about the safety of their products. 

You can reinforce your skincare regimen with just one or two Paula’s Choice products until you find the ones that work great for you. 

We recommend you start with the top options listed in this Paula’s Choice review!

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  • Ashley Pena

    Ashley Pena brings over 13 years of seasoned writing and editing expertise, fortified by her Bachelor of Science in Management. Esteemed in the beauty domain, her content captivates readers with its depth and authenticity. While she navigates a broad spectrum of beauty trends, Ashley shines particularly as our resident K-beauty guru. Her articles are a harmonious blend of passion and profound knowledge, inspiring readers on their unique beauty journeys.

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