Paula’s Choice skincare reviews!

I know a lot of you are interested to find out how I got on with Paula Begoun’s skincare range ‘Paula’s Choice’, after reading her top five skin care tips in this post.  Read on for reviews!

Skincare Background info:
I always find it very difficult using new products on my face because my skin is very acne prone and I always get spots when using new products.  My skin is very confusing – dry, oily, acne prone, sensitive and so I normally just stick to baby wipes and Simple’s gentle cleanser to take my makeup off, and just use water to wash my face in the morning.  You can read my skin care history (and all about my acne hell) here


After learning Paula’s top skin care tips I was convinced that her products would be miracle workers because her ethics and tips would obviously be applied to her own range, and I was not let down, I think these ARE miracle products.

I was lucky enough to ask Paula’s PR assistant which products would be best suited for my skin and I was given the following products to trial: Clear Normalizing Cleanser, Clear Targeted Blemish Relief Toner, Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion and Skin Balancing Moisture Gel.  I have been using the products religiously for two months now and here are my thoughts.

Paula’s Choice Clear Normalizing Cleanser Pore Clarifying Gel (£12.75)
I have never ever washed my face with a gel before, because I always thought that my skin was dry so I stuck to creamy cleansers, but after using this gel wash I think I actually prefer it.
To use this product you wet your face, and use a penny sized amount of cleanser and rub it in the face ‘with gentle but vigorous movements’. I normally hate using a wash to take my makeup off because its messy and it never takes my makeup of properly (hence why I normally use baby wipes instead), but this surprisingly does the trick.  I wash my whole face with one squirt of the wash, and then I concentrate another squirt on just my eye makeup (because I wear a hella lotta eyeliner & shadow).  My face afterwards feels really soft and clean and is completely makeup free.  My skin normally feels dry and tight after using a wash but with this I don’t feel any tightness on my face. 
This wash is also colour and fragrance free, but it does really sting if you get it in your eyes!

Paula’s Choice Clear Extra Strength Targeted Blemish Relief Toner (with 2% Salicylic Acid) (£19.95)
I never use toners because I think they are a waste of time and money but this has to be my new holy grail product, and I think that using this is what has made my skin so lovely.  Although this is called a ‘toner’ it is actually an exfoliant because it includes a 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Liquid.  (Just to let you know what BHA does because I didn’t know before I started using this - The BHA removes the outer layer of dead skin cells, allowing healthier cells to come to the surface. Removing this dead layer can improve skin texture and colour, unclog pores, and allow moisturizers to be better absorbed by the skin.)
So the BHA in this works as an exfoliant to remove all the rubbish stuff from our skin and helps to unclog pores and sooth blemishes.  To use this you pour a tiny amount on a cotton pad and then apply it over the face, paying special attention to problem areas (all over in my case!).  This liquid does not smell of anything and is again colour free. 
I started off using this once every other day in the evening because I was worried about it drying my skin out (which it did a tiny bit at first, nothing a bit of moisturizer can’t help).  After a few uses of this my skin was very different – it was so smooth, my skin tone was evening out and my blemishes were fading.  After about a week and a half of using this, blackheads became SO easy to come out, literally a pinch and they’d pop out and so I now have far fewer blackheads.
I now use this about three times a week in the evening and my skin is lovely.  If you do apply too much of this product then your skin can get tacky but you can pat the excess off with a tissue and its fine. 

(Paula’s choice recommends gradually building the use of this up as it can make your skin really dry at first, but this soon goes.  I think that if you do find this happens with any products containing BHA, just use it twice a week and gradually use more – ease your skin in to it!  Also, always use an spf whilst out and about after using this!!).

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion (with SPF15 and Antioxidents) (£21.75)
I was really excited about using this product because I’m a bit of an SPF freak and its now a staple product in my skin care routine if the foundation I’m using on that day doesn’t contain an SPF.  This moisturizer is ideal for combination skin which suited my dry/oily face perfectly.  I normally get blemishes when using a face cream with an SPF because they are normally really greasy and thick, but this didn’t give me one spot!  The formula is perfect, a white cream that sinks into the skin easily.  I can wear makeup over this cream easily and it doesn’t make my skin oily at all. 

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Moisture Gel (£19.95)
Again, I have never used a moisturizer that is a gel rather than a cream but this is an amazing moisturizer.  I think the reason I love it so much is that because it is a gel, it sinks in to the skin in a second and feels a lot like a primer (without the unnecessary fragrance that most primers have!).  This is again for combination skin, it doesn’t clog pores and because its a gel it doesn’t leave any residue on the face.  If my skin does feel tight after washing then this is what I’d use afterwards.

My bare skin after a month of using the products!4

My bare skin last weekend!


What I think:
Guys, I have had only TWO spots in the whole past two months.  This is unbelievable to me who seemed to always have one popping up every day (I’m pretty sure the only reason I got those nasty spots was because I slept in my makeup after a drunken night out and didn’t use the toner afterwards, my own fault, and possibly because of a new foundation I’m using).  I have less blackheads, my skin tone is more even and its not too oily or too dry anymore.  I still have slight redness around my nose and on my chin from old spots but it doesn’t bother me at all.  My skin looks perfect in foundation (which it never has before) and I’m confident and happy!

You can see my skin in foundation since using this skin care range here and here.

Obviously, Paula’s products live by her skincare tips; all the products are in bottles and tubes (no pots) with a small hole or nib to get the product out.  I wear the moisture gel underneath a foundation with an SPF and I wear the SPF moisturizer underneath if not.  There are no separate day or night creams in the range as they’re perfect for both.

I think the prices are quite expensive, but that wouldn’t stop me repurchasing them because I know that they work.  (I think you can order sample sizes on the website to try before you buy which is good).  I will definitely be repurchasing all of the products I have been using once they run out and I might need to add on a few more with my purchase as now my Mum and Sister want the products too

(I have also been using Quinoderm in my daily skincare routine, but I will do a proper review on this soon!)

Have you tried Paula’s Choice products?  What are your favourite products to beat acne?



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