Paula’s Choice Review: Is it Worth the Hype?

If you’re in the market for a new skincare line, you’ve likely come across Paula’s Choice. With a wide range of products that cater to various skin concerns, Paula’s Choice has become a cult favorite among skincare enthusiasts.

But is it worth the hype? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Paula’s Choice and provide an honest review of their products.

Paula’s Choice is a skincare brand that was founded by Paula Begoun, a bestselling author and skincare expert. The brand prides itself on using scientifically proven ingredients and avoiding harmful ones such as fragrances and dyes.

Paula’s Choice offers a wide range of products including cleansers, toners, serums, and moisturizers, all of which are designed to address specific skin concerns such as acne, aging, and sensitivity.

So, does Paula’s Choice live up to its promises? In this review, we’ll analyze the effectiveness of the brand’s most popular products, taking into account factors such as ingredients, packaging, and price point.

Whether you’re a skincare newbie or a seasoned pro, this review will provide you with all the information you need to decide if Paula’s Choice is right for you.

What is Paula’s Choice?

Paula's Choice Review

If you’re in the market for skincare products, you’ve probably heard of Paula’s Choice. Founded by Paula Begoun in 1995, the brand has become a cult favorite among skincare enthusiasts. Paula’s Choice offers a wide range of skincare products, from cleansers and toners to serums and moisturizers.

One of the things that sets Paula’s Choice apart is its commitment to using proven and effective ingredients. The brand pledges to formulate efficacious products supported and verified by extensive research.

The brand doesn’t promise miracles, but it does vow to be transparent regarding the results you can expect.

Paula’s Choice is also known for its commitment to using clean and cruelty-free products. The brand’s website states that it does not test on animals and that its products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. Additionally, the brand is committed to using sustainable packaging whenever possible.

Ingredients and Formulations

When it comes to skincare, the ingredients and formulations used can make all the difference. Paula’s Choice is known for their scientifically backed ingredients and no-nonsense approach to skincare. Let’s take a closer look at the key ingredients and product formulations used by Paula’s Choice.

Key Ingredients

Paula’s Choice uses a variety of key ingredients in their products, each with their own unique benefits. Some of the most commonly used ingredients include:

  • Retinol: A superhero ingredient that combats and prevents common signs of aging.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: A hydrating ingredient that helps to plump and smooth the skin.
  • Salicylic Acid: A beta-hydroxy acid that helps to exfoliate and unclog pores.
  • Glycolic Acid: An alpha-hydroxy acid that helps to exfoliate and brighten the skin.

These are just a few examples of the many key ingredients used by Paula’s Choice. Each ingredient is carefully selected and formulated to provide maximum benefits to your skin.

Product Formulations

In addition to key ingredients, product formulations are also important when it comes to skincare. Paula’s Choice offers a wide range of products, each with its own unique formulation. Some of the most popular product formulations include:

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid ExfoliantA water-like texture that is easy to apply and absorbs quickly into the skin.
Paula’s Choice RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol SerumA lightweight serum that is easily absorbed into the skin and provides powerful anti-aging benefits.
Paula’s Choice CALM Redness Relief MoisturizerA rich, creamy formula that provides long-lasting hydration and helps to soothe and calm irritated skin.

These are just a few examples of the many product formulations offered by Paula’s Choice. Each product is carefully formulated to provide maximum benefits to your skin.

Effectiveness and Results

When it comes to skincare, you want products that actually work. Paula’s Choice pledges to formulate efficacious products supported and verified by extensive research. But does it live up to its promises? Let’s take a closer look at the effectiveness and results of Paula’s Choice skincare products.

Skincare Benefits

Paula’s Choice products are designed to address a variety of skincare concerns, from acne to anti-aging to dryness. The brand offers a range of products, including cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers, and more, all formulated with ingredients that are backed by scientific research.

Many users have reported positive results from using Paula’s Choice products. For example, the brand’s 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant has become a cult favorite for its ability to unclog pores, reduce acne, and smooth skin texture.

Similarly, the 10% Azelaic Acid Booster has been praised for its ability to brighten skin, reduce redness, and even out skin tone.

User Reviews

One way to gauge the effectiveness of a skincare product is to look at user reviews. Many Paula’s Choice products have hundreds or even thousands of reviews on the brand’s website, with an overall positive rating.

For example, the 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant has over 10,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Users rave about how it has transformed their skin, reducing acne and blackheads and leaving their skin smoother and brighter.

However, it’s worth noting that not all users have had positive experiences with Paula’s Choice products. Some have reported irritation, dryness, or no results at all. As with any skincare product, it’s important to patch test and introduce new products slowly to minimize the risk of adverse reactions.

What do Experts Say?

Skincare experts and beauty editors have also weighed in on the effectiveness of Paula’s Choice products. Many have praised the brand for its transparency and commitment to using proven ingredients.

For example, Healthline notes that “beauty editors rave about a couple of Paula’s Choice products,” and goes on to highlight the brand’s 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant and 10% Azelaic Acid Booster as standouts.

The Derm Review also gives Paula’s Choice high marks, noting that the brand “pledges to formulate efficacious products supported and verified by extensive research.”

Overall, while not every Paula’s Choice product may work for every person, the brand’s commitment to science-backed ingredients and transparency make it a solid choice for those looking for effective skincare products.

Pricing and Availability

Product Pricing

When it comes to pricing, Paula’s Choice is a mid-range brand. The prices are reasonable for the quality of the products, and there is a wide range of products to choose from. 

The prices vary depending on the product, but most fall between $20 and $50. One of the most popular products is the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, which costs $29 for a 4 oz. bottle. 

Another popular product is the Defense Antioxidant Pore Purifier, which costs $31 for a 1.7 oz. bottle. There are also a few higher-priced items, such as the Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment, which costs $58 for a 1 oz. bottle. 

However, most of the products are reasonably priced and offer good value for the money.

Where to Buy

Paula’s Choice products are available on the company’s website, as well as at select retailers such as Sephora and Nordstrom. 

The website is easy to navigate and has a wide range of products to choose from. If you prefer to shop in-store, you can find Paula’s Choice products at select Sephora and Nordstrom locations. 

However, the selection may be more limited than what is available online. Another option is to purchase Paula’s Choice products through Amazon. 

While this can be convenient, it’s important to make sure you are purchasing from a reputable seller to ensure you are getting authentic products. Overall, Paula’s Choice products are widely available and easy to purchase. 

Whether you prefer to shop online or in-store, you should be able to find what you’re looking for without too much trouble.

Benefits of Using Paula’s Choice Products

Paula’s Choice skincare brand has gained a reputation for creating efficacious products that are supported and verified by extensive research. The brand is transparent regarding the results you can expect from their products.

Here are some of the benefits of using Paula’s Choice products:

  • Effective ingredients: Paula’s Choice products contain safe yet effective ingredients that are carefully chosen to address specific skin concerns. For instance, the 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant is a cult favorite that helps unclog pores, reduce blackheads, and improve skin texture.
  • Customizable routines: Paula’s Choice offers a wide range of products that can be customized to suit your skin type and concerns. Whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, you can find a product that works for you.
  • Free from harmful ingredients: Paula’s Choice products are free from harmful ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. The brand is committed to using only safe and effective ingredients in their formulations.
  • Cruelty-free: Paula’s Choice is a cruelty-free brand that does not test its products on animals. The brand is also committed to using sustainable and eco-friendly packaging.

Overall, using Paula’s Choice products can help you achieve healthy, radiant, and youthful-looking skin. The brand’s commitment to research, transparency, and safe ingredients make it a trusted choice for skincare enthusiasts worldwide.

Alternatives to Paula’s Choice

If you’re looking for alternatives to Paula’s Choice, there are several other skincare brands that offer similar products and benefits. Here are a few options to consider:

The Ordinary

The Ordinary is a popular skincare brand that offers affordable, science-based products. Like Paula’s Choice, The Ordinary focuses on ingredients that are backed by research and avoids using fragrances and other irritants. 

Some of The Ordinary’s most popular products include their Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum, which helps to reduce the appearance of blemishes and congestion, and their Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum, which hydrates and plumps the skin.


CeraVe is another brand that focuses on science-based skincare. Their products are formulated with ceramides, which help to strengthen the skin barrier and lock in moisture.

CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser is a gentle, non-foaming cleanser that is great for sensitive skin, while their Moisturizing Cream is a rich, hydrating moisturizer that is suitable for all skin types.

Sunday Riley

Sunday Riley is a luxury skincare brand that offers high-quality, science-based products. Their Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment is a cult favorite, thanks to its ability to exfoliate and brighten the skin.

Sunday Riley also offers a range of other products, including serums, moisturizers, and masks.

Ultimately, the best skincare routine is one that works for you. While Paula’s Choice is a great option for many people, there are plenty of other brands out there that offer similar benefits. Consider trying out a few different products and brands to find what works best for your skin.

Conclusion – Is It Worth it?

After researching Paula’s Choice and reading reviews from various sources, you may be wondering if it’s worth trying out their products. The answer is that it depends on your personal preferences and skin concerns.

Overall, Paula’s Choice has a reputation for being a reliable, science-backed brand with a focus on transparency and ingredient knowledge. Many of their products have received high praise from reviewers for their effectiveness in addressing specific skin concerns, such as acne, fine lines, and uneven texture.

However, it’s important to note that not all of their products may work for everyone. Some users have reported experiencing irritation or breakouts after using certain Paula’s Choice products, so it’s important to patch test and monitor your skin’s reaction before incorporating any new products into your routine.

If you’re someone who values ingredient transparency and science-backed products, Paula’s Choice may be worth trying out. They offer a wide range of products for various skin concerns and have a generous return policy if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.

Ultimately, the decision to try Paula’s Choice products is up to you and your individual skincare needs. With their reputation for quality and transparency, it’s definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for new skincare products.


If you’re considering trying Paula’s Choice skincare products, you may have some questions before making a purchase. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision.

What skin types are Paula’s Choice products suitable for?

Paula’s Choice offers products for all skin types, including oily, dry, combination, and sensitive skin. Each product is formulated to address specific skin concerns, such as acne, aging, and hyperpigmentation.

Are Paula’s Choice products cruelty-free?

Yes, Paula’s Choice is a cruelty-free brand. They do not test their products on animals, and they do not sell their products in countries where animal testing is required by law.

What ingredients are used in Paula’s Choice products?

Paula’s Choice products are formulated with a variety of ingredients, including antioxidants, retinol, salicylic acid, and hyaluronic acid. They use science-backed ingredients that have been proven to be effective for improving skin health.

What is the return policy for Paula’s Choice products?

Paula’s Choice offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on all of their products. If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, you can return it for a full refund within 60 days of purchase.

Can Paula’s Choice products be used during pregnancy?

While Paula’s Choice products are generally safe for use during pregnancy, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before using any new skincare products. Some ingredients, such as retinol and salicylic acid, may not be recommended for use during pregnancy.

How do I know which Paula’s Choice products are right for me?

Paula’s Choice offers a variety of products to address different skin concerns. You can take their online skincare quiz to get personalized product recommendations based on your skin type and concerns. You can also consult with a skincare expert for personalized advice.


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  2. Hyaluronic acid, a promising skin rejuvenating biomedicine: A review of recent updates and pre-clinical and clinical investigations on cosmetic and nutricosmetic effects – PubMed. (2018, December 1). PubMed. 
  3. Mode of action of glycolic acid on human stratum corneum: ultrastructural and functional evaluation of the epidermal barrier – PubMed. (1997, June 1). PubMed. 
  4. Mukherjee, S., Date, A., Patravale, V., Korting, H. C., Roeder, A., & Weindl, G. (2006, December 1). Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. PubMed Central (PMC). 
  5. Salicylic acid treats acne vulgaris by suppressing AMPK/SREBP1 pathway in sebocytes – PubMed. (2019, July 1). PubMed. 
  6. Tang, S. C., & Yang, J. H. (2018, April 10). Dual Effects of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids on the Skin. PubMed Central (PMC). 

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  • Dorothy Magos, (RND)

    Dorothy, a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian, is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public Health (MPH), with a major in Public Health Nutrition. Her enthusiasm for imparting knowledge about food, nutrition, and health is evident through her love for teaching university students. Apart from this, she has a keen interest in coffee, traveling, writing, cycling, running, cooking, and baking. Education: Silliman University Master of Public Health (MPH), Public Health Nutrition (2018-2022), Silliman University Bachelor of Science (BS), Nutrition and Dietetics (2010-2014)






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