Friday, August 15, 2014

My love affair with Paula's Choice

The products in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Happy Friday everyone! Today I want to talk about some skincare products I started using a few months ago and am now obsessed with!

If you're interested in skincare (and especially if you have problematic skin) then there's a good chance you've heard of Paula's Choice. I've known about them for a while, but I avoided buying anything because their products are on the mildly pricey side. But I kept reading amazing reviews about one product in particular, so one day I finally caved in!

Paula's Choice carries several lines of products, each targeted to a different skin type. The lines are designed so all the products work together. With each purchase you get a card showing you when and how often you should use each type of product. I find that really helpful because it's so easy to get overwhelmed with all the different types of skincare products out there! In addition, all Paula's Choice products are free of dyes and fragrances and designed to be as gentle as possible.

OK, let me tell you what I've tried so far! As you can see, I've chosen products from a couple different lines. My skin is oily and acne-prone, so I mostly went with the skin balancing line.

1. Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid ($23/4 oz): This is the big one for me. I kept hearing about how this stuff works miracles on acne. I was skeptical because I've tried a million drugstore salicylic acid (BHA) products and they never seemed to do anything. At one point I tried replacing my benzoyl peroxide with salicylic acid, and my skin got so bad, my dermatologist started talking about Accutane! Yikes!

But apparently the formulation of a BHA product affects how well it works, and this stuff is formulated perfectly. Since I started using it, I've seen a drastic reduction in the number of breakouts I get, and I've been able to use a lot less benzoyl peroxide as a result. I haven't gotten any more cystic acne at all! Plus it has improved the texture of my skin!

The downsides: first, it can dry out your skin, especially if you use it alongside benzoyl peroxide. So I only use it every other day, moisturize well, and use physical exfoliation to remove any skin flakes. Also, this product leaves a sticky residue behind, so I only use it at night.

2. Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel ($24/2 oz): This is one of the most lightweight moisturizers I've ever tried! My skin feels soft afterward but not greasy at all. Perfect for summer. This stuff also has wrinkle fighters, and one really nice thing about it is that you can use it on the eye area as well. I'm glad Paula's Choice doesn't try to sell you eye cream as well as moisturizer!

3. Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer ($27/1.7 oz): I bought this because I decided I needed a retinol product, especially for my eye area (I spent many years as a teenager not wearing my glasses because they weren't "cool", so I have a bunch of fine lines now.) Retinol is also supposed to be good for acne. The moisturizer feels great, not greasy, and contains shea butter, one of my favorite ingredients. Just be aware that retinol might irritate your skin.

4. Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner ($18/6.4 oz): This stuff is better than the average toner, because not only is it alcohol-free, it's actually moisturizing and anti-aging! Not irritating at all and leaves no residue behind.

5. Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask ($17/4 oz): This is a pretty straightforward clay mask. It contains kaolin and bentonite, as well as glycerin (which is moisturizing) and aloe and oatmeal (which soothe irritation).

Overall I'm very happy with the amount of oil my skin has been producing this summer! The only thing I've noticed is that despite all the "pore-reducing" properties of these products, my pores don't seem to look any different. But then again, NOTHING has ever affected my pores, so I think they're just happy the way they are!

If you want to try out Paula's Choice (they offer sample sizes of everything!), you can click my referral link and we'll both get a $10 credit! They have sales all the time!

The products in this post were purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

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