Every once in a while I stumble across some skincare that I enjoy either for how it makes my skin feel or how it reduces my breakouts, but I’ve never found something that I have fallen head over heels in love for. Enter Paula’s Choice. I ordered their two week acne trial kit after hearing so many good things about the brand from beauty vloggers like MakeupTIA and within a week I knew: this was going to be a long term relationship between Paula’s Choice and I.
The Paula’s Choice website not only features skincare for every skin type and concern, but also the “Beautypedia” where you can find articles for any question you might have regarding your skin. Don’t know where to start with your skincare routine? They’ve got suggestions. It’s the mothership for skincare. To be taken with a grain of salt, as with everything, of course. Paula’s Choice doesn’t like essential oils, for instance, while some swear by them. It’s all about personal choice.
When I made my order I purchased sample packs of both the Regular Strength and Extra Strength Clear Acne Kits because I really wasn’t sure what my skin would like. I started out with the regular strength and noticed a difference within a few days. New breakouts weren’t popping up as frequently, and when they did a dab of Clear Regular Strength Acne Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide put them to bed.
After a few weeks using the regular strength kit I switched to the extra strength kit to see what my skin liked more. I’ll be honest, there wasn’t a huge difference in my skin’s reaction – but before I get into that let me break the differences down for you.
The Clear Regular Strength Acne Kit ($13 sample size/$49 full size) comes with three products: Clear Cleanser, Clear Regular Strength Exfoliant and the Clear Regular Strength Blemish Treatment. There is no offensive, chemically smell like acne kits from other brands and everything in the kit is lightweight and helps get rid of all of that blocked up, congested yuckiness in the skin.
Key Ingredients: Key Ingredients: bisabolol, honeysuckle flower extract, benzoyl peroxide, panthenol, glycerin, allantoin, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, sodium hyaluronate, triclosan, salicylic acid.
The Clear Extra Strength Acne Kit ($13 sample size/$49 full size) also comes with three products: Clear Cleanser (the same as in the Regular Strength), Clear Extra Strength Exfoliant and the Clear Extra Strength Blemish Treatment. The main difference between the two kits is the amount of Benzoyl Peroxide in the Blemish Treatment (2.5% in the Regular Strength vs. 5% in the Extra Strength) and how strong the exfoliant is. If you have sensitive skin I’d suggest starting out on the Regular Strength exfoliant.
Key Ingredients: allantoin, panthenol, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, green tea, glycerin, bisabolol, triclosan,sodium lauroyl sarcosinate.
Since my initial comparison between the two kits I have started to use the Extra Strength Exfoliant and Extra Strength Blemish Treatment over their Regular Strength counterparts. My skin is not irritated by the stronger formulas at all and the stronger exfoliant is better matched for my skin, which gets rough patches quickly. As for the Blemish Treatments, well I don’t honestly notice a huge difference between the regular strength and extra strength, even with difference amounts of benzoyl peroxide, though mentally it does make me feel better to use something a little stronger on any spots that start to pop up.
I haven’t spoken much about the cleanser yet because it doesn’t leave much of an impression, which in my opinion is exactly what a cleanser should do. It’s a gel consistency, which is my preferred type of cleanser and does its job well – it cleans away the dirt and grime of the day and wipes away the oils accumulating on my face. There is no residue left on my face from the cleanser after I wash it off so I don’t think about it much after it’s gone.
Since beginning my Paula’s Choice skincare regime my skin has been free of active breakouts for the first time in over a year and if a spot does start to pop up, the blemish treatments get rid of it in a flash. My skin isn’t as smooth as I would like, but the exfoliant is working on getting rid of the bumps that have been popping up for the last six months. That’s a work in progress. I am just giddy about how clear my skin has been since I’ve started using Paula’s Choice.
You can find Paula’s Choice products on their website.