In this month’s #SheByDC, we invite 3 women with 3 different skin types to review a complete Paula’s Choice routine. Is Paula’s Choice worth the hype and money?

What do you get when you put intuitive, efficacious, clean, conscious and lots of skincare science together? If you’re a sucker for no-nonsense skincare that delivers only the best results every single time, you must have heard of Paula’s Choice. From exploding all over TikTok to topping the skincare lust lists, Paula’s Choice philosophy of smart, safe beauty (which can really be expanded into a long list of everything-we-possibly-want in our skincare including non-irritating, science-backed, cruelty-free formulas etc.) has likely altered the skincare game for good — and turned the beauty community into putty for it. So in this month’s #SheByDC, we invited 3 women from our community with 3 different skin types to review 3 FULL Paula’s Choice skincare routines. featuring the best of the brand. Is Paula’s Choice worth the hype and money? Our community takes it away!

Atiqa, Oily Skin

Skin concerns: Acne-prone

“My skin type is oily and acne-prone — I’ve been struggling with maskne for almost a year now. In my usual skincare routine, I actually use Clindoxyl and Tretinoin (both prescribed by a doctor for my maskne) which has really helped my skin. While I haven’t noticed much differences in my skin yet, since I started using the Paula’s Choice routine (one week ago), I do love the products!”

“The Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner absorbs well into my skin, I also like how the Clear Acne Pore Normalising Cleanser isn’t super foamy and doesn’t dry my skin out.”

“The texture of the Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel is great too — it’s more of a gel-like consistency that’s so lightweight. As is the Resist Youth-Extending Daily Sunscreen!” 

“I use a lot of moisturising/hydrating products because my skin barrier is broken, I like how gentle Paula’s Choice’s skincare feels compared to other brands I’ve tried. The products don’t sting my skin when I use them and I would definitely recommend checking out Paula’s Choice products!”

Oily & Acne-Prone Routine

CLEANSE: Clear Acne Pore Normalising Cleanser

Forget harsh and drying acne-busting facial washes. This gentle, acne-fighting cleanser delivers a thorough cleanse without stripping your skin. Developed with Salicylic Acid (BHA), the skin-softening gel formula removes excess oil, dead skin and makeup while staying completely non-irritating!

TONE: Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner

A lightweight everyday toner to rebalance oily skin, reduce enlarged pores and deliver weightless hydration. This refreshing formula is loaded with Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Antioxidants and Ceramides for just the right dose of hydration. Especially suitable for oilier skin types, but also particularly great for those extra hot and humid days!

EXFOLIATE: Skin Perfecting 2% BHA (Salicylic Acid) Liquid Exfoliator

PSA: Meet Paula’s Choice #1 product worldwide and *the* award-winning cult favourite! This gentle leave-on chemical exfoliant with Salicylic Acid (BHA) quickly unclogs pores, prevents blackheads/blemishes and removes dead skin for sparkling, renewed skin. Think a more radiant, even visage and a youthful beam!

Tips: Swipe all over your face after cleansing/toning with a cotton pad, or pat it into the skin using your hands. Do not rinse! We recommend to using 2-3 times a week for optimal results. *Make sure to follow up with sun protection in your AM routine!

TREAT: 10% Niacinamide Booster

You know the drill by now: add this concentrated 10% Niacinamide serum booster into your routine for dramatically smoother, more even and more refined skin. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is a pore-busting powerhouse that minimises pore size, combats fine lines and uneven skin tone, for visibly brighter, younger-looking skin. Major brownie points for the super sheer, ultra lightweight formula that fits our hot humid climate to the T.

Tips: Start by using the booster 2 - 3 times a week, before slowly increasing your frequency of use. Use this alone or mix it into your favourite serum/moisturiser. *Make sure to follow up with sun protection in your AM routine!

MOISTURISE: Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel

This weightless moisturiser with Niacinamide and Antioxidants helps to diminish the appearance of enlarged pores and protect your skin against environmental aggressors. The refreshing formula delivers light essential hydration while keeping your skin soft and matte — delightfully oily skin friendly!

SUNSCREEN: Resist Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50

Sunscreen tends to make or break the game for oily, acne-prone skin. This feather-light moisturiser + sunscreen is a brilliant cross between high-performing broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and an antioxidant-rich hydrator that fights environmental aggressors and premature skin aging. The satin-matte finish layers flawlessly under makeup — talk about covering all your bases!

Radhiah, Combination Skin

Skin concerns: Aging, Pigmentation

Rhadiah’s Paula’s Choice Review:

“I have combination skin that gets very oily around my t-zone but with dryness around my mouth. My typical skincare routine would include a moisturiser, sunblock and sometimes a serum in the day! At night I alternate between oil-based products or an overnight cream-based mask.” 

“I have been enjoying the Paula’s Choice routine because it’s easy to incorporate into my usual skincare routine. I’ve noticed slight improvements to the tone and texture on my cheeks — the routine seems to have lightened my acne scarring and reduced redness.” 

“I love the texture of the Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF! It’s really easy to apply, with no white cast and no sticky feeling, which makes it easy to layer products on top of it. I have been on the lookout for a good sunscreen and I think this might be my holy grail (already telling my friends about it)! I also love, love the lip gloss. It’s just the right texture. I notice my lips are less dry than usual too and have been using the gloss at least twice everyday.” 

“I appreciate how lightweight the cream-based Clinical 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment is. I’ve tried similar products that are oil-based and they were hard to incorporate (into my routine), especially with makeup. I’ve used the treatment thrice in the last week — there was a stinging session the first time I applied it, but it got better!” 

“Overall, I like how Paula’s Choice combines a few potent ingredients in one product, so you don’t have to use too many products or have too many steps in your skincare routine. Also love that they also don’t test on animals! All things aside, I think the packaging is great too — the pump bottles and squeeze tubes are very easy to carry around. Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the products and will definitely repurchase my favourites!”

Anti-Aging Routine

POST-CLEANSING/TONING: Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA

A potent daily leave-on liquid exfoliant powered by Salicylic Acid (BHA) that combats signs of aging, visibly reduces enlarged + clogged pores, refines skin texture and gently, but deeply exfoliates skin. The ultra lightweight formula also contains Antioxidants and Peptides to protect against environmental stressors.

Tips: Use this leave-on wonder after cleansing/toning 2-3 times a week for starters and work your way up. Swipe all over your skin with a cotton pad, or pat it into your skin with your hands. *Make sure to follow up with sun protection in your AM routine!

TREATMENT 1: C15 Super Booster

A powerful radiance shot: this concentrated skin booster with 15% pure Vitamin C brightens uneven skin tone, smooths out wrinkles and plumps up fine lines. The lightweight, fast-absorbing formula is also packed with Antioxidants and skin replenishing Peptides to guard against environmental damage.

Tips: Like all Vitamin C products, gradually introduce this into your skincare routine beginning with 2 - 3 times a week, before increasing the frequency of use. You can also mix this into your favourite serum/moisturiser! *Make sure to follow up with sun protection in your AM routine!

TREATMENT 2: Clinical 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment

A light antioxidant lotion treatment that repairs and renews skin to target fine lines, deep wrinkles, enlarged pores and loss of firmness. Developed with 0.3% of Retinol, but with added plant-derived Bakuchiol to amplify and stabilise the effects of Retinol -- decreasing the drying/sensitising effects some may experience from using Retinol. A shot of Peptides also helps to stimulate and strengthen the skin to visibly combat any sagging!

Tips: For beginners to retinol, introduce this into your PM skincare routine 1-3 times a week and use other actives in separate routines. Finish off your routine with a moisturiser!

EYE CREAM: Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Firming Eye Cream

A hydrating eye cream that visibly alleviates under eye wrinkles, fine lines and those pesky dark circles. A blend of Vitamin C and Ceramides firms and brightens the eye area for a visibly younger looking appearance, while a low strength 0.01% retinol concentration helps to combat deep wrinkles (but keeps this serum manageable still). *Make sure to follow up with sun protection in your AM routine!

SUNSCREEN: Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30

Possibly your next HG sunscreen! This silky, lightly-tinted mineral sunscreen moisturiser is an absolute all-rounder and suitable for all skin tones. Broad spectrum UV protection aside, the formula is packed with Antioxidants to protect the skin from environmental damage and prevent premature aging, while being superbly sensitive skin friendly with Willow Bark Extract to soothe and calm. The featherlight texture leaves skin soft and matte, while doubling up as a makeup primer, always a plus!

LIP CARE: Resist Anti-Aging Lip Gloss SPF 40 Sheer Pink

Who else is also guilty of *always* skipping lip care? Keep your lips soft and happy with this nourishing, anti-aging lip gloss that offers broad spectrum UV protection, while reducing the risk of premature skin aging. The universally-flattering sheer pink tint adds a pop of colour and shine so you can wear this alone. Kisses!

Fiona, Dry Skin 

Skin concerns: Sensitivity, Dryness

Fiona’s Paula’s Choice Review:

“I have sensitive skin that’s prone to breakouts whenever I switch products. My skin gets dry and flaky occasionally too. My current skincare routine consists of only a cleanser and occasionally, a serum/oil whenever my skin feels dry.” 

“I think my skin has gotten a lot softer and my pores smaller since I started using the Paula’s Choice chemical exfoliant (Calm Sensitive 1% BHA (Salicylic Acid) Lotion). I’ve used exfoliants before, but never this gentle. This one left my skin feeling soft, supple and wasn’t drying at all. For that reason, the Calm Sensitive 1% BHA (Salicylic Acid) Lotion is definitely my favourite product! It’s gentle, doesn’t cause me to break out and works well on the tiny bumps I have on my forehead. Instead of becoming red and inflamed, I noticed that the bumps have become smaller.” 

“My other favourite product (in this routine) is the Hyaluronic Acid Booster. Its consistency is more akin to a gel rather than a thick serum/moisturiser — I like that it applies really well on the skin and isn’t too heavy.”

“All in all, I’m surprised that the Paula’s Choice routine didn’t break my sensitive skin out. I usually use dermatologists-tested skincare products, but after trying Paula’s Choice I think that it is a trusted brand that I’m ready to invest in in future!”

Dry & Sensitive Routine

CLEANSE: Gentle Touch Makeup Remover

Don’t be deceived by the extra mild formula. This ultra gentle makeup remover effortlessly removes all kinds of makeup — including long-wearing and waterproof ones. The sensitive skin friendly, fragrance-free and skin-softening formula also features Allantoin and Green Tea to soothe irritation and calm redness. Expect clean, smooth and hydrated skin, minus any stripping or oiliness!

EXFOLIATE: Calm Sensitive 1% BHA (Salicylic Acid) Lotion

If your skin is too delicate for physical exfoliants, this might be what you've been searching for. The Calm Sensitive 1% BHA Lotion is a terrifically gentle, non-abrasive, leave-on chemical exfoliant powered by Salicylic Acid (BHA) to unclog and diminish pores, combat redness, as well as visibly refine wrinkles. The lightweight lotion is gentle enough even for very delicate skin types, including rosacea.

Tips: Use all over the face after cleansing/toning (Do not rinse!). For those new to BHA, start with 2-3 times a week and work your way up. *Make sure to follow up with sun protection in your AM routine!

TREATMENT 1: Hyaluronic Acid Booster

A concentrated Hyaluronic Serum Booster that replenishes your skin’s moisture content for visibly smoother, more plump and supple skin. Formulated with an unique matrix of skin-smoothing Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides and Pathenol, the advanced formula revives dehydrated, dull skin and improves the appearance of fine lines (including crows feet). If your skin is feeling *extra* parched, mix this together with your moisturiser for an added punch of hydration.

TREATMENT 2: Omega+ Complex Serum

A dose of superfoods for superb skin! This lightweight serum features a powerful blend of Omega Fatty Acids 3 (Chia), 6 (Passion Fruit) and 9 (Flax Seed) to strengthen the skin’s surface, while nourishing it with essential nutrients for healthy, hydrated and more resilient skin. Skin-identical Ceramides and hydrating actives boost skin health, while the serum’s Omega-rich complex strengthens the skin against environmental damage. The superlatively gentle formula is compatible even with very sensitive skin styles — including eczema-prone skin — and pairs exceptionally well with the Omega+ Complex Moisturiser.

MOISTURISE: Omega+ Complex Moisturizer

Adding to the superfoods skincare regime, follow with the Omega+ Complex Moisturiser (with Omegas 3, 6 and 9) to further fortify your skin barrier. Formulated with a restorative blend of Omega Fatty Acids, Ceramides and Antioxidants, this expert moisturiser also features Passion Fruit and Guava Extracts to help soothe stressed skin. The cloud-like, whipped texture applies like a dream — but without any greasiness — to lock in all the hydration you need!

MASK: Super Hydrate Overnight Mask

An overnight wonder for plump, dewy skin the morning after! This intensively hydrating overnight mask resets and nourishes your skin as you sleep, with a blend of antioxidant-rich Shea Butter and Glycerin to replenish stressed skin. Reishi Mushroom and Cloudberry help to calm skin and reduce redness, making this comforting mask perfect for extra-sensitive, redness-prone skin types! (Psst: You can also use this as a wash-off mask for a quick dose of nourishing skin-goodness.)

Get In On The Good Stuff.

In millennial lingo, Paula’s Choice is potentially the most woke skincare brand right now. It doesn’t feel like it wants the hype, but we think it deserves every second of it. Now that we’ve spilled the beans on the ultimate Paula’s Choice skincare routines for the most common skin types/concerns… We want to help you get in on the goodness if you’re ready to leap onto the Paula’s Choice bandwagon too!

Shop Paula’s Choice with this exclusive promo code:

Enjoy S$10 off with no min. spend. Enter
PCXDCEdit10 at checkout.
T&Cs: Limited to ONE USE per customer. Not eligible for sale items.

Psst: If you need a reason to shop… ALL the products featured in this article will be on sale at up to S$56 off during Paula’s Choice upcoming National Day Sale from 6 August to 9 August 2021. Also get an additional S$56 off with a min. spend of S$200!

Take care,

Melisa Goh

Melisa Goh

up up and away


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