AHA, BHA, Retinol: The Effectiveness of Paula's Choice Products

AHA, BHA, Retinol: The Effectiveness of Paula's Choice Products

Interview with Paula's Choice founder, Paula Begoun

It is not without reason that Paula's Choice has been experiencing a hype during the past few years. The focal point of the skincare brand is to create formulas that are reliable and effective but gentle on the skin at the same time. The wide product range is rich in highly performance active ingredients such as antioxidants and skin-regenerative ingredients with stable pH values.

What was your intention to create the brand Paula's Choice?

Paula Begoun: "Over 40 years ago, I was determined to find a solution to my own struggles with acne and eczema. I passionately began studying product labels and studying the physiology of skin. Well, it didn’t take long to realise I'd not only been putting the wrong ingredients on my face, but those ingredients actually made my skin worse!

From that point on, I dedicated myself to researching and learning everything I could about the science of skin and skincare and sharing that knowledge to help others. I didn’t want anyone else to go through the endless disappointment, wasted money, and frustration to find what really works for skin like I did.

After writing several bestselling books about beauty products and skincare, I started receiving thousands of requests from people who were fans of my books as well as family and friends asking me to create my own product line. They all felt that the number of products at cosmetic counters, chemist shops, and spa was just too overwhelming to choose from. I certainly understood that experience, so their requests made complete sense to me. That was back in 1995, the year I finally decided to create Paula’s Choice Skincare. It was and still is the most inspiring and fulfilling part of my life."

What makes your brand unique and innovative?

Paula Begoun: "What I’ve done my entire career is rely on published research about skin, skincare, and product formulations to make decisions on what really works using only safe and effective ingredients. I have always cited the studies on my website and written articles to explain the research to help people understand what is important for their skin. I am also one of the only brands that refuses to launch products based on trends and marketing stories. Too many trends have no proven research and more often than not they just come and go. You can’t have the skin you want following misleading or unfounded information or believing beauty myths. Beauty begins with truth! My formulas follow the research, and you’d be shocked how often that is ignored in the world of skincare.

I also don’t make claims my products can’t deliver. We never overpromise and always explain what products can and can’t do.

Because of the research, we are often among the first to formulate products with a science-proven new ingredient, or utilize a higher concentration of an existing ingredient, or incorporate a new delivery system. We are also known in the industry for how we combine potent ingredients to achieve enhanced results. Perhaps one of the more unique aspects of Paula’s Choice is we never use jar packaging for facial skin care. That’s because once you take the lid off a jar, air gets in and causes the vitally important ingredients to degrade, rendering your product less effective from the moment you open it.

One other interesting aspect of Paula’s Choice is we NEVER use ingredients that inflame or irritate skin. The prevalence of irritating ingredients in skincare products has always been shocking to me. This is especially true for ingredients like fragrance (including essential oils), as these are always a problem for skin."

Are Paula’s Choice products specialized on any skin types or concerns?

Paula Begoun: "Oh, yes! My focus has always been about the need for people to use products specific to their skin type and concerns. As someone who has always struggled with breakouts and oily skin (and now sun and pollution damage) I could never use products with lotion or creamy textures without their causing more problems. Knowing this, I made sure that every product and collection created for Paula’s Choice took this fact about skin type into consideration. For example for oily or combination skin our formulas have liquid or fluid textures while our products for dry skin have more silky lotion or cream textures."

Are Paula's Choice products suitable for very sensitive skin?

Paula Begoun: "Yes! One of the most fundamental features of all our formulations has been to only use ingredients that are non-irritating, soothing, and calming while still being completely effective and important for skin. This is true for all skin types, not just sensitive skin, because research has shown that irritating skin is always damaging and should be avoided as much as possible."

What can I do to find the right product line by Paula's Choice? Is there any guidance?

Paula Begoun: "We offer several tools on our websites to help customers find the perfect match for their skincare needs: detailed expert-written advice articles, ingredient spotlights, routine-finder, and so on. Even more importantly, a group of skincare experts at Customer Care are readily reachable via chat, phone or email, to offer their expertise and support."

And last but not least - which products are your ultimate favorites?

Paula Begoun: "I have many favorites, but the ones that work brilliantly for my complicated skin type and skin concerns are:

  • 10% Niacinamide Booster
  • SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid (can’t live without this!)
  • SKIN BALANCING Oil-Reducing Cleanser
  • RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
  • MOISTURE BOOST Hydrating Treatment Cream (for dry areas and my neck)
  • RESIST Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30
  • LIP & BODY Treatment Balm (I never go to bed without applying this!)
  • RESIST Anti-Aging Eye Cream
  • RESIST Anti-Aging Eye Cream"