I am blessed with oily skin. That seems like a strange statement and certainly not something I would have said in my teens as I suffered through legions of zits. I still haven’t completely irradiated the blackheads that launch sneak attacks on my complexion, but I consider the oil that oozes from my pores a blessing regardless. Why? Because I learned at an early age to take good care of my skin. There was no forgetting to wash my face at night because it always meant a pimple later the next day. I also realized that it wasn’t easy to find good beauty products, so I experimented, and experimented. I wonder how much money I’ve spent over the years on less than stellar skin lotions, potions, and serums. A lot, no doubt.
At some point I realized that the sales people at the upscale stores were going to recommend expensive skin care products regardless of whether they worked well or not. Often the products were useless, but sometimes they were fabulous, like the time I bought a bottle of DDF’s Protective Moisturizer SPF 15. It was my favorite daytime facial lotion in my late 20′s and early 30′s but eventually my work situation changed and I could no longer afford it. Nor could I afford to continue experimenting with $50 beauty products that might, or might not, help my complexion. So I turned to the less expensive stuff at the drugstore. Promises of radiant skin filled the shelves but I quickly learned that the claims of perfection were no more reliable than the one’s on the $50 bottles. Where to turn?
Around this time I discovered “Don’t go to the Cosmetic Counter without Me” at the library. It was a revelation. The author offered page after page of product reviews for makeup and beauty products. Unfortunately the beauty industry thrives on change and many of the cosmetics outlined in the book were already discontinued, but it was a start. Not long after I found the website attached to the book, Beautypedia.com and have been a regular ever since. (At one time there was a membership fee, but now it’s free. You just need to register.) Using the reviews as a guide I started buying affordable drugstore brands for my makeup and beauty product needs. I saw my skin improve and my makeup become more reliable.
I now have the Beautypedia app on my I-phone and use it when I’m looking at new cosmetics. I have learned that the author’s name is Paula Begoun and she has been reviewing cosmetics for over 25 years. I don’t always agree with Paula on makeup. She likes her colors restrained and her lipstick long-lasting while I’m a bit more free-spirited in that department. On the other hand I’m rarely let down by her skin care reviews. If she says it’s good, it’s good. If she says it’s bad, it’s either useless or disastrous.
Paula reviews almost every beauty product on the market but she also sells her own skin care line called “Paula’s Choice”. This collection of lotions, toners and potions reflects her well-researched opinions on beauty products. Everything is fragrance free, filled with antioxidants, and affordable. After trying most of the recommended drugstore brand beauty products I finally decided to buy some Paula’s Choice products and have been using them for over a year.
End result? My skin looks better, much better, than before. These really are stellar products. I never break out and only rarely see a blackhead. I have complaints of course, but my face at 42 is not my face at 32. Still, it looks as good as it can without surgery. Interestingly my skin is no longer as oily as it was before I started using Paula’s Choice. It seems to have mellowed into a slightly combination set up, with a bit more oil on my cheeks and forehead, but nothing like it was.
Here are some of my favorite Paula’s Choice beauty products. I am not sponsored by Beautypedia.com or Paulaschoice.com but I’ve been so happy with the stuff that I really want to spread the word. I should warn you though, once you start using fragrance-free face lotions it’s hard to go back to the scented stuff.
My morning routine includes a slathering of Skin Balancing Daily Mattifying Lotion SPF 15 & Antioxidants, a lightweight daily facial sunblock that doesn’t sting or make me break out.
At night after cleansing my skin I use the Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner before applying moisturizer. Does it do anything? I don’t know but it removes any last trace of makeup and feels rather refreshing.
Most evenings I smear on a few pumps of RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator for normal, oily or combination skin. It’s lightweight and like the daytime lotion creates no pimple issues. At $23 a bottle it’s affordable enough to use under makeup before I go out for the evening as well as at bedtime.
Paula offers all sorts of speciality anti-aging products. One I’ve tried and liked is the RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum. I also started using RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum a couple of months ago and I have noticed that my skin is a bit more resilient. Is my neck just a bit less droopy? I think so.
My absolute favorite “Paula’s Choice” product, and one I will probably always have on hand, is RESIST Clearly Remarkable Skin Lightening Gel with 2% BHA. This has lightened the brown spots on my skin, an unfortunate side effect of sun bathing and childbirth. Mostly I love it for how it makes my skin look. It wipes out blackheads and makes my skin GLOW. I kid you not.
On a different note, my daughter, who is 12 and starting to suffer from pre-teen white heads, loves the Exfoliating 1% BHA Lotion, though she can’t ever remember what it’s called.
Do you have a fabulous line of products that you swear by? Ever tried “Paula’s Choice ” products, or perused her website, Beautypedia.com? Do tell!