*Disclosure: this post is in collaboration with and sponsored by Paula’s Choice and PRIMP. All opinions are my own and thank you for supporting the brands that make Brighter, Darling possible. #PrimpLovesPaula #PowerPrimper #PaulasChoiceSkinCare #ad
Skin care in your 30s is ridiculous. If you’re anything like me – it’s part acne fighting, part line preventing, part don’t-make-me-too-dry and part-don’t-make-me-too-oily. To add insult to injury, I also have the most high maintenance, combination/oily yet sensitive skin on earth. How is a girl to manage this daily chaos!?
I’ve been slowly incorporating some Paula’s Choice products into my routine (you can see when I started back in this post from Dec. 2015) with great success. Luckily, I had the chance to collaborate with them for a personal skin care consultation to give me a comprehensive routine that would target ALL of my concerns. It’s been a few weeks now and I’m shocked that I have had 0 adverse reactions considering my psychotic skin. In fact, I’ve seen notable improvement in pore size, breakouts, congestion and fine lines. Let’s get into all the details about Paula’s Choice, my consult, the new regimen I’ve been following AND the awesome 20% off discount code they gave me to share with my readers/friends…
About Paula’s Choice
I’ve known about the cult following Paula’s Choice has had since back in 2007. The products have always been touted as extremely effective, affordable and completely underrated/under the radar. Paula’s Choice’s focus has always been to provide non-irritating, effective, no frills products to address a multitude of skin concerns from acne to rosacea, aging to pore size.
The brand is always sharing educational videos for customers on new products from all different companies to educate us all and cut through the marketing nonsense (which I’m all about). The amount of information about skin care they offer on their site will keep you busy for hours on end (I’ve been there before…). Everything from pregnancy-safe routines to how to combat wrinkles and breakouts are discussed, as well as, how to build a routine to give you the best results. They are very serious about their 100% money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied within 60 days of using their stuff. They’re also cruelty free and use absolutely no dyes or fragrances.
Even before I got to do my consult, I knew they offered the FREE consultation service to any potential costumers looking to create a routine suited to their concerns (call 1-800-831-4088) – I even advised my good friend to do it about a month ago herself! They really want you to buy the products that will work for you and with such a robust line, it’s important to get pointed in the right direction so you know what’s going to give you the best chance at success.
They also aren’t in the market to charge you an arm and a leg for their products – it’s fairly priced, chock full of proven ingredients any dermatologist would endorse, but work better than many luxury brands AND they often run sales so you can score stuff at an even better deal!
I was armed and ready with notes for my consult. I had my current routine written down and had my top concerns bulleted:
- fading acne scars
- minimizing pore size
- controlling breakouts (particularly along the jaw line and chin… hellooo hormones)
- softening/diminishing fine lines (especially starting to be visible on my forehead)
The entire consultation took about 10-15 minutes and I have the most thorough routine EVER now. It goes a bit like this:
- Cleanse with RESIST Perfectly Balanced Cleanser AM/PM ($18)
Great at breaking down even a full face of makeup, this cleanser foams up nicely and rinses clean without ever making my skin feel stripped or greasy. Contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help repair the skin. Those two ingredients are very important for any skin type.
- Tone with RESIST Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner AM/PM ($23)
I’ve always been a big fan of toner. Not only do I feel like it removes any last bits of makeup, but I always feel like it preps my skin for the treatments to come next. This one feels just like water (no stinging) yet over time helps calm redness, diminish red marks from breakouts and refine enlarged pores. This is actually my second bottle (I had used it prior to starting this routine just a couple of months ago)!
- Exfoliate with RESIST Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA Liquid AM/PM ($30)
So originally, I had picked up the 8% AHA exfoliant back in Dec. 2015, and had no issues with it but after talking to a REAL HUMAN in my consult, Jaime explained that this 2% BHA is probably better for my needs because not only does it address breakouts and unclogs pores, but this particular BHA also targets fine lines (none of their other BHAs actively advertise that). I’m completely obsessed with this liquid that I apply with a cotton round (just like the toner) and need to stock up ASAP. It’s my favorite of the line up! If you’re unfamiliar with AHAs/BHAs and chemical exfoliants, click here to read up.
- Treat with RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum AM ($36) *OR* RESIST C15 Super Booster Liquid PM ($48)
If you’re in your 30s (or older), it’s really time to step it up and add an antioxidant to your routine. They fight free radicals that are attacking our skin on a daily basis and since we’re now at the age where collagen and elasticity starts to dramatically break down, it’s really important to get your antioxidant soldiers revved for battle. Jaime added the Ultra-Light serum for daytime to my routine to strengthen/firm my pores, as well as, reduce the appearance of those fine lines I’m so nicely forming on my forehead. The texture is incredibly lightweight and meant to be used by those specifically with normal/oily/combo skin. Just a dime sized amount under my moisturizer works for my face and neck. I was already using Paula’s C15 Super Booster in the evenings, which is really helping soften the red marks leftover from old acne scars. Read more about antioxidants here.
- Moisturize with RESIST Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50 AM ($32) *OR* Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel PM ($28)
The daytime SPF was the product I was most wary about because SPF has been very hit/miss in my life. Most of them break me out and I’ve been pretty loyal to my Elta MD SPF 46 for the last few years. I tend to opt for physical sunscreens because they’re more mineral-based and overall less irritating on sensitive skin and this Daily Hydrating Fluid is completely chemical. However; I trusted Jaime’s recommendations and knowing Paula’s Choice, I figured it would be fine. This formula is super thin – it’s definitely a fluid – and immediately is absorbed into my skin with no breakouts 🙂 Because of the mattifying properties, it’s great under makeup, too. Now, let’s discuss another winner from the new products… the Skin Balancing Gel! Jaime wasn’t sure she had any in stock to send me, but magically it appeared when my box arrived. She said it is a top seller and I can see why. The clear gel texture is soft on the skin and an amazing night moisturizer for normal/oily/combo skin to stimulate collagen, minimize pores and smooth fine lines. It dries down nearly instantly into a matte finish. I want five back ups.
- CLEAR Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide Lotion ($18) (for breakouts, as needed)
I use this after step #3 in the mornings or at night (depending how bad the breakout is) and within a day, the spots are noticeably smaller and flatter. My husband even gave it a try also, and was shocked that it worked on his giant pimple, yet didn’t dry out or irritate the surrounding skin. The typical 10% Benzoyl Peroxide at the drugstore is just too irritating on my 30something skin and this 5% version has added soothing ingredients to calm red marks. The tube is huge and I expect this to last me quite a while…
- RESIST Weekly Retexturizing Foaming Treatment 4% BHA ($35) (once/week)
I hate to say this is another *favorite* because I honestly have loved everything, but this weekly treatment is super awesome and something I am very impressed with because of the immediate improvement it provides. I use this on Sunday evenings in place of the Exfoliant (Step #3). One pump allowed to dry overnight dramatically exfoliates and attacks clogged pores/congested skin. I wake up the next day with baby smooth skin, pores look clearer yet skin isn’t flaky and acne marks look slightly faded. I’m really looking forward to the continued benefits over time.
*I also still use my prescription Retin A three nights a week and do so after Step #3 in place of the optional CLEAR treatment.
At first, I was a little overwhelmed at all these products, but I quickly realized how lightweight they all are and can be layered with little wait-time in between, so it goes just as fast (if not faster) than my old routine. Most of the textures are liquids, light lotions or foams, so it’s amazing for combination/oily skin. I started to notice and feel changes three days into the new routine.
ALL of these products together would cost $215-268 (depending on the %-sale you may have taken advantage of). I’ve tried single skin care products that have run me $100+ and haven’t done a smidge of what these have done for me.
I’m so happy with the texture and tone improvement of my skin, and since I’m a Power Primper with PrettyInMyPocket.com, use code PRIMPSPRING at checkout for 20% off and free shipping on ANYTHING from PaulasChoice.com! Expires: June 30, 2016. I really hope you guys take advantage of the coupon code Paula’s Choice has given me because it’s not often my sensitive skin finds products that truly work and I rave about like this.
***In addition to sharing this routine with you, I also want to thank and share this beauty website called PRIMP (Pretty In My Pocket), that shares unbiased reviews of every beauty item in existence, along with the ability to check out makeup looks on REAL PEOPLE with the full listing of products used. I’ve been loving it and that’s who I partnered with for this post since becoming a Power Primper.***
So that’s how I’ve been managing the elusive skin care in your 30s battle. Have you tried anything from Paula’s Choice? What are your favorites and/or what has now been added to your wish list? Mark your calendar to use my coupon code no later than June 30, 2016!