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Paula’s Choice (and ours)

Troublesome skin? We have two words words for you: Paula's Choice. This little-known Canadian skincare range is about to become your new buffed and glowing BFF.

palua's choice skin perfecting liquid bottle

The dullsville packaging won’t pretty up your dressing table, you need to do some serious research to understand which of the science-y-sounding products will best suit and you can only buy it online. Oh, and you’ve probably never heard of it. BUT, trust me on this, skincare from under-the-radar Canadian brand Paula’s Choice is a total game-changer. Seriously I should be on commission, given the amount of friends I’ve converted in recent months to this Skin Perfecting 2% BHA liquid.

As a beauty writer I’ve tried out hundreds of products over the years, but this unassuming little cream bottle is, without doubt, the one that’s made the most difference to my misbehaving, spot-prone skin. It’s a new-fangled acid exfoliant (BHA is salicylic acid), as opposed to an old-school grainy one. Don’t be scared of the ‘acid’ bit though – it doesn’t burn or dry out your skin. You apply it with a cotton pad in the evening, leave it on, go to bed and, hey presto, you wake up as Helena Christensen (well nearly).

Within days it had cleared up existing spots, stopped new ones in their tracks, reduced T-zone oiliness, and magically zapped almost every ‘nasty’ on my nose. A few weeks in and it had dramatically reduced old spot scars and evened out my skin-tone so much that it actually glows. As if I’m J.Lo or something.

three paula's choose bottles

It’s a reasonable £25 for a bottle that lasts 2-3 months, or you can buy a trial size for £8 or a sample sachet for 70p. I’m working my way through the rest of the range now, and am seeing impressive results from the serums and eye cream (which doesn’t flake or pill when you pile concealer on top).

The Paula’s Choice website is excellent – there’s loads of very detailed advice on exactly what’s in each product (founder Paula Begoun is an ex beauty writer and big on ingredients backed by proven scientific research), which products you should try, the order you should use them and the differences between similar-sounding products.

And props to them for sorting the range by ‘concern’, recognising that sometimes you don’t know exactly what you need to treat fine lines, redness, enlarged pores or whatever the problem may be. Basically, if your skin is a bit ‘meh’ for whatever reason, this range is well worth a gander. Just don’t expect it to look snazzy on your Insta feed.

Words: Kerry Potter  (


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