Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Paula's Choice: My New Morning Skin Care Routine

Hi ladies! Weird to think it has been over two months since I have posted. A lot of my time has gone into either lesson planning or sprucing up the house. I am also recovering from bronchitis, which I have never had before. An entire week off from work was needed to rest. As for shopping, I have not been to the mall for quite some time, but clothing reviews will eventually return as I search for a few summer items I would like to add to my closet.

So I am once again bringing up the topic of skin care. In February I stumbled upon Paula's Choice. Not only does Paula have her own skincare line (and you may be familiar with her books), her site features an extensive amount of detailed reviews on skin care products using a rating system of best, good, average, and poor. After finding out that most of the products I was using were not given a "best" rating, I decided it was time to revamp my skincare regimen. I am hoping to save you some time online by creating a suggested step-by-step guide to updating your current routine.

Make a list of the products you are currently using and find out the ranking (best, good, average, poor) of each by searching the brand reviews. Document the ranking given by Paula and her team.

Browse Paula's skin care advice articles. "How to Put Together Your Own Skin-Care Routine" is a great place to start. Here are some other articles that I found helpful:

You Don't Need a Separate Eye Cream
Exfoliate for Bright, Smooth, & Radiant Skin
Is RESIST Anti-Aging Better? Who's It For?
Do I Need a Toner?

After reading some of Paula's advice, you may have found that your routine could use some improvement. Write down a new plan step-by-step you would like to implement. Next to each step, include the products you are currently using that received a "best" or "good" rating. Do not even bother with the "average" or "poor". I am sad to find out that the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence I love so much received an average review.

It is time to fill in those holes with new products. For example, if your old cleanser was ranked "poor", you will want to find a replacement. Start your search by referring to the best cleansers list, and narrow your search with the drop down menus provided. After searching several products from familiar brands, I came to the conclusion that Paula's Choice offered the best anti-aging benefits for my skin at ideal prices.

Once your list has been researched and completed, all that is left to do is buy the products. Do not forget to do a quick Google search for coupon codes! For brands other than Paula's Choice, I highly recommend for their shipping (free over $49, arrives fast) and deals.

My Morning Routine
Below are the products I use every morning. For reference, my skin type is combination and I live in a dry climate. I am most concerned about protecting my skin from premature aging (I turn 30 in June!). Avoiding pimples is always nice (if you have cystic acne, check out my post about my "cure"). The only face makeup I use is a very light application of Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15. As a result of the Paula's Choice products I have been using, my skin is less oily, blackheads and pore size are significantly reduced, and my skin feels perfectly moisturized.

Hydralight One Step Cleanser - My skin never feels stripped after using this. A heads up, this product does not lather. If you have combination skin and prefer more suds, consider the Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser.

Hydralight Healthy Skin Refreshing Toner - I used to use toners, but then I heard from various sources that toners were unnecessary. After reading Do I Need a Toner?, I decided to add it to my list.

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant - Exfoliate for Bright, Smooth, & Radiant Skin convinced me that I needed an exfoliant. I also attribute this product to the significant reduction of blackheads.

RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator - Two pumps covers my face, under my eyes, and the leftovers go to the neck. Although not mentioned in the product details list, I find this product to be non-greasy.

Borghese Fluido Protettivo Advanced Spa Lift for Eyes - I purchased this product after reading the review from Paula and her team, but before finding You Don't Need a Separate Eye Cream. I am not sure if I will buy this product again. If I can find a comparable and much cheaper solution from Paula's Choice, I will probably take that route.

Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 50+ - Sunscreen on my face and neck everyday is a must. I love that this product does not make me greasy, no pimples have formed, and it does not irritate my eyes (which has happened with other formulas).

New customers, get $10 off your purchase (minimum purchase of $15 is required). If you make a purchase through that link, I get a $10 credit for Paula's Choice. Thank you if you choose to use the referral link!


  1. Great you re back, looking fwd to outfits and reviews!

  2. Michelle! Good to see you posting again and glad you are feeling better.
    What happen to the SKII toner you were using? Is the new replacement better and in what ways?

    1. I would use it as a morning moisturizer, but that alone was not enough for Vegas. So now I is more like a refresher for my face in the evening if I am going out and need a little moisture boost. I really do love the way it makes my skin feel...but the price is so high! I feel like I am doing more for my skin at a lower cost with all these Paula's Choice products. I may consider buying another bottle of the SK-II Essence during a beauty event...but it will be used sparingly.

  3. Sounds like you've been busy and I am so sorry about the bronchitis. Turning 30 isn't bad at all.

    I love this post. I am always in the market for new skincare products. I will have to test this out. =)

    1. Let me know if you try anything and what you think!

  4. Good you are back. Hope you feeling better now.

    That advice is really interesting. I gonna work on that too!

    1. Thanks! Sort of feeling is lingering. :/ But I have enough of my energy back to make it through a day of work.

  5. Hi Michelle!

    I'm so glad you're back. I love love love your skincare posts. Thanks to you, I tried your cystic acne cure (which I'd never heard about, so I was sold only on your recommendation) and it WORKED! I can't thank you enough. Last fall was a very stressful time for me, and thanks to you, it was made so much easier by not having to deal with terrible acne on top of everything else. Thank you thank you thank you!

    I have also always wondered about Paula's Choice, so it's great to know about your good experience. Please continue to update us on your routine. Like you, my concerns are anti-aging and acne.

    Great to have you back and thanks again!

    Ps. I'm 31 and truly think the 30s are better than the 20s. :-)

    1. I had the biggest smile on my face reading your response! I am so happy to hear that the product worked for you! Cystic acne can be so painful and frustrating. :/ Let me know if you try any Paula's Choice products and what you think. :)

  6. Hi Michelle! Welcome back =) I always love finding new skincare products. I am in the market for a new anti-aging cream. I have never heard of this skincare line before but definitely will look into it. Glad it works out wonderfully for you. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  7. You're back! Eek on the bronchitis, my husband is recovering from that right now - his first bout too! I'm glad you're feeling better! I'm fascinated by the significantly reduced pore size. I feel like I have giant caverns on my nose - will have to check this out.

  8. i hope you are feeling better. missed your posts and love this one!



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