Paula’s Choice Skincare Haul for Dry Skin

I boldly failed my no-buy only a few weeks into 2020. I was all “new year new me” and going to spend less and use up all my existing skincare before buying more, but as you can see I’m sharing a haul today so clearly that didn’t last. If you also read my 2019 Project Pan Year End Update you’ll remember that I also failed at using most of last year’s products… I’m not mad though, because I’m very excited to try Paula’s Choice skincare for the very first time!

Living in central Alberta Canada means dry conditions most of the year. And living in Canada in general means cold dry winters that wreak havoc on your appearance. Think fine lines that didn’t exist at the start of the year, dry skin and uneven texture.

Winter is harsh on your skin

I remember last year when the spring thaw came my skin looked absolutely terrible! It was the first time in my life where I saw myself visibly age over the course of a season. I was horrified and spent so much money that Spring on serums like the Tarte Deep Sea Collagen Serum to try to undo what winter had done. Last week I decided that I would take action now with a targeted skincare routine and try to prevent the same thing from happening two years in a row.

Paula's Choice Skincare Haul

So why Paula’s Choice?

I mean, there are tons of affordable skincare brands on the market right? There are more brands than ever at the drugstore and indie beauty brands like Fourth Ray Beauty and Good Molecules. I’ve reviewed both of those more affordable brands on my blog recently:

Related Reading

Something dawned on me this month. If you’ve been reading my blog regularly you’ll know that I’ve been referencing Paula’s Choice for years. Paula’s choice is my number one resource for skincare research and ingredient facts. I refer to them anytime I provide any sort of educational skincare information on my blog, and the main reason for that is that they cite all of the research that goes into the information provided. Their Ingredients Glossary is amazing!

Paula's Choice Skincare Haul for Dry Skin

I referred to Paula’s choice in my Pixi Beauty Vitamin C Skintreats Haul, where I shared the benefits of Vitamin C in your skincare routine. I more recently linked to their skincare glossary in my Fourth Ray Beauty Reveal Serum review when I was discussing the difference between BHA and AHA exfoliators. In that last post I got a lot of feedback that the product sounded so promising what I was getting all scientific about AHAs so it was really disappointing that the serum let me down. And that got me thinking… why do I always refer to Paula’s Choice for skincare information and trust the research they provide but haven’t tried any of their products? Riddle me that!

So here we are with $115CAD+ worth of products, not including an awesome anti-aging set that was included with my order because of a promo code I found. No buy be damned, but at least I’ll have great skin!

Paula's Choice Retinol Skin Smoothing Treatment | Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant.

My Paula’s Choice Haul

Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment

An advanced moisturizing body lotion that gently gives skin the transforming power of pure retinol to help diminish the appearance of uneven skin tone and rejuvenate the feeling of soft firmer skin.

I’ve been wanting to add a retinol into my skincare routine and I thought why stop at my face? Your skin ages everywhere, not just the places that people see the most. I especially want to try this lotion on the backs of my hands. People always forget about the hands but they need proper care probably even more than our faces do!

This is actually the product that I am most excited to try from Paula’s Choice. I’m hoping the 4oz bottle lasts a long time. From reading the comments online it seems that most people who have tried this want an even bigger bottle, so hopefully it lasts.

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Our #1 product worldwide + cult favorite, this gentle leave-on exfoliant with salicylic acid quickly unclogs pores, smooths wrinkles, and brightens and evens out skin tone.

I don’t think that I’ve actually used a BHA exfoliant before, unless you count my Almay Clear Complexion foundation which contains Salicylic acid. I like that this product contains is a low enough concentration that I should be able to use it daily. I’m bad at remembering to reach for products that I can only use ever couple of days so it should be easy to incorporate this into my routine.

Theoretically this product should gently exfoliate to minimize pores and and reveal smoother, softer skin.

CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment Paula's Choice

CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment

Combined with potent antioxidants, CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment is a specially formulated light lotion that absorbs quickly and goes to work immediately to enhance hydration and diminish the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and uneven skin tones. Licorice, oat extract and other soothing ingredients help to calm redness.

I decided to pick up the travel size of this retinol lotion instead of a full size. I wasn’t sure if it would work for me and since I’ve never used retinol and if it caused any problems I didn’t want to be out $58.

Retinol is a powerful anti-aging ingredient and now that I’m begrudgingly approaching my late twenties (okay fine, I’m in them. Ish.) I want to preserve what I already have.

Because a few products in my haul already contain retinol I’m going to wait a few weeks to try this product. I don’t want to double up on the retinol and I certainly don’t want to damage my skin.

It amazes me seeing girls slather the Drunk Elephant Retinol on their faces on instagram. So many people buy skincare products just for the hype and I’m concerned that they’re getting their skincare info from influencers who aren’t actually qualified to be educating others in an aesthetician/dermatological capacity. Do your research and be safe!

Paula's Choice RESIST Travel Kit for Normal to Dry Skin

RESIST Travel Kit for Normal to Dry Skin

This two-week kit for our RESIST Collection for Normal to Dry Skin is the perfect introduction to the anti-aging essentials that help improve the appearance of fine lines, dullness, and other signs of environmental attack. Convenient, smaller sizes allow you to experience each formula’s texture and performance.

I wanted to try all of Paula’s Choice’s cleansers and moisturizers and the whole shabang, but full sizes are expensive to buy for not having ever tried her products. I know Paula’s Choice has a 100% satisfaction guarantee but I would feel weird about sending back a product I’ve used for a week or two? It just seems wasteful because they can’t resell or repackage it at that point.

This travel kit is supposed to contain two weeks worth of product, which I really hope is enough for me to tell if I like it! This set contains four products from the Paula’s Choice RESIST line:

I’m really excited to try the Resist line and I’ll be updating you guys on my thoughts in a future post!

Paula's Choice RESIST Skin Restoring Moisturizer with SPF 50

My Freebies

I use the Honey extension in chrome. It’s actually really great, there’s almost always a promo code that will save me some money that I wouldn’t have found on my own. The extension basically searches the internet at puts in every promo code to find the best deal. The only annoying thing is that it doesn’t work with Rakuten (formerly ebates) so if you use Rakuten for Cash Back know that you can only use one or the other.

The Honey extension automatically found and applied the code “AGELESS” which scored me a free full sized moisturizer, travel sized eye gel and a deluxe BHA sample!

RESIST Skin Restoring Moisturizer with SPF 50

This antioxidant-rich moisturizer hydrates and protects with superstar ingredients like niacinamide, shea butter and licorice for flawless, younger-looking skin.

This is one of the products that I got in the travel sized kit. It’s full sized, so this freebie would have cost me $33! I love that this has a higher SPF. As I’ve said in other posts I’m not always the best at remembering SPF in the colder months so having it directly in my moisturizer instead of as a second step is appealing to me.

My ONE big complaint so far is that this product contains Oxybenzone. I unfortunately didn’t even think about it until the product was in my hands, but this is a coral bleaching bomb right here. You should never wear oxybenzone near ocean or lakes, and it’s probably better to avoid it altogether.

Paula's Choice BHA 9 Treatment & Anti-Aging Eye Gel

RESIST Anti-Aging Eye Gel

A unique blend of multi-functional ingredients visibly brighten, hydrate, minimize the appearance of fine lines, and reduce signs of fatigue around the eye area.

I’m pretty sure that this is only a travel size, which is find. This eye gel only has 3.5 stars on Paula’s choice so I’m not expecting miracles, but I’m looking forward to trying something new. I don’t think that anything can top my Saturday Skin Wide Awake Eye Cream though!

So far it absorbs nicely and keeps the area nice and hydrated but I’m not noticing any improvement in dark circles when I use it. Good thing I have my Covergirl trublend concealer. I’ll continue to test this eye gel, it’s only been a few days!

BHA 9 Treatment

BHA 9 Treatment is an absolutely unique one-of-a-kind targeted formula for stubborn imperfections. It is your go-to solution when nothing else has worked. Impressive results are often visible after only one use.

I highly doubt that I will see any difference in my skin from this Paula’s Choice BHA 9 treatment, only because this is a small sample and changes in your skin take time. I’ll have to use it in place of my 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant so that I’m not overdoing it.

I do have some stubborn spots and texture on my face right now so maybe this will do the trick? This $5 travel size is tiny, it comes in a bottle like a Sephora fragrance sample, but the website claims only one use is necessary to see results…

Paula's Choice Skincare Haul

Have you tried Paula’s Choice?

Thank you so much for reading! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, which ones you want to hear about and what your favourite Paula’s Choice products are!

ttyl x



  1. February 13, 2020 / 2:32 am

    Lol great skin is way more important than a no buy! I did notice you reference Paula’s Choice all the time & at first, I thought they were just a research site that didn’t sell anything at all. 😛 The body treatment sounds awesome, I’ve never heard of a product like that & I always forget about my hands, you are so right!

    It was def a good idea to get the travel size to see if everything works out for you. 2 weeks is a good amount of time/product. 🙂 I’m looking forward to your review on the RESIST line and you have me about to download the Honey extension. Do you have code I can use for you?? Also, totally agreed about having SPF included in moisturizer– so convenient! I hate that products even use such ingredients that are so harmful. Whyyyy? 🙁

    Thanks for sharing your haul with us, Cleia!! <3

    • February 23, 2020 / 2:31 am

      Absolutely! I knew they sold skincare, but the ingredient glossary is almost seperate from the main site. It’s such a great resource!

      The trial set has lasted me about 3 weeks so far, so it goes further than the expected 2 weeks. I’ll get that review up as soon as I can!
      You’re so sweet to ask if I have a code you can use, but no I don’t. It’s free to get the extension so you can go for it!

      I need to find a new SPF without oxybenzone 🙁 I was so sad that this one had it!

      Thanks for reading!

  2. February 3, 2020 / 10:31 am

    I’ve always been curious to hear more about Paula’s Choice products so I’m excited to read your future reviews! Honestly, I kinda side-eye a lot of retinol talk because it’s clearly a hyped product, and even younger people seem to clamor for it now. I wonder if a lot of people using it even really need it. But I’m in no way a skincare expert, so what do I know?

    • February 8, 2020 / 8:46 pm

      I hope all goes well over the next few weeks testing these products! I have heard good things about retinol from dermatology websites, BUT I think a lot of people on instagram aren’t actually using it properly. When that Drunk Elephant retinol came out 19 year olds were sharing it on their pages and I was like hmmm…
      Plus I learned that retinol can actually take up to three months before you start to notice real results. Something about cell turnover. I’m not a scientist but I hope this can make my forehead looks a little less creasy haha

      • February 9, 2020 / 10:03 pm

        I’m sure when it’s formulated right it works a treat! But just like you say, when I see really young people talk about retinol I’m just not convinced they absolutely need it. And that makes me think, they’re just buying it because they think it’s “the” product to use now, you know? Anyway, that’s quite a tangent, but regardless I hope you get the results you want! 😉

        • February 11, 2020 / 12:42 pm

          I completely get that! I think retinol is more for mature skin anyways, people under 25 certainly don’t need it.
          And I’ve also been researching a lot of chemical exfoliants, I see people using 10%+ and mixing them and it’s horrifying. I don’t think they realize that combining too many can cause actual chemical burns on your skin 😅 I have to be careful with the BH9 I got in this haul because it’s such a high strength.. anyways, thank you!

          • February 12, 2020 / 8:15 pm

            People are so into skincare now, almost to a detriment, I think. They don’t realize how powerful and life-changing it can be if you use the wrong products and screw up your skin. I recently went past a display for The Ordinary in Ulta and I was so tempted to buy a couple of actives but I stopped myself. I was like, don’t pretend you’re a skincare expert and know what you’re doing! 😆

          • February 23, 2020 / 2:27 am

            Yes I agree! Omg I feel so lost when I look at the ordinary’s site. Too much science I don’t quite understand, I didn’t study skincare in school 😒

          • February 24, 2020 / 4:09 pm

            Ugh, I agree.

  3. February 3, 2020 / 9:38 am

    Whoa hefty haul but seeing as you trust them as a resource for information, it is a next great step to try their stuff now.
    Cant wait to see reviews of some of these.

    • February 8, 2020 / 8:43 pm

      I hope I find some new favourites in here! I’m noticing my dry patches on my cheeks are coming back a week after switching so the moisturizers might not be for me :S

  4. February 1, 2020 / 10:07 pm

    Great haul! I’m the same, I’ve always gone to Paula’s Choice for skincare ingredient info, but have never tried their products. I’ve always wanted to though – a lot of people I trust with skincare love their products, and they’re highly recommended on the Skincare Addiction subreddit. Hope these products work for you, and I’m looking forward to your review!

    • February 8, 2020 / 8:42 pm

      Their ingredient glossary is so helpful! I love that they link all their sources, so I’m hoping that these products actually really work for me.

      I’m noticing that the moisturizers aren’t quite hydrating enough for me so I’ve started doubling them with a gel moisturizer. I’ll see how everything works out in a few weeks!

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