Paula’s Choice RESIST Line Review

Hello everyone, I hope you’re doing well. I know this is a crazy time in the world right now, and many of you are quarantined. I’ve been iffy on continuing to post on my blog during this time, but I decided that a distraction might be welcome! It’s been about a month since I shared my first ever Paula’s Choice Haul on my blog, and I promised an update on the products as soon as possible. I’ve had ample time to test the Resist line from Paula’s choice and I’m ready to share my thoughts…

Paula's Choice Resist Line Review

Paula’s Choice 2 Week Trial: RESIST Line

I’ve been testing out a two week skincare trial of four products from the Paula’s Choice Resist Line:

These trial sizes actually lasted me a full month instead of two weeks. I’ve used the Barrier repair moisturizer in the evenings only because of it’s retinol content, and the Skin Restoring Moisturizer during the daytime. The 5% AHA has been in my rotation every third day, and I’ve used the cleanser day & night. So what worked… and what didn’t?

Paula's Choice Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser

Paula’s Choice RESIST
Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser

My first thought when trying out the Paula’s Choice Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser was that the texture is almost the exact same as the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. You know, the one that retails for under $15 at the drugstore? Yeah that’s the one.

In fact, if I didn’t know that the ingredients list on both formulas were different I would say that they do the exact same thing. Both cleansers have a lotion-like texture and cleanse my skin without leaving my epidermis feeling tight or stripped.

The Optimal Results cleanser replenishes skin with Glycerine, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, and Methyl Glucose Ether (plus some other less concentrated components further down the ingredients list), where the CeraVe moisturizer focuses more on Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramides along with glycerin for that hydrating, clean effect.

Even knowing that the formula is different… it’s not. It’s really not, these moisturizers feel the exact same on my skin and the Paula’s Choice one retails for $10 more. Sorry, I’ll be sticking with CeraVe!

Paula's Choice RESIST 5% AHA

RESIST  Daily Smoothing Moisturizer with 5% AHA

You know what’s odd… I’ve used higher concentrations of AHA before and yet my skin felt a lot more sensitive to this 5% formula. I was most recently using the Fourth Ray Beauty Reveal AHA, and I actually think that this gives credence to my theory that Fourth Ray Beauty isn’t… all that scientific, or properly tested. The Reveal serum did nothing for me at it’s 10% concentration and I could tell in a few days that this AHA was working.

Unfortunately the most notable evidence was that my skin got way to dry all of a sudden! I had to slow down my useage to every three or four days, or else my skin was a dry & flakey mess.

For my skin type I think I’ll stay away from this type of AHA, but if you have oiler skin it might be a good exfoliator for you. I’ve realized that I prefer toner style exfoliators, like the Paula’s Choice 2% Liquid BHA or the Pixi Glow Tonic.

Paula's Choice Resist Skin Restoring Moisturizer with SPF 50

RESIST Skin Restoring Moisturizer with SPF 50

This was the worst product I tried out of the four in the Resist Trial Set. And that’s really disappointing to me because I also got a free full sized Skin Restoring Moisturizer in my haul…

Unfortunately this moisturizer/SPF contains a chemical called Oxybenzone. I harp on oxybenzone a lot because it’s incredibly destructive to coral reefs. It’s believed to be one of the main contributors to coral bleaching in aquatic ecosystems. Even if you aren’t wearing it in the ocean it washes down the drain and ends up who knows where?

Oxybenzone is banned in Hawaii so all the sunscreens sold there are reef safe… I wish that companies would stop making special sunscreens to sell in Hawaii and just make all SPFs reef safe. Everywhere! This product has a very strong SPF smell, like the Coppertone kids sunscreen you might have worn as a 7 year old. Not a fan!

Chemical Structure of Oxybenzone

My second issue with the Paula’s Choice Skin Restoring Moisturizer was that it wasn’t hydrating enough to be considered a moisturizer for normal to dry skin. I tried wearing it on it’s own during the day and my skin developed horrible dry patches all over my cheeks, nose and chin within a few days. I was so upset that I went out and bought another jar of Neutrogena Hydro Boost at full price. Normally I wait for a sale, but my skin needed it.

I used up this moisturizer/SPF up by applying it on top of my Hydro Boost Moisturizer. It works fine as an SPF, but doesn’t seem to actually hydrate the skin. This might work for you if you have a normal to oily skin type, but for dry skinned complexions I recommend staying away.

Barrier Repair Moisturizer Paula's Choice Resist

RESIST Barrier Repair Moisturizer with Retinol

The Paula’s Choice Barrier Repair Moisturizer is my favourite product in the Resist line. Barrier Repair is an anti-aging moisturizer containing retinol and antioxidants to reduce the appearance of fine lines. This is the first retinol product I’ve ever used on my face. I’ve been wanting to try retinol for preventative anti-aging, and to smooth the lines on my forehead (I’ve had them since I was 16. Thanks genetics, and scrunching my forehead too much).

I didn’t experience any drying out of my skin from the retinol, but I was only applying it in the evenings. The texture is smooth and luxurious, and it absorbed quickly into my skin. I didn’t feel the need to pair this with another moisturizer. I haven’t noticed an extreme difference in the look of my fine lines, but I’ve read that you need to use retinol for much longer than a two or three week period to see any real changes.

If you’re interested in trying a retinol and have dry skin I think that this is a good introductory product. I’ve heard of people having horribly destructive results from overusing retinols the first time, but I haven’t experienced any issues from Barrier Repair! I will be purchasing this full sized, at some point.

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

Have you tried the Paula’s Choice Resist line?

I’m glad that I decided to purchase a trial kit instead of purchasing these all full sized. I would have been sorely disappointed with two out of four products at full price! If you’re looking into this kit the only product I recommend is the Barrier Repair Moisturizer.

Please remember that everyone’s skin is different and may not respond in the same way to each product. Just because I loved or didn’t love these products doesn’t mean that they will or will not work for you. For reference my skin type is very dry, and generally acne prone. I hope this review was helpful to you!

Stay safe out there x




  1. March 26, 2020 / 9:25 am

    Awh man, I hate it when I spend extra cash only to realize that there are cheaper options that work the exact same way or feel the same if not with better results.
    And yeah, I was gonna FRB is eh when it comes to skincare. I only tried three things and I wasn’t wowed lol. Sorry that moisturizer with 5% AHA didn’t work for you.
    Omg the SPF one, horrible! I’m so sorry. Idk why I figured that PC would have come up with a coral reef safe formula? Not a fan that they’re not on board…
    The moisturizer with retinol sounds fab. I started using retinol a few years back and it made such a difference on my skin! My skin is acne prone too and the dark spots from my acne were visibly reduced, and it also worked as a preventive product for acne. Anyway, the fact that it’s in a moisturizer I’ve never heard of that but I’m intrigued. I would assume that wearing spf over it would be ideal considering that retinol makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.
    Great reviews doll. Sorry not everything worked as well for you.

    • April 9, 2020 / 2:36 am

      I’m glad that this is only a mini! I would have been sad if I had bought the cleanser full sized.
      Apparently they do have some reef safe formulas, but only in their physical spf category. It’s so weird that in Hawaii ALL sunscreens are reef safe and you can get hawaiian tropic, banana boat, etc, but then the brands you can buy on the mainland can’t sell the same formulas for some reason? It’s very strange.

      I think the retinol content of the moisturizer is much lower than in a straight retinol, but that makes it a great introductory product! When our income is a little more stable I’ll probably repurchase.
      Thanks for reading!! It’s too bad not everything was a hit, but at least I found out from the trial sizes, not the full size x

      • April 11, 2020 / 8:42 pm

        That’s very interesting… I never knew that. I do find it hard to find reef-safe formulas, it’s like there are* some but not many which is really disappointing. And then they tend to be pricier too which sucks but I’m all for protecting the environment ๐Ÿ™‚
        that’s very true, too much retinol for someone who has never tried it could be really bad, those with sensitive skin, I mean.

        • April 27, 2020 / 12:18 pm

          I wish there were more formulas too, and you’re right they usually are more expensive ๐Ÿ™
          I haven’t used it again recently, I’m too scared to add it back into my routine xD Maybe when I’m 100% sure my skin has recovered!

          • May 1, 2020 / 12:29 pm

            i would say try using it again before your skin fully recovers because if it is* the product’s fault, then you’d have to wait longer for your skin to recover once more. idk if that makes sense. LOL.

          • May 11, 2020 / 9:45 pm

            It’s too late, everything is back to normal now haha I’m being a lot more cautious about which products I’m using together. I’ll probably try adding in the retinol again soon.

  2. March 25, 2020 / 10:25 pm

    This sounds like a disappointing set. How much did you pay for it? I’m sad that these products didn’t work out for you. I’ve been very interested in trying out PC products since I really value their ingredient dictionary. I know you have another review of other products, so I will go check that one out!

    Glad you are continuing to blog during this mess. All of a sudden I am super inspired to blog because I will have all sorts of extra time. It’s kind of nice, in that aspect.

    • April 9, 2020 / 2:27 am

      I think it was around $24. I’m glad I didn’t buy everything full sized, though I’d get the retinol moisturizer if it was on sale.
      Their ingredient glossary is such a great resource! I don’t think these products are bad, I just think they weren’t the best for my skin type.

      Thanks!! I haven’t been able to put out as much content as I would like, and I’m ridiculously behind on comments. But I’m just trying to be kind to myself and not sweat deadlines anymore.
      I’m glad you’ve been blogging more too! I can’t wait to catch up on your posts x

  3. March 25, 2020 / 11:48 am

    I’m definitely going to check out the CeraVe hydrating cleanser once I finish the one I have! I’ve been using a Loreal retinol day/night moisturizer and I’ve been really enjoying it. Thank god my skin isn’t really sensitive to retinol. I also sometimes use the peter thomas roth retinol serum (gifted to me), and while I love it, the price point is outrageous! I’ve been really into anti-aging products, and those two have been the ones I’m loving the most! Great post Cleia xxx

    Melina |

    • April 9, 2020 / 2:23 am

      I love the idea of having retinol right in your moisturizer, which one are you trying from L’Oreal? We have a similar skin type so I’d probably like it too!
      PTR products are so nice, the price is crazy but it’s nice to treat yourself to something luxurious sometimes x

      • May 13, 2020 / 9:57 am

        I’m using the L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Moisturizer! I’m actually almost done with it and am thinking of getting the fragrance free one next! It feels super light on my skin, it doesn’t irritate it at all! I also love how soft it makes it. Definitely a great drugstore find!

        • May 27, 2020 / 1:21 am

          Ahh that sounds amazing! I’m going to add it to my list for one day x

  4. March 24, 2020 / 8:05 pm

    Yikes! This makes me not want to try anything from PC anymore, except for that retinol. I find AHAs in moisturizers don’t really work as well because it’s been diluted…but I’m not sure if that’s true!

    • April 9, 2020 / 2:21 am

      I haven’t shared my favorites from my haul yet, not everything was a miss! I’m actually really enjoying their retinol body cream and the BHA 9 treatment. I think I need to find some more hydrating products though, the resist line wasn’t enough :S

  5. March 24, 2020 / 9:23 am

    Oh I might have to keep that retinol moisturizer in the back of my mind for future reference! I’m kinda curious to try something that’s really low-risk just to see if it makes a difference in my skin. Be well!

    • April 9, 2020 / 2:18 am

      It has much smaller concentration of retinol than buying a straight retinol, so it should be a good choice! I just learned the hard way not to mix too many BHAs and retinol. I was using the good molecules cleansing bar, Paula’s choice BHA 2% and then I used their retinol cream (not this one) in the evening and woke up with a blotchy rash all over my face. Lesson learned!

      • April 10, 2020 / 12:28 pm

        Oh my gosh, that sounds horrible! Hope everything is OK now. That’s why I’m kinda scared of actives. I don’t really know what I’m doing, and you have to be careful what you mix with what and how often.

        I’ve started to follow Nadine Baggott on YouTube – have you heard of her? She’s a long-time beauty editor and she’s exceptionally knowledged on skincare. For instance I watched her video on how to effectively layer your skincare and it’s changed how I do my routine. Check her out when you have a moment, her videos are so good!

        • April 11, 2020 / 7:55 pm

          Its slowly getting back to normal! I think for me I should focus more on hydrating serums, not ahas or bhas. I don’t want to ruin my skin again.

          I haven’t heard of her before, I will check out her channel! Thanks for the recommendation ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. March 21, 2020 / 1:08 am

    I loved the optimal results hydrating cleanserโ€”but also love the CeraVe hydrating cleanser so I guess I have a type ๐Ÿ˜‚

    • April 9, 2020 / 2:15 am

      I love the creamy, non foaming type of cleansers as well. They’re both good and I’m glad you enjoy them ๐Ÿ™‚ x

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