Ask the experts



Consider your questions, concerns or queries about all things PAULA’s CHOICE answered — whether you finally caved in to try that top-trending toner (and discovered it’s totally worth the hype) or are still deciding which science-backed formula to add to your routine, here’s the 101… before you dial 911. With so much misinformation floating around on the internet these days, we know how easy it is to feel lost amidst it all. That’s where Sarah, our trusted Cult Consultant, enters the chat to clear up any confusion with her expert knowledge. Guess not all heroes wear capes after all… 

Q: I’m not sure if my skin likes BHA’s. What’s a good tell-tale sign that it’s working in my favour? 

A: BHA’s are amazing for anyone with oily skin, congestion, blackheads or breakouts. With continued use, it should help to prevent new breakouts from forming and refine the appearance of pores size. If these are not your main concerns, then you might be better suited to an AHA exfoliator like Paula’s Choice Resist Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA. This treatment contains glycolic, lactic, malic, and tartaric acid which are working on the top layers of the skin rather than inside our pores so are great for brightening and targeting texture concerns. 

Q: Most of the time, I don’t really know which ingredients or formulas work the best together and which ones are no-go zones. Can you help? 

A: It’s important to remember that you don’t need to include every ingredient in your routine for it to be beneficial for your skin and you don’t need to apply all your actives at once. A great rule to follow is to use antioxidants like Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster during the day to protect the skin from environmental aggressors, while the more regenerating treatments like Paula’s Choice Clinical 0.3% Retinol and 2% Bakuchiol Treatment are best in the evening. 

Boosters like Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster and Paula’s Choice Pro-Collagen Peptide Booster work with everything so can be applied at any time of day with any other product. 

Q: I recently started my retinol journey and want to know what I could expect along the way. Is purging a good thing? 

A: Purging is actually a good thing as this is simply when all the congestion in the skin comes to the surface after introducing stimulating products. It can look a bit scary but should settle down after a couple of weeks. However, timing is important so if you are nervous about this then don’t make any big changes before an important event. 

Retinol does wonders for the skin but when introducing a high-strength retinol like Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment, slow and steady wins the race. You can start by applying this just one evening per week for the first few weeks while your skin adjusts before building this up to 2, 3 and 4 nights per week. Not everyone’s skin will tolerate retinol every single day so listen to your skin and looks out for signs of redness and flaking. If your skin is feeling a bit irritated, then you can always reduce how often you are applying this. 


Precious Sodimu

Precious Sodimu

Midweight Copywriter

Precious is a Midweight Copywriter at Cult Beauty. Sticking her teeth into all things make up and skin care, Precious is always on the hunt for products that work perfectly together (while remaining loyal to her can’t-do-without staples). Like most beauty devotees, Precious doesn’t go a day without her trusted SPF 50+ and is a self-proclaimed fragrance-phile. Away from the vanity mirror, Precious can be found sat with a good book (probably by her favourite author, Toni Morrison) or nurturing her nostalgia with a quality animated film – namely Shrek.