After hearing rave reviews about the Paula’s Choice range of skin care products for what seems like forever – especially from the wonderful Maria – I finally got to test them out for myself when The Boyfriend bought me the Skin Recovery range (adlink) for my birthday back in October. I have never been a person who has fussed a lot with their skin care, and up until then I had been a three steps kind of girl: eye makeup remover, cleanser, moisturizer, done. I have very dry and sensitive skin, and have never been very prone to acne at all except for the occasional breakout around my chin, but I do suffer from dry patches as well as black spots on my nose. However, after hearing so many good things about these products I was ready to try a proper regime.
What to expect
This is what the brand itself claims to offer: Each Paula’s Choice product is 100% fragrance-free, contains no added dyes, and is clinically proven to be non-irritating. They are dedicated to doing their part to be an environmentally-conscious corporation, and they do not condone the use of animal testing on cosmetics. Sounds good, right? The fragrance-free part sounded especially good to me, seeing as I have countless allergies and will break out in eczema at the drop of a hat if I come in contact with the wrong ingredient. My hopes were high indeed. As previously mentioned I went for the entire Skin Recovery System. I was a bit unsure about whether I should go for the Skin Recovery line or the Moisture boost line, so I sent their costumer service an e-mail in advance where I told them about my skin care needs. They replied within 24 hours and assured me that the Skin Recovery System would be best for my particular needs. Their costumer service is excellent by the way – I have sent them questions a couple of times now and they have always replied quickly and with great answers. Us Norwegians have to order from the US site, but the order still arrived within a week.
The line contains the following products: Skin Recovery Cleanser, Skin Recovery Toner, 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant, Skin Recovery Antioxidant Serum, Skin Recovery Lotion SPF 30, Skin Recovery Moisturizer, and the Skin Recovery Mask (all adlinks). With your order you get a pamphlet that explains in detail how to use each product, and you even get a little sheet of stickers with words like “Day” “Day & Night” “Step 1” “Weekly treatment” and so on that you can stick to the bottles. Very helpful for a novice like myself. In the beginning I was a bit overwhelmed with the sheer amount of products, but once I got into using them it didn’t seem very complicated at all, although it does take a few minutes extra to get ready in the morning. However, it soon became evident that the extra effort was worth it. You see…
It really does work
Two and a half months down the line I can honestly say that my skin has never looked better. My skin tone is more even, and I hardly ever get any breakouts anymore. The acne scars that I had from my misadventures with the oil cleansing method are no longer to be seen, and the black spots on my nose are shrinking every week. It has even had a positive impact on the big red busted blood vessel that I have on the middle of my nose, and that baby has been there for years. My skin feels much less sensitive, and although I still get dry spots they disappear a lot quicker than they did before. We are in the middle of winter after all, and dry and sore skin is almost unavoidable, at least for me. Also, I no longer feel the need to touch up my foundation in the middle of the day because my skin actually looks pretty awesome on its own. I am officially hooked on the Skin Recovery System and I’m afraid there’s no turning back.
Expensive shipping to Norway
Before I leave you though I feel I must list a big old drawback as well: the shipping cost. Now, this is of no importance to you if you live in the UK, the US, or in any EU country. Shop to your heart’s content, you lucky bastards. But if you live in Norway you need to shell out a whopping $61 for shipping, which is a lot to add to a $138 order, especially considering that you have to smack another $50 on top of that for tax and customs (a bill which you will receive from FedEx later on when you forgot all about it). The products themselves are very reasonably priced, so the extortionate shipping costs just completely break my heart. You can forget about buying just one or two products, because it simply won’t be worth it – you have to order a lot of items to justify the cost of shipping. I rue the day when I run out of just a single moisturizer.
The best I have ever tried
In summary, the products are terrific. I love them, and I can’t really see myself going back to my old routine. My skin type is difficult and temperamental, so when I find something that works this well I just can’t bear to walk away from it. After using the products for 2 1/2 months I have used about 2/3 of the cleanser and toner, so my estimate is that one order will last me about 4 months. I do wish we would get a cheaper shipping option though. I’m definitely vain enough to pay $138 three times a year for quality skincare, but the extra $60 on top kind of .. hurt. A cheaper shipping option (even if it means slower delivery) would definitely tip me over from “happy to endorse” into “obsessive skincare preacher” territory. Seriously, iHerb.com will ship me any package under 4 lbs for $4 and they arrive in 1-2 weeks. What’s the problem, Paula?