Expert advice articlesHow To Determine Your Skin Type
What Is Acne?
How To Exfoliate Skin (And Why It's So Important)
Antioxidants: The Sunscreen Sidekick Your Skin Needs
Removing Blackheads Step-By-Step
What Strength Retinol Should I Use?
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Frequently asked questions
How do I determine my skin type?
Take our test! Follow these simple steps to determine which skin type you have:
- 1. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and wait 15-30 minutes.
- 2. Don’t apply any products during this time.
- 3. Determine your skin type based on your skin’s natural characteristics.
Normal: no dryness, flakiness or oiliness—just normal
Dry: tight, dehydrated, flaky, dull
Oily: shiny, excess sebum all over
Combination: usually an oily T-zone and normal/dry everywhere else
Do I need an essential routine or advanced routine?
If you’re new to Paula’s Choice products, you want to spend as little time as possible on your routine or you don’t have any major skin issues, then you might consider starting out with the basics.
To keep skin in good, healthy condition, every essential routine should include the following products:
- Step 1: Cleanser
- Step 2: Exfoliant
- Step 3 (AM): Daytime moisturizer with SPF
- Step 3 (PM): Nighttime moisturizer
To address more complex concerns spanning from wrinkles, sun damage, breakouts or blackheads, an advanced routine may be best to boost results or target stubborn areas. Check out how to personalize your skin care routine or just ask our customer care team!
What is the best routine for my skin?
Gentle skin care products that don’t contain any harsh, irritating ingredients are a necessity. This is why you won’t find any added fragrances, colorants or essential oils in our products. Paula’s Choice only uses ingredients in which independent, scientific research has shown the ingredients we use to be beneficial and non-irritating to the skin.
Need help finding which products would be most suitable for your skin? Provide our skin care experts with the following information to help them create a tailor-made recommendation for you:
- What is your skin type (normal to dry, very dry, oily or combination)?
- Do you have any skin concerns, such as blackheads, enlarged pores, breakouts, wrinkles, uneven skin tone or dark spots?
- Do you have sensitive skin or certain skin conditions, such as eczema or rosacea?
- Are you looking for a basic routine or advanced routine?
- Do you have any preference regarding texture (lightweight or creamy)?
When will my order be dispatched?
Order before 4:30PM, Monday through Friday, and your order will be shipped the same day! If you place an order over the weekend, this will be shipped the following Monday.
Your order will then be delivered to you within 2-3 days (not including Sundays and bank holidays) via Royal Mail.
I have not received my order yet, where is it?
Once your order has been shipped, you will receive a shipping notification email containing a Royal Mail Track & Trace code that you can use to follow your order. Click on the tracking link and you can see the latest status of your package, but please allow up to 24 hours for your Track & Trace code to become active once you receive it.
If your package exceeds the indicative delivery time or you feel there’s an issue with your shipment, please get in touch with our customer care team! We can only open an investigation with the courier within 2 weeks of the original delivery date.
Why isn't my order showing up in my account?
If you place an order using our guest checkout option, even if you subsequently make an account with us or have a registered account, your order will unfortunately not show up under your account order history.
For future orders, it would be best to first log into your account before placing an order. That way, your order will be listed in your account.
How can I get a discount?
You can take a look at our Discount Codes page for all of our current promotional offers. If you want to stay up-to-date on our upcoming promotions, products or latest advice, then sign up for our newsletter!
How can I return a product?
If you’re unsatisfied with any Paula’s Choice products, for any reason, we will happily refund the purchase price of the product(s) returned back to us within 30 days of your purchase date.
Before returning a product, please inform our customer care team to make this request and they will provide you with more detailed instructions. Please refer to our Returns page for more information.
Why are some Paula's Choice products available in America, but not in the UK?
Some products are unavailable due to EU cosmetic regulations with certain ingredients or substances. Additionally, certain products considered to be cosmetics in the US are considered to be (over the counter) drugs in the EU. It could also be the case that certain products were simply discontinued.
When will an out-of-stock product become available again?
Unfortunately, due to high demand or stock issues, a product might go out of stock. It’s always difficult for us to determine an exact indication of when we will receive additional stock, but our website is updated regularly and you will be able to see the product listed as soon as it becomes available again.
In the meantime, if you would like advice for an alternative product, please reach out to our customer care team for help!
Can I buy your products in a store?
Paula’s Choice products are available for online purchase via our website, as well as a select assortment in-store at Selfridges in London and Manchester!
What’s the difference between the Defense Pore Purifier and Triple Algae Pollution Shield?
The Triple Algae Pollution Shield forms a flexible “shield” on skin that intercepts and diffuses as many different types of airborne pollutants as possible; however, it’s not impenetrable so some pollutants (particularly nano-sized particles) will get through and onto skin.
The Antioxidant Pore Purifier will work to neutralize pollutants that get past the Triple Algae Pollution Shield with a blend of pore clearing salicylic acid, azelaic acid and vitamin C (among other potent antioxidants).
If I only want one Defense treatment, how do I decide?
Since the Pore Purifier is a hybrid product (a light exfoliant and brightener), if you don’t have concerns around dullness or pore size, we’d recommend the Triple Algae Pollution Shield which is more generalised.
But you can layer both each morning and/or evening to give you a greater pollution protection affect. If using both during the day, apply the Pore Purifier first, then Pollution Shield, followed by sunscreen.
How is the Clear Purifying Clay Mask different from our other masks?
While we do offer other masks for oily/combination skin, the Clear Mask was specifically formulated for the needs of oily, acne-prone skin. Its formula helps prevent breakouts while minimising acne-related redness—benefits our other oil-absorbing masks do not have.
What’s the difference between the Clear Mask and Skin Balancing Mask?
The Clear Mask contains three types of clay plus a mineral and starch blend giving it highly absorbent properties. It’s also a more targeted, skin-soothing formula to address specific needs for acne-prone skin (reduce breakouts and acne-related redness) including an addition of *0.5% salicylic acid.
The Skin Balancing Mask also contains skin-soothing ingredients, but its primary benefit is oil control and pore size reduction. Neither mask leaves skin feeling dry or tight, and both are formulated to spread and rinse easily.
*The purpose of this ingredient is to gently exfoliate and soothe skin. Salicylic acid in low percentages also helps to carry supporting ingredients further into the pores where they can be beneficial. Note: While very gentle exfoliation does occur with 0.5% salicylic acid it’s not on par with our leave-on 1-2% BHA exfoliants.
What makes the UnScrub different from other scrubs?
The UnScrub is a skin-softening, milky cleanser that washes away makeup, sunscreen, and impurities while gently polishing the surface of skin with round, natural, dissolvable jojoba beads. Because these ultra-gentle beads dissolve with water and mild pressure, there’s no chance of over-scrubbing skin. You can’t overdo it with the UnScrub, so there’s never a worry about hurting skin.
What does the Earth Sourced Power Berry Serum do?
This lightweight, naturally pink-tinted serum is loaded with antioxidants (thirteen different berries!) to change how skin responds to environmental damage and how it recovers from past damage. Looking to also tackle wrinkles, fine lines, and dullness with a 95% natural formula? Give this beautiful new serum a try.
What's the difference between the Resist Omega+ Complex Serum and the Omega+ Complex Moisturizer?
The main difference is texture: the moisturiser has a whipped cream texture and the serum has a lightweight lotion texture.
They contain the same key superfood Omega Complex, but the moisturiser has amino acids, some plant oils, and antioxidants not found in the serum. Meanwhile, the serum contains vitamins C and E, a higher amount of glycerin, and the addition of plum oil.
Layer them for beautiful results!
What does the 10% Azelaic Acid Booster do?
This multi-action treatment combines potent azelaic acid, salicylic acid, and plant extracts to visibly fade brown spots, reduce breakouts, and diminish post-breakout marks. It’s a perfect alternative if you’re sensitive to benzoyl peroxide and is even suitable for rosacea-prone skin.
What’s the difference between the Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Moisturizer and Clinical Eye Cream?
The eye cream has a rich texture and contains slightly less retinol and vitamin C making it perfectly designed for use around the delicate eye area. It also contains two peptides not found in the Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Moisturizer to stimulate collagen production, reduce puffiness, and firm the under eyes.
How does exfoliation work?
Your skin naturally sheds millions of skin cells every day, but this shedding process can come to a screeching halt due to sun damage, genetics or various skin disorders. The results are dull, dry, or flaking skin, clogged, enlarged pores, blackheads, white bumps (milia), wrinkles, loss of firmness, and an uneven skin tone. AHAs and BHAs gently exfoliate dead skin cells, unclog pores, stop breakouts, smooth wrinkles, and restore dry, dull skin.
What’s the difference between an AHA and BHA?
The main difference is that AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid – glycolic acid, lactic acid) is water-soluble and BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid – salicylic acid) is oil-soluble.
The latter’s unique feature ensures that a BHA can penetrate into the pores and accumulated skin cells inside the sebaceous gland and unclog pores. Those with breakouts, blackheads, and enlarged pores would benefit most from a BHA.
AHAs stay and work best on the surface of skin and minimally penetrate the pore which makes AHAs better for sun damaged skin and for exfoliating surface dryness.
Which exfoliant do I need?
This depends on your skin type and concerns! Here’s some quick advice:
- Dry skin + hyper-pigmentation → Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA
- Dry skin + breakouts → Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion
- Normal skin + wrinkles → Resist Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA
- Normal/combination skin + mild breakouts → Clear Regular Strength 2% BHA
- Combination/oily skin + severe breakouts → Clear Extra Strength 2% BHA or Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid (they have the same formula)
If your skin type/concerns aren’t mentioned above, then please contact us for a personalised recommendation or use our routine finder!
How do I use an exfoliant?
You can apply your AHA/BHA exfoliant after cleansing and toning up to twice per day every day. If you’re new to an AHA/BHA however, It is best to gradually build up use of an AHA/BHA product, starting to use it a couple of times a week only. If there is no adverse reaction, this may be increased to every other day at night and then, if you wish, every night. Some people increase use to twice daily (morning and night), but it really all depends on the condition of your skin. You need to experiment a bit to see what suits you best.
Don’t forget to always finish with a sunscreen in your morning routine, rain or shine!
Can I use both an AHA and BHA in my routine?
It is possible to benefit from using both, however, one exfoliant is enough. If you decided to use both, please do so at alternate times of the day (BHA in the morning, AHA at night) or on alternate days. Pay attention to your skin and reduce use if any excessive dryness, irritation or redness occurs. Skin irritation should always be avoided!
…and also with retinol?
Based on published research, there is great benefit to applying AHAs or BHAs at the same time you would apply retinoids. Studies have shown that combined use (either from one product that contains these ingredients or two products applied in sequence) offers marked improvements for those struggling with acne, discolouration, uneven skin tone, and wrinkles. In fact, AHAs and BHAs allow better penetration of active ingredients by removing unhealthy layers of built-up skin cells caused by sun damage.
Nonetheless, we always advise to monitor how your skin reacts and adjust the use of products accordingly.
What can teenagers do about spots?
Many teenagers suffer from spots and it can have a major impact on their self-confidence. To tackle breakouts, it’s best to use a mild cleanser, BHA exfoliant, a benzoyl peroxide or azelaic acid products, and a sunscreen.
Consider the Clear Regular Strength travel kit!