Paula Begoun is a wise, formidable and often outspoken figure in the beauty industry and her Paula’s Choice skincare formulas are second to none thanks to her extensive ingredient knowledge and insatiable thirst for research (she used to be an investigative journalist, so, go figure). As a rule, she cherry picks only the most effective ingredients to mainline her skincare, with fragrance-free and cruelty-free formulas across the board and not a false promise uttered. Every one of our team uses at least one Paula’s Choice product in their morning or evening skincare routine, but the new Defense system aims to provide the kind of 24/7 protection that many brands lack.
Given the barrage of environmental aggressors we quite literally face every day, there comes a time when we need to step up our skincare to counter current and future damage, and Paula felt that options for those in the millennial age bracket (roughly 22-37) were particularly lacking in the market. While every skin requires a basic protection plan of SPF, antioxidants and gentle exfoliants, younger skin typically doesn’t need the kind of rich emollients and heavy textures found in more classical anti-ageing ranges, which is where Defense comes in. It’s suitable for everyone but the lightweight yet hydrating formulas are perfect for anyone looking to guard their skin from damage and boost glow without the grease. Here’s what you’re in for…
The softening cleanser
Each product in the Defense family incorporates an exclusive ‘anti-pollution factor’ (APF), which is essentially a fusion of targeted rejuvenating ingredients, antioxidants and brightening agents to tackle dullness from the get go and minimise damage-induced pigmentation in the long run. This process starts from the minute you wash your face by way of the Hydrating Gel-to-Cream Cleanser, £19 for 198ml. The gel transforms to a milky, creamy texture on contact and gently lifts away impurities and pollutants from the skin’s surface without irritating or drying out skin, while green tea, liquorice and soy deliver antioxidant clout. Our mid-twenties tester used it with a warm flannel at the end of the day for the full at-home facial experience.
The declogging serum
Your 20s and 30s can be a tricky time when it comes to knowing what to look for in a potent leave-on treatment - you want to prevent the likes of fine lines and retain firmness but you also often want to address blemishes and blackheads. Antioxidant Pore Purifier, £30 for 30ml, nails the lot by combining skin barrier strengthening niacinamide with calming centella asiatica , moisturising ceramides, pore-cleansing salicylic acid and skin surface refining azelaic acid . Vitamin C also helps to shield against the depleting effects of exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke and small particulate matter that can lead to lingering pigmentation.
The SPF moisturiser
There’s 12 antioxidants at work in the Essential Glow Moisturiser SPF 30, £29 for 60ml, to field pollutants with a non-sensitising mineral SPF for belt and braces protection. While that’s going on peptides help skin to synthesise collagen and elastin to keep skin smooth, firm and healthy, plus it makes for a brilliant makeup primer.
The multi-pronged night cream
Is it a gel, it it a mousse? Technically Nightly Reconditioning Moisturiser, £27 for 60ml, is a soufflé, but not of the dessert sort. Instead this nighttime moisturiser brings a multi-peptide complex to the table to smooth out fine lines, eight antioxidants for all round skin strengthening and a derivative of gently exfoliating azelaic acid to clarify and brighten (especially handy if breakouts are a concern).
This feature was sponsored by Paula’s Choice
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