Paula’s Choice and Beautypedia founder Paula Begoun, casts her expert eye over our current regimes and recommends the switch-ups that could make a world of difference
When it comes to addressing the most niggling of skincare concerns, one product switch-up can sometimes be all it takes to make a massive difference. Especially if that product’s chosen by a person known as the ‘Cosmetics Cop,’ is a bestselling skincare author, and oh, also owns an award-winning beauty brand. We’re a lucky bunch here at GTG because this week, the amazing Paula Begoun has taken over our fortnightly Glossy Posse Picks spot, casting her expert eye over our skincare routines and recommending the products that could make a huge improvement to our most pressing beauty concerns.
From radiance-boosting exfoliants to redness reducing moisturisers and specialist weekly treatments, scroll down to see Paula’s skincare prescriptions for each member of the GTG team and to see how we fared after a month of using the products she picked for us.
Victoria Woodhall, Editor
Skincare concerns: loss of elasticity, wrinkles, dryness
Paula’s hero product recommendation: “I think you will see a big difference in your skin’s firmness and texture with my CLINICAL Ceramide-Enriched Firming Moisturizer , £55. For even more dramatic results, apply my RESIST Weekly Resurfacing Treatment with 10% AHA .”
Review: “Thanks to this multitasking moisturiser I have pared back my usual multi-unguent routine. All my anti-ageing concerns, day and night, are addressed in this one neat little pump dispenser. I’m a big fan of the hero ingredient, ceramides - lipids that act as bricks and mortar, holding your skin together, keeping moisture in and environmental aggressors out. For me they are vital, not only because they deplete with age, but because I cycle the polluted London streets every day and work in a dehydrating air-conditioned office. Ceramides make up 50 per cent of the skin’s composition so play an important role in how it looks and feels.
“I use the Ceramide-Enriched Firming Moisturizer twice a day (with an SPF for daytime) and it really has made a difference to the look and feel of my skin. It feels springy and ‘comfortable.’ It’s a light but mighty product that absorbs effortlessly and gives a glowy ‘pulled together’ look to the skin. It contains two other skin powerhouses: retinol for treating wrinkles and vitamin C for brightness. What more could you need (apart from daily SPF of course)? I also use the RESIST Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA once a week, an exfoliating liquid that makes sure there’s no debris on the skin so the cream can sink in fully and work its magic.
Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer
Skincare concerns: redness and sensitivity combined with breakouts on the chin and jawline and large pores on my nose. Occasional dermatitis outbreaks around my chin and nose.
Paula’s hero product recommendation: “I feel strongly that my Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid , £26, would be great. This single product will address your concerns around redness, sensitivity, breakouts, and large pores, and it will hydrate, too! You can apply this once or twice daily (see how your skin responds) after cleansing.”
Review: “I love a leave-on exfoliant, but occasionally the thought of adding acid to the mix when my skin is already on the aggravated side can make me a bit nervy. I’ve used Paula’s BHA Lotion in the past and loved how soft and calm it left my skin, however, so I didn’t hesitate when applying this cooling liquid after my double cleanse. It’s cleared up an angry zit congregation on my chin speedily and painlessly, my skin is smoother and brighter overall and while the redness issue hasn’t totally diminished, it’s definitely far less lairy than it was a fortnight ago. I’d stock my shelves with this in a heartbeat, but will keep usage to once a day (at night) for now - I went a bit gung-ho at first and the skin around my T-zone got a tiny bit flaky. Otherwise, this will be my chemical exfoliant of choice for the foreseeable.”
Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
Skincare concerns: a lot of dryness with a dull and uneven complexion. Skin doesn't feel as fresh and glowy now I've hit 28, and I'm worried about lines caused by past sun damage.
Paula’s hero product recommendation: “To combat dry skin, I would recommend using my RESIST Moisture Renewal Oil Booster , £36, as it is extra-gentle, 100% fragrance-free, and makes dry, dull skin look and feel remarkably better. Using as many fragrance-free products as possible and beginning to use a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater every day, will make a HUGE short- and long-term difference in the health and appearance of your skin. Our Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Firming Moisturizer , £55, will be a great addition to your night time routine, it hydrates, firms and plumps skin."
Review: “The Moisture Renewal Booster is a gem of an oil. I've been mixing it in with my now fragrance-free serum and have seen instant results. Using it both morning and evening by dispensing just a couple of drops, it really helps my skin feel more moisturised and hydrated - think of it as a two litre bottle of water for the skin to drink up - great if you suffer from a lot from dryness like me. It contains a heap of nourishing plant oils and helps to even out skin tone while deflaking those pesky dry patches.
“It took my skin a couple of weeks to settle into my new routine - I had a fair few breakouts, which I wonder if were down to the Ceramide Moisturiser being too rich for my skin. I've stopped using this every day and have reduced it down to a few evenings per week for an extra boost of hydration and plumping, and my skin seems to have calmed down. The texture is incredibly lightweight and absorbs almost instantly which I love, I just worry it may be too rich for my skin on a nightly basis. Paula advised that I strip fragrance from my skincare routine as it is one of the biggest ageing ingredients (I admit, it featured in most of my products which I didn't even realise!). I've overhauled everything since Paula said this and my skin is definitely feeling a lot brighter and all round more healthy. I’m a fragrance obsessive in any way, shape or form, so for me to strip this from my skincare was quite a dramatic change, but one I definitely won’t be going back to.”
Gemma Bellman, Managing Director
Skincare concerns: dryness, oily T-zone, breakouts, sensitivity
Paula’s hero product recommendation: “My SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Lotion , £26, has the ideal texture for your skin type because it will hydrate and smooth as it targets stubborn breakouts and blackheads. You can apply this twice daily, after cleansing. Whilst using our products, we would recommend to add a daily moisturiser with sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater to your routine. Lightweight options that work great under makeup are readily available, including my RESIST Skin Restoring Moisturiser SPF 50 , £33, and SKIN BALANCING facial moisturisers with sunscreen.”
Review: “Really impressed with my first foray into BHA. Its promise of reducing breakouts and blackheads has so far been very well kept! Adding this simple step to my skin routine (morning and night after cleansing) has done wonders for my T-zone. My skin is looking clearer, with pores appearing smaller and the tone more even. The formula itself is a dream to apply as it’s so quickly absorbed into the skin meaning I need allow very little drying time before moving on to my moisturiser. I also experience no irritation when using this product, which is rare for me and my sensitive (and very fussy) skin. A firm new favourite of mine.
“The second product recommended to me by Paula herself (eek!) is the RESIST Skin Restoring Moisturiser SPF50, which I must say has changed my perception of a daily SPF. It does well at what it should, hydrating away my dry patches nicely, but I what I love is the definite SPF look, feel and even smell. All of this had me worried, at first, about making an oily T-zone even worse but I was proven wrong. This cream absorbs fast with no trace of oil left on the skin so it’s perfect prep for my foundation. I leave the house feeling well protected from the daily rays and wishing I’d been using this all along. Thank you Paula!”
Alexandra Harrison, Admin Assistant
Skincare concerns: congested skin, uneven texture, blackheads, breakouts
Paula’s hero product recommendation: “No question a good BHA (beta hydroxy acid) exfoliant will do a world of good for your concerns around congested pores, blackheads, and breakouts. Applied twice daily after cleansing and toning, my SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid , £26, is the missing link to transform your skin. Also, please make sure you’re protecting your skin from sun damage! There are many lightweight, shine-free facial sunscreens rated SPF 30 or greater. Oily skin needs sun protection, too!”
Review: “My skin is quite unhappy most of the time, which is something I have accepted is very unlikely to change anytime soon. No matter which miracle product I try, nothing seems to shift the constant cycle of breakouts and congestion. So when Paula suggested adding her 2% BHA Liquid into the mix promising it was the ‘missing link to transforming my skin,’ I was rather excited to say the least. When I first started using this I was quite surprised as it gave my skin a burst of moisture as well as exfoliation, which, having oily skin, I was a little scared of. However as the days and weeks have gone on it’s become clear that this is actually a really pivotal step in my routine. I originally thought applying it in the morning would be too much for my skin and give me an oily base before makeup. However it actually has the opposite effect and I felt as though it controlled the oils on my face throughout the day a lot better than anything I’ve tried before.
“Also, it works wonders on breakouts! I had a pretty hefty breakout on my chin the evening I first started using this, and in the morning they had significantly reduced in size, which is a major plus for me! Overall I’m really enjoying using this as the final step in my routine and am looking forward to seeing the benefits of long-term use too. Next on my list, a great SPF as recommended by Paula!”
Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer
Skincare concerns: dullness, beginnings of uneven skin tone, fine lines around the eyes and dryness
Paula’s hero product recommendation: “My RESIST Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA , £34, will work exceptionally well with a vitamin C product (such as our RESIST C15 Super Booster , £45), to bring about a dramatic change in your skin tone plus target lines and wrinkles, including around the eyes. You can apply a thin layer of this serum-styled leave-on exfoliant after cleansing 2-3 nights per week and follow with the rest of your routine.”
Review: “Dullness and dehydration are my key areas of concern at the moment and my regime has been in need of a little re-jigging in order to adapt to its evolving needs. A vitamin C serum has become a bit of a skincare staple of mine to help address some of these issues, and it’s made noticeable improvements, but in terms of exfoliation, I’ve been looking for something extra to help with texture and moisture balance. The weekly treatment that Paula recommended has proven to be the missing piece, making marked improvements to both the smoothness and evenness of my skin after four weeks of use.
“Designed to be used at least once a week in the evening after cleansing and toning, it’s been easy to slot into my skincare regime. Only a small amount is needed too - just a 50p-sized amount on a cotton pad to cover face and neck - and then pop a few drops of the vitamin C serum on top. A month on and my skin’s looking more glowy, clearer and better balanced moisture-wise too. I’ll definitely continue to use both.”
Judy Johnson, Digital Editor
Skincare concerns: sensitivity, some dryness, occasional spots and an uneven skin tone with areas of pigmentation
Paula’s hero product recommendation: "You need a gentle, fragrance-free facial moisturiser packed with soothing ingredients. Paula’s Choice CALM Redness Relief Moisturizer , £27, for Normal to Dry Skin would be ideal, and it works wonderfully as a neck cream, too. Once your skin calms down, you can also add a leave-on exfoliant to your routine to address spots and blotchiness. My CALM 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant , £24, would be excellent!"
Review: “As GTG’s resident sensitive skin girl I’m prone to reactions and little patches of irritation, so I have to be very cautious with trying new skincare, but with Paula’s Choice products I knew I was in safe hands thanks to her fragrance-free ethos and of course Paula’s expertise. I leapt straight in with the recommended moisturiser and was really impressed; it’s a little thicker than the cream I had been using, but rather than feeling heavy it felt almost like a cooling serum which just melted into the skin, leaving it looking hydrated and feeling instantly soothed (it makes a great base for makeup too). After over a month of using this day and night on face and neck, my skin feels so much softer and I’ve had no sensitivity whatsoever, even when testing other new products within my routine.
"I was a little more hesitant to try the BHA lotion - I’ve never braved acids before because of my oversensitive skin - but after a successful patch test I went ahead with it and was pleasantly surprised; there was no tingling at all, and the thin liquid texture was easy to pat into the skin before layering the moisturiser on top. I did have a couple of breakouts initially but whether this was down to the new products or hormones/diet I’m not sure - it quickly settled down either way. My skin was otherwise looking quite smooth already (I have barely-there pores) but I did want to address some areas of redness around my nose and on my forehead; after a month of using this very gentle acid my complexion definitely looks brighter, and while I still have some redness it has reduced in places - plus texture-wise my skin feels more even overall. I’ll be sticking to these two products to keep my skin calm ongoing, and may even step the acids up a notch now that I’ve got my BHA stabilisers on."
Kully Buhal, Head of Business Development
Skincare concerns: oily skin with hormonal breakouts on jawline and enlarged pores and blackheads on the nose. Dark circles under the eyes are always a worry for me
Paula’s hero product recommendation: "My RESIST 10% Niacinamide Booster , £40, is a unique liquid treatment that improves skin in multiple ways: it minimises large pores, helps control excess oil (which in turn can minimise breakouts) and improves skin tone, including under-eye darkness. Also, be sure you’re applying the 2% BHA Liquid , £26, twice daily, especially over breakout-prone areas.”
Review: “I discovered Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid back in November and my skin has thanked me ever since, as I have seen a real improvement with minimal breakouts for several months now. I’ve continued using it daily so was very excited to try Paula’s recommendation of the RESIST 10% Niacinamide Booster. I’ve been applying just three drops directly onto my face and neck, after cleansing every night. It’s very watery and absorbs into the skin incredibly quickly so I’ve just been patting it on with my hands.
“After nearly a month of use, the texture of my skin has changed and my skin tone is noticeably more even, smoother and brighter looking. I’ve seen a definite reduction in oiliness which in turn has meant I’ve had no hormonal breakouts. Result, as I have light Asian skin so breakouts normally leave noticeable red marks on my skin which I have along one side of my jaw. My jawline is also looking clearer now. Rather amazingly, even my mum commented on how good my skin was looking last week (she’s never commented before!). I’ll most definitely be keeping this product as part of my evening regime - a little goes a long way so this bottle will give me another month or two of use yet!’’
Written in partnership with Paula’s Choice. All views are our own.