Paula's Choice Resist Toner Review - The Acne Experiment

Paula's Choice Resist Toner Review - The Acne Experiment

I'm back on the Paula's Choice wagon with a my first review of a PC toner, specifically the Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner for Combination/Oily Skin (which shall henceforth be referred to as PC Resist Toner). Jeez Paula, you really need to reign it in on the product names.

The reason why I'm on such a toner kick right now is due in large part to the fact that I'm not washing my face with cleanser anymore; I often feel as though I need a little swipe action to feel clean, even if it's psychosomatic. Also, some high quality toners contain beneficial skincare ingredients. For someone with acne or reactive skin, a water-based toner formula might be a safer choice than an oil-based serum. Toner is also a good choice for those with oily skin who want a lightweight alternative to moisturizer.

  • Paula's Choice Resist Toner, Combo/Oily Formula (Water, Glycerin, Ethoxydiglycol, Niacinamide, Resveratrol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Phospholipids, Acetyl Glucosamine, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Carnosine, Genistein  Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Adenosine, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Carbomer, Tetrasodium EDTA,  Phenoxyethanol)
  • St. Ives Exfoliating Pads
  • Spot Treatments As Needed

  1. Wash your face as usual and pat dry (I water wash). 
  2. Obtain approximately 3 sample packets of PC Resist Toner. You're gonna make this stuff last for 2 weeks.
  3. Obtain a small, clean, narrow-mouth screw-top travel bottle (nalgene travel bottles are tits).
  4. Cut the corner off your sample packet and pour the toner into your travel bottle.
  5. Accidentally spill 1/3 of the toner out of the first packet you open.
  6. Make the same mistake with the second packet you open.
  7. Use a thin application pad, cotton round, or your fingers to salvage some of the toner you've spilled on your dirty-ass bathroom counter.
  8. Apply toner to face.
  9. After maybe 10-20 minutes, apply your exfoliant, spot treatments, or whatever else you desire.
  10. Use your travel bottle w/toner in it for the rest of the trial. It's a lot less messy and much more sanitary than applying it from the dribbles on your bathroom counter.
  11. Realize that it's much easier to pour a liquid from a packet if you make the opening very very small and squirt it out in pin-sized toner stream.
  12. Master the art of of packet transfer and share this useless information with the Internet.


Hot damn, I was actually able to make 9 mL of toner last for 2 weeks. This is due, in large part, to super thin application pads (thanks Reddit Skincare Addicts for the hot tip!). I only applied the toner once a day as I only wash my face once a day. The toner has a mild scent and made my skin feel soft, but not greasy. As for the ingredients, I was the most stoked about Niacinamide and Resveratrol. 

Niacinamide is a vitamin (it's a bioactive form of niacin or vitamin B3) that acts as a "skin communicator." It has proven to be effective as an anti-aging ingredient (it improves elasticity and helps remove discolorations), but is also supposed to be beneficial for acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to reduce sebum production

Resveratrol, which is found in red wine, is probably best known as an anti-cancer agent. Resveratrol is an antioxidant so, when it comes to skin care, it is helpful in protecting against "free-radicals." I'm fuzzy on the science of it, but I know antioxidants protect skin from damage, and Reservertrol is supposed to be even better than vitamins C & E in that respect.

PC Resist Toner also contains Licorice Root Extract, which is supposed to lighten skin discolorations, and Willow Bark Extract, which is a relative of salicylic acid. Willow Bark is not a BHA, but has anti-inflammatory properties.

Okay, I'm done blowing the ingredient list up your butt. I know what you're really here for:

Paula's Choice Resist Toner Before & After :: The Acne Experiment
Before & After Paula's Choice Resist Toner
After = results after 2 weeks of testing the toner (in the before pic, I'm wearing eye/lip makeup only)

Paula's Choice Resist Toner Before & After :: The Acne Experiment
 Before & After Paula's Choice Resist Toner for Oily/Combination Skin :: The Acne Experiment
Once again, I found a Paula's Choice product that made my skin soft, improved tone, and balanced moisture/oil, but I ultimately reacted to it. Major bummer. :( 

Paula's Choice Resist Toner Acne :: Crappy Candle

I noticed little bumps on my cheeks about halfway through the trial, but decided to push through until I ran out of the product. A week after I stopped using it, the bumps were gone.

Based on my past experiences with salicylic acid, it is possible that I reacted to the willow bark extract. If you are cool with BHAs, and don't have problems with the other ingredients, you may have better luck with this toner. 

Next Up:  Silk Naturals 8% AHA (Lactic Acid) Toner (it's an exfoliant y'all)


Testing Anti-Aging Toner on Adult Acne :: The Acne Experiment
Testing Anti-Aging Toner on Adult Acne :: The Acne Experiment

All Images © Crappy Candle / The Acne Experiment

1 comment

  1. Take a look at the products from Face Reality Acne Clinic -- they have a long distance program -- and/or acne.org. Both work extremely well.


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