6.03.2018

Paula's Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator Review - The Acne Experiment

Paula's Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator Review :: The Acne Experiment

If you've perused the reviews on this blog, you'll notice that I've never done a moisturizer. Why? I've only ever used one consistently my entire life: Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture (Combination Skin). From the time I was about 13, this was my moisturizer, and I never strayed. About 5 years ago, a dermatologist told me that I didn't need moisturizer since my skin was oily. I believed him. He was wrong. I discovered Paula's Choice a few years later.

My first exposure to Paula's Choice was testing their AHA & BHA products. The results ranged from meh to full-on pizzaface, but thanks to their now defunct "refer a friend" program, I was able to test a whole bunch of other products that I would have otherwise skipped. The Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator is billed as a nighttime moisturizer specifically for normal, oily, or combination skin. It seems to be made for people with adult acne. Therefore, it seems to be made for me.

INGREDIENTS:
  • Paula's Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator (Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Cetyl Alcohol, Niacinamide, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Adenosine, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Glucose Oxidase, Lactoperoxidase, Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract, Cocos Nucifera Fruit Extract, Lactobacillus, Polysilicone-11, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Thiocyanate, Glucose, Xanthan Gum, Ceteareth-20, Decyl Glucoside, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol)
  • Tretinoin 0.1% cream 
  • Jojoba Oil / Tea Tree Oil (10:1 ratio)
METHOD:
  1. Wash your face.
  2. Dry your face.
  3. Do your usual skincare routine.
  4. Apply this moisturizer as the last step.
  5. About 1-1.5 pumps will do ya.
  6. Use this moisturizer for so long that you become dependent on it.
  7. Go to write a review on this moisturizer a year later.
  8. Look up this moisturizer on the Paula's Choice website.
  9. Woah, it has vitamin C in it? Score! (I had no idea!)
  10. Read the reviews.
  11. Realize that Paula's Choice recently changed the formula.
  12. Freak out when you remember you have 3 bottles stockpiled.
  13. Frantically check the labels.
  14. I have 3 bottles of the NEW formula. 
  15. Oh  crap
CONCLUSIONS:

OK everyone calm down. Calm down. A helpful reviewer says that the new formula differs from the original with the addition of 4 new ingredients kind of far down the ingredient list: Lactobacillus, Coconut Fruit (Cocos Nucifera) Extract, Sodium Chloride, and Potassium Thiocyanate. I can confirm this when looking at my old bottle.

Paula's Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator :: New vs. Old Ingredients :: Crappy Candle

Every other ingredient is the same, except a few are switched in the list. I can't know for certain how the amount of each ingredient has changed, but based on the new order, I'd say there is less Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, and Polysilicone-11 in the new formula. Welp. It looks like I'll have to test the new one too.

But first, the results from the original test. I started by spot testing on my forehead, then switched to full-forehead, and then full face over the course of about a week. The actual testing portion of the original formula was friggin seamless. It bolstered my Retin-A routine and helped to deliver the clearest skin I've had since my 20s.

So, yeah, I fell in love with this product. So much so that I bought 3 bottles in one go with my soon-to-expire refer-a-friend points.

Paula's Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator Before & After :: The Acne Experiment
You notice that the image quality went up between the Before picture and Week 3. This is because, after a decade of pining, I finally got my DSLR. The Week 3 pic was the first acne selfie I took with the new camera, hence the joy.

Paula's Choice RESIST Moisturizer Before & After :: The Acne Experiment
Yes, I look strangely poreless in Week 3. I'm still getting used to the new camera.

Paula's Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator Before & After :: The Acne Experiment

The original formula has this really nice, thick, silky texture. It's light tan in color, and has a hell of a lot more heft than the Neutrogena Moisturizer of my youth. The PC moisturizer feels luxurious and vital. Am I waxing nostalgic? Am I panicking because they changed my formula and I'm afraid the new one is going to break me out? Of course I am.


The new formula is lighter in color than the old one. The scent is also a little different; both are fragrance free, but the original formula smells stronger. Most importantly, the new version has a slightly less-dense texture, which is a real bummer. I think the original version was heavy on the 'cones, and the new one has less. The new one looks more like a normal moisturizer, and less like the amazing, unique product I got attached to over this last year. I mean, the texture is similar, but it's not exactly the same. Drama.

I'm girding my loins and sending positive thoughts to my face. Here we go again:

Paula's Choice RESIST Moisturizer (New Formula) Before & After :: The Acne Experiment

Paula's Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator (New Formula) Before & After :: The Acne Experiment

It's a miracle folks. My face did not reject the new formula. I spot tested on my forehead for about 1 week before switching to full-face. I haven't seen a reaction, which is contrary to a few reviewers on the PC site. Ok, back to the new ingredients: Lactobacillus, Coconut Fruit (Cocos Nucifera) Extract, Sodium Chloride, and Potassium Thiocyanate. Lactobacillus is a probiotic (ie a "good" bacteria thought to help maintain the skin's healthy biome), while Sodium Chloride and Potassium Thiocyanate are both salts used as inactive ingredients. Coconut extract may send up a flag since coconut oil can be comedogenic, so I did some research.

Both coconut extract and coconut oil are made from the flesh of the fruit. It's my understanding that the extract is different from the oil, but the extract does contain fatty acids which are a key component of fats & oils. Not all fatty acid are oils however (ceramides are a good example). So, does coconut extract contain coconut oil? My cursory Internet research proved inconclusive, but if you know you're sensitive to coconut oil, definitely spot test this one first.

Paula's Choice sells this product in both trial and sample sizes, making it much easier to test without wasting a ton of money. They also just changed the packaging, but I double checked the ingredients and they match what I have listed in this article. It looks they had to use up all the old bottles (and slap a new ingredient label on it) before switching to the new bottle style. This is what it looks like now:

RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator (New Bottle) :: Paula's Choice

In sum, yes, I definitely recommend this product. It's a good choice if you want to add vitamin C to your routine without adding a separate product, and it also has niacinamide which is great at keeping skin clear and smooth regardless of your acne status. I've been using the Resist Hydrator for a year now, and it's the first product I've used daily (without fail) since starting The Acne Experiment. It feels good to have a go-to moisturizer again. 13 year old Shay would be pleased with my growth as a human being.

UP NEXT:  Paula's Choice CALM Toner & Serum

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ALL Acne Experiment Posts are listed at The Acne Experiment MOTHER HUB.

Paula's Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator Review - The Acne Experiment
Paula's Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator Review - The Acne Experiment

All Images © Crappy Candle / The Acne Experiment
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