Paula's Choice CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum & Toner (Normal to Oily Skin) Review - The Acne Experiment

Paula's Choice CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum & Toner (Normal to Oily Skin) Review - The Acne Experiment

Ladies and Gentlemen -- we have a new winner for longest title on this blog! I'm so incredibly thankful and blessed to be receiving this honor. I had so much fun testing these products, and this is just the cherry on top. I couldn't have done this on my own. I have so many people to thank. Hold on, I have a list... First of all, I want to thank my face skin for finally tolerating two new products at the same time. You're the real winner here, girl! This is all you! I also want to thank procrastination -- without you, I might have never combined a serum and toner in one review. I would be remiss if I did not thank the real brains behind this achievement... Thank you Paula Bergeron for shaggy dogging your product names. You've made it impossible to fit the entire product name in Google search results and... I... ... really guys? You're playing me off!? OH COME ON!! I never win anything! You've spoiled the moment. I hope you're hap

  1. Wash and/or rinse face with water, dry face.
  2. Get a cotton and add a quarter-sized squirt of the toner.
  3. Rub all over face.
  4. Apply 1 pump of the serum to face.
  5. (optional) Apply moisturizer and/or sunscreen.
  6. Proceed with your regular daytime routine.

The Paula's Choice CALM line is billed as being for extra sensitive skin, which is the primary reason I chose it. The more I test non-actives, the more I think I need something that addresses redness and irritation, i.e. something that balances the negative effects of the treatments I use. I believe some of the "acne" I see is a result of that irritation, so I'm gonna baby this face, baby.

Let's talk about the toner.

Paula's Choice CALM Toner Review - The Acne Experiment

First impressions: it's brown and smells like whiskey. It is a very stinky toner, and for some reason reminds me of kombucha, a beverage I have no desire to ever try. Considering that this scent doesn't linger more than maybe a minute, it is not an issue for me.

Paula's Choice CALM Redness Relief Toner Review - The Acne Experiment

Notable ingredients include Colloidal Oatmeal, Beta-Glucan, Sea Whip Extract, and Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (all of which are all skin soothers), plus an antioxidant: Epigallocatechin gallate (a primary antioxidant in tea). This toner is great if your skin is combo/oily because it won't strip your natural moisture, meaning it isn't likely to make you oilier.

Now, the serum.

Paula's Choice CALM Serum Review - The Acne Experiment

First impressions: it looks like a booger and is not stinky like its toner companion. It's got the typical "serum" consistency: a lighter-than-moisturizer watery gel, with slightly tacky finger-feel.

Paula's Choice CALM Redness Relief Serum Review - The Acne Experiment

As far as ingredients go, the serum packs a bit more punch than the toner. The Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid make this a great hydrator, and there are a ton of other ingredients with healing and soothing properties. The serum also contains Ubiquinone (aka coenzyme Q10), an antioxidant known for its anti-aging properties -- specifically, ubiquinone slows down signs of UV damage.

And finally, results.

Paula's Choice CALM Serum & Toner Before & After - The Acne Experiment

Much like the PC moisturizer trial that came before it, my testing of PC's CALM line was seamless. After spot testing the toner first, then when I didn't see any issues, started testing the serum at the same time. As an added bonus, PC didn't go and change the formula on me with this one. I prefer to space out my disappointments, so thank you for that Paula.

Paula's Choice CALM Redness Relief Before & After - The Acne Experiment

Paula's Choice CALM Toner & Serum Before/After - The Acne Experiment

I've been using these two products in conjunction with the Resist Hydrator for the better part of a year. The before/afters (above) were taken about 5 months apart. I'd definitely say my skin improved during that period -- less acne, reduced redness, and improved skin tone. I used the toner and serum in the morning with the Resist Hydrator on top, although I recently learned that the Hydrator is supposed to be a nighttime product (oops). As such, I've since tried the toner and serum alone with no moisturizer. I think they work great as a daytime moisturizer for combination/oily skin, and I especially like them as a makeup base. My skin tends to get a bit oilier when I use the toner and serum (as compared to no daytime products at all), but it is manageable with blotting papers.

I only stopped using the toner and serum because I started testing Curology (it'll be my next review, natch). I'll likely start using them regularly again when my Curology bottles run out. I suspect I'll need some kind of routine boost, and since I know these guys don't break me out, they're a safe choice.

UP NEXT:  Curology


PS: I got both of these products with Paula's Choice refer-a-friend credits from the now defunct program. I just used up the last of my credits. RIP buddy :'(

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

Paula's Choice CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum & Toner (Normal to Oily Skin) Review :: The Acne Experiment
Paula's Choice CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum & Toner (Normal to Oily Skin) Review

All Images © Crappy Candle / The Acne Experiment

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