Expert advice articlesHow To Determine Your Skin Type
What Is Acne?
How To Exfoliate Skin (And Why It's So Important)
Antioxidants: The Sunscreen Sidekick Your Skin Needs
Removing Blackheads Step-By-Step
What Strength Retinol Should I Use?
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frequently asked questions
How do I determine my skin type?
Take our test! Follow these simple steps to determine which skin type you have:
- 1. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and wait 15-30 minutes.
- 2. Don’t apply any products during this time.
- 3. Determine your skin type based on your skin’s natural characteristics.
Normal: no dryness, flakiness or oiliness—just normal
Dry: tight, dehydrated, flaky, dull
Oily: shiny, excess sebum all over
Combination: usually an oily T-zone and normal/dry everywhere else
Do I need an essential routine or advanced routine?
If you’re new to Paula’s Choice products, you want to spend as little time as possible on your routine or you don’t have any major skin issues, then you might consider starting out with the basics.
To keep skin in good, healthy condition, every essential routine should include the following products:
- Step 1: Cleanser
- Step 2: Exfoliant
- Step 3 (AM): Daytime moisturizer with SPF
- Step 3 (PM): Nighttime moisturizer
To address more complex concerns spanning from wrinkles, sun damage, breakouts or blackheads, an advanced routine may be best to boost results or target stubborn areas. Check out how to personalize your skin care routine or just ask our customer care team!
What is the best routine for my skin?
Gentle skin care products that don’t contain any harsh, irritating ingredients are a necessity. This is why you won’t find any added fragrances, colorants or essential oils in our products. Paula’s Choice only uses ingredients in which independent, scientific research has shown the ingredients we use to be beneficial and non-irritating to the skin.
Need help finding which products would be most suitable for your skin? Provide our skin care experts with the following information to help them create a tailor-made recommendation for you:
- What is your skin type (normal to dry, very dry, oily or combination)?
- Do you have any skin concerns, such as blackheads, enlarged pores, breakouts, wrinkles, uneven skin tone or dark spots?
- Do you have sensitive skin or certain skin conditions, such as eczema or rosacea?
- Are you looking for a basic routine or advanced routine?
- Do you have any preference regarding texture (lightweight or creamy)?
When will my order be dispatched?
Order before 8PM, Monday through Friday, and your order will be shipped the same day! If you place an order over the weekend, this will be shipped the following Monday. Please refer to our Shipping Rates page for delivery times.
I have not received my order yet, where is it?
Once your order has been shipped, you will receive a shipping notification email containing a DHL Track & Trace code that you can use to follow your order. Click on the tracking link and you can see the latest status of your package, but please allow up to 24 to 48 hours for your Track & Trace code to become active once you receive it.
Orders shipped via Deutsche Post do not have tracking.
If your package exceeds the indicative delivery time or you feel there’s an issue with your shipment, please get in touch with our customer care team! We can only open an investigation with the courier within 2 weeks of the original delivery date.
Why isn't my order showing up in my account?
If you place an order using our guest checkout option, even if you subsequently make an account with us or have a registered account, your order will unfortunately not show up under your account order history.
For future orders, it would be best to first log into your account before placing an order. That way, your order will be listed in your account.
How can I get a discount?
You can take a look at our Discount Codes page for all of our current promotional offers. If you want to stay up-to-date on our upcoming promotions, products or latest advice, then sign up for our newsletter!
How can I return a product?
If you’re unsatisfied with any Paula’s Choice products, for any reason, we will happily refund the purchase price of the product(s) returned back to us within 30 days of your purchase date.
Before returning a product, please inform our customer care team to make this request and they will provide you with more detailed instructions. Please refer to our Returns page for more information.
Why are some Paula's Choice products available in America, but not in Europe?
Some products are unavailable due to EU cosmetic regulations with certain ingredients or substances. Additionally, certain products considered to be cosmetics in the US are considered to be (over the counter) drugs in the EU. It could also be the case that certain products were simply discontinued.
When will an out-of-stock product become available again?
Unfortunately, due to high demand or stock issues, a product might go out of stock. It’s always difficult for us to determine an exact indication of when we will receive additional stock, but our website is updated regularly and you will be able to see the product listed as soon as it becomes available again.
In the meantime, if you would like advice for an alternative product, please reach out to our customer care team for help!
What range is best for acne-prone skin?
Our Clear range has been specifically designed and tailor-made for our customers dealing with breakouts. These products help unclog pores, diminish + prevent breakouts, target blackheads and soothe redness.
Still unconvinced? Try our Clear travel kits now for 25% off!
How can “bacne” or body breakouts be treated?
It’s first and foremost important to use gentle, well-formulated skincare products that cleanse, help control acne and prevent future breakouts. If you’re consistent (and patient), you should see improvements in no time!
- Cleanse with a non-bar soap, fragrance-free body wash: All Over Hair & Body Shampoo
- Exfoliate with a BHA: Clear Exfoliating Body Spray 2% BHA
- Apply benzoyl peroxide (available at the pharmacist) or azelaic acid: 10% Azelaic Acid Booster
- End with a sunscreen if any parts of your body are exposed: Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF50
What can teenagers do about acne?
No matter your age, breakouts can always pop up! Skin problems are distressing for anyone at any age, but they can be especially unpleasant for a teenager.
Keep it simple! It’s essential to have a basic yet effective skincare routine consisting of the following:
- Cleanse: Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser
- Exfoliate: Clear Regular Strength 2% BHA
- Treat: Clear Daily Skin Clearing Treatment
- SPF: Clear Ultra-Light Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF30
- Mask (optional): Clear Purifying Clay Mask
These products are suitable for a teenager to use, however, please make sure that they are also suitable with any other prescribed medication or treatment by checking with your teenager's doctor.
How can I minimise post-acne marks?
Don’t pick at your spots and put down the abrasive scrub, citrus fruit or any other at-home remedy you may have heard about. These will only make matters worse and delay diminishing post-acne marks!
Research has shown that a gentle, water-soluble cleanser, BHA exfoliant, benzoyl peroxide/azelaic acid and sunscreen dramatically improves breakout-prone skin and minimises post-acne marks.
I’m using a BHA, why is my skin breaking out more?
What you may be experiencing is a temporary “purging effect.” Because BHA is oil-soluble, it exfoliates not only on the surface of skin, but also inside the pore lining.
Essentially, because salicylic acid helps skin cells turn over at a faster rate, a concentrated BHA formula can more quickly bring pimples to the surface that were already brewing.
The breakouts you see after you start using a BHA would have shown up eventually anyway, or simply would have remained deep in the pore, keeping it clogged and enlarged.
Give your BHA at least a month of once- or twice-daily use before deciding whether or not it’s working for you. If it seems to be too much for your skin, decrease the frequency. You’ll begin seeing smoother, clearer skin with consistency and patience!
I have dehydrated, oily, acne-prone skin. What's the best routine?
This combination of skin problems is recognisable when skin’s surface is dry or flaky with a layer of oil sitting on top, all accompanied by blemishes. In terms of dealing with the dehydrated, dry part, thankfully it’s often a temporary condition.
The following routine would work perfectly:
What’s the difference between your BHA exfoliants?
- Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid: our #1 bestseller for a reason! It’s our most potent salicylic acid formula that dramatically improves stubborn breakouts, blackheads and enlarged pores.
- Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel: a silky, hydrating, oil-free gel that clears clogged pores and refines skin. The same formula as the above version, only the texture is different.
- Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion: a lightweight, silky lotion ideal for normal/dry skin struggling with breakouts and clogged pores. The same formula as the above two BHAs, only difference is texture.
- Clear Extra Strength 2% BHA: same formula as our Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid. Best for moderate to stubborn acne-prone skin.
- Clear Regular Strength 2% BHA: formulated with a slightly higher pH for gentler exfoliation. Best for mild to moderate acne-prone skin.
- Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA: water-light liquid that delivers advanced anti-ageing benefits. Ideal for targeting dullness, wrinkles and clogged pores.
- Calm 1% BHA Lotion: our gentlest BHA formula, best for calming redness and sensitive skin. Even suitable for rosacea-prone skin due to its soothing properties.
Do I have dry or dehydrated skin?
A major part of the confusion is that the term "dehydrated skin" is often used interchangeably with "dry skin," but they are not the same!
Classic dry skin is easy to recognise. Dry skin frequently feels tight and dry, with no oil anywhere to be seen. This situation rarely fluctuates; skin feels dry all year long.
On the other hand, dehydrated skin can look and feel like dry skin all over your face but there’s a major difference: Dehydrated skin tends to come and go, it does not persist. It’s also often accompanied by a more than normal or even excessive amount of oil on skin’s surface. Despite this excess oil, skin still feels tight or dry everywhere on your face, and these signs are often accompanied by flaking.
Simply described, if you feel your skin is dry underneath under an oily layer on top, most likely you have dehydrated skin. Surprising fact: For many people, the skincare products they’re using might be to blame!
My skin gets drier in the winter, what can I do?
There are many ways to combat skin that’s affected by the cold, wintry months. You may think this calls for switching out your whole routine for products suited for dry skin, but a major overhaul isn’t necessary. Try instead to enrich your routine with a few key nourishing products.
You can find more information about which products fit your needs here: The Best Way to Take Care of Skin During Winter
Do I need to apply an SPF in the winter?
The short answer: YES!
Applying an SPF (at a minimum SPF30) daily is one of the most important steps in your skincare routine, rain or shine. Even during the winter months, the sun’s UV rays are still present and will have a negative effect on your skin.
How is the Water-Infusing Electrolyte Moisturizer different than our other moisturisers?
The primary differences are the electrolytes (key to balancing dehydrated skin) and the unique sensorial experience it offers. On application, this hydrating lotion transforms into a liquid burst of hydration for all skin type types. As with all Paula's Choice moisturisers, this formula includes other beneficial ingredients including ceramides, algae and pollution-neutralizing antioxidants.
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