paulas choice moisturizers Clear oil-free, defense glow spf30 and omega+ complex review

It’s been a while since I tested out some things from Paula’s Choice. If you’ve missed my other reviews, you can go back here to read.
I haven’t had the best of luck finding a moisturizer I truly like from the brand. So with their newset launches of moisturizers, I thought it’s time to give it another shot! I also threw in some of their most popular face cleansers too.


paulas choice omega+ complex moisturizer swatch review

Omega+ Complex Moisturizer

When this launched I got very intrigued!
The Omega+ Complex Moisturizer has a lovely whipped cream texture that delivers hydration without feeling heavy. It’s just enough for my normal acne-prone complexion. But as days are getting warmer, it does end up making the skin feel kinda sticky for summer. Although it doesn’t seem to aggravate my skin I find it best suited for fall/winter.

The whipped texture is nice but makes the application feel a bit uneven as it doesn’t feel like it’s gliding as easily as a regular cream or lotion would. Best to describe it would be to say that it sinks in too fast. You have to wait until whatever serum you have under to completely absorb. This can be a pain, as some serums just don’t fully dry matte, like vitamin C. I thought of fixing it by adding a drop of oil but that, weirdly enough, only made the texture worse.

While I like it and could see myself repurchase it for wintertime or to have when my skin is feeling very compromised. It’s also not very different from my regular concoction of mixing: my nighttime ceramide moisturizer from L300 coupled with TO’s B Oil. It might be lacking some of the NMF’s and antioxidants that’s in the Omega+ moisturizer. But I still get some good omega oils, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid, but for half the price. And my skin seems to enjoy the texture and finish of this combo more.

It all falls mostly down on the weird application. I feel like I need to take quite a bit for it to apply smoothly. And in my opinion, this moisturizer is a bit too expensive to be wasteful like that.

First Impression Rating: ★★★★☆

paulas choice clear oil-free moisturizer review swatch

Clear Oil-Free Moisturizer

At this moment I’m looking for a good moisturizer to use during summer’s most humid and hot days. It needs to help cool, sooth and mattify without drying the skin out!
Paula’s Choice recently released the new Clear Oil-Free moisturizer with ceramides and niacinamide, and I was hoping it might be it!

This moisturizer is more of a gel, which I wasn’t expecting. When I saw this I wasn’t so happy about it. Gels and gel-creams have not felt elegant on my skin.
It spreads much more easily than the Omega+ Complex Moisturizer. And though it doesn’t completely settle matte, it feels hydrating and light enough for normal skin to be used during summer. This wouldn’t be enough for dry skin though, whether day or night. And I can’t see myself using it other than during summertime.

It has by far the most comfortable and soothing finish compared to other gel moisturizers that I’ve tried. But it still does give a slightly sticky feeling after a few minutes that linger as the day goes by.
For what it is and says it does for acne-prone skin, it’s definitely hitting the marks. But because the Clear Oil-Free Moist is more of a night cream, its texture and finish aren’t very elegant for daytime use.
I want it to feel more matte to the touch but can understand that it wouldn’t be a nice night cream then.

I love the acne-friendly ingredients in it, and it’s very much like the Omega+ moisturizer but lighter in hydration and without the oils. It’s got ceramides, and a few NMF’s, together with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and calming antioxidants.
Note that it’s formulated without silicones, which is good for those who want to avoid them. Overall, it’s a good nighttime moisturizer for normal/combination to oily acne-prone skin! Unfortunately, not the best one for daytime in the summer as I had hoped.

I just think the texture of the cream could’ve been formulated even better. Just my opinion… I’m still contemplating on whether not the Calm normal to oily moisturizer had a nicer feeling overall for daytime; Despite being a night cream.

First Impression Rating: ★★★★☆

Paulas Choice Clear Oil-Free Moisturizer review

Defense Glow Moistruizer SPF30

I personally prefer using a separate SPF from my moisturizer. But as I want to get my boyfriend into using sunscreen daily, the only way is to trick him with a moisturizer combined with SPF! Sneaky, I know ;)
I was warned that it might be thick, leave a white cast, and be more suitable for winter. But naive as I am, I ignored that, focusing on all the great reviews instead.

The positive is that Defense Glow Moisturizer has a really nice spreadable texture, not as thick and pasty as I had imagined. It comes slightly tinted too.
However, unfortunately, the tint is more on the grey side and doesn’t combat the white cast in any way on either of us. It actually makes my face look more ashy/sick than a general subtle white cast!
I’ll quote what one Amazon reviewer wrote, “The cast this leaves makes me look like I’m ready for my casket.” And that’s exactly how I feel! lol
The paleness can be somewhat toned down with a tinted primer or foundation. But I can’t expect my boyfriend to reach for another layer.

The reviewers saying that this is a bit too hydrating for summer are right. This never seems to sink in, especially when using the recommended amount for the SPF. I feel like this is more suitable for drier skin types than normal/all like advertised.
It definitely gives the skin a nice radiant finish, which perhaps is a bit too much for my liking. Although it doesn’t really sink into the skin, it hasn’t aggravated or caused any breakouts. Actually, it seems to better my skin throughout the day? – But could perhaps be a coincidence while testing.

Overall, it has the nicest texture of all the moisturizers in this review and reminds me of the Dermaceutic K Ceutic but with more spreadability – However, K Ceutic does not leave the complexion ghost white!
I’m going to save this for wintertime and try again to see how I feel about the stickiness. But after my boyfriend came up to me telling me how white I looked during midday, I knew this moisturizer won’t be repurchased.
My boy tried it too, and though he has a truer north European complexion, it didn’t look good on him either. At least he’s okay using the CeraVe AM moisturizer with SPF25 as that one doesn’t leave a white cast at all + it’s cheaper.

Autumn Update: As the weather and humidity have cooled down I’ve given it another shot. Also, my skin is now a bit on the drier side as I’ve upped my retinol-use.
Still, love the buttery and spreadable texture of the Defense Glow Moisturizer. Definitely one of the best textures I’ve had so far. Just love applying it!
My suspicions of this being a better moisturizer for colder weather was somewhat right. It now sinks in nicely into my skin without leaving the skin feeling moist and sticky. However, after an hour or two, it starts to feel a bit drying on the skin opposed to too moisturizing like it did in the summer. So it’s by no means a moisturizer for dry skin either. A good moisturizing serum underneath is a must if you have dry or dehydrated skin during colder months.
The glow has also gone from dewy to more radiant finish as it sinks in better. However, it still leaves a somewhat ashy face tone, forcing me to wear something tinted on top.
My skin seems to love the formula though as I feel my complexion hasn’t worsened throughout the day. Still, I’m getting annoyed that I can’t seem to find a middle ground? It’s either too moisturizing or not moisturizing enough on its own.

First Impressions Rating: ★★★☆☆

Paulas Choice Defense Glow SPF30 Moisturizer swatch review
Paulas choice hydrating cleanser and calm cleanser review


I honestly have been enjoying using all three, the Resist Hydrating Cleanser, Calm Nourishing Cream Cleanser and the Calm Gel Cleanser.
They feel kind to the skin and effective at removing most makeup and sunscreen. In contrast to some of their other cleansers I’ve tried, like the Skin Balancing, these do not leave the skin feeling squeaky like I’ve washed with soap.

However, I’m still on the fence. I’ve been having some breakout action lately, and though it’s mostly due to hormones, skincare can either calm or ignite. Though it hasn’t seemed like these cleansers have caused any irritation or unbalanced skin, it’s known for Paula’s Choice cleansers to have a pH around 6. Which is higher than what I’d normally go for.

Not to throw anyone off, I add this because during one weekend I switched to CeraVe’s Foaming Cleanser (which says to have a pH of 5.5) and quite instantly saw an improvement in my skin. But I will also heavily note on that it could just be a coincidence or another product, and doesn’t necessarily mean that the cleansers from Paula’s Choice made my skin unbalanced; could also possibly mean that they just didn’t help.

For someone who has pretty much normal skin with occasional acneic troubles, any cleanser will usually do. I’ve come to realize that the pH of a cleanser is more important than overall ingredients in it. But I like mine to not be drying or mattifying.
Overall, I feel as if the RESIST Hydrating Cleanser does the best job at removing everything, as well as ironically making the skin slightly drier than the other two. Yes, despite being a “hydrating” cleanser.
However, when it comes to waterproof stuff, I’d still rely on an oil/balm cleanser to dissolve things beforehand.

Personally, though, I prefer something that foams, and none of these truly does that. And no, foaming does not necessarily equal bad for skin in my book!
I also find them a bit expensive for a cleanser compared to what you can get at the pharmacy. Yes, Paula’s Choice’s cleansers are a bit more effective at removing makeup and sunscreen alone… But if you’re going to double cleanse like me anyway, there’s no reason to go above €10 for a second face wash, in my opinion.
My reason for testing things out has more to do with finding other options if my favorite ever gets discontinued. And you know, discovering if price does truly matter. I also like that they come in a travel size, as my regular mousse cleanser isn’t very travel-friendly.

If I had to choose one, going purely off on ingredients, I’d probably go with one of the Calm cleansers. It’s very similar to the L300 Sensitive Foaming Cleanser, but with much less foam.
I should get a pH tester though to be sure any of these cleansers will work for me in the long run. Although the pH of the skin rebalances usually within an hour, my skin just seems to stay calmer with skin-near-pH products. My gut is telling me the Calm cleansers are closer to 5.5 pH, but can’t be sure unless I test.

Have you tried these products from Paula’s Choice?
Share your experience in the comments!

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