If you know me away from the blog at all, you'll probably be aware of my affinity for Paula's Choice Skincare. After watching eleventy-five billion sponsored videos about the brand on YouTube and reading raves about their products for years on Reddit, I finally drank the proverbial Kool-Aid last winter. After one week I was in love. But not everything is 100% awesome, and sometimes that takes time to figure out.
I have mentioned it a few times here and there, but since turning 30 my skin has turned dry and angry. I always had sensitive-but-normal skin...so it has been an adventure trying to learn how to take care of my new skin. Add to that my ever-advancing age and all the worries that brings...well let's just say I have been more willing to give pretty much anything a go. Enter the Radiance Renewal Mask. I saw that and thought "hell, I like being radiant. And masks are sweet. Let's give that a go." It said it would improve my skins hydration and tone, making me a glowing mermaid of dewy skin. So I bought it. You can scroll to the bottom if you want the tl;dr...otherwise let's ramble!
I even have proof! I bought it, and a bunch of samples, back in November of 2016.
|edited because I don't live there anymore!
This "mask" comes in a wee pump bottle, which is great. I am not wild about the jars. I have a thing about having lotions (or anything else) under my nails. It gives me the willies, frankly. Plus, pump bottles are just easier to use. You are 100% less likely to lose the lid under the bathroom vanity and then have to cover the jar with cling film and a rubber band with a pump bottle. Ask me how I know.
It is a lightweight, thin cream. It is hard to explain. It is kinda sticky, but not...watery but still firm. Words can be hard. It definitely feels like it has glycerin, so if you don't like that feeling beware. You'll see down below that it says to use a "generous" amount...but eh. I have a big 'ol head and I used about a nickle-sized dollup. It was enough. I don't bring this down my neck at all because it is way too sticky for that.
I wish I had done a bit more research into the ingredients here, but honestly I was flying by the seat of my pants when it came to PC back then. I see quite a few good skin care ingredients...but they are relatively far down the list. First thing is water (yay) and the second is a texture enhancer (also see here) third is glycerin (yay again), and the fourth is dimethicone. The list goes on, but as far as I know it is generally organized in descending order of concentration. So its good, not omgomgomg...but good. The two "sciencey" ingredients are there to make your skin feel smoother and for the product to feel smoother. I am honestly skeptical as to their "healing" benefits.
I used this about once a week for the last six months. I generally applied it to cleansed skin before bed, though I absolutely did not apply it anywhere near my eyes. Holyshitno. I am prone to milia, and products like this are just asking for trouble in that area. It left my face feeling slightly tacky, but not too bad. My barre for that might be higher than yours, because I can sleep with Vaseline all over with minimal issues.
The mask never irritated, burned, bothered, blistered or otherwise annoyed my skin, so if you are sensitive this might be worth looking into. I don't really know if I noticed any real difference in my skin come morning, if I'm honest. It was fully absorbed, and my skin felt nice and smooth...until I hopped in the shower. As soon as the water hit my face, it turned
back into a pumpkin kinda slimy and made me really want to wash my face immediately.
|for the love of god, don't rinse
My Final Verdict:
Six months of use, for me, is just about the right length of time to get a good idea about a product...especially skin care. I have bridged seasons, stress, water types, and time while testing this mask. It is just ok. If it was $5-$10, I might be willing to buy it again. But for $36, no way. It just doesn't make any sort of lasting improvement in my skin for that price. I would give this a pass, you can definitely do better for this price point.