Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol
1 fl. oz. for $30
Category:Skin Care > Retinol Products > Serums
Last Updated:01.06.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol is a weightless serum whose combination of beneficial antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients (including retinol), skin-identical ingredients, and soothing agents make it wonderful for normal to oily, combination, or breakout-prone skin.

Stable packaging keeps the delicate air- and light-sensitive ingredients effective, and this has a unique, powder-like finish that blurs minor imperfections and surface irregularities.

This serum contains retinol to help normalize skin-cell function while keeping excess oil in check thanks to its long-lasting matte finish, which also allows this to work as a "primer" under foundation.

This fragrance-free formula will not make skin feel slick or look greasy and is well suited for normal to oily/combination skin, even if your skin is prone to breakouts.

  • Unique, powder-like matte finish blurs imperfections.
  • Super-light formula highly unlikely to cause or worsen breakouts.
  • Packed with anti-aging ingredients, including retinol and potent antioxidants.
  • Comes in stable packaging.
  • None.

This weightless combination of potent antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients (including retinol), and anti-irritants forms a breathable barrier to protect skin, normalize skin cell function, absorb oil, and reduce free-radical damage. Leaves a smooth matte finish that lasts all day.


Cyclopentasiloxane (silicone slip agent), Isododecane (matte finish solvent), Cyclohexasiloxane (silicone slip agent), Dimethicone Crosspolymer (silicone suspending agent), Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate (non-aqueous thickener), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A/antioxidant), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (thickener), Retinol (antioxidant/cell-communicating ingredient), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Haematococcus Pluvialis (Astaxanthin) Extract (antioxidant pigment), Bisabolol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (antioxidants/anti-irritants), Salix Alba (Willow) Leaf Extract (anti-irritant), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Ginkgo Biloba (Ginkgo) Leaf Extract, Calluna Vulgaris (Heather) Flower Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Betula Alba (White Birch) Bark Extract (antioxidants), Silica (absorbent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative)

Brand Overview

Paula's Choice Skincare At-A-Glance

Strengths: Fragrance-free products; all products formulated based on extensive published research on how ingredients can benefit skin; uniquely formulated AHA and BHA products; effective skin-lightening options; gentle cleansers; toners that go beyond the norm; all sunscreens provide broad spectrum protection (including UVA-screening ingredients); proven anti-acne products; antioxidant-rich serums and moisturizers; anti-aging products that work as claimed; gentle yet effective natural products; most foundations provides sun protection and come in a range of neutral colors; unique brow products; on-the-go teeth whitener; lipstick with sunscreen; impressive, reasonably priced makeup brushes; samples are available for most products.

Weaknesses: Does not offer a complete collection of makeup; makeup shade range isn’t as extensive for darker skin tones; limited concealer options.

Disclosure: Paula Begoun is creator of Beautypedia and founder of Paula's Choice Skincare products. Reviewing thousands of skincare and makeup products over the past 30 years, both on this site and in her best-selling books, Paula's mission has always been to help consumers find the best products possible for their skin. The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains this commitment. In addition, The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same rating standards and criteria, whether it is a Paula's Choice product or another brand.

Paula's Choice Skincare was established in 1995 when best-selling beauty author and consumer advocate Paula Begoun (known as The Cosmetics Cop) decided to develop her own products. Like most of us, she was fed up with products that overpromised results, cost a lot of money, and failed to deliver—or made matters worse!

As a natural evolution of Paula's personal mission to help consumers find the best products for their skin, the line has grown into an extensive range of skincare and makeup products that are formulated to meet the needs of almost every skin type and skin concern imaginable. From acne to wrinkles, oily skin, rosacea, large pores, eczema, redness, sagging, dry skin, and on and on, Paula's Choice offers a solution.

Paula's Choice Skincare stands apart from other cosmetics brands. The formulas contain only ingredients that have substantiated, published research showing they are beneficial and effective—so you get visible results. Stable packaging is another feature of the brand, using innovative, opaque, and air-tight or air-restrictive components that keep antioxidants and other light- and air-sensitive ingredients from breaking down (unlike jar packaging, which compromises what might otherwise be an effective formula). The line is also 100% fragrance-free, which is best for all skin types, especially for those with sensitive skin or rosacea.

From cleansers to broad-spectrum sunscreens to anti-aging serums to specialized treatments, Paula's Choice Skincare has you covered from head to toe with innovative, state-of-the-art products. The brand also offers professional-quality makeup products including concealer, foundation, eyeshadow, lipstick, and more. (Paula started out as a makeup artist so she definitely knows her way around a face!)

Paula's Choice Skincare does not test on animals and also takes an environmentally friendly approach by featuring minimalist, recyclable packaging. Another plus—the Customer Service team is among the best in the industry, offering a "100% satisfaction or your money back" guarantee.

For more information about Paula's Choice, call (800) 831-4088 or visit www.paulaschoice.com.

Why are all Paula's Choice Skincare products rated highly? The Paula's Choice Skincare Team would not launch a product unless it was worthy of a high rating from The Beautypedia Team. Paula and The Beautypedia Team were researching and reviewing products long before Paula's Choice Skincare ever existed and consumers were constantly requesting a skincare brand that met all of Beautypedia's criteria. As a result, The Paula's Choice Skincare Team was created and uses the same research and criteria to formulate Paula's Choice products as The Beautypedia Team uses to review products.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Im still not entirely sure what this is supposed to do or if it actually does anything, all i know is i put it on before moisturising and it makes my skin feel so incredibly soft and amazing. My skin hasnt gotten worse since starting paulas choice products so i dont think this (or any of the other products ive tried) have clogged me up, reacted badly with my skin, or irritated at all.

Reviewed by
Made skin worse

I don't know what to say? I tried the heavier version of this and it was too thick so moved to this. I have great skin and have protected it since my teens. I'm forty and have gotten blackheads for the first time in my life due to these products. According to Paula's dictionary of ingredients, silicones do not clog pores - then what's the problem? I haven't changed my skincare regimen except for these. What a disappointment! I've used some other products which were great but stay away from this!

Reviewed by
Sherilyn M.
Needs much improvement

You guys have clearly cherry picked your reviews from the Paula's Choice site. This is a terrible product and the reviews below from your customers confirm that in droves: http://www.paulaschoice.com/shop/skin-care-categories/antioxidants/_/Skin-Balancing-Super-Antioxidant-Mattifying-Concentrate/

Reviewed by
Paula's Choice Research Team Response

Thanks for your comments! Reviews for all Paula's Choice products are not from the product page or customers; rather, they are written by members of the Beautypedia team who apply the same standard and criteria to Paula's Choice that they do when evaluating products from every other brand reviewed on Beautypedia. As with any skincare product, there will always be some people who simply don't like it or find it isn't compatible with their existing routine. That is one reason why Paula's Choice (and other brands) offer a variety of products in any given category.

This is my little luxury!

From when my skin was very oily, before menopause, to now, when it's just a little more oily than normal, this serum has been the perfect moisturizer for my skin--a few drops of this after my toner and exfoliant, and my skin feels great, and looks matte. It is priced very reasonably, if you compare it to some of the serums out there which have considerable drawbacks, like irritating ingredients. I don't know of any others which also act as matte primers for makeup, in the morning, either.

Reviewed by
Skin care newbie

This is only the second time I've tried a serum - love it! Only a few drops and my skin just glows.

Reviewed by
Impressive product!

At first it didn't seem to match my skin type. After changing my other products and watching my skin literally balance, I gave it another try and it has been an absolute dream for pore refinement and fine lines. A friend I haven't seen for several months saw me recently and said that my skin looked flawless (I had no makeup on!) and he kept repeating that I looked 23 - so the results are apparent. A little too slick as a primer for me, but this product makes my skin very happy!

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