Tested on animals:No
With their CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum, Paula's Choice offers something interesting and refreshing to this category of skincare products—a serum with ingredients that are capable of soothing sensitivity and redness in skin. Its water-based texture is also unique, achieved by omitting oils or silicones, making this serum workable for any skin type.
Packaged in an opaque bottle with a pump-operated top, CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum has a watery gel-like consistency that dries quickly on skin without leaving a residue. Note that because this lacks emollient ingredients, those with dry skin will still need to rely on their moisturizers, facial oils, etc. for use with this serum. However, it does add a light amount of hydration, and is sheer enough that it layers effortlessly under—or over—any other products.
While many skincare ingredients have the potential to work as soothing agents, here Paula's Choice seems to have focused on those with strong potential to calm redness and sensitivity.
You'll find a mix of restorative ingredients, such as multiple ceramides, sodium hyaluronate (the more bioavailable salt form) and pure hyaluronic acid. The ceramide mix contained here helps skin better recover itself from sensitivity, environmental damage and retain a natural balance of moisture (International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2000). The duo of sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid improves skin's moisture content, calm redness, and provides antioxidant defense (Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 2012 & Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, 2012).
Of course, there are well-recognized ingredients such as licorice root extract, phytosphingosine and beta glucan. Other notables include sea whip extract, derived from a form of coral-like sea creatures without nervous systems or a brain, which has received a lot of attention over the last few years due to its strength as an soothing agent (Marine Drugs, 2004). Willow herb is also included, and this plant extract is notable for its potent combination of calming and antioxidant compounds (Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 2009).
Paula's Choice also included feverfew extract, which we confirmed is purified of the presence of parthenolide, a naturally-occuring compound in the plant that can be sensitizing. Feverfew is another excellent antioxidant with demonstrated potent soothing effects when applied topically to skin (Archives of Dermatological Research, 2008).
CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum earned our top recommendation due to its unique take on soothing skin burdened with sensitivity and redness concerns. That it is such a lightweight formula—one of the few water-based serums on the market—yet contains an impressive array of soothing agents makes it an easy recommendation for any skin type (including the acne prone).
- Lightweight, water-like texture suits any skin type.
- Doesn't leave a residue on skin.
- Includes a broad series of calming ingredients with antioxidant and replenishing benefits.
- Layers well with other products, whether applied under or over them.
- Fragrance free.