Tested on animals:No
The Paula's Choice RESIST 1% Retinol Booster offers a few unique twists that sets it apart from many other retinol products on the market…in a good way! Although this technically is workable for any skin type, those with oily to combination skin will especially appreciate the fact it is virtually free of any emollients and has an exceptionally lightweight water-like texture.
Taking full advantage of the skincare booster trend, the RESIST 1% Retinol Booster is, according to its marketing, designed to be mixed into your serum or moisturizer rather than used on its own. This gives you the ability to turn a product you already use and love into a retinol treatment—making life a little simpler for you if you've not yet found a retinol serum or moisturizer that suits your skin type or concerns.
As is standard for the brand, it is fragrance free. Aside from the 1% concentration of retinol, the RESIST 1% Retinol Booster contains multiple soothing ingredients, a peptide, and a well-curated collection of antioxidants. Of course, retinol is the star here, and at this strength, it's capable of improving signs of aging and brightening a dull, uneven skin tone (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2000 and Skin Pharmacology & Physiology, 2005).
The amount of product you use is critical, so we appreciate that Paula's Choice chose a pump-style bottle that allows for precise measurement in drops. Not only does this style of packaging keep its delicate ingredients protected from air and light exposure, but it also permits you better control over how much you add to your serum or moisturizer.
The most significant difference we noticed between this formula and the brand's Clinical 1% Retinol is the fact the RESIST 1% Retinol Booster doesn't contain any silicones or moisturizing agents. Not only is this a feat in today's formulary world (silicones are almost de rigueur for retinol products), but it was, according to Paula's Choice, intentional due to this product's function as a skincare booster. The fact that this nearly lacks any sort of "buffer" makes it better suited for mixing into other products—and less ideal for use "straight up," i.e., applied undiluted to skin.
Paula's Choice recommends measuring this out in strength by the drop—one drop is a milder strength (for an "AM or PM retinol" boost), two drops equates to a moderately powerful nighttime retinol, and three drops delivers a “maximum strength” dose to your moisturizer or serum. These directions make usage easier to understand and essentially give you three retinol product options in one. (Hooray!)
Whether you're interested in the RESIST 1% Retinol Booster because it allows you to customize the products you already love, or because it's one of the few non-emollient 1% retinol options on the market, there is no denying it is a unique addition to this crowded skincare category. For its new take on retinol, interesting formula and the fact it manages to make our skincare routine simpler (while "boosting" our anti-aging results), it earns our highest rating and top recommendation.
- Fragrance free.
- Offers a unique twist on retinol products.
- Includes multiple soothing agents and antioxidants (in addition to its 1% retinol concentration).
- The lightest retinol we've ever tried (due to its lack of emollients or silicones).