How Paula’s Choice Advanced Skincare Routines Work


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If your skincare needs go beyond the basics of cleansing, exfoliating, sun protection, and moisturizing, then you will absolutely want to consider one of our Advanced Skincare Routines! At Paula’s Choice Skincare, we have several carefully developed Advanced Skincare Routines.

Each Advanced Routine is designed to address your specific skin type (normal, oily, combination, dry, extra sensitive) and the advanced skin concerns you may have. This can include the appearance of wrinkles, loss of firmness, dull, uneven skin tone, enlarged pores, extra dry skin, breakouts, sun damage from cumulative unprotected sun exposure, dehydrated skin, among other needs.

It’s all part of our commitment to help you have the best skin of your life!

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What is an Advanced Skincare Routine?

Most of our Advanced Skincare Routines consist of cleanser, toner, exfoliant, serum, daytime moisturizer, and nighttime moisturizer. Some routines also include a more potent, leave-on exfoliant you can use at least once per week for enhanced results.

These routines help get and keep your skin looking beautiful, radiant, and renewed by solving multiple skincare concerns with effective skillfully formulated products assembled in an easy-to-apply routine.

Unique to Paula’s Choice Skincare is that each product in our Advanced Skincare Routines is carefully formulated to ensure they’re appropriate for your skin type. For example, the products in our RESIST Advanced Kit for Normal to Oily Skin provide serious anti-aging action from products that feel amazingly light and refreshing. That’s why this collection is perfect for those struggling with wrinkles, clogged, enlarged pores and oily or combination skin—you don’t have to use thick, rich creams in order to see impressive anti-aging benefits, and your skin won’t be dried out, either!

How an Advanced Skincare Routine Differs from an Essential Skincare Routine

Our Advanced Skincare Routines go beyond the Essential Skincare Routines to include a broader combination of products for more comprehensive results when you have more complex skincare needs. Our Essential Skincare Routines are extremely effective for those who want to use the least number of products to take care of their skin. These pared-down routines still achieve nourishing protection while solving simple skincare concerns.

Keep in mind that you can start with an Essential Skincare Routine and see how your skin responds before deciding if an Advanced Routine will better serve your needs. You’ll know you need to move on to the Advanced Skincare Routine if the Essential Skincare Routine isn’t giving you the results you want, particularly for multiple skincare concerns so many of us have.

Whether you begin with an Essential or Advanced Routine, you can always add a Targeted Solution product to use as needed. For example, you may need our RESIST Moisture Renewal Oil Booster to help combat seasonal dryness, or our RESIST 10% Niacinamide Booster to address stubborn large pores and improve uneven skin tone. Our RESIST Hyaluronic Acid Booster provides ultimate hydration but has a weightless finish.

You can also consider adding one of our brightening or skin-lightening products to solve dark spots or a stubborn uneven skin tone.

Summing up, think of the Essential Skincare Routine as the main course and the Advanced Skincare Routine being that plus an appetizer and dessert for an all-inclusive "meal" when your skin "hungers" for more!

Your Advanced Skincare Routine Step-by-Step

OK, so you’ve determined an Advanced Skincare Routine is right for you. Here’s how each step works:

Step 1: Cleanser
A gentle, fragrance-free water-soluble cleanser is essential for all skin types and is the important start of your AM and PM skincare routine. Those with normal to oily or combination skin will want to use a lightweight foaming or gel cleanser; those with normal to dry or very dry skin will want to use a more emollient, creamy cleanser.

Paula’s Choice Skincare cleansers are offered in these textures, and they won’t leave skin feeling stripped, dry, or tight—just smooth and clean!

Step 2: Toner
Lots of people avoid using toners and we understand why: because most are either lackluster formulas or contain skin-aggravating ingredients. Paula’s Choice Skincare toners are nothing like that. Each toner is formulated to be gentle yet overflowing with good-for-skin ingredients that help replenish, revive, and restore a healthier, younger-looking appearance. Learn more about how a toner can help your skin here.

Step 3: A Leave-On AHA or BHA Exfoliant
This step is so important and pivotal to having great skin it needs a bit more explanation—especially if you’re accustomed to thinking of exfoliants as scrubs or stiff-bristled cleansing brushes.

An AHA or BHA exfoliant has multiple benefits for skin that goes beyond what any scrub or cleansing brush can offer. Most scrubs and rough cleansing brushes cause micro-tears in skin and that ongoing damage is not healthy for skin.

Well-formulated AHA and BHA leave-on exfoliants help skin gently, imperceptibly, and naturally shed skin just like it did when we were younger. These types of exfoliants help remove the buildup of dead surface skin, which contributes to dull, rough, flaky skin, uneven skin tone, clogged pores, and signs of aging. AHA or BHA exfoliants are truly multi-tasking skincare heroes that are the game-changing part of your Advanced Skincare Routine.

In terms of how often to apply your exfoliant, many find that the best results come from applying it twice daily, morning and night, while others find once a day at night is all they need. Experiment to determine the frequency of application that works best for you.

Wondering if you should choose an AHA or BHA exfoliant? We break it down for you here.

Step 4: Serum
All Paula’s Choice Skincare serums contain sophisticated, research-supported blends of ingredients shown to visibly improve multiple signs of aging and help thwart signs of environmental damage, such as pollution. We use a concentrated assortment of antioxidants, skin-replenishing ingredients, and skin-restoring ingredients to bring about a dramatic change in skin’s appearance. Regardless of your skin type, we offer a formula that will meet your needs.

Step 5: The Daytime (AM) or Nighttime (PM) Moisturizer
For daytime, your moisturizer must contain a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater, something your nighttime formula doesn’t need. However, both moisturizers should contain a comprehensive mix of antioxidants, skin-replenishing ingredients, and skin-restoring ingredients.

These fundamental critical ingredients found in every Paula’s Choice Skincare moisturizer work to intervene and help interrupt environmental damage, improve the appearance of signs of aging and uneven skin tone, soften and alleviate dry skin, calm redness, and enhance your skin’s radiance and feeling of firmness.

Choose your daytime and nighttime moisturizer based on your skin type and concerns, such as redness or enlarged pores plus wrinkles. Think texture: If you have normal to oily or combination skin, select from our lighter, weightless gel, sheer lotion, or fluid-textured products; if you have normal to dry or very dry skin, one of our enriched lotions or creams would be best. Combination skin may also do well to layer a serum and moisturizer over the dry areas, while relying on the toner and serum to hydrate the oily areas, where you don’t need to apply moisturizer.

Step 6: The Weekly AHA or BHA Exfoliant
Our Essential Skincare Routines include one daily-use AHA or BHA exfoliant, but most of our Advanced Routines include two. Why? It’s because those with more complicated skin types and concerns need a stronger formula to use once or twice a week for a more dramatic improvement.

Use these advanced, specialized exfoliants at least once per week, either in place of or along with your regular exfoliant, and watch your skin reach the next level of smoothness, radiance, evenness, and youthfulness, seemingly overnight!

What about eye cream? Our preselected routines do not include eye creams because each kit’s serums and moisturizers are designed to be applied around the eyes, too. However, we know many of you like using a product labeled "eye cream", so we formulated a special one whose balm-like cream texture feels unlike any other eye cream you may have tried—with line-smoothing, hydrating results lasting well into the next day.

Find out where products like skin lighteners, face masks, and acne treatments fit into your routine here.

Do You Really Need This Many Products?

We understand, the Advanced Skincare Routines can seem overwhelming. If you’re wondering whether you really need all these products, the answer is: It depends on the skin concerns you want to address.

The more advanced problems you’re facing, the more advanced the skincare routine you will need to turn your skin around. Once you become used to this more detailed routine, you’ll find that it really doesn’t take that long (five minutes, tops and Paula says it takes her less than that). We’re confident the results it provides will make you more confident because you’ll be loving what you see in the mirror. Not only that, you’ll love what you feel whenever you touch your radiant, smooth, hydrated skin!

If you’re unsure which products are right for you, check out the Recommended Articles section below for more info, or contact our Paula’s Choice Customer Care Experts for a personalized skincare consultation! Getting the ideal skincare products for your advanced skincare needs and concerns is the only way to get the best skin of your life, and it can start now!

Recommended Articles

The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of in-depth research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula’s Choice Skincare products. You’ll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula’s Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! Learn more at Shop Paula's Choice.

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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