Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol

Pores, you’re not growing on me. Wrinkles, stand down. A few drops of this serum morning and night shrinks enlarged pores and smooths skin. You win.
Item #: 335
  • Acne Breakouts, Anti-Aging, Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Wrinkles
  • Combination, Oily Skin
  • Protects your skin from environmental damage
  • Silky-smooth texture makes a great foundation primer
  • Great for use around eyes

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Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol

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Customer Ratings:

79 out of 100
(Based on 238 Reviews)
Page of 10 Next »
  1. Chelsea E
    Reviewed on Saturday, September 13, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Smooth texture, but no results
    • I love the texture of this product, except that it seems like I have to use a lot to get it to spread over my whole face. It's silky smooth but seems to soak in/evaporate so quickly that it dries up before I can get it everywhere, so I have to go back for more. I hope the antioxidants are worth it, because I don't notice any difference in my skin whatsoever since using this product for a month-- I just have to trust that it's doing something.

  2. Kathy J.
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 07, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    What A Fantastic Serum...
    • This serum is great for night and daytime use; the silky texture makes it ideal for both applications, but it really is especially nice as a primer. One teeny hiccup, I've been using this for a while and still have over half of the tube left, but the product has changed color from yellow to clear. I am leery to continue use as I don't know what has caused this, or if it's effective anymore? I always shake vigorously before use and it's stored in a temperature neutral location - not the bathroom.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, September 08, 2014

    Hi there! This color change is normal as you continue to use the product. It does not mean the serum is ineffective; rather, the deeper color from some of the antioxidants has lightened a bit due to incidental air exposure. Again, this does not mean the product is ineffective.

    —Admin
  3. Maggie D
    Reviewed on Wednesday, September 03, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    I like
    • I really like this stuff. It feels nice on and makes my face feel really soft. The consistency is weird. It is like a jelly. I use way more than I should of the product bc of the consistency. Also when I first start using a tube it is a dark color after a few uses the product is much lighter. Is this batch not mixed well? Is it suppose to be like a jelly?

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, September 03, 2014

    Yes, the texture is jelly-like. This product must be shaken well before each use, or you can see two different colors dispensed. This has to do with some of the antioxidants in the formula.

    —Admin
  4. Madison S.
    Reviewed on Thursday, August 28, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    New formulation?
    • I have purchased this serum twice and have loved how it smooths out my pores and has blurred some red marks, not to mention loving all the healthy ingredients for my skin. But now I am hesitant to reorder after seeing other reviewers talking about this product being reformulated and causing breakouts. When was this product reformulated? I loved the old formula!

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Friday, September 05, 2014

    Thanks for your comments! This product hasn't had a recent reformulation, though it's possible you'll see minor changes from batch to batch (all are within our specifications for this product). There was a raw material discontinuation at the end of 2013, but it was replaced with the same ingredient from another supplier, so no formulary change resulted.

    —Admin
  5. Kelsey A.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, August 27, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Odd consistency...
    • I've purchased this serum two or three times because it has great qualities. Like many PC products it multitasks and is far and away cheaper than other retinol products. It also leaves a lovely finish. That being said the consistency is hard to deal with. I have to shake the tube hard for a long time to get the product to mix and "drip" in to the "few drops" recommended. Then those two or three drops do not cover my entire face so I use more and then the bottle doesn't last long enough.

  6. Katy C.
    Reviewed on Saturday, August 23, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Feels good going on, but...
    • This didn't do anything for my skin. I liked the silky texture of this, but unfortunately, I didn't see any improvement at all in my large pores. Makeup goes on smoothly over this, but it makes my makeup melt off in a fast amount of time. Too bad.

  7. Michelle
    Reviewed on Friday, August 22, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Loveeeeeeeee
    • I decided to use this product for a full 2 months before reviewing it and I cannot say enough good things about it!!! My face has a definate glow, my breakouts have minimized, and my oily t-zone is alot more balanced. The formula is so silky (just be sure to shake it well before applying) and doubles as an excellent primer. I have had this tube last me well over two months and will be re-purchasing again and again. So happy with the affordability and quality of Paula's Choice products!

  8. Francesca L.
    Reviewed on Monday, August 18, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Serum not very warmer climate
    • I purchased the serum, unfortunately i will return it. I live in Hawaii and it is too humid and warm here to go to bed with a sticky face that sticks to the pillow. I dont see any improvements, but may be it takes time for that but the stickiness is no fun :((. In a colder and drier climate may be it works better.

  9. JA
    Reviewed on Tuesday, August 12, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Weird consistency...not loving it.
    • I recently ordered this and I'll be returning it. I think it probably works really well and I like the finish, but the weird jelly-like consistency is a deal-breaker for me. How can I find two drops when it kinda comes out in chunks? Could there be something wrong with this particular batch? I ordered a different PC serum that hopefully has a more water or smoother texture. PS Loving the 2% BHA though!!

  10. Anna B
    Reviewed on Sunday, August 10, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Could be better.
    • This sounds great but not quite for me, it's initially good as it leave's a great matte finish and smaller looking pores with no shine but definitely doesn't last, (well at least not for me), when worn through out the day on it's own, I'm a shiny oil slick at the end of the day without touch ups. I wouldn't recommend for very oily skin, mine is oily, best applied at night I feel at least for me. Will not be repurchasing unless made better, I'm not a fan of LOT'S of silicone like this anyway.

  11. DAISY M.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, August 06, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    When will you be bringing the original formula back?
    • The original gormula was in every way perfect for me. It was so easy to apply. It would glide over my skin awesomely and would not cause more acne which is one of the important purposes of this serum. Now, the new formulation caused me to break out badly which though it has all the noteable benefits like antioxidants etc. defeats it's purpose of keeping acne far far away. Now I use the ultrlight Serum witch does not glide over my skin like the the O.G Skin Balancing serum. Hopeful.....

  12. Gia
    Reviewed on Saturday, August 02, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Expiration date?
    • I have bought this serum and am really enjoying it thus far it's very light yet potent, my skin feels healthier and is much smoother and even looking, but i was wondering is there an expiration date for this serum since it does have retinol and antioxidants?

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, August 04, 2014

    We're glad this is working so well for you! We advise using any of our Super Antioxidant serums within 12 months of opening. For best results, recap tightly after each use and keep it stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sources of heat.

    —Admin
  13. DAISY M.
    Reviewed on Friday, August 01, 2014
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    The former formula worked well on my sensitive acne prone skin :(
    • The new formulation causes breakouts. I am using the ultra light serum but it does not apply like the old skin balancing serum. Please bring it back. Thank You

  14. Jessica R.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love this serum!
    • I'm about to order my second tube; bought the first one in January. I just bought another PC retinol serum to use at night so that I can use this one exclusively in the morning as a foundation primer (with SPF of course!) I love the silky feel and finish from the silicones; it leaves my skin with almost a powdery finish. It's very different from the Skin Recovery version, which you can feel on your face for a few seconds after you apply it. This just disappears immediately. It's heavenly.

  15. jee young p.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, July 16, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Glad to order
    • I have dry/sensitive/combination. The product has some strange jelly like consistency, But very safe to use it, even around the eyes and absorbs pretty fast. It does not make my skin to break out or react to the formula. Sometimes it can be a Little bit dry for Melbourne weather, so i use skin recovery mask together at night. Expensive, but I do not regret ordering from USA to Australia with extra $15. It is worth it.

  16. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Thursday, July 03, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    It's Like Vitamins for Your Skin
    • I use and love the entire Skin Balancing Kit, including this serum. I view this product more as a preventive than a treatment, because I don't really notice any changes in my skin having used the serum. I believe the research, though, and I trust that it's delivering anti-aging benefits. Time will tell, of course, but in the meantime, I think of this serum as a daily multivitamin for my skin.

  17. Tina
    Reviewed on Wednesday, July 02, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Can't live without it!
    • This product is just about in ALL my Paula's Choice orders! I get it every chance I get! I use it as a foundation primer and it works GREAT!

  18. NicoleAriel
    Reviewed on Sunday, June 29, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    New holy grail!
    • This serum is so amazing! It has become my new daytime serum & I believe it's been complementing my other skin care wonderfully. My skin has been staying relatively clear except for the occasional small pimple here and there. The texture is so nice, and it does not feel heavy on the face what so ever, which is amazing for my extremely oily skin. Needless to say I am SO pleased with this interesting serum! There are so many great ingredients, and they all work together so well! highly recommend!!

  19. Anastacia R.
    Reviewed on Friday, June 27, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Disappointed
    • I have tried, used and LOVE quite a few of P.C. products and I'm happy to say this is the only one so far I have not liked. The product balled up on my face after applying. However, I am absolutely in love with and impressed by Paula's Choice! I ordered the tester and after I ordered it they ran out of the samples, so they sent me a full size tube without charging extra! Amazing customer service and amazing products. Perhaps this just wasn't right for my skin?

  20. Robin T.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, June 25, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Good-Bye Laugh Lines
    • I ordered this first as a sample and I haveto say, "Wow!" It is reducing the eye crow's feet I have. It feels wonderful and it's surprising how little you need for one application. This will be in my next order. After reading so the two prior reviews to mine, I have to say I'm in agreement. Yikes, you weren't thinking of discontinuing this were you? It's a must have for me!

  21. Nathan T.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, May 07, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    AWESOME
    • The matte finish is perfect for my oily/combination skin. It also seems to be improving my skin's texture and general appearance. Pores do look smaller which is really nice! Very very happy with this product and will be continually ordering - please keep!

  22. Mia K.
    Reviewed on Thursday, April 24, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    I love it!
    • The texutre is so silky and matte. I add this to my PC Clear routine and it works perfectly by hydrating my combination skin without causing new breakouts. I will definately buy it again when I use it all. Please do not discontinue the product!

  23. Sharon
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 09, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Amazing product
    • I've been using this product for almost 3 wks and have seen a dramatic change in my skin. I ordered this because I was looking for a retinol product to use for under eye area without being too harsh. It has diminished the fine lines around my eyes and on my forehead. I love the skin balancing line because it addresses my issues of aging skin and acne. Thank you Paula for your amazing products!

  24. Kate L.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, April 08, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Great Product!
    • This product is wonderful! I was using the CLEAR line and decided to add some retinol into my regimen and it is definitely a game changer. My skin hasn't looked this good since I was using Epiduo! Make sure to shake very vigorously! My only concern is that I am about 1/2 through the tube and the color has lightened (started out as a bright yellow/orange, now more of a light yellow). If it seems to be not working, I'll probably exchange it for another tube.

  25. Kylie B
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 29, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Excellent serum
    • I loved the feel of this serum from the first time I used it. It has a beautiful light and silky feel that sinks into your skin without clogging it up and leaves your skin feeling soft and hydrated. Shaking the tube is a small price to pay for such a great serum.

Page of 10 Next »

What makes this product unique?
Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol is a brilliant serum for all degrees of oily skin. Substantial, well-researched antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients and potent anti-irritants are delivered in a silky base that feels weightless on skin. Once applied, this product forms a breathable barrier which not only protects the skin but works to nourish and repair it. It also significantly reduces irritation and inflammation from environmental exposure, allowing skin to repair itself naturally. Those with oily skin will love the special absorbent ingredients that leave a smooth matte finish, plus ingredients that normalize how skin behaves. No need for a separate foundation primer, as this provides all the benefits of a primer plus anti-aging and mattifying ingredients!

This product is 100% fragrance- and colorant-free.

Who is this product for?
Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is formulated for normal to oily/combination skin. It is excellent as a foundation primer for oily skin. The formula is suitable for breakout-prone skin and complements a Paula's Choice Clear anti-acne routine.

Sources to support the claims made for Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum

Duodecim, Volume 128, Issue 22, 2012, pages 2,327–2,335; and Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, June 2011, pages 614–620; Archives of Dermatological Research, March 2010, pages 71–83; Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprolology, January-February 2010, pages 20-26; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, September 2009, pages 299–304; Skin Research and Technology, August 2009, pages 338–345; Dermatologic Surgery, July 2009, pages 1,057–1,065; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314-321; General Physiology and Biophysics, June 2007, pages 97-103;Archives of Dermatology, May 2007, pages 606-612; Cosmetic Dermatology, supplement, Revisiting Retinol, January 2005, pages 1-20; Dermatologic Surgery, July 2005, pages 799-804; International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, July-September 2005, pages 497-502; Experimental Dermatology, September 2005, pages 684-691; International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, July 2005, pages 116-119; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, January-February 2005, pages 20-26; Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, April 2005, pages 1156-1162; Mechanisms of Ageing Development, July 2004, pages 465-473; and Journal of Dermatology, November 2001, pages 595-598; European Journal of Medical Research, September 2001, pages 391–398; Journal of Controlled Release, January 2000, pages 7–17 Journal of Investigative Dermatology, September 1997, pages 301–305.

Key Ingredients: Chamomilla recutita flower extract, vitamin E, caprylic/capric triglyceride, vitamin C, grape seed extract, antioxidant, skin-repairing ingredients, Rubus idaeus, astaxanthin extract, retinol, cranberry seed extract, bisabolol, cell-communicating ingredients, green tea, chamomile, Glycine soja oil, vitamin A, Vitis vinifera

Product Ingredients:

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), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil (antioxidant plant oil), Silica (absorbent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

DIRECTIONS: SHAKE WELL. Apply morning and evening after cleansing, toning, and exfoliating. Smooth a few drops onto face, neck, and eye area before moisturizing (or use alone). For daytime, follow with a product rated SPF 15 or greater. Works beautifully under makeup (as foundation primer) and is suitable for use around the eyes.

Detailed instructions on how/when to apply your Paula's Choice products can be found in our How to Put Together Your Own Skincare Routine article.

Which Paula’s Choice serum should I use?

All skin types can use any of our serum and each provides multiple anti-aging benefits, but there are some formulary distinctions that make certain Paula’s Choice serums preferred for specific skin types. Here’s how they break down:

  • Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum and Resist Intensive Wrinkle Repair Retinol Serum can be used by all skin types, including sensitive skin. The Resist Intensive Wrinkle Repair Serum contains the highest amount of retinol.
  • Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is best for normal to very dry skin because it contains plant oils.
  • Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is best for normal to oily or combination or breakout-prone skin because it has the lightest texture and weightless finish.
  • Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is one of two Paula’s Choice serums that does not contain retinol. It’s the natural choice for anyone whose skin cannot tolerate retinol.
  • Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum has the lightest texture of all the Resist serums and is our only water-based (rather than silicone-based) serum. It does not contain retinol, so is recommended for those whose skin cannot tolerate this ingredient (or it may be used with one of our retinol serums).

Is the texture of Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate similar to Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel?

No. Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel is a silicone-in-water emulsion and has a light, water-based gel texture while the Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is a non-aqueous serum that has a completely different feel. They're designed to work beautifully together, or you may use the Skin Balancing serum with any of our other moisturizers.

Does Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum decrease the appearance of pores?

The silicone polymers in this product float over skin and minimally "fill in" pores, creating a smoother surface. The effect (as with all such products) is temporary and how long it lasts depends on your pore size and skin's oil output, as well as other products used at the same time. Overall, this product is not capable of reducing pore size, but it's conceivable this effect will be noticed and can be prolonged by pairing it with a matte finish foundation and powder.You can reduce enlarged pores by not using heavy, greasy products and using a well formulated BHA exfoliant along with other key ingredients found in our Skin Balancing line.

I use a prescription product with tretinoin (i.e. Retina-A, Renova, Tazorac). Since Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum and Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum contain retinol, is it OK to combine them?

We are not aware of any contraindications surrounding the use of tretinoin and retinol and believe this combination is beneficial to skin. Because this question concerns a prescription drug, we recommend consulting your physician and following his or her advice. Alternately, you can apply the serum in the morning and the prescription retinoid product at night.

At what point after my laser and/or peel procedure can I begin using my serum again?

First, we urge you to follow the post-procedure instructions your doctor or nurse provided. If nothing was mentioned about when to resume use of a serum, please contact the doctor's office where you had the procedure done. Otherwise, our general advice is to begin using your serum again as soon as possible. All of our serums contain skin-repairing, anti-inflammatory, and replenishing ingredients that calm reddened skin and help enhance the healing process. Make sure you're also protecting your "new" skin every day with a product rated SPF 15 or greater.

Is Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum suitable for those with rosacea?

Yes. Research has shown that retinol can reduce inflammation that leads to symptoms of rosacea. The other antioxidants and soothing agents in this serum will help calm redness and soothe skin as they deliver anti-aging benefits.

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