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:

80 out of 100
(Based on 216 Reviews)
« Prev Page of 9 Next »
  1. Jessica
    Reviewed on Tuesday, October 29, 2013
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Not my favorite PC product
    • I really love the skin balancing toner so I thought I would love the serum too but after a month of use I haven't really noticed any benefits from using it. My skin doesn't feel any different from when I wasn't using a serum. Also the texture is a bit filmy and I don't like the way it sets on my skin. Maybe it's the changing weather and I should switch to a more moisturizing serum. I'll probably try a different Paula's Choice serum when this runs out.

  2. Benjawan S.
    Reviewed on Saturday, October 26, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Amazing product !!
    • I have acne problems sine I was a teenager, my skin would dry out very quick from many of acne treatment products. However, these Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol is giving my face a beautiful texture for my face and I can use it under my eyes. When I wake up every morning, My lines under my eyes are gone!! I find my face looks really flawless !!. Thank you for this amazing product!!

  3. laurie g.
    Reviewed on Friday, October 18, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Wow.......46 yrs old and finally pimple free
    • I'm using the entire Skin Balancing Line which includes this Antioxidant serum w/ Retinol. This product is awesome it slides on your skin like silk. I was using a prescribed Retin-A cream and it has ingredients that was actually breaking me out. I can't believe that I'm 46 yrs old and finally have clear skin. I mean completely clear. I can't even feel any bumps under my skin when I'm washing. These products, for me, are like a miracle. My self esteem is thru the roof!!!! MHG for sure.

  4. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Friday, October 18, 2013
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Liquid and runny - not my favorite
    • I generally really like most Paula's Choice products, but this is one I won't be purchasing again. As other posters commented, it keeps separating. While this may be done for the right reasons (to avoid alcohol) the result is a lot of thin yellow liquid which spurts out of the tube first (and generally onto the floor), followed by a glob of orange/yellow thicker gel. I feel like I've lost about a third of the product to spillage and the rest that comes out just generally isn't pleasant to put on

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Friday, October 18, 2013

    Thanks for your review! It's vital with this serum that you shake the tube thoroughly before use. Having said that, you may want to try one of our other antioxidant serums. Please contact us to discuss which one would be best for you.

    —Admin
  5. Jenn H.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, October 09, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    PERFECT!
    • I cant believe Ive managed to survive this long w/out using PC products. After just 2 months my skin is completely transformed! Had troubled skin all my life, even with clean diet/exercise. This serum leaves my skin feeling soooo silky soft & matte. Incredible under makeup. I use it 2x day (esp around eyes).... my skin looks amazing all day! THANK U PC!!

  6. Katherine V.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 10, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Great product
    • I'm 23 and have been using retinol products for about 2 years to help with my acne. Usually when I apply retinol on my skin directly after washing or exfoliating my skin becomes reddened and inflammed for a couple minutes. NOT with this! It goes on nice and smooth, really does mattify and is totally weightless. My skin does not get the least bit irritated and is a lot calmer. I wouldn't say that it keeps breakouts away, but it hasn't caused any and has improved the overall appearance of my skin.

  7. Carole Pantoja
    Reviewed on Friday, September 06, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Oily Skin? You've Got To Try This!
    • Hello PC Fans - Especially those with oily skin: This serum is part of my daily routine for my oily skin and I couldn't live without it. Make sure you SHAKE WELL before dispensing the product. I use this serum in the morning before my PC sunscreen and MAC foundation, and this is the BEST makeup primer I've ever used (I've tried them all - believe me!). I love how the product feels on my skin, and helps keep my complexion less oily and looking more balanced. Best wishes with your PC products!

  8. CARRIE G.
    Reviewed on Thursday, August 29, 2013
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Not right for me
    • I love Paulas Choice overall. Almost everything I use on my face is PC and I consider myself a user for life. However, this one just didnt agree with my skin. For the first time ever I have developed those little white hard bumps by my right eye and this is the only thing i had changed in my routine. I recently ordered the BHA 9 since reading other reviewers impressive results with it in hopes it can get rid of these bumps.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Thursday, September 05, 2013
    Hi there! We're sorry this didn't work out for you. Be sure to contact our Customer Care Team for help with alternatives (or with a return!).
    —Admin
  9. Natalie P
    Reviewed on Wednesday, August 28, 2013
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    nice texture
    • The texture is really nice. goes on the skin smoothly, matte finish. however, that's all there is. I almost finished the bottle and haven't seen any changes in my skin.

  10. SSK
    Reviewed on Friday, August 23, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great for oily skin
    • I've been using this for 2 months and have seen a softening in the crow's feet around my eyes and the frown line between my eyes. It also makes me less oily and helps with blackheads. It feels like a primer and makes my skin incredibly soft. Even though I shake the tube before each use, the texture comes out inconsistent, but the results are consistently great! I like this much better than the Resist ultra-light antioxidant serum which I was previously using and have seen better results.

  11. CARI S.
    Reviewed on Sunday, August 18, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    SHAKE BEFORE USE!!!
    • Shake well before use, each and every time! Otherwise you get thin, runny, separated product. Shaking thickens it and makes it easier to handle. I use this at night; not religiously, however. It seems to help control oil in T zone, and makes pores look smaller. Lasts a long time-- only need a little bit of product. The great effectiveness of the product more than compensates for the somewhat peculiar fragrance. I appreciate this fine product that gets fantastic results!

  12. Michelle T.
    Reviewed on Friday, August 09, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Unintentional primer w/ goodies
    • Despite the reviews about the consistency of this product, I really do think the positives greatly outweighs the negatives. I store this product upside down as it does naturally separate. Just give it a slight shake before opening, it's not a big problem at all. I use this serum after my moisturizer and it left my oily skin feeling matte, with a velvety texture. My oily, acne-prone skin has not flared since I have used this product. I like how I can use product in place of my primer.

  13. Bobbi D
    Reviewed on Tuesday, August 06, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    40 and fabulous
    • At 40 years old my skin has never looked more amazing! A little of this stuff goes a long way and my skin is softer and smoother and more clear than I ever remember it being. My only regret is that, after using Paula's site to research other brands and products, I didn't try her own products earlier.

  14. Andy W.
    Reviewed on Monday, August 05, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Will continue to use!
    • I just bought it and have used it a few times, great results, great packaging, great application. The gel texture is like soft jelly, and I like it. I shake it a couple times before use, and it's fine. I use it at night around eyes and laugh lines at night. Will continue to use!

  15. may may
    Reviewed on Monday, August 05, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Sliky Smooth Skin in 1 week!
    • This is my fav PC product!! At first I was worried about the texture (reading the reviews) but if you shake well it comes out fine. The serum is yellow & feels fluffy, when applied it feels dry and velvety, it makes my skin so soft (can't stop touching it) it makes everything I put on after glide on. Perfect as a makeup primer. Leaves my skin matte. For AM, i follow the serum with the hydralight SPF then the PC shine stopper and that takes care of my oily face. Also doesn't irritant my eye area

  16. Jessica R
    Reviewed on Sunday, August 04, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Wonderful!
    • I've tried Oil of Olay & Neutragena Wrinkle creams/serums, but they never absorbed into my skin & felt heavy. This serum is amazing! I saw a difference on my neck overnight. I know the expression lines will take awhile to see results, but my entire face looks so much brighter and soft after a week of use. It completely blends in and doesn't leave my skin oily, & my pores are starting to look smaller. I use around my eyes and they are starting to look brighter, too. SHAKE PRODUCT WELL.

  17. PATTI R.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, July 17, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    My Fave serum
    • This has to be my favourite antioxidant serum. I find it can be a teeny bit slippery when applying and I have to shake the tube before each use, but the results are amazing. It's perfect for my oily skin in the summer: it absorbs into my skin beautifully and provides a matte finish. And I get a lot of compliments on how youthful my skins looks.

  18. Janet
    Reviewed on Wednesday, July 17, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    In LOVE with this serum!!!!
    • I have been using this serum for two days and I love it. I was afraid to try it b/c of the mixed reviews which almost all talk about the bad texture; however I don't find anything wrong with it. Just make sure to shake the tube b/f applying it. I love how it feels on my oily skin. It hydrates it but it doesn't make it feel greasy. It makes it feel soooo soft that I can't stop touching it. I've used other more expensive products and they don't feel this great. Looking into buying more PC product

  19. SANDY F.
    Reviewed on Monday, July 08, 2013
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Disappointed :(
    • I love Paula and she makes one of my favorite skin care products, so when this serum came out, I was eager to try it. Like a couple other reviewers, however, I found that I would often times get strange clumps of product out of the tube, and other times get a watery liquid. This was a bummer as I didn't know why this happened (or if it was normal). I thought that I had gotten a bad batch or something.

  20. SARAH B.
    Reviewed on Saturday, July 06, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Ignore the texture -- it works!
    • Yes, the texture takes some getting used to. But it evaporates on skin and it works better than anything else I have tried on my oily skin!

  21. James
    Reviewed on Saturday, June 01, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    The Best!
    • This is a truly great serum. It's light-weight and perfect for me. I have oily skin and this is perfect. It's also Colour & Fragrance Free. I wish it came in larger tubes!

  22. Slivic31
    Reviewed on Saturday, June 01, 2013
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Not as good as resist serum for all skintypes
    • I had high hopes for this serum but it has been a disappointment in comparison to RESIST Super Antioxidant conc. serum, which i have been using since it came out, so about 2 years or so. Skin around my eyes feels thinner and finer and blackheads, which disappeared when I started using RESIST is back with a vengeance. I have given this serum 2 stars simply for the fact that my forehead, which is extremely oily, has been noticeably less so but the cons definitely outweigh the pros in this case.

  23. J S C
    Reviewed on Saturday, May 11, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Exceptional Serum
    • This is such an exceptional serum for combo oily skin. This is one of my can't live without PC products, I don't know what I would do if they stopped making it. Some people complain about the unique texture, but I find it to be one of the products best features. It has a nice light and airy feel when applied and feels almost like a powder when it dries. It leave a very matte finish (something I never thought I would get from any serum) and is not at all sticky. Thanks Paula!

  24. Annette P
    Reviewed on Tuesday, May 07, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    I adore this product
    • This soothes my oily skin when irritated, provides a primer and perfect canvas for foundation, concealer and powder. Lightens dark marks and feels like heaven on my skin! I love it, my fav PC product.

  25. Serena C.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, April 09, 2013
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    I really wanted to like this
    • I really wanted to like this but I just can't. The texture threw me off at first, especially because I use the Skin Recovery serum in my professional work and it has a completely different texture. After getting over it, and remembering to shake the container regularly, I noticed about midway through the tube the color of the product had changed. I also started breaking out more than usual, which calmed down after I discontinued use. Generally, I really like PC products but this was a letdown.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Tuesday, April 09, 2013
    Thank you for your review! We're sorry this wasn't a fit for you, but if you have oily to combination skin consider our new RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum as an alternative. Contact our Customer Care and they will happy to help!
    —Admin
« Prev Page of 9 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 Skin-Care 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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