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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 230 Reviews)
« Prev Page of 10 Next »
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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
  15. ANGELA M.
    Reviewed on Friday, April 05, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Perfect under makeup
    • I stopped wasting my money on makeup primers and use this instead. I am getting way more for my money. I used to have real problems with cystic acne, which is when I originally bought this product. Now my skin is clear and all my marks have faded (thanks to Paula's Choice!) so I may switch to something better suited for dry skin but in the mean time I am really loving this serum. I don't mind that I have to shake the tube and it really does last a long time.

  16. marlene h.
    Reviewed on Thursday, April 04, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    So far so good
    • I'm not really sure what results I'm supposed to get from this product. Quite honestly all PC products claims to do about the same thing. My skin has been looking smoother and my pores seem smaller. So far this product has not caused me any irritations and I like the silky smooth and matte feel it leaves behind. Therefore, so far so good and I just ordered my 3rd tube.

  17. CAREY A.
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 30, 2013
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    At least I learned something
    • Unfortunately, what I learned is that I believe I must be allergic or intolerant of retinol! I didn't mind the texture as some others seem to, but after a few weeks of use I sprouted small bumps around my eye / cheekbone area. The bumps went away after I stopped use. I hate to give a low-star review since I know it's not the fault of the product, but hopefully others will take notice if they are sensitive to this ingredient. I am looking to try the Ultra-Light RESIST serum instead. We'll see!

  18. JULIE C.
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 17, 2013
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Not so great anymore...
    • I really like the serum at first and was excited when the new packaging came out. However, after finishing my last tube just recently, I noticed that it has a problem with texture consistency. At first, the gel-like texture is great and nice on your skin, but then after awhile of using it the serum would suddenly turn really dry and crumbly. I cut open the tube and found that most of it were still stuck inside, all dried up and crumbly, and I feel that it is quite wasteful. Sadly disappointed...

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, April 08, 2013
    Thank you for your review and we're sorry it didn't live up to your expectations. The gel consistency you mentioned at the end of the tube is unusual, and perhaps indicative that it wasn't shaken before each use. With the Skin Balancing Serum's fluid-gel texture, shaking is necessary to maintain the aesthetics. Please contact our Customer Care Team with any questions or recommendations.
    —Admin
  19. Myra D.
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 14, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great product!
    • This is a great product! My skin looks great! This stuff reduces the look of my large pores, and makes my makeup blend in and stay on all day without shine. This serum also makes the fine lines around my eyes disappear. This stuff gives my skin a smooth finish, and makes my skin look bright and refreshed. I have had no problem with getting the serum out of the tube but I do give the tube a shake before using. I recommend this serum and I will definitely buy it again and again.

  20. PATRICIA B.
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 09, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    GREAT PRODUCT
    • I have used this serum for some time as part of my Paula's Choice routine. It makes my skin feel so smooth, especially around my eyes. I have "mature" skin, so anything that makes my skin look better is a plus. I have sensitive, fair skin and have never had any reaction form any of the PC products.The reason that my rating is 4 stars is due to the fact that the gel seems to change in look and feel over time - smooth and liquid at the beginning and lumpy after a month or so. Is this normal?

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Friday, March 15, 2013
    Thank you for your review! From your description, it sounds as if you may not have shaken the product before each use. While the Skin Balancing Serum has a unique, fluid-gel consistency, this is necessary to maintain the aesthetics. Please contact our Customer Care Team with any additional questions!
    —Admin
  21. MICHELLE
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 06, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Really Good Product
    • I was a little worried about using this because I have super-sensitive skin and mild rosacea, and couldn't tolerate Retin-A Micro. But I've been using it two or three times a week with no problem. In addition to the rosacea, I have just about every other annoying skin problem you can imagine - huge pores, occasional breakouts, and flaky skin. I use the 2% BHA gel twice a day, and while it's great, I noticed a significant difference when I added this product to my routine. Highly recommended!

  22. Heeyoung C.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 05, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love
    • I have very oily skin. Most of all serums made my skin even more greasy - not absorbed well, but just floating on my skin. But, this worked! My skin in fact less greasy for all day long -even though the serum is oil-based-, and my dark spots seem getting lighter. At the same time the skin feels less dry and more healthy. I often forget to use moisturizer after using the serum! - And it is perfectly fine without further extra steps. I highly recommend this product

  23. Linda F.
    Reviewed on Friday, March 01, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    No other product like it
    • This serum has the most amazing slip! I use it as a primer under my long wearing makeup. Without it, I find it difficult to really blend my foundation out to look more natural. My 50 yr old skin is still oily and still breaks out. Similar to others' experiences, my forehead tends to break out with it so i avoid that area. I'm not a fan of moisturizers, but I do like using this serum under makeup.

  24. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Sunday, February 10, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    My Favorite PC Product!
    • Love the feel of this on my skin and reach for it everyday, whether wearing makeup or not. It helps control the shine in my T-zone, even in humid, South Florida weather. It never looks gummy on my skin the way some silica products do and it helps mask my enlarged pores, when nothing else does the trick.

  25. CASSANDRA L.
    Reviewed on Monday, January 21, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    LOVE
    • I love this serum. At first I tried the Resist Antioxidant serum and it was a little too moisturizing for me. This has a velvet finish that works perfectly with my skin. Thanks Paula!

« Prev 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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