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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:

80 out of 100
(Based on 225 Reviews)
« Prev Page of 9 Next »
  1. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Tuesday, January 14, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    People should mind their manners
    • This forum is for customers -ALL customers-- to share their personal delights and concerns with the manufacturer. It is poor behavior to judge, and make negative comments on what others' experiences are.

  2. JESSICA K.
    Reviewed on Sunday, January 12, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love it!!!
    • Great serum! Love how it feels and made my skin look. I have super sensitive skin and normally can not use any type of retinal or vitamin c products...they burn my face. This serum, along with the 15% vitamin c serum are super gentle, yet super effective! I've experienced NO BURNING OR STINGING at all.

  3. norhtstar5
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 11, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    fabulous
    • I don't know why people complain about the texture; it clearly says you have to shake the tube. That's what I do and I love it. Mix it with 3 drops Vitamin C serum and put it on every morning after 1% BHA gel, followed by Resist ultralight SPF 30 moisturizer. Brilliant regimen for my 46-year-old, sensitive, combination, breakout prone skin.

  4. Iman
    Reviewed on Monday, December 30, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Love it
    • I have been using this serum along with resist hydrate !! I am in love with both of them. it makes my skin extra smooth and fades the scar from my previous breakouts. it reduces the appearance of the size of my pores and I like the dewy finish after my makeup I usually use this serum as a primer too.. this is a must for me, what I don't like about this product it has a silicone texture to it while applying .. thank you Paula

  5. Travina J
    Reviewed on Friday, December 20, 2013
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    great product for oily skin
    • I have been using this serum for 2 months and i saw a difference in my skin from my first use. Firstly, i have combination acne prone skin, and can get very oily in my t-zone. this is the only product I've ever used that keeps the oil at bay. although it can feel slightly tight on my face, there is a glow about it. I would have given this product 5 stars if it wasn't for the consistency. Sometimes the serum comes out runny - it says you have to shake it before use.

  6. Stephanie S.
    Reviewed on Monday, December 09, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    The texture is UHMAYZING!
    • I am deeply loving this item so far. The very first night I applied it, I kept saying to my fiance how it felt like I was putting cashmere on my skin... this stuff is that smooth & soft. It feels like the silkiest powder once it is on and massaged into the skin, beautiful consistency. Having to shake a tube so that the active ingredients can be mixed into their vehicle delivery solution is REALLY not that big of a deal nor worth commenting about... give the tube a couple shakes and apply it.

  7. ela
    Reviewed on Monday, November 25, 2013
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    needs work
    • in terms of texture, the product is very nice because of its silky mousse-like consistency...it's like putting air....but....why do i have to keep shaking the tube everytime i use it? if i don't shake it, liquid comes out making it more oily. Over all, it's not very convenient to use especially when you have to rush out the door in the morning. the ultra light serum works better, though that one does not have as much slip as this one does.

  8. Melissa S.
    Reviewed on Monday, November 18, 2013
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Bummer=(
    • I have sensitive (dermatitis prone) combo (oily T zone) skin- This was the first product I'd ever tried from PC I was excited to try it & have used Retin-A from Dermatologist for years so figured it would be no problem for me. WRONG!! I used this every night for 3 weeks and broke out in a million tiny bumps (not pimples) and a couple of pimples as well. Took a full month to clear & tried again,same problem. Cust. Svc. gave a credit & I tried the RESIST Ultra-Light Antiox. serum - it ROCKS!

  9. ZAW
    Reviewed on Wednesday, October 30, 2013
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Impressive results in 1 week
    • I first tried 2 other serums that were thought to be a better fit, but after I found they remained too sticky on my skin, my consultant recommended this serum. I used it as my finishing step each night for 4 or 5 days without giving it any thought. When I used my magnifying mirror the following day, what I noticed was a reduction in pore size and an evenness that was new. I honestly thought I was mistaken and put brighter bulbs in my fixture, but it was not an optical illusion, it's my skin!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!!

  12. 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.

  13. 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
  14. 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!!

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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
  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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

  25. 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.

« 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 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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