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

  2. 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.

  3. Stephanie C.
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 27, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Excellent - worth the money
    • This is a great product! It really keeps skin smooth and shine free. Works great under makeup or as a nighttime moisture boost of antioxidants! I used to be an Estee Lauder Idealist girl, but this has really changed me from that product. The price is much better too and no fragrance - bonus is you can use it around your eyes! I wish I'd started on Paula's Choice years ago!

  4. Daniela B.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 26, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    AMAZING! But a little pricey!
    • This serum is AMAZING! I have combination/ oily + acne prone + sensitive skin and this products has transformed my skin. I'm 24 and my skin care routine consists of ONLY PC's products and this one is key! I first tried the Resist Ultra-Light Serum because I was worried anything else would cause breakouts. Not only did the Skin Balancing serum NOT break me out, but it improved my skin. Pores are smaller, my skin is smoother, acne scars are fading. Everyone around me is noticing the difference!

  5. Caitlin A.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 11, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love it
    • This is a great product! I use two pea sizes every night and it has helped reduced my pore size and even my skin tone. It also makes me skin feel like silk! If you are concerned about the price, I have found using once a day is sufficient enough for me which helps the product last longer. Worth the try if you have oily skin or even combo skin like myself.

  6. DENISE
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 06, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Superstar for me too.
    • I agree with the person who listed this product as a "superstar" product. I love it. I have oily skin and large pores, and this product decreases the oiliness and smooths over the pores. I wear it straight on my bare skin and then use PC tinted suncreen and then PC foundation. Everything looks so natural. I like the silky texture and I don't at all mind shaking it. Thank you for this product. Please do not stop making it.

  7. Amy
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 02, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    My new superstar!!!
    • I'm 29 years old and I worry about my smile lines. I also have to deal with acne so I thought this was perfect. I'm so glad I didn't pay attention to the negative reviews! I will but this as long as they make it (so please Paula, don't discontinue or change this wonderful formula). So you do need to shake it (big deal) but this gel leaves your skin looking perfectly matte and smooth. My smile lines are hardly noticeable now, almost like if I'm 17 again :) LOVE it!!

  8. Brett
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 02, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Wonderful
    • Awesome serum, has an amazing texture that feels silky and a lot of silicone. Makes my face look more even and gotten rid of some eye wrinkles.

  9. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Friday, February 28, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Just not for me!
    • I gave it two weeks of twice daily use before reviewing, and sadly they were disappointing. My skin broke out over the course of my first day of use and continued on from there. Essentially my entire forehead is broken out at this point. That said, I still think this is a great product, just not for my skin. It works well as a primer and mixes nicely with the C15, and sets to a soft finish. I probably should have tried the Ultra Light serum instead.

  10. Amy O.
    Reviewed on Monday, February 24, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Excellent Age Prevention & Treatment for Oily Skin
    • I use once daily in the evening all over my face, around my eyes, and on my neck and chest. The dry texture feels nice and light on my oily, acne-prone skin. I have been using Paula's antioxidant serums every day for the past 10-15 years along with her 2% BHA and SPF 15-30 products. I am 31 years old and everyone I know always asks me when I am going to start aging!

  11. Allison
    Reviewed on Saturday, February 08, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Wears fine under makeup
    • I can't say I've noticed a difference in my skin since I started using this but it does wear fine under makeup. I feel like I should be using an antioxidant so maybe in the long run I'll notice a difference, but I use several PC products so it would be hard to nail down to one thing. My husband has been telling me lately that he notices my skin looking better and that's unsolicited from me - so that's good! I'll keep using it as part of my daily routine. It also lasts several months.

  12. Yanti Tiurma I.
    Reviewed on Thursday, February 06, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    The best serum for my 'moody' skin :)
    • I have an oily, acne prone and easily clogged skin. I use PC's products started Sept 2013. Initially i used PC's Resist Ultra-light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum but regular usage of it made my skin easily clogged. So, I decided to use SB serum and it works perfect for my skin. I have been using this serum at night everyday for the past 3 months. i love it! It somehow makes my skin less oily and yet hydrated. It doesn't clog my pores. Love...love...love :)

  13. Donna O.
    Reviewed on Monday, February 03, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Silk for your skin
    • This product is revolutionary. I wish I had not listened to the complaints about the texture. Should have started using this ages ago! It feels like silk and my skin is radiant. Fabulous primer as well. On my 2nd tube, and I have not had one single problem with the consistency. A couple of shakes (as directed) and it comes out of the tube perfect every time. I am happy to shake the tube because I appreciate not having that yucky alcohol in this formulation. Thank you Paula!

  14. Jessica
    Reviewed on Friday, January 24, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Really nice serum; would prefer more spreadability
    • This is a great serum for the price (all serums are over-priced for what they are); it's a fantastic formulation. I have combination skin, but next time I will try the Skin Recovery version for extra TLC in my dry areas. I LOVE that this contains retinol; that's the main reason I bought it. The only thing I wish is that it had better spreadability; it disappears so quickly on the skin that it's hard to tell where you've applied it! It's too pricey to use more than a pea-sized amount per day.

  15. H C.
    Reviewed on Friday, January 17, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Perfect!
    • I have used super ultra-light, skin recovery and resist antioxidant serums before, and have not thought to give this a try simply because of negative reviews. However, I should HAVE tried this earlier. I love skin balance serum far more than all the other. Skin recovery is too moisturizing for me. Super ultra-light does not cause breakout, but it gave me a stinging sensation (Niacinamide?), and too dry for me. The skin balance is just perfect. It is weightless, but does not bring my skin tight.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

« 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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