Beauty Boost: What’s a Booster & Which One is Right for Me?
Every great skincare routine should include cleanser, toner, leave-on AHA or BHA exfoliant, daytime moisturizer with sunscreen, and nighttime moisturizer. Beyond those basics for all skin types, additional products should address your specific skin concerns—and that’s where boosters come in.
What Are Skincare Boosters? (What They Do, and Who They’re For)
A booster is a targeted skincare product that focuses on the unique capabilities of a particular ingredient that's used at a higher concentration.
Boosters target specific skin concerns like enlarged pores, dehydration, dullness, loss of firmness, and so on. They work with your other skincare products, allowing you to customize your routine so you can quickly achieve the exact results you want.
If you’re someone with a range of skincare concerns, don’t worry—it’s fine to use more than one skin-booster. All of Paula’s Choice Skincare boosters are formulated to complement each other. They also work with our leave-on AHA or BHA exfoliants and other anti-aging products (including serums and moisturizers with retinol) so you can build an anti-aging skincare "wardrobe" that works perfectly.
Paula’s Choice Skincare Anti-Aging Boosters
10% Azelaic Acid Booster
Targets: The appearance of brown spots, post-breakout marks, uneven skin tone, blemish-related sensitivities.
- A 10% concentration of azelaic acid plus skin-smoothing salicylic acid and brightening plant extracts address multiple types of visible discoloration concerns, including those related to breakout-related sensitivies and environmental exposure. The lightweight, fast-absorbing formula is suitable for all skin types and can be applied all over or as a spot treatment.
Targets: Loss of firmness, wrinkles, dehydration.
- Our Peptide Booster delivers an unprecedented combination of eight highly targeted peptides that work with hydrating amino acids and key skin-replenishing ingredients to visibly increase skin’s resilience, firmness, and texture. This lightweight, all skin types booster unlocks skin’s ability to look and feel younger.
10% Niacinamide Booster
Targets: Large pores, discolorations.
- Our 10% niacinamide (vitamin B3) formula helps minimize the appearance of pore size and improve uneven skin tone. Its light-as-water fluid consistency features soothing agents, antioxidants, and skin-replenishing ingredients to boost its anti-aging benefits.
C15 Super Booster
Targets: Red or brown marks, wrinkles, visible loss of firmness.
- Our potent 15% vitamin C booster effectively combats several visible signs of aging. It increases radiance, visibly firms, evens out skin tone—and can also be used around the eyes to address crow’s-feet.
C25 Super Booster
Targets: Red or brown marks, uneven skin tone and texture
- A more potent and differently-textured version of the C15 Super Booster, the C25 Booster with 25% vitamin C is meant to be used as a silky cream spot treatment to target the look of multiple types of discolorations. Ongoing use significantly improves skin tone and texture while brightening ashy, dull-looking skin.
Moisture Renewal Oil Booster
Targets: Dryness, dullness, dehydration, rough texture.
- This blend of nine non-fragrant plant oils, combined with skin-restoring and skin-replenishing ingredients, relieves dry, tight, and/or dehydrated skin. Its fluid oil texture soothes temperamental, red skin—even skin prone to rosacea. Ideal to spot treat dehydrated areas, even around the eyes, and can also be used to enhance your moisturizer during dry seasons.
Hyaluronic Acid Booster
Targets: Fine lines, wrinkles, dehydration, sensitivity.
- Moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its weight in water, and combines with restoring ingredients to visibly plump dry, dehydrated skin, softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This booster's oil-free gel texture glides on to immediately replenish moisture and soothe skin.
1% Retinol Booster
Targets: Fine lines, deep wrinkles, uneven skin tone, clogged pores, blemishes
- 1% stabilized pure retinol and a network of proven antioxidants create an anti-aging superstar booster for all skin types. This water-based, weightless fluid glides on easily and absorbs quickly. It dramatically improves multiple concerns and is highly recommended for both signs of aging (especially wrinkles) and it's even suitable for blemish-prone skin.
How and When to Apply Skincare Boosters
Our boosters can be applied once or twice daily, or whenever your skin needs something extra. Some people like to mix their boosters in a serum or moisturizer; others apply boosters first, and then follow with those products. There’s no hard-and-fast rule to follow; our skin-boosters are about customization.
Where do boosters fit into your routine? Cleanse, tone, exfoliate with a leave on AHA or BHA product, then apply the rest of your skincare products, in order from thinnest to thickest texture. Always finish with broad-spectrum sun protection during the day.
References for this information:
Cosmetics, May 2017, pages 1-14
Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, January-February 2017, pages 9-18
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, March 2015, pages 271–280
Clinical Interventions in Aging, January 2015, pages 339–349
Dermatology, May 2014, pages 314–325
International Journal of Pharmacy, January 2013, pages 192–201
Journal of the America Academy of Dermatology, November 2012, pages 1,103–1,024
Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, October 2012, pages 20–23; and March 2009, pages 38–43
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology, August 2009, pages 130–135
Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, 2006, pages 2,558–2,562
About the Experts
Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:
The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!