RESIST Brightening Essence
Based on 79 reviews
This lightweight fluid works to refine an uneven skin tone and revitalize a dull complexion for visibly brighter, radiant-looking skin.

RESIST Brightening Essence

Based on 79 reviews
This lightweight fluid works to refine an uneven skin tone and revitalize a dull complexion for visibly brighter, radiant-looking skin.
  • Replenishing antioxidants brighten & revitalize skin
  • Instantly restores skin’s radiance for a healthy glow
  • Lightweight fluid texture
  • Use twice daily after cleansing, toning & exfoliating
Skin Types:
All Skin Types


Special Offer
NEW Lipstick: Yours for $10 on $50+ Details

Spend $50, get a Limited Edition Lipstick for $10

No promo code required. Offer valid while supplies last. Purchase the Limited Edition Soft Matte Lipstick for $10 ($18 value) with any $50 purchase. Limit one discounted lipstick per order. Discount will be applied at cart when threshold has been met, lipstick does not count towards threshold. Taxes, fees and shipping costs do not count toward purchase amount threshold. Offer cannot be applied to previous purchases, auto-replenishment orders or combined with other discounts or offers. Applies to in-stock items only; no rain checks. Offer expires 11:59 pm PT, January 30, 2019.

Free Standard Shipping on $50+

No cash value. Free shipping will be applied at checkout when threshold is met, after all discounts have been applied. Applies to US and Canada only.


We believe products should work. If you aren't completely satisfied with your purchase, we'll give you a full refund or credit for products returned within 60 days. Guaranteed.

    1 oz
Why is it different?
RESIST Brightening Essence is an innovative formula that contains a multi-brightening complex ideal for any skin type. The fluid texture has a concentrated blend of plant extracts, antioxidants, and skin soothing ingredients celebrated for their skin-brightening properties. Licorice extract, arbutin, vitamin C, and niacinamide, along with peptides, are infused in a quickly-absorbing delivery system to create intense, bright, and even results. The superior hydration delivered by two forms of hyaluronic acid increase the reflecting level of skin making it appear glowing and revived.

What does it do?
Combines a powerful brightening complex of arbutin and licorice extract with a unique mix of plant and vitamin-derived ingredients, including acetyl glucosamine and vitamin C, that research has shown can improve a dull, sallow, ashen or uneven skin tone. Its formula works quickly to boost skin’s radiance for more luminous, even skin.

How to use

Apply 2-3 drops onto face and neck. For optimal results, use AM and PM. For daytime, follow with a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater.

Show details

Phytochemistry Letters, Volume 13, 2015, pages 35-40;

Journal of Cosmetic Science, January 2012, pages 43-54;

Asian Journal of Chemistry, April 2012, pages 1805–1808

The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, March 2014, pages 27-29; and February 2010, pages 22-41;

The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Volume 13, April 2008, pages 20–24;

Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2010, pages 218-225; March 2007, pages 20-26; and December 2006, pages 309-315;

Skin Research and Technology, May 2006, pages 105-113; Pigment Cell Research, August 1998, pages 206-212

Product Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol (hydration/penetration enhancer), Glycerin (skin-replenishing), Arbutin (skin-brightening), Acetyl Glucosamine (skin-restoring), Ascorbyl Glucoside (vitamin C/antioxidant), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract (soothing extract), Arcostaphylos Uva-Ursi Leaf Extract (brightening plant extract), Morus Alba Root Extract (brightening plant extract), Niacinamide (skin-restoring ingredient), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-replenishing/antioxidant), Hyaluronic Acid (skin-replenishing/antioxidant), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (skin-restoring ingredient), Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (skin-restoring ingredient), Allantoin (soothing agent), Adenosine (skin-restoring ingredient), Silanetriol (antioxidant), Carbomer, (texture enhancer) Polysorbate-20 (texture enhancer), Citric Acid (pH adjuster), Sodium Citrate (preservative), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

Ratings & Reviews

The best


This product is fantastic. I cannot use most vitamin C serums (sensitive skin that reacts to ascorbic acid, plus blackhead-prone that worsens with tocopherol)- but this mix of gentle skin-brighteners works just as well, if not better, than any vitamin C on the market. Doesn't sting, hydrates, and noticeably brightens. I hope PC never stops making this! Although... they could update the packaging to match the rest of the lovely new look :)




Why Did I Wait So Long...


RESIST Brightening Essence is forever going to stay in my routine! After just two days of using this AM and PM I can already see a slight change. I am 57 and looking after my skin is important. My skin is also sensitive. When I apply this lightweight formula to my skin it feels so good. I felt no stinging at all.

Lori M.

Toronto, Canada


Quick results for dark spots and sensitive skin


I initially received this product as a free bonus item around the holidays and, since it wasn't part of my existing skincare routine, it sat under my bathroom sink for a while. After a couple months, I was back on Paula's Choice thinking I'd buy the C15 Booster for some dark spots I'd been noticing, but in meandering around the site, I looked up the ingredients in this product, realized it had a high vitamin C content, and decided to try it instead. I never exactly thought I had dull skin, but within a couple of weeks my skin had a nicer glow and radiance and was better hydrated. Those dark spots began to fade too. When I ran out, I switched to another free product I had received (line minimizer, which I don't believe is available anymore) -- and those great results began to fade over time. Now that I have used up that other product, I am back to the brightening essence for good, and even though I've only been back with it for a couple of weeks, I can already see and feel the difference again. I have maintained an advanced skincare routine for several years for my very sensitive skin, but adding this product to it has given my skin a boost that none of my other PC products have achieved. I definitely recommend trying it. It's a very thin liquid, so a little goes a long way, and I find a bottle of brightening essence lasts me much longer than other boosters or serums.


North Carolina


Works nicely!


I use this some mornings when I feel I need a little boost for glow- and it does do that! Works well!






I have extremely acne prone skin that can sometimes get dehydrated. This stuff is perfect for me because it doesn't clog my pores and makes my skin feel hydrated, soft, smooth, and look bright as advertised. Definitely a repurchase.

Angie C

Denver, CO


Lots of good ingredients for a healthy radiant skin


I have a quite good skincare routine in place and sometimes seeing results/improvements is hard even when adding a new great skincare product. The Resist Brightening Essence didn't yield impressive results, but once I started using it regularly in my daytime and nighttime routine I noticed my skin looking somewhat more radiant and healthy looking. I do believe it just helps my skin, since it contains arbutin, Vitamin C, peptides, niamicide and hyaluronic acid all in one (I don't need separate products and boosters). The essence is very fluid (an water almost); it works well for people who like to layer toners and essences. I used more than 2-3 drops when applying this essence, the skin simply absorbs it fast; but even with 5-6 drops applied morning and night this product lasted me beyond 6 months (the best from opening time on the package is 6M). The dropper doesn't `get` the 5-6 drops with one pump. The dropper won't get out all the product, towards the end of the bottle I needed to pour product on my hand to apply. I personally don't like dropper applicators, since I `touch` the dropper and insert it back in; but the opening is too large and pouring product on palm or cotton pad is difficult without getting too much out. There is the most minimal `tacky` feeling, but it never bothered me and the essence layers very well under SPF and make-up.

Ana, P.

Santa Clara, CA




Love this product and it is so light that it does not cause me to break out like most of the other serums do. I have fair, combination/oily skin that is prone to breakouts.


Orange County, CA


More awesome sauce from Paula's Choice!


I love this. I use PC 1% retinol about every other night. But I love using this in the morning. Definitely makes me look better. By the way I'm 50 years old with fair skin. I have used PC for about 9 years and there is no way I have the skin of a 50 year old woman. Thank you PC! Ladies don't forget your sunscreen because that's the main key to keeping your skin looking young and bouncy. That's the one step I never ever skip period in the summer I always get Paula's mineral non-greasy SPF 50. It's a big tube and a great value.


Bucks County pa


really made a difference!


I was surprised and impressed with this serum! Along with the 2%bha and the vitamin c, this is one of my faves. I really did see a clarity, brightness and youthful glow to my skin with the use of this product. Highly recommend!!


Pebble Beach, CA




It has given my skin a healthy natural glow from the very first time I used it. I just bought my second bottle and I don't think I can live without it.




RESIST Brightening Essence

3.9 79