DISCLAIMER: At the time this blog post was written, Paula’s Choice was owned by TA Associates, a private equity firm. Unilever, which is not cruelty-free, announced on June 14, 2021, that it would be acquiring Paula’s Choice. Since I do not support cruelty-free companies owned by parent companies that are not cruelty-free, I will no longer purchase or review Paula’s Choice products. I am not removing this review since I know many of my readers will still want to support Paula’s Choice.
Paula’s Choice is one of the most trusted brands in skincare due to its many years of research and formulas backed by science. The company offers a wide range of collections for a variety of skin concerns and preferences, but one of the most popular is the Paula’s Choice Resist line. Products in the Resist collection are formulated for anti-aging, with options for both normal to dry and normal to oily skin types.
I previously reviewed Paula’s Choice Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner. While products from the Paula’s Choice Resist collection can be used effectively in conjunction with products from any of the other collections, or other brands entirely, I think this toner pairs very well with the Paula’s Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser. Both products are lightly hydrating and contain very effective skincare ingredients which are best suited for normal, combination, and oily skin types. Paula’s Choice Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser is this product’s dry skin counterpart. Since I have combination skin, I use Paula’s Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser and that is the product that I’ll be reviewing in this post.
Product claims directly from PaulasChoice.com
A gentle daily cleanser that helps balance moisture while removing makeup, impurities and excess oil.
- Thoroughly and gently cleanses skin
- Contains skin-restoring ingredients
- Unique pearlescent cream-to-foam formula
- Use as the first step in your AM/PM skincare routine
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Other product details
- Price: $19.00
- Net weight: 6.4 oz.
- Made in the USA
- Cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny certified)
- Non-irritating formula
- Shelf life: 12 months
- Where to buy: PaulasChoice.com and Amazon.com
- Product is available directly from Paula’s Choice in 20+ countries/regions (each has its own website; they can all be found here)
- Amazon.com ships internationally to over 100 countries, but not all items will ship to every country. Update your default shipping address to see items that will ship to your location.
- Overall rating: 9.2/10
- Packaging/ease of application: 10/10
- Cleansing: 8/10
- Texture: 10/10
- Ingredients: 9/10
- Price: 9/10
Please note that I am not a skincare professional. I am simply an individual that enjoys learning about and using skincare products. Speak to your dermatologist or esthetician if you have any concerns.
Packaging/ease of application
Paula’s Choice always does a good job designing quality packaging. This face wash is packaged in an opaque pump, which is perfect for protecting active ingredients and also for making it easy to dispense the product.
The face wash itself smooths easily over the skin. A little goes a long way with this product, which I appreciate. Paula’s Choice suggests using 1-2 pumps per use, but I don’t ever need that much.
The description of this product states that it will remove makeup, impurities, and excess oil. I agree with that claim…mostly. However, I do find that it doesn’t always remove all of my makeup, especially around my eyes.
I’ve recently started using this cleanser primarily as the second part of my double cleanse (after using a cleansing balm) and I think that’s the best way to use it. I’m careful to remove all the makeup around my eyes with cleansing balm but I’m not always so thorough with the rest of my face, and this face wash sweeps everything else away easy-peasy. My face feels very clean and refreshed after I’ve used this cleanser.
The texture of this face wash is quite unique. It feels like a cream cleanser, but most cream cleansers don’t foam or remove makeup effectively. This one does both (for the most part). It feels very creamy and luxurious on the skin and once it’s massaged in it becomes foamy, which I feel helps with the effective cleansing action.
The texture of this face wash is also very smooth and gentle. It is completely non-abrasive and non-irritating. It feels wonderful on the skin!
Like all Paula’s Choice products I’ve reviewed, this face wash has an impressive ingredient list! It is comprised of a healthy mix of skin-loving ingredients and also many “neutral” ingredients that make the product more effective. While I am not a skincare expert, I believe it’s safe to say that all the ingredients in this formula are gentle and effective.
Water, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Glycol Distearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Acrylates Copolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP, Phytosphingosine, Phospholipids, Sphingolipids, Lecithin, Arginine, Cholesterol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol
There are 12 ingredients in this face wash that I’ve labeled as “good” which means they provide benefits to the skin beyond simply cleansing or supporting the formula:
- Natural moisturizer
- Sunflower seed oil
- Improves damaged or irritated skin barrier
- Loaded with fatty acids
- Sodium hyaluronate
- Sodium form of hyaluronic acid (humectant)
- Ceramide NP & Ceramide AP
- Two types of ceramides, which are long chains of lipids that are major components of skin’s extracellular matrix (the substance between skin cells)
- Protect skin barrier
- Improve the look and feel of dry skin
- Ceramide EOP
- First discovered type of ceramide
- Contains linoleic acid
- Omega-6 fatty acid
- Very important for maintaining a healthy skin barrier
- Lightens hyperpigmentation
- Plays a “binding role” in the lipid layers of the extracellular matrix
- Protects skin barrier
- Improves the look and feel of dry skin
- Complex fatty alcohol that functions as a water-binding agent
- Found naturally in skin as part of its natural defense system
- Complex long-chain lipids that replenish and condition skin
- Water-binding agent
- Amino acid that hydrates the skin
- Important lipid found naturally in the extracellular matrix (about 25% is cholesterol)
- Works with ceramides and fatty acids to maintain a healthy skin barrier and keep skin hydrated
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this face wash contains three types of ceramides! None of my other skincare products contain ceramides, but they are always good to see on an ingredient list because they are so important for maintaining a healthy skin barrier.
The only complaint I have about the ingredient list is a small one. Most of the beneficial ingredients listed above are in the middle of the list instead of closer to the top, which means the concentrations probably aren’t very high. However, this is a cleanser, not a leave-on product, and therefore I don’t think it’s as important to see these ingredients at the top. I see this cleanser more as a small boost in my skincare regimen; I’m happy to get any added benefit that it can provide beyond cleansing.
Paula’s Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser is $19.00 which is a little bit more expensive than most of the face washes I’ve used through the years. However, it’s important to note that not all cleansers are created equally. This one is packaged well, cleanses effectively, feels luxuriously creamy, and is formulated with quality skin-loving ingredients. It also doesn’t take much product to get the job done, so a bottle of this face wash lasts a long time. I think $19.00 is a fair price for this product.
Paula’s Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser is an exceptional face wash and a great first step (or part two of a double cleanse) in a skincare routine. It cleanses without drying, and provides ingredients skin needs to stay healthy.
Paula’s Choice labels this product as being for normal to combination skin, but I’m inclined to think that it would also work quite well for dry skin. This face wash doesn’t strip moisture from the skin like many do, and nearly all the skin-loving ingredients I listed above hydrate or condition the skin in some way. I think this face wash would be especially good for someone with sensitive skin since it is so gentle. Basically, I think this product would work well for anyone. 🙂
Have you tried any face washes or other types of skincare products from Paula’s Choice? They have a wide array of products and I’m always curious to know which ones are the best!