Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Paula's Choice RESIST Ultra-Light Antioxidant Serum Review

A new "holy grail" product of mine I've been meaning to review for a while now is the Paula's Choice RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum. (I guess it's barely "new" to me anymore, since I'm almost finished with my second tube!)

In my experience, it is extremely difficult to find a good serum when you have combination/oily, acne-prone skin. Most companies seem to have the idea that a serum should be either A) very rich and emollient, which often results in breakouts for me; B) light in consistency, which often translates to "full of alcohol" and therefore often results in my skin gradually becoming more and more dry and irritated; C) another word for "a light moisturizer"; or D) a makeup primer, which often translates to "a great big mix of silicones with no real benefits to the skin." I don't really have much use for any of those. Sometimes I'll take the "light moisturizer" version, like Guerlain's Super Aqua Serum (reviewed here), but I don't really consider those serums when I use one because I don't follow it up with another moisturizer.

Well, I'm so thrilled to say that in my opinion, Paula's Choice got it right with their RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum. I absolutely love this product and can honestly say that it's my #2 top skincare product now, with Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid (reviewed here) still reigning as king. There are other skincare products I love as much as I love these two, but none as irreplaceable: I have favorite lip balms, moisturizers, cleansers, etc., but I would be perfectly fine with using alternative products if my favorites in those categories were discontinued. However, I would be lost if the 2% BHA Liquid or the RESIST Ultra-Light Antioxidant Serum were taken away from me.

So, why do I love it so much? It provides what I think of as a shot of hydration and vitamins to the skin. It's not greasy like so many other serums (including some other options from Paula's Choice that were too rich for my skin last I tried them), nor is it loaded with alcohols - in fact, it's alcohol-free. The product itself is a very thin, light yellow gel with a mildly pleasant scent that disappears after application. It sinks in completely within about one minute, and I apply it on my eyelids and under my eyes without getting any irritation in my eyes whatsoever or any negative effects to my makeup application/wear afterward. I also apply it to my lips, which leaves them softer and more plump.

The hyaluronic acid in it helps my skin absorb the hydration from the moisturizer I apply afterward even better, the niacinamide helps even out my skin tone, and the vitamin E, vitamin C, resveratrol, and quercetin provide anti-aging/skin-protecting benefits. There are even more good-for-you ingredients in it than that, but those are the ones I know the benefits of off the top of my head, and they are NOT all at the very end of the ingredient list (I'm looking at you, big department store brands)! It does have some silicones in the ingredient list, but overall I have to say it has a much more "water-based" feel than "silicone-based" feel to me. I think the product would be easier to dispense from packaging with a pump rather than a squeeze tube due to its liquidy consistency, but I'm not complaining; with the squeeze tube, at least I know I'm getting every last drop out of it when I'm running out! I just store it with the tip facing up and hold the tube horizontally/gradually tilt it upward as I squeeze out the product, so I can control how much comes out - no mess that way.

After using up about two full tubes now (each tube lasts me almost exactly three months, applied generously to my entire face and neck every morning), I can say with absolute certainty that this does not break me out, and I can see the benefits it provides my skin - there is an increased evenness and radiance to my skin that is absolutely apparent. In fact, two days ago, someone at work who I see on average a couple of times a week told me my skin was "glowing and so smooth, like buttermilk! You usually have amazing skin, but it looks even better now than before! What are you doing with it?" Who doesn't like to hear things like that?! I brought her some of my Paula's Choice sample packets I had at home the very next day. :)

Love, love, love. If you're oily and/or acne-prone like me, try this serum - you won't regret it! You can view the ingredient list for this product and/or purchase it here on the Paula's Choice website (not an affiliate link). Also, if you want to try it out but aren't ready to commit to a full size yet, in my experience, sometimes calling Paula's Choice customer service and simply asking nicely is all it takes for them to send you a sample packet for free!

Disclaimer: I bought this product myself and was not compensated in any way for this review.


  1. What a great review! You truly sold it to me! Your skin IS perfect, to be fair, and I will give this a shot. Am perfectly happy with my SAAF serum, though-on my third-but there's always room for more! Hopefully those ingredients will help with a bit of melasma..

  2. Thanks, dear! Please report back and let me know how it works for you. I don't have personal experience with melasma, but a bit of quick research indicates to me that several of the ingredients in this product have been shown in dermatological studies to help even out skin tone and/or heal the effects of sun damage: niacinamide, vitamin C, quercetin, and ubiquinone (CoQ10). Just out of curiosity, what does SAAF stand for? :)

    1. Ah sorry, I only just saw this now. I was looking up this post to confirm the name of the serum. SAAF just means pure in Persian,

  3. I love this as well!! I've been using up my first tube and plan to buy the second one. This is fantastic layered under sunscreen for day-time protection.


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