Paula’s Choice vs Exposed Skin Care – Review by LEELA PADHYA, Michigan



As much as I hate to admit it fellas, I fell for it.

Yes siree, I fell for the acne treatment products by Paula Begoun sold under the brand name ‘Paula’s Choice’ despite being a severe skeptic of hyper-marketed products and claims.

With a reputation that far precedes her, that of being a cosmetic sleuth who sniffs out the gimcracks in the market, I had set my expectations sky high before I even tried out a single product from her.

And I expected the products to wipe off the painful papules and pustules that had spread like weed all over my face and my back. (Thankfully, I got a better product soon in Exposed Skin Care)

To give you some hindsight, I am a teenage girl who’s been having an acne problem for the past 3 years. It started with the non-inflammatory variety which is typically called blackheads and then graduated into the inflammatory one with clusters of pus filled pimples all over.

The docs asked me to go the prescription med way. But I’m not a huge fan of antibiotics nor do I wish to use Isotretinoin which is commonly sold under the brand name ‘Roaccutane’ because it’s got a laundry list of side effects associated with it.

So, I have been sniffing around in the market for OTC acne products that can work or at least offer some respite from the condition. And so far, I have been able to find just a few acne treatment kits that even came close.

Paula’s Choice was the first product that seemed legit. I mean, here was a woman who seemed to know what she was talking about. She talked about ingredients for a change. And there were no promises of overnight cures.

Sadly, it was all talk. Yeah, I aint going to the cosmetics counter without you.



After a quick chat with one of their skin experts using the Live Chat function on the website, I was asked to purchase their ‘CLEAR Extra Strength Kit’ that costs $48. I am a student and I had to bite down while I made that purchase.

This is a 3 product package that helps clear stubborn acne according to Paula.

There’s a Pore Normalizing Cleanser, an Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution and a Daily Skin Clearing Treatment.

Paula supports using pumps and opaque tubes to dispense the products to avoid the ingredients coming into contact with the air. So, the packaging is top notch.

Since she has always spoken about the science behind the products, let’s take a closer look at some of the ingredients in these products.

Pore Normalizing Cleanser: The cleanser is more like a gel with Salicylic Acid as the main ingredient. The other notable ingredient is Panthenol which I suppose is added as a humectant to prevent dryness. Well, I had mixed results with the cleanser. While it did help control the oil secretion and clean my face, it did make it very dry. In fact, after 2 weeks or so, it started to irritate the skin.

Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution: This has a water-like consistency which is unlike any other exfoliating product that I have tried. But it also contains Salicylic Acid in the 3.2–3.8 pH range. According to Paula, this pH range is critical for skin care products to maintain their efficacy. For me, this seemed too mild as an exfoliant.

Daily Skin Clearing Treatment: This is basically a Benzoyl Peroxide based cream with Propylene Glycol and Allantoin as humectants and skin soothers. This is as good as any run-of-the-mill acne cream that you can buy off the shelf. Nothing fancy in here. There’s a bunch of research links to support the ingredients on the website though. But Benzoyl Peroxide has a huge list of side effects that crop up with long term use.

After persisting with the Extra Strength Clear Package from Paula’s Choice, I was left with skin that was drier and pustules that were more inflamed. The redness had increased too. The only good part about the whole thing was that I was able to claim a refund from the company. They were prompt with it.



There were 2 main reasons why I decided to give ‘Exposed Skin Care’ a shot.

1. It was very reasonably priced and had a bunch of promotional offers to boot.

2. It is one of the only acne treatment range that boasts of a bevy of natural ingredients along with chemical ones.

Now, I am all for science and I hate the ‘miracle product’ discovered in an exotic rainforest as much as you do. But I am also keen on using natural products that have been proven to work, as much as I can.

With extremely sensitive and highly inflamed skin, ‘chemical-only’ formulas like Paula’s Choice rarely work for me. Check out some of the natural ingredients in Exposed Skin Care.

Green Tea: Green Tea contains very high amounts of antioxidants shown to have healing and protective properties. For these reasons it is a highly recommended ingredient for all skin care products and an essential one for acne treatments.

Tea Tree Oil: Tea Tree Oil is one of the only natural antibiotics that can curb the bacteria caused due to acne without causing side effects or messing with your immune system.

Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is highly regarded for its soothing and moisturizing qualities as well as commonly used for speeding the healing wounds and for burns. Aloe itself will not effectively treat acne but it does deserve its place in quality skin care formulations.

Passion Flower: Passion Flower has strong anti-inflammatory effects. It’s properties can be very effective in offsetting and preventing the redness and irritation often resulting from the use of acne treatments and medication.

Just so that you know that it isn’t limited to natural ingredients, Exposed Skin Care also contains:

• Benzoyl Peroxide
• Salicylic Acid
• Glycolic Acid
• Sulfur
• Azelaic Acid

Now, all of those ingredients are proven to work to curb acne. These are precisely the ingredients in Paula’s Choice acne treatment products.

What makes Exposed Skin Care different from it is the blend of these natural ingredients along with the chemical ones that make it a lot more efficient and gentle.

For someone with advanced stages of acne, it helps to soothe, repair and tone the skin while working to remove the stubborn scars that acne can leave behind.

The products started to make a noticeable difference right from week one. The skin felt cleaner, toned and the acne was reducing. Most importantly, there was zero irritation, dryness or flaking. I attribute it to the natural ingredients that support the main ones.

You can choose from list of different products in the Exposed Skin Care range or select one of their prepacked 60-day kits, which contain 5 to 9 products.

Exposed Basic Kit (5-Piece) was the one I picked.

With the unbeatable 1-year money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose.

Just send the products back for a full refund if it doesn’t work for you.

Even when you compare the price point for the 2, Exposed Skin Care vs. Paula’s Choice, it’s the latter that’s more expensive per application.

So, there you have it.

Blend of natural and proven chemical ingredients, cheaper per application, great packaging and a bunch of promotional offers! Wouldn’t think twice about using anything else for acne ever again.



LEELA PADHYA, 18, Corunna, Michigan