Isn’t it annoying when a brand makes more than one vitamin C serum? Like, how the heck are you gonna pick one?!
Paula’s Choice is one of the worst offenders. It has 3 main vitamin C serums for anyone who’s serious about antiaging. But, it also likes to sneak vitamin C derivatives pretty much everywhere else.
Are you getting a headache, too? Fret not, this quick guide to Paula’s Choice Vitamin C products will help you choose the right one for your skin type and needs:
Pure Vitamin C VS Derivatives: Which One Is Better For You?
Not all forms of Vitamin C are created equal.
Ascorbic Acid is the pure form. It’s the most powerful. It destroys free radicals, boosts collagen production and brightens the skin tone. The catch? It’s highly unstable (goes bad quickly) and irritating. If you’ve got sensitive skin, you may not be able to use it. At least, not in high doses.
Vitamin C derivatives are forms of vitamin C that need to be converted into Ascorbic Acid by the skin. They do everything that Ascorbic Acid does but on a smaller level. They’re less effective but way more stable (so last longer) and less irritating. If you have sensitive skin, a derivative is the best choice for you.
Paula’s Choice uses all kinds of Vitamin C forms in their products. If you can tolerate it, I recommend going for Ascorbic Acid. But if you have sensitive skin or would like a Vitamin C serum that doesn’t go bad within a few short months, a derivative is worth considering, too.
Related: Types Of Vitamin C In Skincare Products
Now that you know the difference, let’s figure out which Paula’s Choice Vitamin C product is right for you:
Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster ($49.00)
What form of vitamin C does it use?: 15% Ascorbic Acid, the pure form of vitamin C.
What else is here?: Vitamin E + Ferulic acid, a combination proven to boost the effectiveness of vitamin C as well as the sun protection of your sunscreen
What’s the texture like?: Lightweight, can easily be used alone or mixed with moisturiser.
Are there any side effects?: Ascorbic Acid has a short shelf life, so use your bottle quickly. It may also irritate sensitive skin.
Who is it best for?: Anyone who’s serious about preventing premature ageing and dull skin.
Where to buy: Feel Unique, Nordstrom and Paula’s Choice
Related: Why You Should Add Ferulic Acid To Your Skincare Routine
Struggling to put together a skincare routine that minimises wrinkles, prevents premature aging, and gives your complexion a youthful glow? Download your FREE “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):
Paula’s Choice C25 Super Booster ($55.00)
What form of Vitamin C does it use?: 25% Ascorbic Acid, the pure form of Vitamin C.
What else is here?: Not much else. Vitamin C is in a silicone base that releases it slowly into the skin.
What’s the texture like?: Silky and rich, it glides smoothly on the skin.
Are there any side effects?: If you have sensitive skin, avoid this. This much Vitamin C can irritate your skin.
Who is it best for?: Fading away dark spots.
Where to buy: Dermstore and Paula’s Choice
Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Serum ($39.00)
What form of Vitamin C does it use?: Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (TA) and Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, two derivatives of vitamin C. TA has the edge here: it’s oil-soluble, so it can penetrate skin better than any other form of vitamin C.
What else is here?: Any antioxidant you can think of (Vitamin E, green tea, superoxide dismutase etc).
What’s the texture like?: Heavy and rich, but not sticky. May feel a little uncomfortable on oily skin.
Are there any side effects?: Derivatives aren’t as effective as Ascorbic Acid. It’ll take longer to see results with this.
Who is it best for?: Sensitive skin who can’t tolerate Ascorbic Acid.
Where to buy: Dermstore, Feel Unique and Paula’s Choice
Related: Are They Dupes?: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic VS Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Serum
Other Paula’s Choice Serums With Vitamin C
The serums/boosters above are the workhorses of the Paula’s Choice’s Vitamin C range. If you’re serious about antiaging, pick one of them.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use vitamin C anywhere else in your skincare routine. Plenty of Paula’s Choice serums, masks and moisturisers use Vitamin C derivatives to give your skin that something extra to keep wrinkles and dark spots at bay. Here are the highlights:
- Paula’s Choice’s 10% Niacinamide Booster ($42.00): It’s a myth you can’t use niacinamide and vitamin C together. This serum pairs niacinamide with ascorbic glucoside (a derivative of vitamin C) to brighten the complexion, fight free radicals and shrink pores. Available at Dermstore, Nordstrom, Paula’s Choice and Selfridges.
- Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator ($33.00): A lightweight, anti-aging moisturiser for oily skin. It uses Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a form of Vitamin C that helps treat acne. Available at Dermstore, Feel Unique and Paula’s Choice.
- Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum ($42.00): An emollient retinol serum with a few anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients thrown into the mix. It uses Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, an oil-soluble form of Vitamin C that penetrates skin easily. Available at Feel Unique, Nordstrom and Paula’s Choice.
- Paula’s Choice Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Firming Moisturiser ($58.00): A mid-strength retinol serum to fight wrinkles and firm skin. The ceramics base deeply moisturises skin and strengthens your skin’s barrier to counteract the potentially drying effects of retinol. Plus, it has 4 forms of Vitamin C to neutralise free radicals before they give you wrinkles. Available at Cult Beauty, Net-A-Porter, and Paula’s Choice.
- Paula’s Choice Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Firming Eye Cream ($48.00): I don’t believe in eye creams, but if you want to use one anyway, this is a great pick. It has a low-strength retinol gentle enough for the delicate eye area in a ceramides base to moisturise skin and counteract the drying effects of retinol. Plus, 4 forms of Vitamin C to fight free radicals and slow down premature aging. Available at Cult Beauty, Feel Unique, Paula’s Choice, and SpaceNK
I hope this quick guide has helped you pick the best Paula’s Choice Vitamin C product for your skin type and needs.