Paula's Choice Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator review

Have you noticed skin problems never come alone?

Take acne-prone skin, for example. It’s not enough you’re dealing with pimples on a regular basis. Once they disappear, the nasty buggers often leave a dark mark behind.

Not to mention, your skin still needs moisture. Without it, it gets so dull. But add some moisturising oils to the mix and it’s breakout galore.

Oh, and you’re not getting any younger. Tackling acne is fine, but you want to keep wrinkles off your face, too.

How can you balance all these difference concerns and give your oily, acne-prone skin EVERYTHING it needs? Meet Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator:

What’s In Paula’s Choice Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator?


Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator has its fair share of antioxidants to help you fight off premature aging. The two highlights are:

  • Epigallocatechin Gallate: The main antioxidant in green tea that neutralises free radicals, reduces inflammation and prevents UVB-induced damage.
  • Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate: A Vitamin C derivative that fights free radicals, brightens skin, and even helps treat acne by reducing the amount of P.Acnes on your skin.

Related: Is Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate The Best Form Of Vitamin C For Oily Skin?


If it were up to me, I’d put Niacinamide in every moisturiser. Why? It’s a multitasker:

  • It hydrates skin: It’s more effective than petrolatum at preventing water loss.
  • It soothes skin: It alleviates the symptoms of rosacea and irritations.
  • It lightens skin: It reduces dark spots, blotchiness (redness) and sallowness (yellowing).
  • It helps treat wrinkles: Preliminary research shows it can boost the production of skin-firming collagen.
  • It treats acne: Its effects are similar to those of 1% clindamycin gel.

Who knew it could do so much?

Related: The Complete Guide To Niacinamide: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It


The base of Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator is made up of silicones. It’s not as bad as you think.

For starters, silicones DON’T clog pores. It’s true they create a barrier on the skin that slows down water loss. But this barrier doesn’t suffocate it. How is that possible?

Simple: silicones have a particular molecular structure made up of big molecules with wide spaces in between them. This makes the barrier they create both protective and breathable.

But why are silicones here? Plenty of reasons. Silicones:

  • Slow down water loss, keeping skin hydrated for longer.
  • Enhance slip, making the texture glide smoothly on your skin.
  • Fill in fine lines and wrinkles, so they look smaller (but the result is only temporary).
  • Make skin silky soft to the touch.

Related: Do Silicones Prevent Active Ingredients From Penetrating Skin?


A pale yellow, it’s a hybrid between a cream and a gel. Lightweight, it absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue behind.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

In the morning, apply after serums and before sunscreen. At night, it’s the last step of your skincare routine.

Performance & Personal Opinion

First things first: I don’t have oily, acne-prone skin. It’s more like seasonal combination. My t-zone is oilier while my cheeks are drier, but everything gets a little oilier in summer and a little drier in winter.

When the weather turns warmer, I like to opt for a lightweight moisturiser that still delivers a ton of moisture while helping me fight premature aging. Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator fits the bill perfectly.

It has a unique texture – a mix between a gel and a cream. It feels lovely on the skin, spreading around like a dream and sinking in immediately without leaving a greasy residue behind. It feels just slightly siliconey – I like the feeling, but I know some of you can’t stand it.

I find it very nourishing on its own. Straight after application, my skin already feels softer and smoother. If you’ve got oily skin, this easily gives you all the moisture it needs.

Combination skin like me? On most days, this alone is enough for you. But if it’s a particularly cold day or your skin is feeling drier than usual, you can layer it over a Hyaluronic Acid serum for that extra dose of moisture.

With regular use, Vitamin C + niacinamide help brighten your skin from dull to dewy. If you have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (that’s science jargon for the dark marks left behind by pimples), this combo can help you fade them away that little bit faster.

(Are you dark spots caused by anything else? This isn’t strong enough to do much of a difference on its own. Check out stronger skin-lightening options here.)

The best part? It has antioxidants to help you fight premature wrinkles. When it comes to antioxidants, the more the merrier. Yet, it’s incredible how many moisturisers still leave them out. This one’s got you covered on that front too.

Related: How To Deal With The Dark Marks Left Behind By Pimples

Paula's Choice Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator

Who Is This For?

  • Oily Skin
  • Acne-prone skin
  • Sensitive skin

Who Is This Not For?

Dry skin.


Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator comes in a blue and white packaging with a pump applicator. It’s sleek and practical: it releases just the right amount of product you need and keeps the antioxidants inside safe from spoilage.

Does Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator Live Up To Its Claims?

A one-of-a-kind anti-aging moisturizer that provides immediate hydration while nourishing skin, creating a more even-looking skin tone and a brighter complexion, all while defending skin against environmental stresses. It’s hydrating, nourishing and thanks to its antioxidant content, can protect skin from environmental aggressors. It brightens skin a little and can fade away dark spots caused by pimples, but not those caused by excessive sun exposure, melasma, etc.
Visibly improves pores size. It helps a little.
Vitamin C and niacinamide brighten and smooth skin. Notice how they don’t say the moisturiser brightens and smooths skin. They say these ingredients do. But it’s true these ingredients are proven to brighten and smooth skin and here, they do help fade away dark spots caused by pimples.
Unique gel-lotion formula. True. I really love the texture, it’s so lightweight and smooth.

Price & Availability

$33.00/£33.00 at Cult Beauty, Dermstore, and Paula’s Choice

Do You Need It?

Yes! If you have oily, acne-prone skin, Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator is one of the best anti-aging moisturisers around.


Dupes & Alternatives


Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane (texture enhancer/hydration), Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate (texture enhancer), Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer (texture enhancer/film-forming agent), Glycerin (skin-replenishing), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Cetyl Alcohol (emollient), Niacinamide (skin-restoring), Dimethicone (hydration), Cetearyl Alcohol (emollient), Butylene Glycol (slip agent/hydration), Glyceryl Stearate (texture enhancer), PEG-100 Stearate (texture enhancer), Adenosine (skin-restoring), Epigallocatechin Gallate (green tea-derived antioxidant), Glucose Oxidase (hydration), Lactoperoxidase (hydration/soothing), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (skin-soothing), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract (antioxidant), Lactobacillus (hydration/skin-soothing), Polysilicone-11 (texture enhancer), Sodium Chloride (texture enhancer), Potassium Thiocyanate (hydration), Glucose (hydration), Xanthan Gum (thickener), Ceteareth-20 (solubilizing agent), Decyl Glucoside (surfactant), Citric Acid (pH adjuster), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).