Paula’s Choice AHAs Exfoliants Comparison: Which One Is Right For You?

by Gio
all Paula's Choice AHAs exfoliants comparison

It’s time for a Paula’s Choice AHAs exfoliants comparison. Who’s with me?

Like, I’m glad I can have my pick but when I have to pick between 7 glycolic acid exfoliants… it’s too much. I mean, don’t they all do the same thing? What the heck sets each one apart? Or should I just try eenie meenie miney mo and hope for the best?

Fret not, I’m here to help. I’ve put together this quick guide to Paula’s Choice AHAs exfoliants to help you choose the right one for YOUR needs.

But first…

What The Heck Are AHAs Exfoliants And Why Should You Use Them?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs for short) are a family of exfoliants. Its most famous members are glycolic acid, lactic acid and malic acid.

These acids work by dissolving the “glue” that holds skin cells together so they can slough off and reveal the smoother and brighter skin underneath.

Exfoliation isn’t all they do. AHAs also double up as humectants, a fancy way to say they draw moisture from the air into the skin, helping to keep it hydrated.

That’s what makes AHAs the best exfoliants for dry and sun-damaged skin. If you’re oily, sensitive or acne-prone, look elsewhere.

Related: What’s The Best Way To Exfoliate Each Skin Type?

Ready for the Paula’s Choice AHAs exfoliants comparison? Here we go:

Resist Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA ($36.00)

What AHAs are here?: Glycolic, lactic, malic and tartaric. Plus, BHA salicylic acid.

What is it good for?: treats sun damage, brightens skin and unclogs pores.

What else is in the formula?: ceramides to strengthens your skin’s protective barrier and antioxidants, like green tea and grape seed extract, to prevent wrinkles.

What’s the texture like?: lightweight, milky liquid that absorbs quickly into the skin.

Who should use it?: oily and mature skin types that need to tackle both wrinkles, dark spots and acne.

Where to buy it: Look Fantastic, Nordstrom and Paula’s Choice

Related: Lactic Vs Glycolic Acid: Which One Should You Choose? 

Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment With 5% AHA ($33.00)

What AHAs are here?: Glycolic acid. Plus BHA salicylic acid.

What is it good for?: treats sun damage, brightens the complexion and lightly hydrates skin.

What else is in the formula?: ceramides to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and antioxidants, like green tea and vitamin E, to help prevent wrinkles.

What’s the texture like?: lightweight lotion that sinks in quickly into the skin.

Who should use it?: dry skin who needs the extra hydration and first time glycolic acid users with dry skin who aren’t ready for higher strengths.

Where to buy it: Look FantasticPaula’s Choice, Selfridges and Skinstore

Related: AHAs VS BHA: Which One Should You Use?

Resist Skin Revealing 10% AHA Body Lotion ($28.00)

What AHAs are here?: Glycolic acid

What is it good for?: evens out skin tone,  smoothens out dry, rough patches and lightly moisturises skin.

What else is in the formula?: Shea butter to moisturise and antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, to prevent wrinkles.

What’s the texture like?: Light cream.

Who should use it?: everyone who takes her body care seriously and wants to keep the body smooth and young too.

Where to buy it: Dermstore, Look FantasticPaula’s Choice and Skinstore

Related: Why Shea Butter Is A Godsend For Dry Skin

Resist Triple Action Dark Spots Eraser 7% AHA Lotion ($27.00)

What AHAs are here?: Glycolic acid and lactic acid.

What is it good for?: fading hyperpigmentation and dark spots.

What else is in the formula?: hydroquinone to fade away discolourations and humectants (they attract moisture from the air into the skin) to hydrate. Plus, a sprinkle of antioxidants to prevent premature aging.

What’s the texture like?: lightweight lotion that sinks in quickly.

Who should use it?: anyone with any kind of hyperpigmentation.

Where to buy it: Dermstore, NordstromPaula’s Choice and Skinstore

Related: Battle Of The Skin-Lighteners: Which One Is The Best Alternative To Hydroquinone

Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment With 10% AHA ($36.00)

What AHAs are here?: Glycolic acid.

What is it good for?: treats sun damage, smoothens out skin’s texture and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

What else is in the formula?: plenty of antioxidants – like green tea, vitamin C and liquorice – to prevent wrinkles and soothing agents – like chamomile and aloe vera – to minimise irritation.

What’s the texture like?: lightweight and watery, sinks in immediately.

Who should use it?: dry and sun-damaged skin.

Where to buy it: Feel Unique, Look Fantastic, Paula’s Choice and Skinstore

Related: The Complete Guide To Glycolic Acid

Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant ($29.00)

What AHAs are here?: Glycolic acid.

What is it good for?: evens out the skintone and brightens the complexion.

What else is in the formula?: chamomile and aloe vera to soothe, green tea to prevent wrinkles and hyaluronic acid to hydrate.

What’s the texture like?: lightweight gel that sinks in quickly.

Who should use it?: Paula made this for combo and oily skin type. But imo, one of her BHA exfoliants is a much better option for you.

Where to buy it: DermstorePaula’s Choice and Skinstore

Related: Why Salicylic Acid Is Key To Spot-Free Skin

Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Lotion ($29.00)

What AHAs are here?: Glycolic acid.

What is it good for?: smoothen out your skin’s texture, brightens the complexion and lightly hydrate skin.

What else is in the formula?: Glycerin to hydrate skin and anti-inflammatory ingredients, like allantoin and bisabobol, to minimise irritation.

What’s the texture like?: lightly emollient lotion.

Who should use it?: young, dry skin.

Where to buy it: DermstoreLook Fantastic and Paula’s Choice

Related: How To Care For Dry Skin (+ Skincare Routine Cheatsheet!)

SHOP THE POST

Paula’s Choice AHAs exfoliants comparison: A Recap

The Resist line is for dry and mature skin that’s suffered some sun damage. As always, start from the lowest concentration and build your way up. The Skin Perfecting Line is better suited to young women who need to combat dryness and prevent, rather than treat, sun damage. Take your pick!

I hope you’ve found this Paula’s Choice AHAs Exfoliants comparison useful. Leave a comment below and let me know which one you’re going for!

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2 comments

Alecia Putt July 25, 2019 - 4:26 pm

Hi Gio – love your site, you are what the skincare industry needs! I’d like to add Resist Daily 5% AHA to my routine (I’m 37, dry skin and the dreaded wrinkles appearing!). I tend to cleanse, CE ferulic, hyaluronic acid, moisturise and SPF in the morning and do the same in the evening but add Niod Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist. So my question is – where does the AHA fit into the routine or should it be stand alone? Thank you 😊 Alecia

Reply
Gio August 8, 2019 - 6:44 pm

Alecia, thank you! Use it every other night after cleansing. Wait 10 minutes and do the rest of your skincare routine.

Reply

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