Paula's Choice Nightly Reconditioning Moisturizer review

Can a moisturiser fight pollution?

If it contains enough of the right antioxidants, yes. They neutralise the harmful effects of pollution, keeping your skin supple and younger-looking for that little bit longer.

Paula’s Choice Nightly Reconditioning Moisturizer is loaded with antioxidants and superfoods that claim to do the job. Do they deliver? Let’s find out:

What’s In Paula’s Choice Nightly Reconditioning Moisturizer?


Sodium Hyaluronate is a form of Hyaluronic Acid.

Hyaluronic Acid is a moisture magnet: it attracts moisture from the environment into the skin, helping to keep it hydrated for longer. It’s so powerful, it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water!

All that moisture makes skin plumper, softer and brighter. (Moisture is the secret behind Korean skincare, remember?)

P.S. Sodium Hyaluronate isn’t the only moisture magnet here. This exfoliant also contains glycerin: it does the same thing, but on a smaller scale.

Related: The Complete Guide To Hyaluronic Acid In Skincare


Ever heard of free radicals? They’re little molecules generated by UV rays, pollution, and other skin enemies to cause wrinkles and dark spots.

The best way to counterattack? Antioxidants. They’re your skin police, patrolling your body for free radicals to destroy. The more antioxidants your skin has, the better.

Paula’s Choice Nightly Reconditioning Moisturizer contains its fair share of antioxidants to fight free radicals and slow down aging.

I was a bit surprised to discover the most tried and tested antioxidants, like Vitamin C and green tea, aren’t here. Instead, Paula’s Choice has replaced them with “superfoods”, like wild cherry and arugula.

Do they work? Just because something works when you eat it, it doesn’t mean it works when you apply it on your skin. I’m sure they do something, but there’s hardly any research on their use on skin.

For this reason, superfoods in skincare are still more hype than science. The brand has plenty of other moisturisers with more researched (and proven-to-work) antioxidants. I’ll stick to those for now.

Related: The Most Common Antioxidants In Skincare: Which Ones Are Best?

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):


Lightweight, it spreads easily and sinks in quickly without leaving a greasy residue behind.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

It’s the last step of your evening skincare routine. You can also use it in the AM, in between serum and sunscreen.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Paula’s Choice Defense Nightly Reconditioning Moisturizer is a pleasure to use: the lightweight texture sinks in so quickly without leaving a shiny or greasy finish behind.

It also works really well under makeup. There’s no pilling or other unpleasant surprises with it. And no breakouts, either. Phew!

It’s just not moisturising enough for most people. My oilier t-zone likes it just fine, especially in the hotter summer days. The drier part of my face need a bit more moisture than this can provide. Bummer!

But, how well does it fight pollution? Hard to tell. Antioxidants are preventative, so you won’t see results for years. But I’m relying more on my morning Vitamin C serum for that. Unlike superfoods, that’s proven to work.

Paula's Choice Defense Nightly Reconditioning Moisturizer

Who Is This For?

All skin types can use it, but it’s most suitable for combination and normal skin types.

Who Is This NOT For?

Dry skin may not find it moisturising enough.


A sleek, coral, opaque tube that keeps the antioxidants inside safe from the light and air that would otherwise make them go bad faster.

P.S. I have the travel size version.

Does Paula’s Choice Nightly Reconditioning Moisturizer Live Up To Its Claims?

Protect skin against environmental aggressors. True.
Flaxseed, wild cherry and other superfoods that nourish skin. In theory yes. In practice, we don’t have much research on how they help skin. This is why the brand uses the word “nourish,” a catch-all term that means nothing.
Sheer, super-light texture. True.
Eight superfoods plus antioxidants strengthen your skin’s environmental defenses while hydrating, softening and clarifying overnight. Mostly true. This cream can strengthen your skin’s protective barrier and help protect your skin from pollution. Clarifying is a term that means nothing in skincare.

Price & Availability

$29.00/£28.00 at Dermstore, Nordstrom, and Paula’s Choice

Do You Need It?

It’s not a must-have, but if you have combination or normal skin, you’ll like it.

Dupes & Alternatives