paula's choice omega+ complex serum review

The best skincare products are best kept’s secrets.

Take Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Serum. While everyone’s raving about the brand Vitamin C and retinol boosters, this unassuming little serum creates a flawless, suppler canvas that gives you that radiant, younger-looking glow.

Think of it as the foundation on which to build the rest of your skincare routine. Here’s why:

What’s In Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Serum?


Omega fatty acids are the workhorses of the skincare world. They rarely get any recognition or praise, but without them, your skin would literally fall apart.

These fatty acids make up the blocks of your skin’s protective barrier. When that’s broken down, your skin gets all dry, flaky, and irritated. Fatty acids patch up any holes in it, nursing skin back to its usual, supple and soft self.

Plus, they deeply moisturise skin, soothe redness and irritations, and heal flaking. In other words, when your skin has all the omega fatty acids it needs, it looks healthier. Suppler. Younger.

Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Serum has plenty of fatty acids. The highlights are:

  • Linseed Oil: A rich source of omega-3, -6, and -9 fatty acids, it’s super moisturising and soothing. It helps repair your skin’s protective barrier, makes skin softer and smoother, and helps calm down irritations.
  • Linoleic Acid: An omega-6 fatty acid, it moisturises skin, regulates oil production, and even has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe redness and irritations.
  • Chia Seed Oil: A rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, it strengthens the skin’s protective barrier, relives itching, and even has its fair share of antioxidants to slow down premature aging.

Related: How To Strengthen Your Skin’s Protective Barrier (And Why It Matters)


Ceramides are oily waxes (“cera” means wax in Latin) that make up the glue that holds skin cells together (together with fatty acids, cholesterol etc).

Their job is to strengthen and waterproof the skin’s protective barrier, so that moisture stays in (where it needs to be to hydrate skin!) and germs, pollutants, and other germs stay out (no irritations!).

A stronger protective barrier also helps skin better withstand the attacks of harsh weather, pollutants, and anything else that’s trying to harm it.

Talking about harm… You know when your barrier has broken down. All of a sudden, your skin becomes dry. Red. Flaky, even. Adding ceramides to your skincare routine can prevent this from happening in the first place – or nurse skin back to health if it’s already happened.

Related: Are Ceramides The Key To Healthy Skin?


Hyaluronic Acid is a moisture magnet on steroids. It attracts and binds to the skin up to 1000 times its weight in water!

All that moisture makes your skin super happy: it plumps it up, so fine lines and wrinkles look smaller; it makes it softer to the touch; and it gives it a dewy glow.

P.S. Hyaluronic acid isn’t the only moisture magnet here. Glycerin does the same thing (on a smaller scale).

Related: Why You Need To Add Hyaluronic Acid To Your Skincare Routine

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that banishes dryness and makes your skin supple and dewy? Download your FREE “Best Skincare Routine For Dry Skin” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):


Silky, lightweight lotion. It sinks in quickly into the skin without leaving any tacky residue behind.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

In the AM, after your Vitamin C serum and before sunscreen. Unless your skin is very dry, this acts like a light moisturiser.

In the PM, right before moisturiser.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Serum is a godsend for dry skin. Dehydrated skin. Sensitive skin. Any time your skin needs some TLC, basically.

I use it every night right before moisturiser and, when I wake up in the morning, my skin just looks better. The first thing I noticed was the smoothness. OMG, it makes my skin so baby soft, I can hardly stop touching my face.

It’s plumper, as well. The fine lines around my eyes look considerably smaller to the naked eye. And the radiance. It gives me a subtle glow that screams healthy.

This is the power of moisture for you. When your skin has all the moisture it needs – and its protective barrier is intact – your skin looks its natural best. It performs at its best, too.

There’s more. If you’re dealing with any kind of sensitivity – be it rosacea, eczema, over-exfoliation, or just too much retinol -, this can help you soothe it. It reduces redness, relives itching, and calms down inflammation (the root cause of every skin woe).

I’m all for anti-aging serums, but without a properly hydrated base, those products are useless. Your skin is never gonna look its best. So get the foundation right first and – once your skin has healed – build on it.

And if you’re wondering, where’s the catch here? This serum isn’t suitable for oily, acne-prone skin. The oils in it are a godsend for dry and sensitive skin type, but can cause breakouts in oilier skin.

Related: Do You Still Need Anti-Aging Products If Your Skin Is Properly Hydrated?

Paula's Choice Omega+ Complex Serum

Who Is It For?

Paula’s Choice says it’s for all skin types, but it’s most suitable for dry and/or sensitive skin.

Who Is It NOT For?

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, the oils in here could cause breakouts.


A light blue tube with a pump applicator. It’s sleek, pretty, and practical.

Does Paula’s Choice Omega+ Complex Serum Live Up To Its Claims?

Omega fatty acids in this serum strengthen skin’s surface with the essential nutrients needed for healthy, hydrated, visibly stronger skin. True.
Fortifies skin against environmental damage. True.
Lightweight formula nourishes skin’s moisture barrier. True.

Price & Availability

$37.00/£34.00 at Cult Beauty, Feel Unique, Nordstrom, and Paula’s Choice

Do You Need It?

If you have dry and/or sensitive skin, this is a must-have (and I don’t use the word “must-have” lightly).

Dupes & Alternatives

I don’t know of any exact (or very similar) dupes for this serum.


Water (Aqua), Glycerin (skin-replenishing ingredient), Diheptyl Succinate (emollient), Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3 Esters (texture enhancer), Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil (flax seed; non-fragrant omega -3, -6, and -9 plant oil), Linoleic Acid (skin-restoring omega-6 fatty acid), Linolenic Acid (skin-restoring omega-3 fatty acid), Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil (non-fragrant omega-6 plant oil, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Oil (non-fragrant omega-3 plant oil), Ceramide EOP (skin-restoring/replenishing), Ceramide EOS (skin-restoring/replenishing), Ceramide NP (skin-restoring/replenishing), Ceramide NS (skin-restoring/replenishing), Caprooyl Sphingosine (skin-restoring/replenishing), Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables (skin-smoothing antioxidant fatty acid), Caprooyl Phytosphingosine (skin-restoring), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-replenishing/hydration), Cholesterol (skin-replenishing), Ceramide AP (skin-restoring/replenishing), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (antioxidant emollient), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer (texture enhancer/stabilizer), Prunus Domestica Seed Oil (non-fragrant antioxidant plant oil/omega-9 fatty acid), Lauryl Laurate (skin-softening opacifying agent), Glyceryl Behenate (emollient/emulsifier), Hydrogenated Lecithin (skin-restoring ingredient), Sodium Phytate (chelating agent), Trehalose (hydration), Isohexadecane (texture enhancer/solvent), Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (emulsifier), Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer (film-forming agent), Xanthan Gum (texture enhancer), Cetyl Alcohol (hydration), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Agar (binding agent), Glyceryl Stearate (emulsifier), Ceteareth-25 (solubilizer), Cetearyl Alcohol (hydration), Behenic Acid (opacifying agent), Glyceryl Rosinate (emollient), Citric Acid (pH adjuster), Benzyl Alcohol (preservative), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative).