Paula's Choice peptide booster review

Wait, didn’t Paula Begoun swear for years peptides don’t work?

Yes – and then she changed her mind. Whether she caved in to customers or marketing pressure (certainly NOT science, that ain’t there yet), a few years ago Paula’s Choice came out with her own peptide booster – aptly called Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster.

Yep, not much creativity there. But, I’m digressing.

I’ve stayed away for as long as I could, but when I was sent a travel sample together with an order of my staples, I caved in too and tried it. Is it more hype than science like I thought?

What’s In Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster?


Peptides are made up of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). Think of them as messengers, signalling to your skin cells how to behave. They give orders as “boost collagen!” or “make more elastin!”.

Each peptide has a slightly different job. Here’s what the peptides in Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster do:

Awesome, right?

Here comes the catch: these claims mostly come from the manufacturer. There’s very little independent research confirming they do what the manufacturer says.

This doesn’t mean they don’t work. But I need to see a lot more convincing proof before I jump on the peptides bandwagon.

Related: Peptides In Skincare: Do They Really Work?


Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins. They make up 75% of the human body! They’re essentials to almost all of its functions.

Again, every amino acid has a slightly different job. Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster is loaded with them, so you get lots of different benefits:

  • Arginine: May help wounds and skin cell damage heal faster.
  • Valine: It boosts energy and helps with muscle tissue recovery. It’s not clear how it helps skin, though.
  • Glycine: Helps repair damaged tissue and speeds up the healing process.
  • Alanine: It hydrates skin.
  • Glutamic Acid: It hydrates skin, too.
  • Serine: Another skin hydrator.
  • Threonine: It helps your body better absorb nutrients. It’s not clear what it does for skin
  • Isoleucine: It repairs your skin’s protective barrier and increase hydration.
  • Proline: Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines (when used with glycine and leucine) and restores collagen synthesis after UV exposure (when used with glutamine).
  • Histidine: It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Phenylalanine: It’s used to treat vitiligo (a skin condition where patches of skin lose pigment).

Related: Do You Need Amino Acids In Your Skincare Routine?


Let’s start with the basics. Glycerin is in pretty much ALL skincare products for a reason.

It’s a wonderful humectant: that’s a fancy way of saying it draws moisture from the air and locks it into your skin. Once there, this extra moisture softens, plumps, and brightens your skin.

That’s the base you want to build the rest of your skincare routine on.

Related: The Complete Guide To Glycerin In Skincare

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, fast-sinking gel that foams slightly when applied on bare skin.



How To Use It

Morning and/or night. You can apply it in two ways:

  1. After other serums but before moisturiser/sunscreen.
  2. Mix it together with your moisturiser (never mix it with sunscreen – it dilutes the SPF!!)

Performance & Personal Opinion

You can use Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster on its own or mix it with your fave moisturiser. I’m not a fan of mixing anything, so I do the former.

After a month of use, I can’t say I’ve gotten stellar results. The serum adds some extra moisture to my skin, which results in a softer and smoother texture. That’s the power of hydration.

Even then, the results are subtle. Don’t expect to wake up in the morning with younger-looking skin. Skincare takes time to work – this more than most.

I know some reviewers online have complained of breakouts whenever they used this booster. Luckily, that hasn’t happened to me. But then, my skin isn’t prone to breakouts anyway. If yours is, I’d try a sample first. Just in case.

Paula's Choice peptide booster

Who Is This For?

Anyone who’s curious to try peptides AND has the extra money to spend (this is NOT a must-have).

Who Is This NOT For?

No one needs this, but it’s especially not for you if you want a minimalistic skincare routine with only proven-to-work products.


A white and red bottle with a dropper applicator. It’s sleek and practical. I just wish it were bigger. This stuff runs out fast.

Does Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster Live Up To Its Claims?

8 anti-ageing peptides packed in a powerful booster for resilient, younger-looking skin.True. But then, resilient doesn’t mean anything. And hydration makes skin look younger.
Softens fine lines and wrinkles.True – but anything that hydrates skin does this.
Strengthens skin’s natural barrier.True.
Improves skin tone and texture.True.

Price & Availability

$52.00/£49.00 at Cult Beauty, Net-A-Porter, Paula’s Choice, and SpaceNK

Do You Need It?

Nope, peptides are NOT a must-have (don’t let anyone make you think otherwise).

Dupes & Alternatives


Aqua, Glycerin (skin-replenishing), PEG-8 Dimethicone (texture enhancer), Tripeptide-1 (skin-restoring), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (skin-restoring), Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (skin-restoring), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (skin-restoring), Myristoyl Hexapeptide-16 (skin-restoring), Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17 (skin-restoring), Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3 Norleucine Acetate (skin-restoring), Azelaoyl Bis-Dipeptide-10 (skin-restoring), Glycoproteins (hydration), Phospholipids (skin-replenishing), enisonedA (skin-restoring), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (skin-soothing), Arginine (amino acid/hydration), Valine (amino acid/hydration), Glycine (amino acid/hydration), Alanine (amino acid/hydration), Glutamic Acid (amino acid/hydration), Serine (amino acid/hydration), Threonine (amino acid/hydration), Yeast (Faex) Extract (skin-soothing/hydration), Isoleucine (amino acid/hydration), Proline (amino acid/hydration), Histidine (amino acid/hydration), Phenylalanine (amino acid/hydration), PCA (skin-replenishing), Phytic Acid (antioxidant), Panax Ginseng Root Extract (plant extract/antioxidant), Sodium PCA (skin-replenishing), Psidium Guajava Fruit Extract (guava fruit/antioxidant), Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract (acai/antioxidant), Ahnfeltiopsis Concinna Extract (algae/hydration/texture enhancer), Dextran (natural sugar/hydration), Hydrolyzed Silk (texture enhancer), Lecithin (skin-restoring fatty acid), Glyceryl Polymethacrylate (film-forming agent), C12-16 Pareth-9 (emulsifier), Trideceth-12 (emulsifier), Sodium Lactate (hydration), Carbomer (texture enhancer), Aspartic Acid (amino acid/hydration), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), Butylene Glycol (texture enhancer), Caprylyl Glycol (texture enhancer), PEG-8 (texture enhancer), C11-15 Pareth-7 (emulsifier), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (texture enhancer), Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate (hydration), Ectoin (hydration), Citrate Buffer (pH adjuster), Trimethylsiloxyamodimethicone (texture enhancer), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Ethylhexylglycerin (hydration).