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Review: Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% AHA (Glycolic Acid) 🦋🌼

Paula’s Choice Skincare is an American skincare line, known for it’s no-fills but effective, actives based skincare that isn’t too expensive. What I like about the line is that they tell you how much active ingredients are in the product (for the the most part anyway) – e.g. the Daily Smoothing Treatment contains 5% glycolic acid. I can’t stand it when brands don’t give you this information because it’s difficult to know what kind of effect to expect from the product and whether or not it’ll make a real difference in treating your skin concerns.

I haven’t tried to many of Paula’s products, but somewhere down the line a year or two ago, I got my hands on the Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% AHA (Glycolic Acid). I wondered how it would differ from Alpha H’s cult product Liquid Gold, which also contains 5% Glycolic Acid. To find out more, keep on reading! ☺️

A daily leave-on AHA exfoliant that reveals a truly smoother, more radiant, even-toned complexion by helping skin naturally exfoliate as younger skin does.
  1. Renews the appearance of dry, sun-damaged skin

  2. Naturally exfoliates dead skin cells

  3. Lightweight, hydrating lotion consistency

  4. Use once or twice daily after cleansing & toningWhy is it different?

RESIST Daily Smoothing Treatment with 5% AHA refines the surface of skin with exceptionally gentle and completely non-abrasive exfoliation. It also offers additional benefits, including hydration, soothing antioxidants, and a mix of fortifying skin-restoring ingredients.This product has an optimal pH range of 3.5–3.9.

What does it do?

Reveals youthful radiant skin and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This innovative daily-use formula continually revitalises skin’s texture, visibly evens skin tone, and helps promote visibly firmer-looking, smoother skin. A specially selected mix of antioxidants helps fight the impact of free-radical damage, while ceramides and peptides bind moisture for beautifully radiant skin.How to use

Apply once or twice daily after cleansing and toning over the entire face, avoiding direct contact with eyes and lips. Do not rinse. For daytime, follow with a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 15 or greater.When using your product for the first time, you may need to “prime” the dispenser. To prime, simply pump the dispenser slowly about 10-15 times. If the dispenser stops working at any time, simply repeat the “priming” step. Do not attempt to dismantle the package.Sun Protection Advice When Using Any AHA Exfoliant: This product contains 5% glycolic acid, an ingredient that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and the possibility of sunburn. Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 15 or greater every day. When outdoors, wear protective clothing whenever possible, seek shade, and avoid prolonged sun exposure.


Water (Aqua), Glycolic Acid (alpha hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Cetyl Alcohol (texture-enhancing), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Dimethicone (hydrations/texture enhancer), Polyacrylamide (texture-enhancing), PPG-14 Butyl Ether (texture-enhancing), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (skin-restoring ingredient), Ceramide NG (skin replenishing), Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuloylmethane (skin-soothing/antioxidants derived from curcumin), Epigallocatechin Gallate (antioxidant), Salicylic Acid (BHA exfoliant/skin-soothing), Disodium Lauriminodipropionate Tocopheryl Phosphates (vitamin e based antioxidant), PEG-10 Phytosterol, Cucumis Melo (Melon Fruit Extract (antioxidant), Bisabolol (skin-soothing), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethiconol (hydrations/texture enhancers), Tribehenin (texture enhancer), Polysorbate 20 (texture-enhancing), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, PEG-40 Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate (texture-enhancings), PVM/MA Decadiene Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA (stabiliser), C13-14 Isoparaffin (solvent), Laureth-7 (texture-enhancing), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin conditioning agent), Hexylene Glycol (solvent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

There is two types of acids commonly used in skincare and dermatological treatments – alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). While AHAs (like glycolic acid) are not oil soluble and are only water soluble, they work at refining skin texture – especially when it comes to refining fine lines, wrinkles and surface scars (like hyper-pigmentation, which occurs after a breakout or a deeper pimple). This makes AHAs perfect for sun damaged skin, skin prone to all types of pigmentation, skin already showing the signs of ageing (wrinkles or dehydration lines) and skin with bumps and a ‘rougher texture’.

An AHA derived from sugar cane, glycolic acid’s molecules are the smallest out of all acids, so they absorb into the skin very well and absorb into the deepest levels of the dermis. For this reason, glycolic acid is really popular in take home skin care products. Glycolic acid really smooths the skin and any surface irregularities, evening out skin tone so it appears more youthful and refined. Because glycolic acid’s molecules are so small, it can be irritating to the skin, but most products containing glycolic acid in their formula, now contain a whole host of soothing and hydrating ingredients to boot! The daily smoothing treatment also contains allantoin, a very underrated skincare ingredient in my books!

Lab-created allantoin is chemically equivalent to its naturally-occurring counterpart, and has been shown to be non-toxic and safe for use in a variety of cosmetic applications (International Journal of Toxicology). In its organic form, allantoin is found in several plants, such as sugar beet, comfrey, chamomile, tobacco seed, and wheat sprouts. A popular source of allantoin is the extract of comfrey, a species of herb native to Europe. Interestingly, it is named for the allantois, a structure involved in the exchange of nutrients and waste for developing embryos.

Most notably, allantoin is considered an effective moisturizing ingredient when used in skincare, and its gentle, non-irritating qualities make it an excellent addition to anti-aging products for those with sensitive or easily irritated skin. Additionally, allantoin is a known keratolytic, meaning that it can increase the water content of cells while also aiding in the process of desquamation of the outer layers of skin. Allantoin may also help to:

  1. Skin Smoothness

  2. Aid in Wound Healing

  3. Promote Cell Proliferation and & Longevity

*information taken from

Alongside allantoin, it also contains antioxidants like vitamin E and hydrating/comforting ceramides.

One of the first things I noticed about this glycolic acid treatment (and boy is there a lot of them on the market now…) is that the treatment is a LOTION. It’s not a liquid. I LOVE this! I find liquids to be messy. I liquid treatments by pouring some of the product into the palm of my hand, before patting in the product into my skin. I don’t use cotton pads soaked in the solution (yes, it would be less messy) because I find that to be too wasteful. I don’t want to use and throw out so many cotton pads and waste product (a lot of product remains in the cotton pads) so a cream or lotion type consistency is the best! No wastage or mess. The product comes in a pump bottle to also keep the treatment and ingredients fresh and effective. The lotion is very light feeling and absorbs into the skin very well.

I didn’t use the Daily Smoothing Treatment morning and night as suggested, I only used it every second night. I would wake up with very soft and smooth skin. It certainly gets rid of any dry/flaky ‘bits’ plus redness in the skin. It certainly works to refine skin texture and does so brilliantly. I didn’t find my skin to be dry at all the morning after – if anything, skin is more plump and hydrated 💦 I also think it is less irritating than Liquid Gold…. I love Liquid Gold too, but it can sting and make my skin tingle. Not so much that it puts me off using the product (the sensation is only momentary) but there is a difference between the products. Liquid Gold also contains a good amount of liquorice extract which works to brighten skin and pigmentation. The Daily Smoothing Treatment on the other hand also includes salicylic acid – a BHA which is oil soluble, meaning it’s great for unblocking pores. We don’t know how much salicylic acid is in the treatment (I’d love it if Paula’s Choice told you this) but it’s pretty high on the ingredient list, so hopefully it’s around the 1 or 2% mark.

Has the Daily Smoothing Treatment lightened my pigmentation at all? I don’t think so… if it has – it has done so minimally. I am really wanting to try a 10% glycolic acid treatment and Paula’s Choice does do one, but it’s a liquid which is a shame. SkinCeuticals does a 10% Glycolic Acid treatment serum, which I think is a goer… albeit much more expensive.

I have to say that I am very happy with the Daily Smoothing Treatment. It has a great complex formula (from hydrating to soothing ingredients, plus antioxidants AND salicylic acid to boot!) and if I had used it morning and night. perhaps it would have been more ‘heavy hitting’, You can certainly layer it on top of your morning vitamin C/antioxidant serum and use it at night if you are not using it together with vitamin A/retinol. I love the products texture and consistency. It’s a lotion (it has the feeling or consistency of a very light cream) and not a liquid, which is a big plus is my books (the lotion texture is not oily at all either).

The price point is fabulous also – for 50ml you pay $44, but currently it’s on sale on Paula Choice’s Australian website for $35.20 which is even better! I highly recommend it ☺️🌼

I think the next product I will try from Paula’s Choice is their 4% BHA (salicylic acid) treatment. It’s the highest concentration salicylic acid I have seen to date – every other salicylic treatment out there contains 2% BHA at most. I thought that COSRX’s BHA Blackhead Power Liquid treatment contained 4% salicylic acid, but it’s 4% Betaine Salicylate – which is a little gentler and weaker than salicylic acid.

So that wraps up my review Beauties! Are you a fan of glycolic acid? Have you ever tried Paula’s Choice offering of AHA and BHA treatments? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

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