CALM Repairing Serum
With their CALM Repairing Serum, Paula's Choice offers something interesting and refreshing to this category of skincare products—a serum with ingredients that are capable of soothing sensitivity and redness in skin. Its water-based texture is also unique, achieved by omitting oils or occlusive thickening agents, making this serum workable for any skin type, even for those prone to rosacea.
Packaged in an opaque bottle with a pump-operated top, CALM Repairing Serum has a watery gel-like consistency that dries quickly on skin without leaving a residue. Note that because this lacks emollient ingredients, those with dry skin will still need to rely on their moisturizers, facial oils, etc. for use with this serum. However, it does add a light amount of hydration, and is sheer enough that it layers effortlessly under—or over—any other products.
While many skincare ingredients have the potential to work as soothing agents, here Paula's Choice seems to have focused on those with strong potential to calm redness and sensitivity.
You'll find a mix of restorative ingredients, such as multiple ceramides, sodium hyaluronate (the more bioavailable salt form) and pure hyaluronic acid. The ceramide mix contained here helps skin better recover itself from sensitivity, environmental damage and retain a natural balance of moisture. The duo of sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid improves skin's moisture content, calm redness, and provides antioxidant defense.
Of course, there are well-recognized ingredients such as licorice root extract, phytosphingosine and beta glucan. Other notables include sea whip extract, derived from a form of coral-like sea creatures without nervous systems or a brain, which has received a lot of attention over the last few years due to its strength as an soothing agent. Willow herb is also included, and this plant extract is notable for its potent combination of calming and antioxidant compounds.
Paula's Choice also included feverfew extract, which we confirmed is purified of the presence of parthenolide, a naturally-occuring compound in the plant that can be sensitizing. Feverfew is another excellent antioxidant with demonstrated potent soothing effects when applied topically to skin.
CALM Repairing Serum earned our top recommendation due to its unique take on soothing skin burdened with sensitivity and redness concerns. That it is such a lightweight formula—one of the few water-based serums on the market—yet contains an impressive array of soothing agents makes it an easy recommendation for any skin type (including the acne prone).
- Lightweight, water-like texture suits any skin type.
- Doesn't leave a residue on skin.
- Includes a broad series of calming ingredients with antioxidant and replenishing benefits.
- Layers well with other products, whether applied under or over them.
- Fragrance free.
This antioxidant-enriched, silky-soft serum soothes and calms the appearance of redness with a lightweight yet hydrating anti-aging formula.
Paula's Choice Skincare At-A-Glance
Paula's Choice Skincare was established in 1995 when best-selling beauty author and consumer advocate Paula Begoun (known as The Cosmetics Cop) decided to develop her own products.
As a natural evolution of Paula's personal mission to help consumers find the best products for their skin, the line has grown into an extensive range of skincare and makeup products that are formulated to meet the needs of almost every skin type and skin concern imaginable, from acne to wrinkles.
Paulas Choice Skincare relies on published research where available to discover the best ingredients for skin. Stable packaging is another feature of the brand, using innovative, opaque, and air-tight or air-restrictive components that keep antioxidants and other light- and air-sensitive ingredients from breaking down. The line is also 100% fragrance-free.
Disclosure: Paula Begoun is the creator of Beautypedia and founder of Paula's Choice Skincare products. Reviewing thousands of skincare and makeup products over the past 30 years, both on this site and in her best-selling books, Paula's mission has always been to help consumers find the best products possible for their skin. The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains this commitment. In addition, The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same rating standards and criteria, whether it is a Paula's Choice product or another brand.
Why are Paula's Choice Skincare products rated highly? The Paula's Choice Skincare Team would not launch a product unless it was worthy of a high rating from The Beautypedia Team. Paula and The Beautypedia Team were researching and reviewing products long before Paula's Choice Skincare ever existed and consumers were constantly requesting a skincare brand that met all of Beautypedias criteria. As a result, The Paula's Choice Skincare Team was created and uses the same research and criteria to formulate Paula's Choice products as The Beautypedia Team uses to review products.
For more information about Paula's Choice, call (800) 831-4088 or visit www.paulaschoice.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.