With their CALM Redness Relief 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 silicones, 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 Redness Relief 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 Redness Relief 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).
CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum is an innovative serum that immediately soothes sensitive skin with gentle, yet highly effective ingredients.
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.
Paula’s 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 Beautypedia’s 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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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