Paula's Choice SkincareRESIST 1% Retinol Booster
0.5 fl. oz. for $52
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The Paula's Choice RESIST 1% Retinol Booster offers a few unique twists that sets it apart from many other retinol products on the market…in a good way! Although this technically is workable for any skin type, those with oily to combination skin will especially appreciate the fact it is virtually free of any emollients and has an exceptionally lightweight water-like texture.

Taking full advantage of the skincare booster trend, the RESIST 1% Retinol Booster is, according to its marketing, designed to be mixed into your serum or moisturizer rather than used on its own. This gives you the ability to turn a product you already use and love into a retinol treatment—making life a little simpler for you if you've not yet found a retinol serum or moisturizer that suits your skin type or concerns.

As is standard for the brand, it is fragrance free. Aside from the 1% concentration of retinol, the RESIST 1% Retinol Booster contains multiple soothing ingredients, a peptide, and a well-curated collection of antioxidants. Of course, retinol is the star here, and at this strength, it's capable of improving signs of aging and brightening a dull, uneven skin tone (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2000 and Skin Pharmacology & Physiology, 2005).

The amount of product you use is critical, so we appreciate that Paula's Choice chose a pump-style bottle that allows for precise measurement in drops. Not only does this style of packaging keep its delicate ingredients protected from air and light exposure, but it also permits you better control over how much you add to your serum or moisturizer.

The most significant difference we noticed between this formula and the brand's Clinical 1% Retinol is the fact the RESIST 1% Retinol Booster doesn't contain any silicones or moisturizing agents. Not only is this a feat in today's formulary world (silicones are almost de rigueur for retinol products), but it was, according to Paula's Choice, intentional due to this product's function as a skincare booster. The fact that this nearly lacks any sort of "buffer" makes it better suited for mixing into other products—and less ideal for use "straight up," i.e., applied undiluted to skin.

Paula's Choice recommends measuring this out in strength by the drop—one drop is a milder strength (for an "AM or PM retinol" boost), two drops equates to a moderately powerful nighttime retinol, and three drops delivers a “maximum strength” dose to your moisturizer or serum. These directions make usage easier to understand and essentially give you three retinol product options in one. (Hooray!)

Whether you're interested in the RESIST 1% Retinol Booster because it allows you to customize the products you already love, or because it's one of the few non-emollient 1% retinol options on the market, there is no denying it is a unique addition to this crowded skincare category. For its new take on retinol, interesting formula and the fact it manages to make our skincare routine simpler (while "boosting" our anti-aging results), it earns our highest rating and top recommendation.

  • Fragrance free.
  • Offers a unique twist on retinol products.
  • Includes multiple soothing agents and antioxidants (in addition to its 1% retinol concentration).
  • The lightest retinol we've ever tried (due to its lack of emollients or silicones).
  • None.
Last Updated:08.30.2016
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Community Reviews

RESIST 1% Retinol Booster makes it easy to increase the anti-aging, wrinkle-smoothing and skin-firming benefits of your regular moisturizer, whenever you need it. Powerhouse ingredient retinol is joined by several anti-aging ingredients for smoother, dramatically younger-looking skin.

Water (Aqua), Glycereth-7 Triacetate (emollient/texture-enhancing), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Carthamus Tinctorius Oleosomes (emollient/skin-soothing), Isopentyldiol (hydration), Polyglyceryl-10 Behenate/Eicosadioate (texture-enhancing), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Pyrus Malus Fruit Extract (apple extract/antioxidant), Polysorbate 20 (texture-enhancing), Retinol (skin-restoring), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (licorice extract/skin-soothing), Ceramide 3 (hydration/skin replenishing), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (skin-restoring), Avena Sativa Kernel Extract (oat extract/skin-soothing), Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract (fireweed extract/skin-soothing), Arctium Lappa Root Extract (burdock root extract/skin-soothing), Salix Alba Bark Extract (willow bark extract/skin-soothing), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (skin-soothing), Caprylyl Glycol (emollient), Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate (texture-enhancing), Dipentaerythrityl Tri-Polyhydroxystearate (texture-enhancing/emollient), Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene (texture-enhancing), Hydrogenated Lecithin (skin-restoring), Bis-Glyceryl Ascorbate (antioxidant), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Sorbic Acid (preservative), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).
Brand Overview

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.

About the Experts

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.

Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!