This serum is the product I never knew I needed, my unicorn in a bottle, my secret weapon, my kryptonite. There’s not enough superlatives to describe my love for Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief Repairing Serum! This serum isn’t only for sensitive skin and it has SO many uses. If you use any kind of active; Retinol, Acids, Vitamin C, generally anything that can cause irritation…you need this serum in your arsenal!
Not JUST for Sensitive Skin
While Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief Repairing Serum is excellent for sensitive skin, this serum can and should be used for all skin types. As mentioned above, if you use any type of active
ingredients there is a potential for irritation or sensitizing your skin. Having skin replenishing ingredients that can protect and strengthen your barrier is really important.
I actually overlooked the entire Paula’s Choice Calm line when it was first released! I don’t have sensitive skin, why do I need these products?! Big mistake. Everyone should treat their skin as if it is sensitive skin! Ever since falling in love with the Calm serum, I now own five other products from the Calm line that are all fantastic!
As a Buffer
Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows that I am an avid Acid user. No…not that kind of acid! An acid exfoliator of course! Glycolic, salicylic, lactic, and recently mandelic, phytic, and lactobionic acids are my jam! I generally use some type of acid every night. I believe the reason I am able to use these products every night is because I use Calm Repairing Serum, along with a couple of other barrier repairing products. So anytime I use an Active ingredient product, like Acids, Retinol or Vitamin C, I also apply Calm Repairing Serum. It is like an insurance policy for my skin…just in case there’s irritation!
Paula’s Choice claims this serum is packed with “potent anti-aging ingredients along with antioxidant-enriched plant extracts that research has shown to be among the most soothing for temperamental skin. It leaves skin superbly soft, hydrated, and calmed, allowing skin to renew and rejuvenate.” Temperamental is exactly how I would describe my skin when using Actives, especially Retinol. After night one using Retinol my skin may have no irritation at all. After night two, my skin may be sensitive to touch, like a sunburn. Using this serum helps to calm my skin, keep it hydrated, and protect my skin barrier.
Using the Calm serum is like a buffer for Active ingredients, in the sense that it can make the Active less irritating. The skin-soothing ingredients help to lessen any burning or redness from a strong acid. Of course I am talking about Actives that are formulated without actual irritants like alcohol. I am referring to the “Retinol Reaction” and other well known side effects of using such Actives. I also am not saying “Go buy this Calm Serum and you will be able to use an acid everyday!” That’s not the case. I have used acids nightly for years. The difference for me is I have experienced irritation from using too much or too many Actives in the past. I haven’t experienced the same irritation since I started using this serum, and making some other changes to my routine. Which I will be sharing soon!
Mixed with Other Serums
I mentioned this briefly in my NIOD MMHC review, I love mixing Paula’s Choice Calm Serum with other hydrating serums as a booster. I mix it with Drunk Elephant B-Hydra, NIOD MMHC, and Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate. One pump of Paula’s Choice Calm Serum just to add those amazing soothing ingredients to the hydrating serum. It doesn’t change the texture and it causes me to use less of my beloved Calm Serum. If I use it like I want to, I think the bottle would be empty in a matter of weeks!
Oily All Skins
When a skincare product is chockfull of barrier repairing ingredients, like ceramides, fatty acids, & cholesterol like this serum is, the texture is usually suited for drier skin types. Some examples of products that
have a lotion-type texture are the Paula’s Choice Resist Omega+ Complex Serum or the Stratia Skin Liquid Gold. I love both products, but since my skin is combination (more “normal” right now) I can agree that oily or acne prone skin may find these two products too hydrating. That is why Calm Redness Relief Repairing Serum is so perfect! It is so lightweight it can (and should) be used for all skin types! The serum has a base of water, glycerin and pure Hyaluronic Acid making is very similar in texture to other water based hyaluronic acid serums that are generally loved by all skin types.
Paula’ Choice Calm Repairing Serum is a very lightweight clear serum that glides on easily and feels weightless on skin. Apply it quickly, because sometimes is dries down before I spread it across my entire face and neck. It is easily layered and mixed with other products, and plays nicely with others. No piling involved. This serum is easily incorporated into my day and night routines after cleansing, toning (or misting,) and acids at night.
The Magic Ingredients
A closer inspection of the ingredients reads like a Hyaluronic Acid serum on steroids. Not in the same way NIOD MMHC is packed with multi-molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid, but in the sense this is a well rounded formulation that addresses multiple skin concerns. General anti-aging benefits like smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, boosting skin hydration, replenishing skin’s barrier, and soothing any redness or irritation are all benefits of Calm Repairing Serum. Along with pure Hyaluroic Acid, this serum also includes Sodium Hyaluronate, and Beta Glucan. The ingredient Beta Glucan is a recent discovery of mine, thanks to Laura (@lathertolashes) testing out a new serum by JKosmmune. It has skin soothing and hydrating properties which make it a perfect fit for Paula’s Choice Calm Repairing Serum. Other skin soothing ingredients included are sea whip, licorice, willow herb, feverfew and soybean extracts all help soothe redness and calm skin.
Full Ingredients List: Water, Glycerin (skin replenishing), Hyaluronic Acid (hydration/skin replenishing), Beta-Glucan (skin-soothing/antioxidant), Sea Whip Extract (skin-soothing), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration/skin replenishing), Ceramide NP (hydration/skin replenishing), Ceramide AP (hydration/skin replenishing), Ceramide EOP (hydration/skin replenishing), Cholesterol (skin replenishing), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (licorice extract/skin-soothing), Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract (willow herb/skin-soothing), Phytosphingosine (skin-renewing), Sodium Cocoyl Amino Acids (skin replenishing), Chrysanthemum Parthenium Flower Extract (feverfew extracts/antioxidant/skin-soothing), Glycine Soja Seed Extract (soybean extract/skin-soothing), Ubiquinone (antioxidant), Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate (texture-enhancing), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (skin replenishing/emollient), Magnesium Aspartate (emollient), Potassium Aspartate (emollient), Sarcosine (emollient), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Carbomer (texture-enhancing), Polysorbate 20 (texture-enhancing), PEG/PPG-14/4 Dimethicone (texture-enhancing), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).
Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief Repairing Serum is one of my favorite PC products, and that is really saying something because I own an entire collection of products from the brand! This serum’s ability to protect, hydrate and soothe skin makes it a must have serum for all skin types. Plus, it is reasonably priced for all of the excellent quality ingredients it contains (1 oz/30 mL for $34 USD.) Serum can be purchased on Paula’s Choice US/CA website, Paula’s Choice UK, at DermStore.com or can be found on Amazon. Paula’s Choice also has promotions and discounts so make sure to sign up for their newsletter!
Thanks for reading! Stay Happy & Beautiful!
**Paula’s Choice affiliate links are included in this post. If you would like to support this blog by clicking on my link and making a purchase, at no additional cost to you, I am very grateful! I did purchase this product myself, and my opinions and experience with this product are 100% honest, unbiased, and completely unrelated to my relationship with Paula’s Choice.