I get a lot of questions about retinol, which often throws me for a loop. Unlike many bloggers or skincare enthusiasts who have jumped on the trend, & who are raving about it, I have struggled with retinol – something I will share another day.

But in recent times, there’s been so much talk about retinol and Vitamin A going around, I had to lớn dip my toes into the pool.

Bạn đang xem: Paula's choice clinical 1% retinol treatment review


One of the brands that come very highly rated in this segment of skincare, is Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment. I acquired a bottle one day, & decided to lớn devote some time to figuring it out.

A month into using the product, I’d have given a sigh, a resigned laugh and shrugged it off as yet another product to shelf. Almost 3 months later, I think I understand why it’s so popular.

Why use a retinol?

I bởi not profess lớn be an expert in this field, so I cannot answer your questions on retinol. Instead, I’d direct you lớn Dr. Sam Bunting, a popular UK dermatologist.

Dr. Sam has produced a series of very informative và easy to lớn understand videos on retinoids & retinol, including the why, what and how, so I’d recommend that you watch it, if you want more information. You can find the videos here.

Xem thêm: Những Hình Xăm Chữ Tiếng Anh Hay, Hình Xăm Chữ Tiếng Anh Ý Nghĩa Nhất Cho Giới Trẻ

What I can say, based on my understanding of this very technical area, is that retinol or retinoids are an active ingredient that is scientifically và clinically proven to encourage và boost collagen product in the skin, và encourage faster turnover of cell renewal.

The upshot of it all, if you don’t want lớn get all technical is this – you should expect brighter, clearer, smoother skin. Everything that people look for in an anti-aging product, or if they feel lượt thích they need lớn arrest & slow down the aging process.

Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment – targeting lines and wrinkles


Please note that the packaging has been very recently changed (pictured here is the old packaging), but they promise that the formula remains the same. As this is the one I have right now, my photos and observations will reflect my experience with it.

The Paula’s Choice Clinical Retinol treatment serum does not only contain 1% retinol (which is quite a high percentage), it is formulated also with peptides & Vitamin C. Peptides help boost skin repair & collagen production, for healthier, stronger skin. This will also translate to smoother skin.

There are also a whole host of skin soothing ingredients in there, that calm skin, soothes redness và helps to reduce any potential irritation caused by the retinol. Retinol, as you may find out, can be very irritating lớn skin, and can easily cause redness or even skin khổng lồ peel.

Be careful when using retinol

A note of warning when using retinol, be it serums or creams.

Use it at night.

Retinol can cause the skin lớn become sensitive to lớn light và UV rays, so it is only recommended that you use retinol at night. Think of it as something that repairs your skin while you sleep, và don’t be too gung-ho and overzealous.

The second point to lưu ý is to always start slow.

Start by using a retinol serum once every 2 days for at least 2 weeks, before moving on to shorter intervals, if you feel comfortable. You can eventually work your way up khổng lồ daily use, but always pay attention khổng lồ your skin.

I started out using the Paula’s Choice Clinical Retinol treatment once every other day. Then, when I sensed that my skin was tolerating it well, I moved on khổng lồ using it daily. Now, I use it about 4-5 times a week, depending on how I & my skin feels.

My experience with the Paula’s Choice Clinical Retinol

When I studied the Paula’s Choice Clinical Retinol, I noticed that it targets wrinkles & fine lines. I often say that that isn’t my key concern. I have been lucky khổng lồ not have as many fine lines and wrinkles as most women my age, và I am very thankful for it. It’s one less thing khổng lồ think about 😛


The texture is that of a lightweight lotion, that absorbs easily & quickly into the skin, & does not leave any residue.

I measure the amount I use using Dr. Sam’s finger technique, which is an amount equivalent to lớn the length of your finger tip, measured from finger tip to the first joint. She talks about it in her videos, & I recommend you read it.

Then, I apply on my skin using again, Dr. Sam’s 13 dot technique, for even distribution.

RELATED READING: Have you heard of the 13-dot technique? You haven’t? Don’t be left behind! READ HERE

I apply it on dry skin after cleansing, và then give it a minute khổng lồ absorb, before moving on lớn the rest of my skincare.

In the first month or so, I must say that I wasn’t noticing much change in my skin. I suppose I look at my own face so much, I don’t notice minor changes.

But it’s now about 3 months since I started using the Paula’s Choice Clinical Retinol almost daily, & I must say that I have seen a difference in my skin tone.

Disclaimer: I bởi not attribute any improvements 100% to lớn this product. It is a global approach to lớn the products I use and have been using, the way I use them, and a general lifestyle and mindset change that I think is a better way of looking at it. The retinol has helped. But I don’t give it full credit. I was also using the Clinique vi-ta-min A serum about 3 weeks before I started this product.

The most significant thing I’ve noticed isn’t the smoothening of lines. It was that my skin tone was much more even-toned, và my pigmentation appeared to lớn be a wee bit lighter. My skin appears less reactive to heat và the sun, and it just feels stronger.

I notice the lightening of pigmentation, because that’s where my concealer goes, and I have found myself using less concealer now. I also walk out of the house with just a dab of concealer and no foundation on many occasions, especially when I’m in a hurry. The redness in my skin seems markedly reduced.

Do lưu ý however, that I use vitamin C serums religiously in the day, a high SPF sunscreen và I focus strongly on hydration. I believe it all plays together to lớn arrive at this current situation.

Here’s an example of what I’m trying lớn explain.


Bare skin in both pictures with slight lighting differences. Năm nhâm thìn from the review of Chanel Les Beiges Liquid Foundation and 2019 from Chanel Ultra Le Teint Foundation reviewThis is not a walking advertisement for Paula’s Choice Clinical Retinol. It is just my showing you that I am happier with the condition of my skin TODAY as opposed khổng lồ 3 years ago. Being comfortable in my skin is a given. But being happier about it is a feeling I have.

As I say, it is attributed lớn a myriad of products, key ingredients, và lifestyle. But using retinol has helped me with my skin tone, and I appreciate that. It has also taught me that being consistent, is beneficial, và that I am definitely slowly sold on the concept of using a retinol serum (even if not necessarily this Paula’s Choice one)

Use retinol with other moisturizing products khổng lồ reduce irritation

Because retinol is known khổng lồ be drying và irritating to skin, I always ensure that I follow up with products that are emollient & moisturizing for my skin.

Aside from the Moisture Sandwich, once the retinol has absorbed into my skin, I usually layer on a basic facial oil and a moisturizing lotion or cream. The ones I favour for now are the REN Omega-3 facial oil and the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion.

I must say however, that I did not experience any irritation, dry skin or flaking/peeling from using the Paula’s Choice Clinical Retinol serum. My skin looks và feels the same.

But something about it has changed in the most subtle of ways, for the better.

So I’ll say this. The Paula’s Choice Clinical Retinol treatment is a great product. But you must be consistent, & importantly, patient before noticing any results. And the results might surprise you. This isn’t an instant quick fix.

It is about being the tortoise, plodding along, ensuring you get there in the end.


The Paula’s Choice 1% Clinical Retinol Treatment is a retinol serum that is formulated with a large number of skin soothing ingredients to lớn reduce irritation, as well as peptides & Vitamin C. It is a lightweight lotion that absorbs very easily và quickly into the skin. I recommend only using it at night, and to start slow because retinol can irritate the skin. Also, always use a good, SPF50 sunscreen in the day khổng lồ protect your skin. I did not particularly notice any lightening of lines, although my skin does feel a bit smoother. But the most significant different I noticed was that my skin tone was much more even, less prone khổng lồ redness, & my pigmentation is marginally lightened. It took me 3 months to notice this, & I attribute it not only to lớn this serum but also khổng lồ a host of other products, active ingredients & techniques that I use. It is a global effort, & this serum is not a magic pill. But, with a little patience, it will deliver results. I’m happy to lớn repurchase!

PROS:Lightweight lotion texture absorbs easily and quicklyDoes not irritate or dry my skin (based on my experience)With consistent & prolonged use I have noticed a more even skin tone và marginally lightened pigmentationSkin feels smoother overall

CONS:A little priceyMay irritate or dry out skinResults will take a while to lớn show

WHO WILL like THIS: Anyone who wants a retinol serum with a high percentage of retinol but is fairly gentle on skin, Anyone who wants to lớn address problems with lines và wrinkles

PRICE: RM295 | US$58 for 30ml

WHERE lớn BUY: Paula’s Choice trang web (Malaysia, USA)

This is the ingredient danh sách for the Paula’s Choice 1% Clinical Retinol Treatment.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Dimethicone (skin-softening), Glycerin (skin-replenishing), Butylene Glycol (hydrating), Isononyl Isononanoate (emollient), Castor Isostearate Succinate (skin-softening ), Glyceryl Stearate (texture enhancer), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (emollient), Dimethicone Crosspolymer (texture enhancer), PEG-33 (stabilizer), Polysorbate đôi mươi (texture enhancer), Behenyl Alcohol (texture enhancer), PEG-100 Stearate (texture enhancer), Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate (stabilizer), Polymethylsilsesquioxane (texture enhancer), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Retinol (skin-restoring), Ceramide NG (skin-replenishing) , Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (skin-restoring), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (skin-restoring), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-replenishing ), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (antioxidant plant extracts/skin-soothing), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (licorice extract/antioxidant/skin-soothing), Avena Sativa Kernel Extract (oat extract/antioxidant/skin-soothing), Arctium Lappa Root Extract (burdock extract/antioxidant/skin-soothing), Salix Alba Bark Extract (willow bark extract/antioxidant/skin-soothing), Glycine Soja Sterols (antioxidant/skin-softening ), Lecithin (skin-restoring), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein (antioxidant/skin-softening), Sorbitan Laurate (texture enhancer), Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester (skin-soothing), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Hydroxyethylcellulose (texture enhancer), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (skin-restoring), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Tribehenin (emollient), Caprylyl Glycol (skin-softening), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin-softening), Pentylene Glycol (hydrating), PEG-75 Shea Butter Glycerides (emollient), PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer (stabilizer), PEG-10 Phytosterol (fatty acid-based emollient), PEG-8 Dimethicone (skin-softening), PEG-14 (texture enhancer), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (texture enhancer), Arachidyl Glucoside (texture enhancer), Arachidyl Alcohol (texture enhancer), Sclerotium Gum (texture enhancer), Carbomer (gel-based texture enhancer), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Benzoic Acid (preservative).

Have you tried the iconic Paula’s Choice Retinol serum?

It’s taken me a while, but I got there! LOL! I’m glad I gave this a shot. I never really held out any hope that my pigmentation could be addressed by topical products, but apparently, I can still be surprised! 😀

Paris B

Was this helpful? Tell your friends!

About Paris B

Paris B is a 40-something beauty và skincare enthusiast with a practical & very critical view of beauty products & the world of beauty. Her mission on My Women Stuff is to lớn deliver clear, honest đánh giá and facilitate discussions about beauty trends & life, tempered with a healthy dose of humour. Let the buyer"s remorse be ours not yours! When not testing the newest skincare creams & lotions, or playing with makeup, find her testing her culinary skills in the kitchen at Chez PB. Read more about us here or leave a bình luận below or connect with us on social media at Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

This was a great post, especially coming off of our little convo previously. I really appreciate how you’re always willing to say, “I don’t know, I’m not an expert,” và still having some great info khổng lồ share. With retinol it seems those who experience the most extreme of changes are those who are specifically targeting acne with tretinoin, since I think any reduction of acne is pretty amazing. The fading of fine lines and wrinkles seems a bit harder lớn notice on a day-to-day basis.

Since our last chat, I’ve stopped the to lớn retinoid and started trying out Herbivore’s Bakuchiol (plant-based retinol alternative) serum, of which I got a sample form size for free. It’s only been a few days, but my skin is noticeably smoother and most of the closed comedones have disappeared, though there’s still the hyper pigmentation to lớn worry about. It’s going to take a while lớn repair all the damage the khổng lồ retinoid did to lớn my skin, which is very unnerving when I’m supposed khổng lồ be visiting family in Malaysia for the first time in two years in September, but I feel so much better already. If you hadn’t told me of your similar experience in breaking out with the khổng lồ retinoid, I might still be suffering the so-called purging! Thank you 🙂