The Review | Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA

I was planning on putting up this post at the end of last week (er, on the weekend) but I was strangely busy and wasn’t exactly feeling all to great – hence the rationale for this post being postponed until today. Regardless, today I am reviewing a product that has perhaps impressed me the most in such a brief amount of time and my first real purchase from the brand, the Paula’s Choice Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA ($30). I’ve been using the lotion texture daily chemical exfoliant every morning for a good eight weeks and even though I’ve consistently had AHAs and BHAs in my routine for ages, I was able to see a visible improvement in my skin – in terms of the texture, overall brightness and clarity of my complexion.


INGREDIENTS: Water, Glycolic Acid (AHA exfoliant), Cetyl Alcohol (thickener), Butylene Glycol (slip agent and penetration enhancer), Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (cell-communicating ingredient), Ceramide 2 (skin-identical ingredient), Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuoylmethane (anti-irritants/antioxidants derived from curcumin), Epigallocatechin Gallate, Caffeic Acid (antioxidants), Salicylic Acid (BHA exfoliant/anti-irritant), Disodium Lauriminodipropionate Tocopheryl Phosphates (vitamin E-based antioxidant), PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol (fatty acid thickener), Cucumis Melo (Melon) Fruit Extract (antioxidant), Bisabolol, Allantoin (anti-irritants), Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethiconol (silicone slip agents/texture enhancers), Tribehenin (texture enhancer), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, PPG-14 Butyl Ether, PEG-40 Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate (thickeners), PVM/MA Decadiene Crosspolymer, Polyacrylamide (film-forming agents), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), C13-14 Isoparaffin (solvent), Laureth-7 (emulsifier), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin-conditioning agent), Hexylene Glycol (solvent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

I figured I would get started with the product claims; it’s a daily chemical exfoliant containing 5% glycolic acid along with the 0.5% boost of pore-penetrating salicylic acid, in essence. The technically anti-aging exfoliating treatment “reveals youthfully radiant skin and counteracts sun damage – without redness or irritation” and renews skin texture, evens skin tone, smooths fine lines and stimulates healthy collagen production, all through exfoliation and the inclusion of a potent blend of antioxidants. Paula’s Choice markets this product as a silky treatment doubling as a lightweight moisturizer and here, like with the rest of the claims the brand (thankfully) does not make any ridiculous statements that research does not support, use known irritants and does not use marketing bullshit – in other words, the product does what it says, which I quite enjoy.

The glycolic treatment has an impressive formulation laden with active ingredients in solid concentrations, a good 5% of glycolic acid that is suitable for daily use – even in combination with other potent ingredients – and enough BHA to provide pore-penetrating and anti-inflammatory action, whilst still remaining easy for the skin to tolerate. The Daily Smoothing Treatment strikes me as the ideal balance of efficacy and gentleness, even for skin as temperamental and moody as mine; it also serves as both a daily exfoliant and a soothing serum with that thin absorbent texture with that slip to it, ideal for multitasking product for my dehydrated skin as it full of antioxidants and anti-irritants to boosts the skins response to the acid.

I adore that it serves as an AHA, yet still has that effective shot of BHA in the formula, so it sacrifices neither but does not aggravate the skin either – at least this is my experience on my drier skin that suffers from congestion, sensitivity and a general lack of radiance/clarity. In a nutshell, the Daily Smoothing Treatment is an excellent gentler daily exfoliant with both glycolic and a wee bit of salicylic acid that serves a myriad of purposes and provides a myriad of benefits (i.e. anti-aging along with the generally more even, bright, clear and more luminous skin). As I seem to with most potent acidic products, I did experience a slight tinge at first but this one was not unpleasant and stopped happening after a week or two – and I’m prone to this kind of adjustment period FYI. Priced at $30 US for 50 mLs or 1.7 ounces, the Daily Smoothing Treatment belongs to the brand’s pricier Resist range with more intensive formulas focused on reversing or lessening the skin’s signs of aging but it is worth the price increase in my opinion, even if you’re not concerned primarily with the aging process (as I’m not) because of the multitude of benefits it provides and its ability to serve as a product that multitasks. If you’re looking for a daily AHA product that isn’t too intensive and would enjoy a hydrating texture, I would wholeheartedly recommend trying this offering!

 Have you tried anything from Paula’s Choice?
Maggie, x.


6 thoughts on “The Review | Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA

  1. Huh I learn something new – this 5% AHA treatment also has BHA in it! It’s right there in the ingredient list but nowhere does it highlight this fact on PC’s site or any other reviews I’ve read of this product. How odd! She really should point this out just in case someone is allergic to Salicylic Acid (although, one could say that if you’re allergic to something, you should be darn sure to read a product label!)
    I might just have to give this a try in the future. It might make a good lightweight moisturizer for my T-zone. Thanks for this review where I learned something new!
    PS. Yes, I use a slew of PC products – my favourite being the 10% AHA Weekly Resurfacing Treatment – it’s nothing like this, it’s not a moisturizer but a toner-type liquid that you apply with a cotton pad. It’s amazing for sloughing off dead surface skin.

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