Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel is a gentle chemical exfoliant that smoothes out skin texture with glycolic acid and leaves skin looking more evenly toned. The formula removes dead skin cells, which may help other products to be more effective. It may also help to brighten a dull complexion but isn't likely to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as a retinol cream, such as Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream -- Night (*Est. $13 for 1.4 oz.).
For a more even-toned complexion: Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel is one of the top rated anti-aging creams at MakeupAlley.com, a website that allows members to rate and review cosmetic and skin care products. Users say the formula is very effective and leaves skin feeling smoother and looking more evenly toned. The alpha hydroxy gel contains eight percent glycolic acid, which chemically exfoliates the skin. Several users say that their skin is better able to retain moisture after using the gel for a period of time. One user explains that her skin was often dry and flaky, even after applying moisturizer. She says that the Paula's Choice gel's exfoliant got rid of the flakes and helped her moisturizer to be more effective. Paula Begoun, skin care expert and author of "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me," also gives the wrinkle cream good reviews, but that's no surprise since it is part of her skin care line.
Tingles with initial use: Users say the AHA Gel is lightweight but slightly sticky when first applied. A few say that it stings a bit with the first couple of uses, but the tingling sensation goes away as skin adjusts to it. Some users complain of irritation, but most of these complaints are caused by overuse. Reviewers suggest starting off slowly and using the formula every other day for the first few weeks. Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel is fragrance-free.
Review Credibility: Very Good More than 200 reviewers at MakeupAlley.com give Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel a high overall rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars. Most say their skin feels smoother and is better able to hold moisture. Most of the complaints here are due to overuse -- a thin layer is all that is needed, and regular use should be eased into, starting with every-other-day usage.
Review: Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant, Contributors to MakeupAlley.com
Review Credibility: Good It's no surprise that Paula Begoun gives Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel her highest rating since it's from her own line of skin care products. Still, to be fair, Begoun does recommend several of her competitors' products, giving them similar ratings. Begoun says this formula works because it contains an effective amount of glycolic acid in a correctly pH-balanced gel.
Review: Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel, Paula Begoun, Nov. 27, 2012