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Paula's Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum Ingredients Explained

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Published on July 13, 2020

Overview

What it is

Serum with 28 ingredients that contains AHA, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is cruelty-free and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, oils, parabens or sulfates

Fun facts

Paula's Choice is from United States. This product is used in 29 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

AHA
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Niacinamide
Hyaluronic Acid

Benefits

Hydrating (2)
Good For Oily Skin
Redness Reducing (3)
Reduces Irritation
Skin Texture (2)
Reduces Large Pores
Anti-Aging (5)
Dark Spots (2)
Scar Healing (3)
Acne Fighting
Brightening (5)

Concerns

Irritating (2)
Rosacea

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Silicon Icon
3
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
1 / 0
4
Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
1 / 0
Silicon Icon
5
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
6
Emulsifying
0 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
7
8
Skin Conditioning
Silicon Icon
9
Humectant, Moisturising, Skin Conditioning
Hyaluronic Acid IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
10
Antioxidant, Skin Protecting
Antioxidant Icon
11
Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
12
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant Icon
13
Skin Conditioning
Helps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
14
Antioxidant, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
15
Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0-3 / 0-3
Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
16
Skin Conditioning
17
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
18
Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
19
Skin Conditioning
20
Masking, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Helps reduce irritation Icon
21
Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness Icon
22
AHA IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
23
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
24
Emulsion Stabilising
25
Buffering
26
27
Skin Conditioning
28
Preservative
Preservative Icon

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 28 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
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What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Disliked

Cyclopentasiloxane is a silicone used to improve texture and trap moisture. An easier name for this is D5.

D5 is considered lightweight and volatile. Volatile means it evaporates quickly after application. Once evaporated, D5 leaves a thin barrier that helps keep skin hydrated.

D5 is an emollient. Emollients help soften the skin and prevent water loss. Silicones create a silky texture in products. D5 helps other ingredients become more spreadable.

Studies show D5 is safe to use in skincare products. We recommend speaking with a skincare professional if you have concerns.

Learn more about Cyclopentasiloxane
3
What it does: Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

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What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Dimethicone is a silicone used for making products smooth and silky. It also has the added benefit of sealing in hydration. The amount of dimethicone found in beauty products is considered safe and non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores.

Dimethicone has been found increase absorption in skin, boosting the benefits of other ingredients. While there is concern for the safety of dimethicone, the levels used in skincare are safe for use.

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What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin
6
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Polysorbate 20 is made by combining ethoxylation of sorbitan, ethylene oxide, and lauric acid. It is a mild cleansing agent, surfactant, and emulsifier.

As a surfactant, it helps collect dirt and oils for washing. Emulsifiers prevent oils and water from separating.

Polysorbate 20 also adds scent to a product. Since it is made using sorbitol, it has a sweet scent. Sorbitol can also be found in fruits such as apples and peaches.

The lauric acid used to create Polysorbate 20 is often derived from coconuts.

Polysorbate 20 may not be fungal acne safe.

Learn more about Polysorbate 20
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What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

We don't have a description for Polysilicone-11.

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Lauryl Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone is a type of silicone.

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What it does: Humectant, Moisturising, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in healthy skin. It is a humectant, meaning it draws moisture to your skin.

Hyaluronic Acid has the capacity to bind to large amounts of water. This ingredient helps hydrate, soothe, and protect the skin.

Fun fact: It is already naturally found in our bodies, such as the fluids of our eyes and our joints.

Studies find this ingredient to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. This can help speed up wound-healing,

These are some other common types of Hyaluronic Acid:

Learn more about Hyaluronic Acid
10
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Protecting
Community Rating: Loved

Resveratrol is a famous emerging antioxidant. It is a good alternative for sensitive skin types who cannot tolerate retinoids.

This antioxidant is most famous for it's anti-aging benefits. Studies show it combats the signs of aging by:

Besides anti-aging, this ingredient also helps with skin brightening and soothing.

The most effective forms of resveratrol are isobutyrate and butyrate. These have the strongest effect on increasing A1 collagen and reducing inflammation.

A note on it being a retinoid alternative: Despite it's amazing skin benefits, it is not a replacement for retinoids. However, it is recommended for people with sensitive skin or intolerance to retinoids.

Resveratrol is naturally found in grapes, peanuts, and berries.

Learn more about Resveratrol
11
What it does: Smoothing
Community Rating: Loved

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

It is known to treat acne by reducing inflammation. It also helps fade dark-spots and strengthen the skin by promoting the growth of the ceramide barrier.

Other benefits include smoothing wrinkles and minimizing redness.

The cherry on top? Niacinamide can also help build keratin, a protein that keeps skin firm.

When incorporating niacinamide into your routine, look out for concentration amounts. Typically, 5% niacinamide provides benefits such as fading dark spots. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is better to begin with a smaller concentration.

Niacinamide can be mixed with other ingredients to boost benefits. For instance, it has shown to be effective when used with copper, folic acid, and zinc to treat acne.

Learn more about Niacinamide
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What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Quercetin is an antioxidant.

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What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Adenosine is in every living organism. It is one of four components in nucleic acids that helps store our DNA.

Adenosine has many benefits when used. These benefits include hydrating the skin, smoothing skin, and reducing wrinkles. Once applied, adenosine increases collagen production. It also helps with improving firmness and tissue repair.

Studies have found adenosine may also help with wound healing.

In skincare products, Adenosine is usually derived from yeast.

Learn more about Adenosine
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What it does: Antioxidant, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate is a version of ascorbic acid, or pure Vitamin C.

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate has many benefits including reducing wrinkles, skin soothing, dark spot fading, and fighting against free radicals.

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate interferes with the process of skin darkening, helping to reduce hyperpigmentation. It also encourages the skin to produce more collagen.

As an antioxidant, it helps fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells.

One study found Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate to degrade in sunlight, but is stabilized when conbined with acetyl zingerone.

Learn more about Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate
15
What it does: Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Tocopherol (also known as Vitamin E) is a common antioxidant used to help protect the skin from free-radicals and strengthen the skin barrier. It's also fat soluble - this means our skin is great at absorbing it.

Vitamin E also helps keep your natural skin lipids healthy. Your lipid skin barrier naturally consists of lipids, ceramides, and fatty acids. Vitamin E offers extra protection for your skin’s lipid barrier, keeping your skin healthy and nourished.

Another benefit is a bit of UV protection. Vitamin E helps reduce the damage caused by UVB rays. (It should not replace your sunscreen). Combining it with Vitamin C can decrease sunburned cells and hyperpigmentation after UV exposure.

You might have noticed Vitamin E + C often paired together. This is because it is great at stabilizing Vitamin C. Using the two together helps increase the effectiveness of both ingredients.

There are often claims that Vitamin E can reduce/prevent scarring, but these claims haven't been confirmed by scientific research.

Learn more about Tocopherol
16
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Phospholipids are naturally found in our skin as they are the main component of cell membranes. Phospholipids have humectant, emollient, antioxidant properties.

The phospholipids in our skin can be naturally depleted. Replenishing the phospholipids in our skin can help hydrate your skin. Due to their hygroscopic nature, they act as humectants and emollients. Humectants draw moisture from the air to your skin, while emollients help trap moisture in. This ingredient is non-occlusive.

Studies show phospholipids display antioxidant activity and may help with reducing the signs of aging.

Phospholipids are complex lipids that contain glycerin, two fatty acids, and a phosphate group. Some foods that contain phospholipids include soybeans and milk. The phospholipids found in soy come from Lecithin. This ingredient can also be synthetically created.

Some types of phospholipids:

Learn more about Phospholipids
17
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10) is a molecule already found in our bodies. It is a potent antioxidant and skin-soothing ingredient.

Aging and environmental exposure diminishes our skin's natural ubiquinone levels. This is much like our natural collagen and elastin.

The good news is: studies show applying this ingredient topically replenishes ubiquinone levels in our skin. This also comes with a ton of skin benefits. These benefits include:

Ubiquinone is considered a large molecule and cannot be absorbed into the lower layers of skin. This is why it is believed to be such an effective antioxidant: it protects our skin in the upper layers and prevents damage in the deeper layers.

When used in sunscreen, ubiquinone is shown to increase ingredient stability, increase SPF factor, and add to infrared protection.

Fun fact: ubiquinone is fat-soluble.

Learn more about Ubiquinone
18
What it does: Antioxidant
Community Rating: Liked

EGCG is most famous for being found in green tea. It is a type of catechin, a potent antioxidant.

Antioxidants protect our skin from oxidative damage, helping with slowing the signs of aging.

A study from 2018 found EGCG to help reduce melanin and melanoma cells.

Learn more about the skin benefits of green tea here.

Learn more about Epigallocatechin Gallate
19
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

We don't have a description for Sea Whip Extract.

20
What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Community Rating: Loved

Bisabolol is pimarily used to add fragrance to a product. However, it is also famous for helping soothe skin.

Bisabolol comes from German chamomile essential oil. Synthetic Bisabolol has been shown to be less effective.

Bisabolol helps soothe skin. It does this by blocking the inflammatory signals, helping to reduce your body's reaction to irritation.

Bisabolol also interferes with the process of hyperpigmentation. This can help with reducing dark spots and uneven tone.

Bisabolol is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. By fighting these free-radicals, Bisabolol may slow down signs of aging.

Studies have shown Bisabolol to have antimicrobial properties and may be a fungicide. These properties help preserve a product's shelf life.

Bisabolol also helps the absorption of other ingredients.

Learn more about Bisabolol
21
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Beta-Glucan is a polysaccharide. It can be derived from the cell walls of seaweed, oats, yeast, and fungi.

Beta-Glucan is a humectant, meaning it can hold large amounts of water. This helps hydrate the skin. It also helps boost your skin's natural barrier.

Beta-Glucan has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells, such as pollution.

Studies show Beta-Glucan may be an effective wrinkle reducer as it can deeply penetrate into skin. It has also been show to help with wound healing.

Learn more about Beta-Glucan
22
What it does:
Community Rating: Liked

Phytic Acid is a gentle AHA and antioxidant. The chemical makeup makes it classified as an AHA, such as lactic acid.

AHAs are chemical exfoliants that help remove dead skin cells. Phytic Acid has a slight exfoliating effect. Phytic Acid has been shown to help calm irritation. In some cases, it is a chelating agent. Chelating agents help prevent metals from binding to water, helping to stabilize the ingredients in a product.

As an antioxidant, phytic acid may help with the signs of aging. Antioxidants help neutralize free-radical molecules. These molecules may damage your skin cells.

An interesting fact about phytic acid is that it is considered an antinutrient. People do not have the enzyme needed to properly breakdown and digest phytic acid. When ingested, phytic acid binds to minerals and prevents them from being absorbed.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Phytic Acid
23
What it does: Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

On the technical side of things, xanthan gum is a polysaccharide - a combination consisting of multiple sugar molecules bonded together.

Xanthan gum is a pretty common and great ingredient. It is a natural, non-toxic, non-irritating ingredient that is also commonly used in food products.

Learn more about Xanthan Gum
24
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: Disliked

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is a synthetic polymer. It is used to thicken and improve the texture of products.

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is also an emulsifier. Due to its properties, it can prevent water and oil ingredients from separating.

25
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: Mixed

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

In small amounts, sodium hydroxide is considered safe to use. However, large amounts may cause chemical burns due to its high alkaline.

Your skin has a natural pH and acid mantle. This acid mantle helps prevent harmful bacteria from breaking through. The acid mantle also helps keep your skin hydrated.

"Alkaline" refers to a high pH level. A low pH level would be considered acidic.

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide
26
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
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What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

You might see Ethylhexylglycerin often paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol. Ethylhexylglycerin has been found to increase the effectiveness of these other preservatives.

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What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 28 ingredients in this product ✨

57% are loved or liked
11% have mixed ratings
29% are disliked or very disliked
4% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use Paula's Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum ->
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