Paula’s Choice is a curious exception in the skincare market – it doesn’t rely on gorgeous models or celebrities to sell the brand, instead it focuses on the one true thing that matters for consumers: the ingredients. By focusing on the effectiveness of the skincare instead of packaging, Paula’s Choice has built a reputation for quality skincare that delivers what it is stated on the bottle. It recently launched the Paula’s Choice for Men range, which is a welcomed addition into the burgeoning men’s skincare market.
The men’s skincare range (rebranded as “PC4Men” to cater to avoid a girl’s name in the brand name) has five products in total:
1) PC4Men Face Wash – a gel-based facial cleanser that foams up when it comes in contact with water
2) PC4Men Shave – A shaving cream with coconut oil.
3) PC4Men Soothe + Smooth – Can be used before or after shaving and contains salicylic acid which helps reduce razor bumps and breakouts.
4) PC4Men Daytime Protect SPF15/30 – A very light sunscreen which doesn’t leave a white cast.
5) PC4Men Nightime Repair – A night time only moisturizer which smells great and absorbs quickly into the skin and has proven anti-aging ingredients.
Paula’s Choice for Men Skincare Review: PC4Men Face Wash
Firstly, the PC4Men Face Wash comes in a 6 oz. tube (a mere 177 ml) which is disappointing because it means you will use it up within a month if you wash your face twice daily. That said, the product itself is fantastic as it has aloe vera extract to help sooth the skin. After washing, it doesn’t leave the skin too tight or dry, and it has a light fragrance that’s not overwhelming. While Paula’s Choice website states this is anti-aging, the ingredients don’t suggest this. Additionally, one can’t help but wish the packaging for this face wash was designed with more care – the plastic tube is flimsy and the cap doesn’t close properly at times.
Paula’s Choice for Men Skincare Review: PC4Men Shave
If you have a lot of facial hair or shave daily, then a well-formulated shaving cream can be a saving grace from razor bumps, irritated skin and cuts. Luckily for these men, PC4Men Shave has a great formula that uses coconut oil to give a light lather. While the lather from this shaving cream isn’t the fluffiest (some men prefer the old-school barber lather), it does the job and doesn’t leave the skin too dry. Personally, I would use the PC4Men Soothe + Shave (below) before this shaving cream, but it depends on your preference.
Paula’s Choice for Men Skincare Review: PC4Men Soothe + Smooth
Men who find themselves with rough skin and razor bumps should look at products with salicylic acid which help slough off dead skin cells. PC4Men Soothe + Smooth contains this exact ingredient and has the optimal pH level to ensure exfoliation occurs. It has a very light formula and penetrates the skin quickly. The fragrance-free formula is also fantastic as fragrance often stings the skin – particularly after shaving.
Paula’s Choice for Men Skincare Review: PC4Men Daytime Protect SPF30
I’m a sunscreen fanatic in the sense that I will wear sunblock every single day (which is what we should all do anyway) and keep looking for a better product. With PC4Men, I think I’ve found it’s good enough for everyday use. Right now, I use the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunscreen, but it can be too thick for humid summer weather. This sunscreen, on the other hand, feel light and weightless on the skin. It also doesn’t leave a white cast like many other sunscreens. The only downside to the PC4Men Daytime Protect SPF30 is that it’s not waterproof, so don’t bring this to the beach or pool. I’d recommend the SPF30 version over the SPF15 version as SPF30 is the minimum protection you need.
Paula’s Choice for Men Skincare Review: PC4Men Nighttime Repair
This is my favourite protect from the PC4Men’s skincare range. This nighttime mositurizer is lightweight, non-greasy and has a great texture that is quickly absorbed into the skin. None only does it contain antioxidants such as Vitamin A (listed as Retinol in the ingredients) which is effective at improving discoloration and wrinkles, it also has other cell-communicating ingredients which help promote younger looking skin.
One thing to remember: if you use Vitamin A at night, use a SPF30 sunscreen during the day as it helps complement the effects of of Vitamin A.
Overall thoughts and review on the Paula’s Choice for Men Skincare
While Paula’s Choice has some fantastic products for women, the men’s skincare range falls short of expectations. While the PC4Men Nighttime Repair and PC4Men Daytime Protect SPF30 are both fantastic products and are worthwhile buying, the rest of the range could be improved. In particular, the flimsy packaging would need more work.
Paula’s Choice for Men Skincare Review: Ingredients List
No skincare review is complete without an ingredients list, so below are the ingredients contains in the five products under the Paula’s Choice for Men Skincare range.
PC4Men Face Wash ingredients:
Water, Decyl Glucoside (coconut-derived cleansing agent), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Sodium Cocoamphoacetate (coconut-derived cleansing agent), Lauryl Glucoside, Coco-Glucoside (cleansing agents), Glucose (water-binding agent), Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate (cleansing agents), Glyceryl Oleate (emulsifier), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (water-binding/soothing agent), Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan (thickeners), Sodium Phytate (chelating agent), Citric Acid (pH adjuster), Potassium Sorbate (preservative), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin-conditioning agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative)
PC4Men Shave ingredients:
Water, Stearic Acid, Myristic Acid (fatty acid-based thickeners), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil (non-fragrant moisturizing plant oil), Glycerin (skin-repairing agent), Potassium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Allantoin, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Arctium Majus Root Concentrate (plant-based anti-irritants), Carnosine (antioxidant), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (plant-based anti-irritant), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (water-binding agent), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster/stabilizer), Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid (skin-conditioning agent), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Benzalkonium Chloride (antimicrobial agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).
PC4Men Soothe + Smooth ingredients:
Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol (slip agents and penetration enhancers), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid exfoliating agent), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier) Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (anti-aging cell-communicating ingredients), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (anti-irritant), Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid (antioxidant), Oleanolic Acid (anti-irritant), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-repairing ingredient), Allantoin (anti-irritant),Trehalose (skin-repairing ingredient), Panthenol (skin-conditioning agent), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), PEG-60 Almond Glycerides (emulsifier), Caprylyl Glycol (skin-conditioning agent), PEG/PPG-18/4 Copolymer (solvent), Methyl Gluceth-20, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane (skin-conditioning agents),Glycereth-26 (emollient thickener), Sodium Metabisulfite (stabilizer), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Carbomer (gel-based thickener), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent).
PC4Men Daytime Protect SPF15/30 ingredients:
Active Ingredients: Oxybenzone 4%; Avobenzone 3%; Octocrylene 2%; Homosalate 7% (sunscreen agents). Other Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Silica (absorbent), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (antioxidant), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder (water-binding agent), Ascorbyl Palmitate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Phospholipids (cell-communicating ingredient), Superoxide Dismutase (antioxidant enzyme), Adenosine (cell-communicating ingredient), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Bisabolol (anti-irritant), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (antioxidant/anti-irritant plant extract), Colloidal Oatmeal (plant-based anti-irritant), Panthenol (skin-conditioning agent), Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract (antioxidant), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract (anti-irritant), Cetyl Dimethicone (silicone-based emollient), Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate (absorbent/thickener), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer (film-forming agent), Titanium Dioxide (opacifying agent), Sorbic Acid (preservative), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Steareth-21, Steareth-2, Polysorbate-20 (emulsifiers), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).
PC4Men Nightime Repair ingredients:
Water, Dicaprylyl Carbonate (emollient), Glycerin (skin-identical ingredient), Ethylhexyl Stearate (thickener), Cocoglycerides (emollient), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (antioxidant emollient), Squalane (emollient), Sodium Polyacrylate (film-forming agent), Lecithin, Adenosine, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (cell-communicating ingredients), Ceramide 3 (skin-identical ingredient), Retinol (cell-communicating ingredient), Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (antioxidants), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract (anti-irritant), Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Tocopheryl Acetate (antioxidants), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (anti-irritant), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Oil (antioxidants), Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol (slip agents), Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, (film-forming agent), Xanthan Gum (thickener), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).