Can Paulas Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum Really Repair Wrinkles and Make You Look Younger?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

I love it because I’m lazy. Paula only uses actives proven to work. Avoids irritants like the plague. Packages everything in tubes that’ll keep the goodies stable.

Saves a girl hours deciphering ingredient labels trying to find the gem in a sea of duds.

ishonest No.141 - Humectant

No.141 - Humectant

One of the products I swear by is Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum. If you’re new to retinol or would like to up your antiaging game, this is definitely worth a try. Here’s why:

  • What’s In Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum?
  • Texture
  • Fragrance
  • How To Use It
  • Performance & Personal Opinion
  • Who Is This For?
  • Who Is This NOT For?
  • Packaging
  • Does Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum Live Up To Its Claims?
  • Price & Availability
  • Do You Need It?
  • Dupes & Alternatives

What’s In Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum?


Retinol is the real deal. One of the very few things that REALLY reduces wrinkles.

You don’t even need a ton of it to do the job. A 2007 study found that a topical 0.4% retinol lotion applied up to 3 times a week for 24 weeks “improves fine wrinkles associated with natural aging“.

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Retinol reduces the wrinkles you already have. Plus, it prevents new ones from forming. It does this in three different ways:

  • It has antioxidant properties that fight free radicals
  • It boosts collagen, keeping skin firm
  • It speed up cellular turnover (i.e. the skin’s exfoliating process), fading away both wrinkles and dark spots.

Like that weren’t enough, it is also an effective treatment for acne.

But, retinol isn’t without side effects. If you’re new to retinol or have sensitive skin, retinol can cause peeling, redness and irritations.

That’s why you need to start small. Begin with a small concentration a couple of times a week and build up dose and frequency from there. FYI, Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum is a great place to start.

ishonest No.142 - Humectant

No.142 - Humectant


No diva is a solo act. They all have a team of helpers, coaches and stylists that make them look and perform their best.

Retinol is no exception. It works best when surrounded by other antioxidants. Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum has its fair share. Retinol’s little helpers include:

  • Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate: A stable, oil-soluble form of Vitamin C that easily penetrates the skin and stimulates collagen production.
  • Tocotrienols + tocopherol: Forms of Vitamin E that help protect skin from sun damage and prevent the premature signs of aging. A 2001 study has found that “vitamins A [retinol] and E appear complementary in preventing UV-induced deleterious cutaneous and systemic effects”.


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Remember when I said retinol can be irritating when you first start to use it?

To minimize the risk of irritation, Paula put plenty of anti-irritants in the serum. They include bisabolol (it’s what gives chamomile its soothing properties), oats and algae extracts.

All together, they soothe irritations and reduce redness.


ishonest No.313 - Prevent Acne

No.313 - Prevent Acne

Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum is silicones-based. There, I said it.

Before you cross it off your list, hear me out. Silicones don’t suffocate skin. They have a particular molecular structure that’s made up of big molecules with big holes between one another.

This means they can create a protective barrier on the skin AND still allow it to perspire.

But do they cause pimples? Not on their own. Silicones AREN’T comedogenic. But if you’re using a product with comedogenic ingredients before this, they may get trapped underneath the protective barrier they create and cause problems.

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But why use silicones in the first place? They can do some cool tricks:

  • They help the serum spread more easily
  • They temporarily fill in fine lines and wrinkles so they look smaller
  • They make skin silky soft to the touch


Gel-like texture with an oily feel. Like an oil, it’s a little greasy and leaves my skin looking shiny for a couple of minutes. After that, it completely sinks in.


Like all Paula’s Choice products, it’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

Two or three nights a week, straight after cleansing (don’t exfoliate on retinol nights!).

Performance & Personal Opinion

ishonest No.231 - Pigmentation & Blemishes

No.231 - Pigmentation & Blemishes

Let’s start with the “bad”: the oilier texture of Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum will put off oily skin. It’s way too emollient for you.

But I can put up with that because I saw the first results within a week. I kid you not.

Let’s be clear here. Topical retinol takes months to work its magic on wrinkles. The serum didn’t reduce them in a week (no topical product can do that). But I know it will in due time. The science here is solid.

But, it did improve the texture of my skin in only 7 days. My skin looked smoother, plumper, more even-toned and a tad firmer. Even the pores on my oily t-zone look just a tiny bit smaller.


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Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum comes in a dark grey tube with a pump dispenser. It’s hygienic, practical, and keeps the antioxidants inside stable for longer.

Price & Availability

$42.00/£39.00 at Feel Unique, Nordstrom and Paula’s Choice

Do You Need It?

Yes. If you’re in the market for a gentle retinol serum for beginners, Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum is one of the best options to consider.

Dupes & Alternatives


Cyclopentasiloxane (hydration), Dimethiconol (hydration/texture-enhancing), Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate (emollient), Dicaprylyl Carbonate (emollient), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (hydration/skin replenishing), Phenyl Trimethicone (hydration), Squalane (emollient), Bisabolol (skin-soothing), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Retinol (skin-restoring/antioxidant), Tocotrienols (vitamin E-based antioxidant), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Lecithin (skin-restoring), Laminaria Ochroleuca (Kelp) Extract (skin-soothing), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil (skin-soothing), Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil (skin replenishing), Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate (skin-soothing), Hexylene Glycol (hydration), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative).

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