Paula’s Choice RESIST Brightening Essence Review

paula's choice RESIST Brightening Essence

While many people rave about various Paula’s Choice products, I haven’t had much luck with them that I’d given up on them but I couldn’t resist (pan intended) the new Paula’s Choice Resist Brightening Essence. I’m still in search of a brightening serum because I deal with hyperpigmentation from post acne marks and I need something to clear these marks that is not the bleach hydroquinone which is why I decided to give this a try.

I got this when it newly launched so I’ve had this for a few months. I was a little hesitant to try this because it does contain vitamin C and while I wish I could add a vitamin C serum to my skin care regimen because it is a powerhouse antioxidant, my skin doesn’t seem to like this ingredient and most vitamin C serums/creams I’ve tried in the past made my skin very sensitive and increased breakouts.

But I was hoping that the vitamin C in this Paula’s Choice Resist Brightening Essence being one of the active ingredients would enable it to work better on my skin. But before I get to my review, first things first.

paula's choice RESIST Brightening Essence review


This lightweight fluid works quickly to refine an uneven skin tone and revitalize a dull complexion for visibly brighter, radiant-looking skin.


paula's choice RESIST Brightening Essence ingredients

From the above ingredients, I was very excited to add this Paula’s Choice Resist Brightening Essence because not only does it contain vitamin C but it also contains niacinamide and peptides which are great skin care and anti-aging ingredients.


paula's choice RESIST Brightening Essence packaging

I love the packaging of this product but I think it needs to be worked on a little more to perfect it. It is a variation of the dropper mechanism and instead of squeezing the dropper, you press drown at the top. I say it needs to be worked on because the recommendation is to use two or three drops. The first drop came out okay but I had to be careful because getting the second and third drop was a challenge because most often than not it would squirt out product after the first drop.


I applied this immediately after cleansing my face and then followed up with my usual serums, moisturizers, oils and sunscreen when used during the day. For the first few days, I simply used an oil after to better test this product. The product itself is clear and I’m glad that it wasn’t as watery as some of the other Paula’s Choice boosters which I’ve tried so it was much easier to apply.

The recommendation is to use it day and night but while there were some days that I used it twice a day, most often than not, I only used it once a day as part of my morning skin care routine. I use another night-time serum with other key ingredients at night so I wasn’t planning to change this night-time routine when I got this product.

My skin type

I have sensitive, acne-prone, oily/combination skin. This essence is supposed to be for all skin types.

Paula’s Choice Resist Brightening Essence Review

I’ve had this for a few months as I said earlier but only used it for about two weeks. I really wanted to love this and have it as part of my morning routine because it contains vitamin C but it just did not work for me.

First of all, I didn’t notice much of a difference in my dark post-acne marks and worst of all I started breaking out really badly which kind of defeated its purpose by creating more dark post acne marks from the increased breakouts from using this essence.

I pressed on hoping that my skin would calm down as it got used to this essence but I had to give up after two weeks when not only was I dealing with constant breakouts but also when my already large pores started to look gigantic. After I stopped using this essence and slathered on my favorite oils for a few days, my skin went back to normal.

I tried this essence again to see whether it was really the problem and after only one day of use, my skin started breaking out again so this Paula’s Choice Resist Brightening Essence was definitely not for me. I definitely didn’t notice any special radiance or glow to my skin from using this either.

It’s interesting because I’ve used the Paula’s Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster which contains 15% vitamin C and while I didn’t notice any brightening/radiance from using this, it was one of the few vitamin C serums/creams which never broke me out or made my skin very sensitive so maybe I should give this booster another try.


This Paula’s Choice Resist Brightening Essence was a dud for me so I wouldn’t recommend it but since we all have different skin types, you may want to give it a try if you’re looking for ingredients like this since what may not work for my skin may work for your skin and vice versa. It has a great ingredient list which is why I wanted it to work for me but my skin said no and I have to listen to my skin.

If you do want to try it for yourself, it’s available at Paula’s Choice for $42  for 1 oz. A sample is available for purchase but I wish there was a trial size because I don’t think the sample size will be enough to fully test this out.

Rating – 3/10

(3 simply for the great ingredient list)

I think at this point I just have to give up on Paula’s Choice products since none of the many I’ve tried have worked for me. Do you have any favorite Paula’s Choice products? Comment below.


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  1. Since your skin is Acne-senstiive, you should look into a growing Korean skincare line called Troiareuke and specifically look into their acne-sensitive line ‘ACSEN’ the products are on the pricey side, beauty bloggers Joan Kim and Edward Avila swear by it, would love to know your opinion on it.