Paula's Choice - Smoothing Primer Serum SPF 15

Paula's Choice Smoothing Primer Serum SPF 15

SPF 15
PROMISES
FULFILLED
62 /100
IRRITANCY
LOW
Works for
  • Exfoliation
  • Evens skin tone
  • Anti-aging
  • Moisturizing
+ 1 more
Key ingredients
  • lactic acid
  • butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane
  • ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate
  • homosalate
+ 1 more
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Formula review

WIMJ summary

This product offers broad spectrum sun protection, but it is weak. We recommend to use a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.

This product can be considered "reef safe" because it does not contain the UV filters (oxybenzone and octinoxate) that can be harmful to coral reefs when present in the water in high concentrations.

See a mistake?
Promise
What does the product description say?
"This unique formula’s silky serum texture softly blurs fine lines and large pores for a younger-looking, smoother complexion."
WIMJ summary

This product contains lactic acid. This ingredient might be able to help reduce and prevent fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin elasticity and firmness, but there is not enough evidence that it actually works. The biggest anti-aging effect in this product comes from sun protection. Sun damage is the main factor causing early signs of skin aging. We, however, do not recommend using this product as a sunscreen because the protection it offers is not strong enough).

Ingredient Effectiveness Concentration Irritancy
MEDIUM
meets threshold
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WIMJ summary

This product can help reduce hypepigmentation and even out the skin tone because it contains the following effective ingredients: lactic acid

Keep in mind that you would need to apply any topical skincare targetted at hypigmentation consistently for a couple of months to get a result. No topical skincare product can help get rid of hyperpigmentation (including post-acne marks and age spots) instantly.

This product can also help with skin tone because it offers sun protection. Sun damage is the main factor causing age spots, darkening of post-acne marks and other discolorations. This is why sun protection is the best strategy for maintaining an even skin tone. We, however, do not recommend using this product as a sunscreen because the protection it offers is not strong enough).

Ingredient Effectiveness Concentration Irritancy
HIGH
meets threshold
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WIMJ summary

This product can help exfoliate the skin. In other words, it helps break down the bonds between dead cells on the surface of the skin and speed up the skin turnover. Skin often appears softer and brighter after exfoliation, but overdoing it can result in disrupted skin barrier. The following ingredient is doing the exfoliating job in this product: lactic acid.

Ingredient Effectiveness Concentration Irritancy
HIGH
meets threshold
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WIMJ summary

This product contains good ingredients to attract water to the upper layer of the skin. These ingredients are called "humectants": lactic acid.

When humectants are on the surface of the skin, they “pull in” the moisture from the outside environment, or from within deeper layers of the skin. If the air is dry, humectants can speed up the moisture loss from the skin. This is why it is a good idea to use another product on top of this one to help "seal in" the moisture (look for ingredients like dimethicone, squalane, oils and butters).

Ingredient Effectiveness Concentration Irritancy
HIGH
meets threshold

Potential irritants

IRRITANCY
LOW

Ingredients by volume

Avobenzone. An organic, or so-called "chemical" UV filter. Protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Needs to be combined with other filters in a formulation to be stable.
A weak sunscreen that offers some protection against the sun rays that cause sunburn (UVB), but does not offer meaningful protection against protect against the most aging sun rays (UVA). It loses its effectiveness quickly when exposed to sunlight. It is an organic, or so called "chemical" sunscreen. When used in low concentrations, helps to stabilize the product formulation

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