Score free shipping on Paula’s Choice retinol and antioxidant serums (and find out what I’m really slapping on my face)

Earlier this morning, @Misstoffoli (Hey Caterina!) asked me what my top three skin care products where on twitter and I replied that I loved Botox, RoC retinol serum, Environ’s AHA gel* and Proactiv Dark Mark Corrector with hydroquinone.

As Proactiv (and all hydroquinone products) are available OTC in South Africa, I buy it via eBay and the same goes for RoC’s retinol serum. If you were a RoC fan, you’ll know they pulled out of the country the other day which was super-duper depressing. Thus, I then said that, if you’re not familiar with eBay, you should consider buying Paula’s Choice RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair retinol serum as a fab alternative. (If you read my last post on Paula’s Begoun and her Paula’s Choice products you’ll know I’m a massive, crazy stalker fan. Her stuff is fabulously formulated and works like a bomb. So much so that I recommended it to my bestie, Karisa from, when she asked me what she’d be best off slapping on her face at night.)

Paula's Choice RESIST
Paula’s Choice RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair retinol serum, R440.

Paula’s retinol serum is one of the two I currently own, the other being RoC’s, and I love them both equally. I’ve only being using a ton of RoC for the last few months because I stock piled it like one of those crazy survivalist Americans who keep ten thousand tins of tuna and a myriad of guns in their basement when I heard it was leaving the shelves. I wish to God I’d known Paula’s products would’ve soon been easily available via a local website. Once my RoC stash runs out in 2042, I’ll be sure to make the switch.

Anyway, following this morning’s twitter convo, Paula’s Choice SA have kindly offered free shipping to anyone buying any of their Antioxidant or Retinol serums. All you have to do is use the promo code LipGlossGirl.

So don’t say I never give you nothin’. *headtoss, hairflick*

Now, for the record, in my book, the ideal skin care routine include sunscreen, a good mix of antioxidants, an AHA product and a retinol serum. I tend to slap on my AHAs in the day (with a killer good sunscreen) and then apply my retinol serum at night before dabbing the hydroquinone product on two subtle dark marks that tend to pop up under my eyes and deepen in summer thanks to birth control and sun exposure.

Ideally, you want to apply you AHAs and retinol at different times because, while retinol and AHA’s can work together; they work optimally when applied separately. For more on this, this FutureDerm article is a must-read.

As for the Environ AHA gel, it’s called Environ Intensive Alpha Hydroxy Gel and I buy it from Sorbet. It’s a fab product but please note that it’s super sterk. I can tolerate this as I’ve worked my way up by using milder AHA products first. It’s still pretty potent though so I don’t apply this every day; only every second or so day. If you’re a beginner to AHA products best you choose something mild first. Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Smoothing treatment with 5%AHA is a very nice pick.

I’d also like to add a l’il disclaimer here and say that this is what works best for me. I’m not prescribing my routine to you but I’ve been asked the question ‘so what do you use?’ often enough to understand that people are interested. Ultimately, I like a hard guns approach to fending off Father Time but, if you’d rather mess around with piss willy ‘natural’ shizz or overpriced creams in mooi-looking jars with gold twist-off caps, by all means go for it. Not every body’s interested in looking younger for longer and I respect and understand that. Sort of. (Ok, not really. So I guess I’ll just shut up now.)

Love, love


Posted by

Editor of South African beauty blog Lipgloss is my Life.

21 thoughts on “Score free shipping on Paula’s Choice retinol and antioxidant serums (and find out what I’m really slapping on my face)

  1. Just saying….not everyone can tolerate retinol ( although we love the effects) so going into stores next wek is REN’s new Bio Retinoid Cream – retinol results without the irritation!

    1. Hi Susan. I hear you, I hear you and will look into REN’s new cream if the PR gets in touch but there is a way for sensitive skins to use retinol and get retinol results.

      Allure explains it best in this piece here:

      And here:

      In their words, if you can, push through it. The results are totally worth while.

  2. I love your no-nonsense attitude! Thanks for telling us the truth! So blessed to know of this blog 😀 You mentioned that you also believe in a good mix of antioxidants, what does that mean, and what products are those?

    1. Hi Candice! Antioxidants fight off bad ass free radicals that damage your skin cells. Good examples are vitamins A (retinol), C and E; Co-enzyme Q10 and Idebenone (found in Prevage) etc. It’s best to use products that contain a mix of antioxidants and not just one as each type fights off a different set of aggressors. Think of it as needing a balanced skin diet; you can’t feed it just one type of fruit or veggie or you’ll end up malnourished.

  3. Awesome no bullshit post, I use a BHA in the morning and Paulas AHA weekly resurfacing treatment. I’m terrified of using an AHA during the day even though I wear sunscreen.
    I really want to slot a Retinol serum into my night routine. What face sunscreen do you use Leigh? Coz I also have combo skin with the oily T panel, I currently use Clinique super city block spf 40.

    Ok this is a really long comment wish I could have a big fat beauty chat with you in person! Haha 🙂

    1. Whatever I’m giving for free. Nobody needs a fancy R200 face wash. Any beneficial ingredients just run straight down the sink. Most toners and eye creams aren’t necessary either.

      1. Leigh, why do you say that MOST toners are not necessary. In which case would toners be necessary? I went to Sorbet and asked them to start me on their Environ products as I want to get my skin used to Retinol, they put me on their first phase (Debut moisturiser and Alpha Hydroxy cream) and when I asked if the toner is necessary, they said, a Toner is a must? :/ What are your thoughts on this? Is it necessary to use the Environ face wash gel as well? Its expensive and like you say it gets washed down the drain.

      2. If you’re using a crappy bar of soap to wash your face it’ll alter your skin’s pH and a good toner can help you get it back to a nice, neutral pH. Thing is, you’re not using soap (or I would hope not) so why would you need a toner? The only time I’d bother with one is if I had a dry skin type and was using a creamy cleanser that I felt didn’t remove all my make-up. I’d then want a gentle, hydrating toner to help zap any last traces of make-up and grime.

        In all, many of the toners on the shelves are badly formulated in that they contain alcohol that’ll damage your cells over time. Still, there are a few that do contain beneficial ingredients, things like antioxidants and what not, so slapping it on your face could then add value. BUT, if you’re already getting those things from your moisturiser – and if you’re using a good one, you will – then there’s really no need to throw a toner into the mix.

        As far as face washes go, if you’re spending more than R100 on yours, you’re being robbed. There is no reason as to why you’d have to use an Environ face wash as opposed to one from Neutrogena or Cetaphil if you used Environ’s day or night creams. Any sales person who tells you otherwise is a moron. In my experience, however, it’s best not to fight with them ‘cos they’re so brainwashed by the up sale manual you’re not likely to win. Just smile and nod and then only buy the products you need.

  4. Thanks so much Leigh, I’ve been eyeing that retinol serum for a while and have been hesitant about buying it. Just made the purchase and applied the promo code.

    *Hair toss* You’ve made me a happy girl.

    1. I’ve been using Paula’s Choice Retinol Serum for about 2 weeks now and it seems my skin isn’t as sensitive as I thought because I haven’t experienced any discomfort (I remember a post where Leigh spoke about introducing retinol gradually). I really enjoy using this serum hey. It goes on very smoothly and looks like it could be greasy but it’s fully absorbed in a few minutes.

      Since the promo is valid till Nov, I’m definitely going to be treating myself to another bottle. Thanks again 🙂

      1. Glad you’re enjoying it. It’ll take 6 to 8 weeks to see a difference in your skin but you’ll definitely notice a visible improvement in regards to texture and tone.

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