An Evening with Paula Begoun, Founder of Paula's Choice Skincare.

One of the things I appreciate and enjoy about blogging, are the opportunities it's given me. Meeting the faces behind the brands I read about gives an insight not many have the chance to experience and from a consumer's prospective it's great. I've met some interesting characters!

Step forward Paula Begoun. Paula, has created a beauty empire to be proud of. Her best selling book, Don't Go to the Cosmetic's Counter Without Me has sold almost three million copies, her own skincare line Paula's Choice is sold in 42 countries and last month I had the pleasure of meeting her with other Handpicked Media beauty bloggers and what an enlightening meeting it was.

Paula captivated my attention the second she walked through the door. Charismatic, good humoured and brutally honest (I love that she openly admitted to having botox and declared it the 'best beauty treatment ever' LOL), Paula shared with her top five skincare tips with us.

1. Expensive doesn't mean better - something that I think we're all aware of, but need reminding of every so often. I love experimenting with different brands, be they low, mid or high end, and if a product costs significantly more than I'd usually spend, then I'll research it to death before handing over my hard-earned cash for it.

2. Don't buy products in jars - Each time you open a jar, the product makes contact with air and its ingredients start to break down, eventually rendering it useless - all its goodness disintegrates. Also, fingers in jars add unwanted bacteria to the contents. Most jar packaging carries a 100% risk of bacterial contamination. If you can't tear yourself away from your pots and jars, the least you can do is wash your hands before use. Paula recommends that we purchase products in pump packaging or a tube with a small opening - great in theory, but not always possible.

3. There's no need for a separate eye cream - Now this I found interesting. I'm obsessed with eye creams and until hearing this used one religiously. Paula states that there's no scientific proof that the eyes require a separate moisturiser and that they'll benefit from the same moisturiser you use for your face - as long as it's a good one. To further prove her point, she questioned why there's no SPF in eye creams given that the skin around the eyes is the thinnest on the face, yet we're constantly told to use SPF on our skin.

4. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Undoubtedly the single most important ingredient you should be using on your skin. Paula drove home the importance of using a sunscreen 365 days a year, and how the second your skin is exposed to the sun, its DNA begins to mutate and slowly break down. She proved this by comparing the skin on her inner arm - which was wrinkle, sun spot free and still firm and supple due to having minimal sun exposure, and then the skin on her outer arm which bore evidence of sun damage in the form of suns spots, pigmentation and wrinkles. I'm aware as a result of being black, thus having more melanin in my skin, that my skin can withhold the effect of the sun for far longer but I don't take this for granted and always use SPF when I'm out and about.

5. There is no miracle ingredient No matter what the latest skincare advert is claiming! Each skin is different and we all have different needs. One product can't 'cure all'. The end.

I didn't believe everything she said (she rubbishes the use of essential oils on the skin, but there's no way I'm giving up my facial oils any time soon), but it was a mesmerising talk, heightened by the obvious passion she has for her craft.

Finally I'll leave you with some tips Paula recommends for prolonging the shelf life of your products, while keeping your skin and body as healthy as possible:

DO store products in a cabinet or drawer
DO wash your hands before using products
DO tighten/secure the cap after each use
DO consider how climate and humidity will shorten a product's shelf life
DO write the date of purchase in permanent ink on the bottom or back of the package
DO toss out eye products after you've had an eye infection
DO abide by the expiration dates on sunscreens, acne products, and prescription medications such as topical antibiotics and Renova or Retin-A  

DON'T buy products packaged in jars of any kind (no matter how pretty they are!) because fingers getting into jars add unwanted bacteria to the contents. Most jar packaging carries a 100% risk of bacterial contamination.  
DON'T store products in direct sunlight
DON'T share your products with others
DON'T add water or saliva to thin out or remoisten products
DON'T "pump" your mascara
DON'T purchase products with broken seals or other signs of tampering

Paula has now released the 8th edition of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me (£13.98) - a beauty bible which reviews and critiques almost every product imaginable There is also an online version of the book, which I stumbled on a few months ago. is a product review database with over 45,000 products reviewed from over 300 brands. Products reviewed cover a wide range of skin care and cosmetics from a variety of well known companies, making Paula Begoun the only cosmetics industry CEO to recommend products other than her own.

7 beauty lovers have sumthin to say:

PerilouslyPale said...

Great tips

The jar thing has always been a big issue for me. It makes me crazy that I'll find a product with great ingredients only to find it comes in a jar. So antiquated and frustrating!

Liparazzi said...

Great post. And I think you are right not to believe everything you are told because in my mind, skincare is a very individual thing. Some things work for me and some things don't. But that doesn't mean they won't work for the next person. I find when I put normal moisturiser on my eye area, they go all puffy and feel irritated so I'm sticking to my eye creams :)

Sriya said...

I have this book! I don't buy anything unless I've had a look to see what Paula says about it! I wish I could meet her one day! :) I live by this book! xx

Mandi said...

This post was really informative.My moisturiser and eye cream from Clinique come in a jar:(
I dont think I want to touch them after reading your post.Thanks for sharing x

jukebox said...

What sun protection do you use? I've been thinking about sun protection since I started using face peels and Retin-A, but I don't know where to start. None of my friends use it.

VexintheCity said...

@PerilouslyPale - I know exactly what you mean. It's easier said than done when so many products are in jars :-(

@Liparazzi - Yeah def. I still use an eye cream, although it bothers me that none of them have SPF!

@Sriya - LOL I look up everything before buying it too. It's really interesting - and has saved me £££

@Mandi - Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. Aww bless, I was exactly the same with all my jars after meeting her. Argh!! LOL x

@Jukebox - My face moisturisers have between SPF 15-30 in them. For my body I only ever use SPF moisturiser on arms/legs. Clinique stuff in the yellow packaging (can't remember the name and have just eaten dinner and can't move to get the bottle right now!) - whatever's exposed in extreme heat. I don't bother so much with the UK's crappy weather!

Sami said...

I love Paula - her skincare advice is so simple to follow and almost always correct. I'll definitely be buy her book x


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