Paula’s Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser – In-depth Review and Ingredient Analysis

If you can only manage to do one thing before crashing into bed, clean your skin. It’s probably the most important step of skincare, even if the rest of your regime is very good. If your skin is not clean then it almost doesn’t matter what you give it after, you will still end up with ageing signs, dullness, dryness, spots, blackheads etc.

Getting a good cleanser is paramount but the task is not as simple as leaving the skin clean. A good cleanser will ensure that the natural oils of the skin are not completely striped out, even if that squeaky clean feeling is great.

I’ve tested many cleansers over time and there are many great ones out there for all budgets. These days there is eveb a new type of cleanser, the nutritious type, which tends to be more expensive but also contain a lot of ingredient goodies. In this post we will be looking at one of these type, the Paula’s Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser.


Before we get into it though, let’s get something out of the way. Nutritious cleansers are great, they clean and sound fancy but they are not as worth the cash as you might think. Ingredients need some time to get absorbed into your skin and a quick wash-cleanse will not give you the nourishing results you are expecting. Most of these ingredient goodies end up in the drain and it could be a waste of money. All a cleanser needs to do is clean so if you are short on cash, spend it mostly on the products you use after cleansing.



The Paula’s Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser doesn’t come with outer packaging.

The cleanser itself comes in a plastic, blue bottle with a pump which is very easy to use. It doesn’t look specifically beautiful, but it has a presence. The pump makes it also very practical to use. The pump usually comes “locked in place” with a white plastic so you will know if the product is new or not.


It’s worth noting that Paula’s Choice has re-designed a lot of their product packaging and this product now looks slightly different. It’s still a blue bottle with a pump but it is matte and baby blue. The metallic blue is gone and so has some of the writing. The new packaging looks simpler but the product is still called the same name and has the same formulation.



A full size 190mL bottle retails for £22. Not the cheapest cleanser out there but cheap considering how good it is and the ingredients it contains.

You can also buy an XL size, 334mL, for £30. Travel size and sample sizes also exist.

To get £7.50 off your first Paula’s choice order (minimum £25 order) click here. This is a personal discount code, not a promotion or affiliation.


Texture and Colour

This cleanser has a white cream texture. Although the product states that it is a foaming cleanser, it never really foamed when I used it.



This product doesn’t smell of anything and is fragrance free.


Skin compatibility

This product can be used by all skin types. Paula’s Choice specifies that it is best for normal, oily and combination and they offer a different cleanser for dry skin. However, it’s worth noting that this cleanser doesn’t dry or strip the skin, so if you have dry skin you might find it pleasant to use too.

If you are concerned or notice any reaction discontinue usage immediately and contact a medical doctor.



This cleanser lasts for 12M which is more than enough time to use it up.

Here’s what Paula’s Choice says about this product:

Balanced cleansing with anti-ageing benefits.

A specialised formula of mild cleansing and skin-repairing ingredients help keep the skin’s protective barrier intact. Ideal for combination to oily skin, this creamy foaming face wash will leave skin feeling refreshed, soft and smooth.

·         KEY FEATURES

Cleanses skin without drying it out

Fights signs of ageing

Fights breakouts and blackheads

·         HOW TO USE

Use morning and evening. Splash the face and eyes generously with water. Apply a small amount of cleanser to your face using vigorous yet gentle circular motions. Rinse well. Repeat or use with a clean washcloth to remove heavy makeup.”


Practicality of use – use experience

This cleanser is very easy to use. The product comes out of the pump easily and is nice and slippery on the skin. It cleans well and can deal with a full face of makeup in one go. Always go through the skin twice though, to ensure that all traces of dirt are removed.



It wouldn’t be ethical if we didn’t talk about the credibility of this section. It is very hard to impossible most of the time to verify the information or credibility of the sources, so please take this section with a pinch of salt unless stated otherwise. This section is not meant to be definitive and is most likely more about reputation around those subjects than credible information. If you have additional or more correct information please email:

Paula’s Choice does not test on animals. They are committed to reducing their carbon footprint & actively seek sustainable ingredients & recyclable packaging.

They also follow science – not just what’s popular. Their formulas and ingredients are supported & verified by extensive research.



This product cleans the skin well and it’s very easy to use. The skin is left feeling soft and clean but not dry or stiped away from its natural lubrication. The only negative is that this product never foamed for me as it states it does, but at the same time that didn’t affect how well it worked.





This cleanser contains 29 ingredients of which 21 will offer your some benefit (some on skincare and others in cleansing ability etc), 1 potential negatives and 7 irritants.

It definitely contains a lot of must have ingredients but before you get too hyped up it is worth bearing that this is a rinse-off product. Most of these ingredients likely end up in the drain. The couple of seconds or minute that it takes you to wash your face is likely not enough for your skin to absorb and benefit, on a deeper level, from these ingredients.

If this was a leave-on product like a face cream then we would be having a very different conversation about the ingredients contained but it’s worth keeping in mind that all a cleanser needs and can do, in the timeframe and way of application, is clean. If this is not the case and a significant amount of ingredients gets absorbed in that minute or so that we wash our skin, while also getting mixed with makeup and dirt, then I’d really like to see some scientific data! That would be interesting indeed.

To keep this article short, I am only listing the ingredients that make this product a cleanser and any skin nourishing or skin positive/negative ingredients, while ignoring the ones that only play formulation purposes. For the full list of ingredients scroll down to the “full list of ingredients” section.


Ingredient positives:

  1. Aqua based formulation.
  2. Sodium Lauroamphoacetate – A hair conditioner, cleanser and foam booster.
  3. Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate – Derived from coconut, a good cleansing agent and hair conditioner.
  4. Glycerin – Found naturally in the skin so can be seen as a skin replenishing ingredient. A skin conditioner that helps improve and smooth the appearance of skin. A good moisturiser that is almost always present in moisturising products.
  5. Glycol Distearate– A skin conditioner.
  6. Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil – A skin conditioner high in vitamin E. It can improve skin hydration and provide anti-oxidant protection. It can also reinforce the skin’s protective barrier, reducing moisture loss. It is also rich in other nutrients (calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and vitamins A, K and E etc) and can be used against inflammation and skin irritations.
  7. Sodium Hyaluronate – Known in the science community as “the fountain of youth” compound. Can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, so it is a king moisturiser. Helps wounds heal faster and increases collagen production leading to younger looking skin. For more info and all the scientifically proven claims see “Hyaluronic acid – the fountain of youth?”
  8. Ceramide NP – One of the naturally occurring lipids in our skin and therefore a skin replenisher compound. This is the most common type of ceramide found in skincare and can moisturise the skin, improve elasticity and even reduce lines and skin irritation. Check out:  What are ceramides and do they work in skincare?
  9. Ceramide AP – One of the naturally occurring lipids in our skin and therefore a skin replenisher compound. Ceramides can moisturise the skin, improve elasticity and even reduce lines and skin irritation. They can also condition hair!
  10. Ceramide EOP– See above.
  11. Phytosphingosine – A complex fatty acid alcohol with water binding properties.
  12. Phospholipids – Skin replenishing molecules. Skin conditioner. Essential for healthy and youthful skin.
  13. Sphingolipids – Long chain lipids that have skin replenish and conditioning properties.
  14. Lecithin– A lipid that improves skin equilibrium.
  15. Arginine– A natural aminoacid that can act as a skin conditioner and anti-oxidant.
  16. Cholesterol – One of the main lipids in our skin other than ceramides. A good skin conditioner and replenishing compound that can help maintain the skin’s healthy feel and appearance. Our skin naturally contains cholesterol, it works by strengthening the outer structure of the skin and protecting it from dehydration.
  17. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract– Skin conditioner, locks moisture in (=humectant). Some consider it to have anti-flammatory properties and protects against UV-damage. This is not a sunscreen and you still need SPF. Some have reported it to stimulate collage production and therefore, reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
  18. Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate– Can help moisturise and enhace the delivery of other ingredients. Can be used as an acne agent due to its anti-microbial properties.
  19. Xanthan gum– Skin conditioner. Holds water and improves the shelf life of the product.
  20. Hexylene Glycol– Skin conditioner.
  21. Caprylyl Glycol– A skin conditioner.


Ingredient negatives:

  1. Lecithin – Generally considered safe but some suspect this to be a carcinogen. However, there is no proof.


Ingredients that can cause irritation to some:

This is actually really case specific, as different people have different sensitivities and allergies. Just because a compound has been reported by some to cause sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you will have an issue. “Sensitizer” compounds being present is not a negative in my opinion, as this is the case with pretty much everything out there and funnily enough I’ve seen products that are targeted specifically for sensitive skin, containing some compounds that have been reported by some, or are known to be, sensitizers.

If you have sensitive skin or you are prone to skin sensitisation and unwanted reactions, try a little bit of this at the back of your hand first and consult a medical doctor if you are concerned.

Check out: What is sensitive skin? What are the causes and what can we do?

The following compounds present in this cleanser have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Glycol Distearate, Acrylates Copolymer, Cholesterol, Sodium Hydroxide, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol.


Full list of ingredients:

Aqua, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate (cleansing), Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (cleansing), Stearic Acid (texture-enhancing), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Glycol Distearate (texture-enhancing), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (non-fragrant antioxidant plant oil), Acrylates Copolymer (hydration/skin replenishing), Cetearyl Alcohol (hydration/skin replenishing), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration/skin replenishing), Ceramide NP (hydration/skin replenishing), Ceramide AP (hydration/skin replenishing), Ceramide EOP (hydration/skin replenishing), Phytosphingosine (skin-restoring), Phospholipids (hydration/skin replenishing), Sphingolipids (hydration/skin replenishing), Lecithin (skin-restoring), Arginine (amino acid/hydration/skin replenishing), Cholesterol (hydration/skin replenishing), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (hydration/skin-soothing), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Sodium Chloride (stabilizer), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate (texture-enhancing), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Carbomer (texture-enhancing), Hexylene Glycol (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative).




This is one of my favourite cleansers because it’s very easy to use, it cleans efficiently and it doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils. However, don’t buy this cleanser or other cleansers because of the good ingredients (see ingredients section), buy it because it cleans well.

I highly recommend this product.

To get £7.50 off your first Paula’s choice order (minimum £25 order) click here. This is a personal discount code, not a promotion or affiliation.


I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!

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3 responses to Paula’s Choice Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser – In-depth Review and Ingredient Analysis

  1. lalitha sharma says:

    Hi your account is extremely helpful. Requesting u to please post about hair and hair science too please please

    Liked by 1 person

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