Without question, the number one thing I’m asked on Instagram is about what my skin care routine is. I’ll put together a full post detailing all of the steps and products in the near future, but one product I LOVE that deserves a dedicated post is Paula’s Choice RESIST Triple-Action Dark Spot Eraser 7% AHA Lotion.
Yes, that is a mouthful. I’m not sure what I could shorten the name to. PCRTADSE7AHA lotion? Yeah, I’m not sure that’s much better.
Photographs are misleading, of course—portrait mode on the newer iPhones is ridiculously flattering, Photoshop exists, and once you figure out your angles, a good selfie will really put you in your best light—literally. That said, yes, I do look younger than 43 (whatever 43 is supposed to look like?), and I am sure that’s at least in part due to genetics, but I’ve worked hard to get the texture and clarity of my skin where it is. Back in 2012 I wrote about this struggle at length, and while nearly every product I used then is out of rotation now as my skin has changed over time, I still think about the condition of my skin A LOT. I’m super self-conscious when it comes to my skin, and I think that’ll probably always be the case.
One of the things that’s changed in recent years is that I have discoloration on my face (mostly on my cheekbones) that’s not due to scarring from breakouts, but to damage from the sun. As someone who has religiously worn high-SPF sunscreen every day since adolescence, this is a real drag. Moving to New Mexico seemed to be the thing that pushed me into that territory—the combination of dryer air and far less cloud cover is really hard on your skin, and adjusting has been a learning curve. Last summer I started to notice a dramatic increase in sun damage, and I decided to try to counteract them with a hydroquinone*-based product.
*Hydroquinone has had a bit of a controversial reputation, and it’s not for everyone. People with darker skin may be more prone to side effects than people (including me) who are the color of mashed potatoes. It’s also important to make sure that your hydroquinone products don’t contain mercury, which seems like a good rule of thumb for anything you’re planning to slather onto your skin. At any rate, please research hydroquinone prior to using it, and talk to your dermatologist if you have concerns.
I read about a bazillion reviews, and after testing out a few samples, I decided to order a full-size tube of Paula’s Choice RESIST Triple-Action Dark Spot Eraser 7% AHA Lotion, aka PCRTADSE7AHA lotion. It’s been about eight months (and three tubes) since I started using it daily, and the improvement in my skin tone is DRAMATIC. It took quite a while—maybe four months—to see a change in the discoloration on my cheeks, but the improvement in texture was immediate. Thanks to the 7% AHA (my skin loves glycolic acid), I have absolutely no dry patches anymore. I figured out that the hydroquinone was doing its thing when I realized I was no longer spending 15 minutes dotting concealer onto tiny brown spots on my face every morning. (By the way, PCRTADSE7AHA lotion behaves beautifully under makeup. No stickiness or anything like that.)
My holy grail skin product is still Lotion P50 (♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡), but Paula’s Choice RESIST Triple-Action Dark Spot Eraser 7% AHA Lotion is a very welcome addition to my daily routine. Thanks, PCRTADSE7AHA!