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International Skincare Brand Paula’s Choice Is Here

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For skincare expert Paula Begoun sheet masks are an absolute waste of time and money. She does not believe in Jade Rollers either (much to our surprise!), with a slew of scientific studies working in her favour. On the other hand, she does recommend using sun protection round the clock and super gentle ingredients that the skin can easily absorb. With 40 years of experience behind her in the field and 21 beauty books to her credit, the founder of Seattle-based skincare brand Paula’s Choice has finally arrived in India, a country that she proudly refers to as her ‘second home’. Her cosmetics line which first launched in 1995 has become a cult brand since. It all started when she researched the ingredients that aggravated her acne and eczema over 35 years ago. Since then, she only trusts skincare that has undergone scientific research.

After five years of working out the logistics of bringing her brand to India, Paula’s Choice will be retaining exclusively on Amazon India. Needless to say, these acid-based and cruelty-free products offer a smart solution for beautiful skin. We caught up with the skin guru on changing our skincare resolutions and busting some beauty myths.



Hauterfly: What inspired you to bring Paula’s Choice to India?

Paula Begoun: India is my second home and has been a major part of my life for the last 12 years. My husband is from Mumbai and from the day we got together I wanted to bring Paula’s Choice Skincare here. However, since we are an internet beauty brand that made it difficult to start with. When Amazon launched in India, I was overjoyed as I could finally make my way here.

Hauterfly: What have been some of your biggest observations about the Indian beauty industry?

Paula Begoun: The beauty industry in India is changing rapidly. When I first came here, the formulations were so dated, the products available over the counters were greasy and heavy. Even the bigger brands only had a few products to offer. But it has evolved a lot since. In terms of Indian attitudes towards skincare, it isn’t all that different from any other place I have travelled to. Whatever myths and strange ideas that is not based in science, abounds in the rest of the world too.

Paula’s Choice 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant (Rs 2,810)

Hauterfly: How do you find the energy to bust some of the biggest beauty myths that have been around for the longest time?

Paula Begoun: I really believe that beauty begins with truth. Myths, hypes, misleading information and century old traditions will never take care of us. Considering how much I have written, even what I wrote 10 years ago is only 35 per cent true now, as the research keeps changing. I am endlessly fascinated by ever-changing research about skin and skincare. Every day I search for studies to find new ingredients that can do great things, and the ones to be avoided. When I get to share this knowledge with others and it helps them, that’s the best part of my career.

paulas choice

Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acic Booster (Rs 3,240)  

Hauterfly: What were some of your findings when you researched popular Indian skincare myths?

Paula Begoun: Indians are heavy users of turmeric powder and essential oils, both aren’t suitable for treating the skin. Turmeric can be an irritant and it stains the skin. Contrary to popular belief, turmeric doesn’t get easily absorbed by the skin, so it does nothing to cure acne. You need ingredients that can trickle right down to the source and treat it. As for essential oils, they are volatile and may have an inflammatory effect. Even when it comes to face scrubs that are heavily granulated, they can cause the skin to tear and break down its collagen content. Anything that’s harsh on the skin is a problem.

Hauterfly: Tell us about the major ingredients that should feature in our daily skincare regimen.

Paula Begoun: Antioxidants are a must, they interrupt pollution. Replenishing and hydrating ingredients that put back into the skin what it can’t make for itself anymore, such as lactic acid, hyaluronic acid and ceramides, are essential. Since our skin goes through a certain amount of damage every day there are only a handful of repairing ingredients that can penetrate and make the skin better. Exfoliating acids slough away dead skin cells that build up because of pollution and sun damage.


Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (Rs 4,074)

Hauterfly: What would be your advice to a skincare novice?

Paula Begoun:  Use a good sun screen every day. Avoid anything that irritate your skin (essential oils, or synthetic fragrances) and make sure you don’t indulge in DIY skincare. Effective formulation and their optimum effect is something that cannot be achieved in your kitchen.


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