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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review: Paula's Choice Earth Sourced Perfectly Natural Cleansing Gel for All Skin Types

As many of you know, I'm a long-time Paula's Choice fan. A few months ago, Paula Begoun discussed her products with me (she's very accessible on Twitter if you aren't already following her) and asked me to tell her my biggest skincare needs and concerns. She then sent me a personalized selection of products to try based on the information I provided here (by the way, she graciously said that I do not have "mature skin" as I had described it to her. At 42, that made my day. Ha!).

Of the products I've been testing for a few months now (skincare takes a lot of time to test) I want to start with my absolute favorite. It's very rare that I declare that something is my new "Holy Grail" product, but this is one of those times.

Paula's Choice Earth Sourced Perfectly Natural Cleansing Gel for All Skin Types
(retail: $17, 6.7 oz)

This product is currently on sale for $14.45 on the Paula's Choice website, and you can also purchase a sample for $0.49. For those unfamiliar with the Paula's Choice website, they often run sales and shipping offers, so there are lots of opportunities to purchase things for less than the retail price.

I'd also like to say right up front that I've been using this cleanser for about three months, every night before bed, and there's still about 10-15% of the product left in the bottle. A little of this cleanser goes a long way, so I'm betting you'll get at least three months of use from one bottle if you use it as your nightly cleanser.

From the Paula's Choice website:
Effective for: Anti-Aging, Eczema, Extra Sensitive Skin, Redness, Rosacea 
Cleanses gently with 99% percent natural ingredients 
Soothes sensitive skin 
Removes makeup and rinses easily, leaving skin smooth 
Gentle enough for use on babies and children 
Clinically proven non-irritating 
100% fragrance free, no added dyes 
No animal testing 
View the research and studies showing the benefits of using this cleanser here.

Texture and consistency: This cleanser is clear (no dyes) and it has a gel-like consistency. It's not super thick, so it's easy to spread on the skin. It does lather, but it's not a high-lathering product (although it could produce more lather if you used a Clarisonic, I'm guessing). 

Ease of use: Very easy to work into the skin. I like to spend a good amount of time gently working my cleanser into my skin (using just my hands) and this cleanser easily melts even my long-wearing foundation off, almost instantly. It does take some additional (gentle) work to remove my washable mascara, but I have yet to meet a cleanser that didn't require additional (gentle!) motions around the eye area to remove my mascara.

Ease of rinse: One of my favorite things about this cleanser is that it rinses very easily and leaves my skin absolutely clean, with no film, no stickiness, etc. after rinsing. 

Fragrance: This product is 100% fragrance-free. There is a very, very mild scent to it--to me it smells similar to a fragrance-free lotion where you can just detect the base and nothing more.

Performance: Again, I've been using this product every night for about three months, and I have not one bad thing to say about it. I have oily skin and I use long-wear foundation, and this product easily removes my foundation without leaving my skin feeling stripped, tight or dry afterwards. My skin just feels clean after I use this product, and I have noticed absolutely no irritation, dryness or break-outs in the three months that I've been using this cleanser. 

FINAL VERDICT:  My new Holy Grail facial cleanser. I absolutely love everything about Paula's Choice Choice Earth Sourced Perfectly Natural Cleansing Gel , and I haven't wanted to reach for anything else in the past three plus months. Its gentle, fragrance-free formula and the way it makes my oily skin feel after cleansing, combined with its ability to thoroughly remove every trace of my makeup (including long-wear foundation and multiple coats of washable mascara) make this a winning combo for my skincare needs. Whether this will be your first Paula's Choice product or your 100th, I highly recommend trying a sample of this one to see if you might have the same luck that I've had. I have super oily skin, but I can see this working well for those of you with normal or dry skin as well.

Don't just take my word for it--check out Phyrra's review here (she uses it with her Clarisonic, in case any of you were wondering if this cleanser was Clarisonic-compatible). Also check out the Makeup Alley reviews (it has an average rating of 4.3 stars) here

Do you use any Paula's Choice products? If so, I'd love to know about your favorites! Please check back in the coming weeks for more Paula's Choice reviews, as I work my way through the products I was sent for review.

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews. For more information, click here.


  1. I love Paula's Choice products! I'm hearing so much more about them now which is great. If I had the money, I'd buy a lifetime supply of her 2% BHA Gel. I can't go a night without using it! Thank you for reviewing this!

    1. You're so welcome, Katy! And yes, that 2% BHA Gel has quite the devoted following...I'm so happy to hear it works for you! :)

    2. Hi G: Would you please tell me what the packaging is like for this one? It doesn't look like it has a pump....?

      I LOVE the 2% BHA Gel too! That's my absolute must-have from Paula's Choice. I'm going to bump this cleanser up on my to-try list though if both G and Courtney like this. My current cleansing routine takes me at least 2 steps--easily 3-4 if I have waterproof mascara and long-wear base or spf on.

  2. Yay for PC! I've been a longtime user as well but have yet to try the Earth Sourced products. I will definitely check this out now! Thanks! I love the Resist line and the Skin Recovery products for my sensitive skin.

  3. Love your blog and FB updates:)

    And yes..I use a LOT of Paula's Choice products. I have rosacea/acne and at nearly 50 years old I also have some fine lines.

    I have used the Hydralight line, the Earth Sources line but my fave is the Skin Balancing line. I use all of them and the 2% liquid BHA. I will never be without BHA again. It helps the rosacea/acne more than any of the prescription products I have been on.

    I love her spf moisturizers. All of the ones for oily skin leave my face shine free but not dry.

    The price of her products are really reasonable...not any more than Olay or a lot of Neutrogena products.

    Thanks for the informative reviews:)

  4. Oh, I've used Paula's Choice since the line first came out many years ago The Skin Recovery cleanser is my holy grail and if she ever discontinues it or changes the formula, I will break down and cry! I was so happy to find a company that makes things that *work*. Not that smell pretty, or that look pretty. That' s stupid for a cleanser - you wash it away so who cares if it looks nice or smells like a field of flowers?! It works - it takes off ALL my makeup, cleansese gently and doesn't dry me out. It's the Mary Poppins of cleansers - Practically Perfect in Every Way! :) Love PC!!

  5. I'm a fan of her Earth-sourced moisturizer. Light, yet nicely hydrating.

  6. i am currently using the PC 2% bha liquid but i don't think it's working for me :( i have broken out terribly since i've been using it. maybe my skin is just purging so i'll give it a few more days.

    on the other hand, thanks to your review, i really want to try this cleanser now and i can't wait to see what other products paula sent you!

  7. I too have been using Paula's products since they debuted. I have extremely sensitive, dry skin and her skin recovery and moisture boost night time moisturizers are divine. I have a hard time using any moisturizer with sunscreen, they all feel tacky and not moisturizing enough. So I use her Resist Cellulare Renewal Cream SPF 25 over a light moisturizer in the winter, and her new Mineral Complex spf 30 (used to be the hand cream) over a light moisturizer in the summer. Unfortunately, every cleanser I have sampled from her line has irritated my eyes, and since it was her who convinced me that one only needs one cleanser, not a separate one for the eyes, I used her recommended Cetaphil lotion to remove my make up for years. I don't know if the product was changed, or I simply got allergic to it, but I've noticed she doesn't recommend it so strongly anymore. I found that Clinique's Comforting Cream Cleanser removes all make up, including waterproof mascara, perfectly. Its like a very gentle cold cream . It does need to be tissued off and then rinsed to remove the last traces of a creamy film from your face, but for my dry skin, that's not a big issue. I've tried many of her exfoliants and anti aging serums, but they are all too irriitating for my very sensitive skin. She recommends the 1% beta hydroxy lotion for people with rosacea and sensitve skin, which I can use on alternating days, but it seems unfair that I cannot get the benefits of an anti aging skin care regimen because my skin is so sensitve. I can use these products if I layer them over a layer of moisturizer first, but I do not know if that defeats the purpose or not. I just noticed that she is discontinuing her line of make up brushes. That really is a shame, because the eye make up brushes were incredible, and cannot be found anywhere at such a reasonable price. She has also discontinued most of her make up products, also a shame. I don' t really like the new foudations, not moisturizing enough for those with dry skin, but her eyeshadows and blushes were beautiful, in a versatile line of colors. She still makes one creamy, sheer lipstick with SPF15. I love it in the color "in the nude". Its a plummy brown on my fair complexion, and I buy one whenever ti is on sale, never knowing when it will disappear. Well, that's my cleanser and Paula's Choice story. Any advice on a cleanser like the Clinique one at the drugstore? Thanks for your great work!

  8. Big Paula's fan here but haven't tried the Earth Source line yet. I'm interested to hear you think it would work for normal to dry skin. I've been looking for a good cleanser to use with my Clarisonic so I will order some samples with my next PC order. Thanks for the suggestion.

  9. My favorite products are:
    Skin Balancing Cleanser. (Removes eye makeup with no sting!)
    2% BHA Liquid for my occasional cystic acne
    Hydralight or Skin Balancing Toner
    Redness Relief
    Sunscreen (my husband uses it every day)
    I recently ordered the new RESIST Daily SPF moisturizer. We will see how that works out.
    I liked the Earth Sourced line, but I need specific items for my "mature" skin and cystic acne.

    If you're readers aren't familiar with her Beautypedia web site they should check it out. She reviews almost all beauty products and tells you whether an item is worth its price and if there are questionable ingredients.
    How lucky that she helped you picked products for your skin. That's awesome!

  10. My friend told me about Dermalogica Special cleansing gel 500. I decided to order this and its my first experience to use special cleansing gel. I thought I would be so uncomfortable during first use but surprisingly isn't that bad. This is my second wrap and its great.

  11. G, what cleanser do you use in the morning?


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