Author of over 20 best-selling books, in-demand beauty expert and creator of her own skin care line, Paula Begoun is a force to be reckoned with. Her real, honest, unbiased insight into the world of skin care has proved invaluable to millions, so who better to share their skin journey in our tenth issue? Here, the founder of Paula’s Choice talks skin struggles, getting fired and how the industry has changed.
My skin struggles started when I was very young. I had terrible acne from the age of 11, but no matter what I tried (and I tried everything), products and treatments either made my skin worse or did nothing at all. It was emotionally devastating. I became obsessed with wanting to get my acned, oily skin under control. To make matters worse, the rest of my body was plagued by eczema and all the itching and incessant dryness that comes with it.
Fixing my skin became my primary focus in life. At first it was about was all about solving my own skin concerns, but then as the research about skin exploded and I started writing my books, every skin type and skin problem became a challenge for me to understand and find solutions for. I started working as a make-up artist to pay my way through university, but I also worked at department store cosmetic counters. The only problem was that I kept getting fired because I was always arguing with the person who was training me on how to sell products because I knew from the science and from my own experience that what she was saying just wasn’t true. I never thought I would remain in the world of skin care but I kept being drawn back to it in very non-traditional ways.
I had just finished the third edition of my book Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me, which was over 700 pages! I thought I never wanted to write another book ever again but the beauty industry is what I knew and loved, and I knew for certain no one was going to hire me—my books and message in the media were too controversial. Then friends, family, and fans started asking me to create products and it just sounded too perfect. As my books gained in popularity, I received letters from women of all ages and all locations begging me to help them find the solutions to their skin problems. I’m proud to say this was strong motivation to continue.
Creating my own products was the best of all worlds. It combined my years of research and what I knew about thousands of other products to know how to formulate with only ingredients that could truly make a beautiful difference for the skin.
The beauty industry is wonderful and crazy at the same time. When products work, it’s just amazing but when products don’t work or make skin worse, that’s just so frustrating and sad. Acne, clogged pores, oily skin, and sun damage (which is what really ages skin) are by far the most difficult skin conditions to treat so, to formulate a product, it takes endless days of research and then long discussions with the team about how to combine the best ingredients, while always listening to what our customers are telling us. Eventually we end up with a new brilliant formulation we’re proud to launch. I’ve been listening to women who’ve since become long-term customers for years; you might say Paula’s Choice was the original crowd-sourcing skin care line! Knowing that I changed (my customers) lives and helped make them feel beautiful and confident about their appearance has kept me going for 40 years, even on the most difficult days of my career.
The truth in beauty is that we know more about skin care and what is possible than ever before, but skin care is also more complicated than ever before. Skin is the largest organ of the body with very complex physiological needs and the research is phenomenally technical. Skin care is rocket science. So while there’s more communication available about skin care than ever before, it’s often either misleading or overhyped information stretching reality to the breaking point. And there’s an unfortunate amount of misinformation on the Internet about the alleged dangers of certain ingredients that have actually been deemed safe and highly effective.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all product. Someone who has acne or rosacea or dry skin or advanced sun damage should not be using the same products. That’s why we have very targeted skin care routines at Paula’s Choice that I’m very proud of. If you have acne, you will love my CLEAR products. If you have combination skin and signs of ageing or sun damage, my RESIST Anti-Aging products for combination skin will be a revelation (potent products with the lightest weight textures imaginable) and if you have redness and rosacea-prone skin, my CALM products can make a huge improvement. Even if you don’t have a specific concern or skin disorder, you can use my DEFENSE line to keep skin protected from environmental issues (like airborne pollutants) that impact everyone’s skin.
My aspirations for the future? To keep doing what we do best, which is make products with the ideal combination of ingredients to feed the skin what it needs to literally become younger, healthier, to heal, and solve skin problems in ways that will make you love to look in the mirror!
Article from Skin Health Magazine