I’ve always appreciated that Paula’s Choice does not do animal testing. While I have not yet boycotted brands that do, I like buying from those that do not. My skin is sensitive, so I get reactions from products. It is still nice to try as many new products as possible, and I use Beautypedia (an expert site affiliated with Paula’s Choice that uses scientific research instead of opinions for reviews) as a first stop in seeing what ingredients may have caused my reaction. Both sites are a great source of information. Anyone can sign up for Paula’s Choice Testing Panel to test products and give feedback. Panelists immediately fill out a short skin care profile. When Paula’s Choice needs a new item tested, it reviews profiles. A short survey determines whether the panelist moves forward. Those who do take part in the test fill out an exit survey by the deadline. Successfully complete one test to qualify for more.
We are never told what the product is, but we do know the type of product we’re testing. Panelists are not allowed to discuss the specifics on products, so my write ups will always be vague. They are more of a what to expect from the program than what to expect from the products (which will always vary).
I received a pre-qualifying survey invitation on 05/26/16. The relatively short survey was looking for specific skin concerns. You will usually not know what exactly they are looking for, so answer every question as honestly as possible. On 06/01/16, I received a shipment confirmation and details on what it expected of me with the study. There is always a delay from answering the survey to receiving confirmation you made it in. My guess is they wait until the qualifying deadline to select the best candidates instead of selecting the first ones who may qualify as other studies do.
The product arrived on 06/06/16. On 06/08/16, I received another email with updated instructions. Since the updated email arrived before I tested it, I only did the study with the updated instructions. Those who received the product a little earlier may have done it both ways. Each sample has about 0.5oz worth of product, so there was more than enough product to test it both ways.
The updated email asked me to use one product on half of my face and the second on the other half. I took this picture in bathroom lighting late at night, so it is difficult to tell. Half of my face is very red, because I reacted to that product. Since the burning was intense, I had to wash it off almost immediately and was unable to continue testing it. This is an important reason that I am against animal testing. A human can wash her face when a product burns her. An animal cannot tell you to wash off the crap that is burning her face.
The other half of my face felt great, and I was able to use that product as intended. It is a product I would buy if I knew what it was. Instead of tossing the one I reacted to, I decided to give it to my husband. We all react to different things, and it did not bother his skin at all. After he finished the product I could not (yesterday), I decided to finally write this article. I am sure there were others who reacted to the product and many who did not.
The review deadline was 06/15/16, and I received a reminder email the day before. It took less than 10 minutes to complete the series of questions Paula’s Choice asked on each product. Of course, I reviewed my experience (not my husband’s). He never tried the product before the deadline anyway. If we had a longer deadline, I still would not have included his results with mine, because that could taint the results they’re looking for. After all, I filled out the qualifying survey.
The review questions ask you: about your skin again (another important reason to answer truthfully in pre-qualifying), if you had an allergic reaction, if you used the product as directed, how often you used it, what you thought of the scent, if you liked the texture, and many more questions. It is somewhat extensive without being too time consuming.
If you like testing products as much as I do, you may enjoy this. Those who love exploring Beautypedia may also love this. The only drawback to this testing panel and similar ones is you do not know which product you’re testing, so it will be hard to avoid it if you hate it or buy it if you love it. Should you be lucky enough to love what you’re sampling and figure out what it is, remember to check all offers before placing a Paula’s Choice order. This program really is more of a means to assist research than to sample before you buy. There are other programs to test products that I trust as well. Some of those offer rewards for sampling products or the chance to receive products where you know what you’re testing. See all Paula’s Choice and Paula’s Choice Testing Panel articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
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I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.