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Product Reviews

Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost Hydrating Toner

Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost Hydrating Toner: ($15.95 for 6 oz) 

Positives: This contains efficacious amounts of water-binding agents and fatty acids like glycerin, sodium PCA, phospholipids, lecithin, and linoleic acid. It also has potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatories including high amounts of green tea, willow herb, and grape seed extract, and moderate amounts of vitamins C and E.

Neutrals: Although this contains superoxide dismutase, an essential ROS-scavenging enzyme present throughout the body, its presence here is mostly negligent since it is a massive molecule that will not penetrate the stratum corneum. Furthermore, this does not have any special delivery system. It may act as a water-binding agent, but that is unknown.

Negatives: None, as always with Paula’s Choice products.

Packaging: It would be unreasonable to think that a toner would be packaged in a tube or airless pump bottle. This is packaged in a semi-opaque bottle that has a very small opening (maybe 3 mm in diameter). This will largely reduce the amount of air exposure. However, over time air will still accumulate inside the bottle and break down the antioxidants. However, like I said before, there isn’t much anyone can do about that. Therefore, the packaging score will not be affected.

Overall: This particular toner stings my face for some reason, and I can’t really pinpoint which ingredient does that. If anyone can tell me, that would be greatly appreciated.

I’d recommend this to anyone, as long as it doesn’t sting. Even without the presence of the superoxide dismutase, this is an excellent product.


PS = [[[PIS – 0] x WIC] + [TPS x WPC]] x 100%

PS = [[8.5/10 x 2/3] + [3/3 x 1/3]] x 100%

PS = [17/30 + 3/9] x 100%

PS = [51/90 + 30/90] x 100%

PS = 81/90 x 100%

PS = .900 x 100%

PS = 90.0%

AS = A-

Check the Product Review Rubric for a full explanation on how I rate products.


Water, Glycerin (water-binding agent), Methyl Gluceth-20 (humectant), Superoxide Dismutase, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (antioxidants), Epilobium Angustifolium (Willow Herb) Extract (anti-irritant), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract (antioxidant), Sodium PCA (water-binding agent), Creatine, Lecithin, Phospholipids, Linoleic Acid (cell-communicating ingredients), Sodium PEG-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate (surfactant/emulsifier), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Butylene Glycol (water-binding agent), Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol (preservatives), Panthenol, Allantoin (anti-irritants), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), PEG-4, Hydroxyethylcellulose (thickeners), Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol (preservatives)

About John

The Triple Helixian is an unbiased science and research-based site that attempts to clarify and elucidate questions about skin care, while aspiring to be the most thorough and complete source of information.


8 thoughts on “Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost Hydrating Toner

  1. Hmmm. I don’t know. Would it better prevent oxidation if it had a spray pump?

    Posted by Melody | February 25, 2012, 6:53 pm
    • Well if it came packaged like that, then yes. And as long as you don’t tilt the bottle or open it, oxidation should largely be prevented.

      But there’s also the issue if these toners are manufactured in an oxygen free environment. Who knows haha! I’m being a bit too nit-picky.

      Posted by John | February 25, 2012, 11:30 pm
  2. Thanks for replying to me on Twitter! I was just wondering, since Paula Begoun always says eye creams are a waste of money (and although I know she’s not always going to be right, what she said and her reasons made sense to me)! I know one would want to use a separate moisturizer for especially dry or oily parts but otherwise, there’s no reason? I would love to see you do a post on this. Earlier today I had another blogger tell me that “regular face creams” and usually too heavy and will weigh down the skin under the eyes and accelerate the signs of aging. It honestly makes me a little angry because it just seems silly to me…why even use a cream that’s too heavy, unless you have an extreme dry area that needs it? And there are plenty of “regular” face creams that are light enough for use around the eye, aren’t there?

    Posted by Lisa | February 25, 2012, 1:14 am
    • Hiya!

      I believe that when Paula says that eye creams are a waste of money, she’s referring to the fact that most eye creams are significantly more expensive than their facial counterparts considering price/ounce.

      The eyelids have no subcutaneous layer; basically it has no layer of fat underneath the epidermis and dermis. However, the area under the eyes does, just like the rest of the face. But that layer too, is much thinner than those present throughout the rest of the face. What does that mean? Just that those areas are more sensitive. So, if you’re using a glycolic product, just be sure to apply sparingly around the eye are. But does that mean you need a separate glycolic product for the eyes? Most likely no. Other than what I have mentioned with the dry and oily parts, I can see no other reason to have a separate product.

      And if you’re wondering if people with dark undereye circles should use a separate product, that is a big misconception. There is no published study suggesting that there’s a special ingredient that will get rid of dark circles. This is because the cause of dark circles are so poorly understood. Not to mention that there may be several causes. Some people postulate that it’s due to poor blood drainage, while others say it’s a form of hyperpigmentation. And those can be caused by a number of things, such as genetics, lack of sleep, stress, diet, etc…

      However, the eye area, can be helped by other ingredients that help the skin overall, like antioxidants, retinoids, hydroquinone, etc…

      I hope that helped and thanks for commenting! I’ll be sure to do a more extensive post on this topic in the future. I just have so many other things to do as well! 🙂

      Posted by John | February 25, 2012, 3:11 pm
  3. This looks like a promising product! I’m in the market for a new toner. I haven’t bought one in a while and I’m becoming increasingly annoyed with the number of skincare companies that don’t include ingredients lists on their websites. I’m grateful that Paula’s Choice does. Thanks for this post.

    Posted by Melody | February 23, 2012, 9:41 pm
    • I agree, it’s absolutely infuriating when I have to go out of my way to find ingredient lists. Ack! This is a good product, but I’m not sure if I should take the packaging score component out of the total score. If I were to do that, it would lower the total score score to a solid B, instead of the A- that is present now. Like I said in the post, the super narrow opening is something that I haven’t seen used for toners in other lines, but it doesn’t largely prevent oxidation from air exposure, especially over time. Needless to say, it’s still a good effort. Opinions?

      Thanks for commenting!

      Posted by John | February 24, 2012, 5:14 am

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