Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.
 • Body  • Bodycare Reviews  • Wait, Do you Need a Retinol for Your Body?
Reviewing Paula's Choice Skin Smoothing Retinol Body Treatment

Wait, Do you Need a Retinol for Your Body?

Share the love!
Main Image – Live That Glow

As someone who’s a big fan of retinol for their skin-glowing, pore-refining and fine line-diminishing qualities I’ve tried out quite a few over the years.

“One of the best-known skincare ingredients on the market,” Healthline describes retinol as “an over-the-counter (OTC) version of retinoids” that is “derived (made from) vitamin A and is primarily used to treat mature-looking skin concerns as well as acne.”

But beyond using this powerhouse ingredient on my face, neck and chest I’d never really thought of extending it over the rest of my body. That was until I saw that one of my go-to brands for straightforward, effective skincare, Paula’s Choice, sells a retinol product made specifically for the body.

Intrigued, I couldn’t wait to try out the product for myself. I’ve also consulted with eminent skincare Sophia Tang and Stacey Tapping experts to offer their views on not just the Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment, but on retinol body care more generally…


Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment

Containing a mixture of 0.1 per cent retinol (a moderate percentage strength) and shea butter to smooth skin while moisturising, this unscented cream also boasts glycerin to soften, grape seed oil to nourish, and vitamins C and E for antioxidant protection.


How to Use it

Applied like a body cream on clean skin, this has a moisturiser-like texture which makes it easy to work into the skin.

Because it contains retinol (which makes skin more sensitive to the sun) it needs to be followed with an SPF of at least 30 every day.


On the Skin

A derivative of vitamin A, retinols are shown to speed up cell turnover, in turn helping to boost collagen levels (bye-bye fine lines), improve pigmentation and reduce breakouts.

Retinol “does not remove dead skin cells, as many other products for mature skin do. Instead, the small molecules that makeup retinol go deep beneath the epidermis (outer layer of skin) to your dermis.

“Once in this middle layer of skin, retinol helps neutralize free radicals. This helps boost the production of elastin and collagen, which creates a ‘plumping’ effect that can reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores,” says Healthline.

Tang agrees, “Retinol is an essential ingredient not just for facial care but for body care as well. Its unparalleled ability to renew and rejuvenate the skin makes it a staple for anyone looking to maintain healthy, youthful-looking skin from head to toe.”


Image – Pexels


But along with the ingredient’s many plus points, it can, unfortunately, cause dryness, irritation or redness when first using it – so I was interested to see how a retinol for the body would work.

Luckily, unlike using one on the face – where skin generally needs to build up tolerance by first using every other night – this formula is gentle enough that I could use this daily on my arms, legs and stomach from the beginning.

In fact, from first use, I’ve found this pretty hydrating. And while I haven’t noticed the same dramatic results I might get from my face retinol I can honestly say the skin on my body seems slightly firmer and smoother.  Even better, pigmentation and scars also seem improved.

Stacey Tapping affirms, “The efficacy of retinol on a body cream like Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment is as tangible as with face products. The cream combines a moderate percentage of retinol with shea butter, creating a balanced mix that smooths the skin while also keeping it hydrated. Grape seed oil and vitamins C and E further enhance the cream’s moisturizing and nourishing ability, while also protecting the skin against harmful free radicals.”


Image – Pexels


Tapping adds, “Applying it daily, as one would with regular body lotion, can help enhance skin firmness, smoothness, and even tone. It may not deliver the dramatic results noticeable with facial retinol treatments; however, the outcome does contribute to enhancing overall skin health and aesthetics.”

As another plus, because this has a rich, moisturising formula I don’t need to use a lot to cover arms/legs etc, making the price slightly better value.

Tapping confirms, “While the cost of Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment may seem high for a body cream, its results in smoothing and perfecting skin on the body might justify the price. A little indeed goes a long way with this cream and its beneficial effects on specific problem areas like the backs of the arms, chest, or stretch marks could greatly improve the look and feel of your skin. If your skin budget allows, it’s worth considering adding a retinol body treatment like this one to your routine for the sake of makeup-free, naturally glowing, and healthy skin – from head to toe.”


The Takeaway

Overall I like this body treatment and I’m very happy with the subtle, healthy skin results it offers (I just wish it wasn’t so expensive). To get the best value out of it I think this also works well as a targeted treatment for particular problem areas like the backs of arms, chests or stretch marks.

Great for: Smoothing and perfecting skin on the body.

Not-so-great for: Budgets, as this is pretty expensive for a body cream – a little does go a long way though.

Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment is £33 for 118 ml, Paula’s Choice UK and $29 for 4 oz/ 118 ml, Paula’s Choice US.


Meet the experts

Stacey Tapping is the CEO & Owner of Beauty Sculpting Room


Sophia Tang is the Founder of Nako Cosmetics


Get Glowing!

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and receive your Glowing Skin Checklist: a guide to your dewiest skin ever!

Share the love!


Sally Underwood is a journalist, *serious* beauty fan, and Editor-in-Chief of Live That Glow. Formerly Editorial Director of one of Europe's largest newspaper groups, Sally has been a beauty obsessive since her teen years spent dragging her long-suffering (but immaculately-groomed) friends around every beauty counter in London. She now leads Live That Glow's editorial operations.

Expertise: Skincare, Body care
Education: University College London
  • I’ve heard about retinol for skin purpose but never really trusted it enough. Your review gives me enough confidence to try it out. I’m a newbie in blogging, so do check out my blog would mean a lot

    11th May 2020

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.